I just read a very long (for the internet) and very wonderful piece on learning/trying/struggling to orgasm as a woman with a non-normative sexuality in this world. The whole story is a great read with lots of insights, but here are some of the things she shares to try to help other women who aren’t able to orgasm and really wish they could:
When women ask me for advice on how to have orgasms, I feel helpless because there is no “one true way”. I don’t want to fall back on the old “let go” and “keep trying” that I received — it’s decent advice, but it’s so vague. Perhaps something more useful would be this: first, it really helps to have an idea of what you want. I know this can be hard in a society that soaks us with sexual images designed for stereotypical men, rather than images for women (and especially not for non-normative women like myself). And I feel so aware of how patronizing and useless the “you aren’t in touch with your sexuality, that’s why you can’t come” argument can be. Remember, I had that argument used against me by my lesbian friend. But it was, in fact, kinda true for me — just in a different way: I need BDSM.
If you’re not sure what you want, don’t panic. Just keep your eyes and ears open, and try to monitor your reactions. It may surprise you. If it does, don’t worry — just research it! No matter how unusual your sexuality, there is probably information on the Internet about it. (And even if your sexuality is unusual, odds are it’s not nearly as unusual as you think it is.)
Secondly: it may help not to prioritize orgasms. I am not saying orgasms aren’t important; I just don’t want the importance of orgasms to wound you, the way it wounded me. For me, it is helpful to imagine sex as a journey. For me, it helps to focus on having fun throughout, instead of doing what it takes to reach the “goal” of orgasm. If you’re not taking pleasure in the journey — or at least indulging some curiosity — then why keep going? Why not stop and try something else?
Experimenting sexually in an open-ended way has been, for me, the most productive possible attitude. And in fact, once I knew how to make myself come, I discovered that — though it’s helpful to be able to attain that release if I really want to — orgasms aren’t actually my favorite part of sex! There are lots of other things I like better.
It’s also worth noting that our definitions of “orgasm” are fairly narrow. Some research indicates that there may be other ways to conceptualize orgasms than the stereotypical genital-focused approach.
Sexuality is so complicated. Sex cannot be reduced to bodies, or hormones, or psychological stereotypes. Sex cannot be reduced to certainties, to shoulds and shouldn’ts. If I could destroy every force in our lives that drives home ideas of sexual “normality”, I would. Which leads to my final piece of advice: don’t let me tell you what to do. This is just my experience, just my ideas. As with everything, I want you to do whatever feels right for you — as long as it’s among consenting adults.
I highly recommend reading the whole thing, regardless of whether you have a personal investment or are just interested in a good, compelling feminist story! AND if you are like the woman who wrote the piece, and really want to learn some more about BDSM, the Traveling Tickle Trunk is offering a number of related workshops. Check them out here.