I was faking it…

one woman’s search for orgasm

Yes, ma’m

with 14 comments

Jim Carey’s latest movie, Yes Man  is about a man who stops saying no and starts saying yes to everything in life.

I haven’t seen the movie, but I liked the ‘Yes’ idea so much I decided to apply it to sex.

However, unlike the movie version, where Carey accepts an elderly woman’s offer for oral sex just because he’s committed to the vow of Yes, that doesn’t mean I’m going to start accepting intercourse offers from strange men on the street.

What I’m saying is yes to masturbation—for me and everyone else.

On the website, Christian Nymphos one advice columnist by the name of Cinnamon Sticks, lays out her view on the question of whether masturbation is a sin or not,

God has been clear about lust. In His Kingdom, lust and adultery are no different from one another. So to get aroused from pornography and then masturbate with lust in one’s heart would be sin. This would displease the Lord not because touching yourself sexually is sin, but because 1) the person being lusted after is one of His kids and it disrespects them, 2) the person being lusted after belongs to their spouse (either now or in the future) and it disrespects their relationship with one another and 3) what a person focuses on when they orgasm becomes a tie in their soul to that thing which damages the sexual relationships they might have that God established and blessed as right. (source)

Cinnamon’s explanation is like reading the Face Book Terms of Service: you can do this, but you can’t do that. Touching yourself sexually is okay, but not if you’re thinking about someone other than your partner, and not if you do it so much that you become obsessed about it and miss Sunday mass, and not if you…

is it me or does this look like an ad for prosac?

is it me or does this look like an ad for prosac?

Confused yet? I know I was. And yet, I should confess my own attitude towards masturbation, up until recently, wasn’t much more straightforward.  Sure, I knew that boys and men masturbated, but years ago, whe I discovered a bottle of baby oil next to the computer screen, a whole host of negative feelings around masturbation surfaced.

“Were you whacking off at the computer?” I accused my then-boyfriends, hands clenched against my hip.  All I needed was an apron and rolling pin to complete my ‘irate housewife’  impersonation,

“Maybe,” he said, with a look of guilt on his face.

“To porn?” I said.

“Maybe,” he said.

“That’s disgusting,” I said—just in case he didn’t already feel bad enough.

I never saw the baby oil next to the computer again

Years later, I’ve finally realized that I was mean and a bully that day. Part of me of just felt guilty that he needed to masturbate because I thought it meant our sex life wasn’t good enough, and part of me was reacting to deeply engrained views of masturbation as being wrong (see previous post).

I apologize. Sorry, Mark, for acting as though there was something disgusting or perverted about self-pleasure, self-loving, and sexual expression, and I’m sorry for every time you felt the need to hide your masturbation from me afterwards.

The great thing is, that now that I can finally see that it’s okay if my partner’s masturbate, with or without me, what Betty Dodson calls ‘self-loving’ I’ve finally allowed myself to accept it as a practice in my own life.

Like last night, when I announced to my fiancé that I was going to masturbate in the bedroom. It felt good to say that aloud.
“Cool,” he said, with a shrug. It’s true, it was that easy. No mockery, no raised eyebrow, no dry heaving, just ‘cool’. I smiled as I shut the door.

But saying ‘yes’ to masturbation isn’t just about embracing, rather than judging the act of masturbation on general terms, for me it’s also about saying yes on a very intimate level.

Describing her own struggle to sexual fulfillment, Betty Dodson writes:

Until my mid-thirties … guilt, fear, anger and self-pity, deprived me of erotic thoughts. These classical body/mind blocks impeded the flow of my sex energy…I always held back because, basically I was embarrassed about sex. All my fear and embarrassment gradually disappeared after I made a decision to embrace sexuality” (source, p. 98).

Don’t hold back. Don’t say no. Don’t judge. Just love and celebrate the erotic sensations in your body.

With that sage advice in my head as I lay on the bed last night, vibrator in hand, I decided to stop thinking about whether I was going to have an orgasm, and how would I know if it really was one, and to simply assume that every shiver of sexual pleasure radiating from my clitoris was an orgasm. No judgment.

My hips rocked, my breathing was deep, and my mouth whispered words of encouragement as I nuzzled the vibrator up to my genitals. My body said yes to orgasms.

When I finally emerged from the bedroom, my fiancé, of course, asked me the question,

“So did you orgasm?” I thought about it for a second. I might not have experienced an volcanic eruption of pleasure, but I did more fully experience the pleasure of my body–and I think if I focus on those sensations instead of always looking towards the peak I may just wind up getting there.


14 Responses

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  1. You said, “Yes”.

    Did you have an orgasm or not? The writing isn’t to clear. I’m assuming from what I read you experienced more pleasure and sensations than any previous sexual experiences?


    February 10, 2009 at 5:06 am

  2. Ohh, by the way… I’m actually really looking forward to seeing that movie. The previews looked funny as hell lol.


    February 10, 2009 at 5:06 am

  3. In a word, no, perhaps I should adjust the writing…but yes it was a very good time and I think I’ll try to stop thinking about the big ‘O’ and just focus on the pleasurable sensations that my body already knows how to create and try to grow those. Appreciatve Masturbation, you could call it.

    Let me know how the movie is–ever since Dumb and Dumber I never know with Jim Carey movies…


    February 11, 2009 at 4:40 am

  4. Yeah… his movies are up and down a lot lately. I would have to say his first 5 or so were great but started dropping afterwards.

    On the other comment I made and you said, All I have to say is WOW.”

    I was referring to the fact that you might be over-thinking your orgasm. You just gotta let your mind and body go. Moan if you need to, scream if you need to… do whatever you have to FOR YOU. Getting caught up in the moment isn’t a bad thing when it comes to sexual pleasure… be greedy, have fun and squirt all over if you can!


    February 11, 2009 at 4:55 am

  5. When I 1st started having orgasms, I didn’t know that’s what they were at first — they were just very small. They became more intense with practice (like, a LOT more intense), & I realized in retrospect that’s what they were. That might not be the case with you, but I’m just sayin’.


    February 11, 2009 at 7:24 am

  6. Sometimes thinking that you’re about to orgasm helps (ie. running the thought “oh my god, I’m going to come” several times through your head). If you cannot stop thinking, then think dirty!


    February 11, 2009 at 9:06 pm

  7. I’d like to point out here that while we’re trying to give you all these tips and whatever, it is you who is educating us. The point, at the end of the day, is not orgasms, or whether you have one or not. It is that you’re able to talk about female sexuality in a frank and open way, when the reality of it has been hidden away, and in the absence of genuine voices, has been ‘ghostwritten’ by men. Orgasm is not the goal. Sometimes, the moment of orgasm is disappointing. At certain times in her life, a woman’s ability to orgasm is diminished, but that doesn’t make her some sort of sexual underachiever. (God knows all the pressure you do get from women’s magazines and your own man to have orgasms, to have them every time and to have them multiply.) Regardless of orgasm, it is the woman who experiences her own sexuality, and as such her experience and her sexuality should belong to her, and be on her terms.


    February 11, 2009 at 9:28 pm

  8. Most sex information is written by women in modern society. You won’t see any popular male sex-therapists because most men can’t handle the information maturely.

    It’s actually other women that published information that women rarely orgasm or that a lot of women don’t orgasm. It was WOMEN that also stated that most women can’t orgasm due to their own personal issues and it has nothing to do with the man’s abilities.

    I can’t recall very many sex books that have been written by men. Most male authors write books like “how to be a good player” while women tend to write books about enhancing sexual pleasure.

    I’ve only read 1 sex book (out of thousands) that was written by a man.


    February 11, 2009 at 10:39 pm

  9. I’m not talking about sex books, but very mainstream media, particularly TV and movies. I’ve never read a sex book, and I think that it’s quite common not to have ever read one. It is TV that tells you what to look like, what to say, and what noises to make in the sack, and correct me if I’m wrong, but tv writing is still dominated by men.

    You’re right that men don’t monopolise sex information, but I do believe they still retain greater power in mainstream sexual culture. Don’t forget that people have greater access to mainstream sexual culture than specialised sex information or therapy.


    February 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm

  10. It’s also important for me to add a note to an earlier comment about men who aren’t douchebags wanting women to be sexual protagonists. It’s important to clarify that there is a distinction between men who respect a woman’s wishes (and thus, respect her as a protagonist), and men who expect a woman to be turned on all the time (in which the woman plays the role of protagonist to fulfil a partner’s fantasy), which, of course, is quite different.


    February 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm

  11. I’m sure, however, that we can both agree that both men and women in hetero- and homosexual relationships, in modern times, have a lot of social pressure on them to reach orgasm, typical assumptions being that if you don’t, there is something physiologically or psychologically wrong with you, your sex life is not as fabulous as it should be, or “you don’t love me”.


    February 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm

  12. Ahh yes… now I see Hoorah. There is a shitload of pressure on women indicating that a woman that doesn’t orgasm has problems.

    I think that is partly why you and I both told the author to “let her hair down”. I may be wrong, but I think we both said it in a different way.


    February 13, 2009 at 3:40 am

  13. Interesting–and on the topic of pressure around orgasms (which yes, as someone who has never experienced this I do feel subject to social pressure though I am, as Hoorah stated trying to define what sexual pleasure is for me at the moment without being totally fixated on the big ‘o’ as seen in movies and the like) I’d also like to ask Hackett what his opinion is regarding un-orgamsic partners. If, as a man your female partner doesn’t orgasm during sex, how would you feel about that…honestly…we’re all using fake names here after all.


    February 18, 2009 at 8:47 pm

  14. Thankfully my fiancee does orgasm and since she is the only one that I have had sex with I am certainly happy about it. While she does orgasm I am still faced with the desire to make the orgasms stronger… but I don’t dwell on it.

    I think I would have sex with her regardless of whether or not she orgasmed but I think it would always bother me a little.

    I don’t think it bothers me because I believe a woman should orgasm I honestly think it bothers me because, with all the sex I have studied… I should know how to get her to orgasm if she can’t.

    I think the way I look at it is different than how a lot of other men look at it. I look at it more as a scientific type thing to enhance sexual pleasure where as a lot of other men look at orgasm as a sign of sexual fulfillment.

    Even when a woman does orgasm, she might not be completely satisfied, which would probably confuse a lot of other men.

    Technically speaking, a woman that wants to make love but gets fuc`ed instead won’t be totally sexually satisfied even if she has an orgasm. She probably wanted to make love for the closeness and intimacy and fu“ing just doesn’t provide that same closeness and satisfaction.


    February 19, 2009 at 1:54 pm

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