My first Orgasm at 25

FEMME DIARIES: Chronicles of Sex, Desire and Womanhood

Samantha, 29

On March 23rd, 2010, I had my first orgasm at the age of twenty-five years, six months, and three days old.

I grew up attending the “Abstinence Workshop” at my church in 6th grade where we were given lockets to symbolize our chastity, complete with a key to give to our husbands on our wedding night. Shortly after my first period, I had to listen to books-on-tape about how masturbation is a sin, and fornicators be damned. Even better was my “Sexual Purity” class that substituted for Sex Ed in my 8th grade science class, complete with a Xeroxed flowchart that started with Hugging and Holding hands, and ended with Pregnancy, AIDS, and Death. (I shit you not.) Subsequently, I lost my virginity at twenty-years-old and didn’t experience my next sexual partner until I was twenty-four.

I was taught a the dogmatic concept that sex was wrong, bad, and dirty; and I, being hyper-sexual for as long as I could remember, was equally wrong, bad, and dirty for all of the things that I felt and thought and wanted. Even though I didn’t consider myself to be religious by my early twenties, these feelings about sex stuck with me, as all good propaganda does. I had been taught that fornicators were sinners, and I was left with a post-coital feeling that I had participated in some offending act. Not surprisingly, this was a feeling that didn’t go away when I got married at twenty-one to the guy I had given my virginity to.

I was painfully insecure in my youth. I dealt with common teenage and young adult afflictions: serious body image issues, self-loathing, and an immense fear that I would never find someone who would or could love me. At 19, I had my first real boyfriend. He was the first guy to ever pay me any ongoing attention, so, of course, I married him.

We weren’t sexually compatible. At all. But, having been each other’s firsts, we knew nothing else. My anorgasmia deeply affected us both. Him, his pride. Me, my sense of self-worth and that ever-present feeling that something was seriously wrong with me.

The sexual partners after him, before having my first orgasm were often wonderful, tender, and patient with me. But their conviction and need to be the one to make me orgasm for the first time put way too much pressure on me. I would enjoy our sexual encounters. I would experience pleasure and connection and emotional intimacy, but the moment it felt like they simply had their eye on the prize, I would shut down; I would often lose sensation or become overly-sensitized and need to pause. These moments were the hardest. To have to look down at a lover and try to communicate that I “just wasn’t going to get there,” Nothing ever took the sting out of their look of disappointment.

I wondered if this was a non-physical problem. Was I forever going to be fucked up? Or destined to a life of sexual frustration and damaged intimacy? I thought that maybe my anorgasmia was because I was too uptight, or too inexperienced, or too over-analytical, or too insecure, or too up in my head, or too…something… I saw this situation as entirely my fault, my problem, my issue, and I had to “figure it out”. It took me a year of being in therapy before I even admitted it to my therapist. I was 23 at this point, and she was so compassionate that I burst into tears, relieved to have finally found the courage to open up to her, and to have finally found someone who knew how to support me.

When I finally had my first orgasm, it was a little shocking. I had gotten so used to my body shutting down, that I was almost not paying attention when my body took it’s first step from crescendo to actual climax. It was a just small contraction, but it was an actual, honest-to-god orgasm, and I was ecstatic. At this point, I expected the floodgates to open. I thought that I would start to have orgasms by the dozen. Eventually, I did, but there was still a continuing process to undergo. Turns out, I was primarily a vaginal orgasmer, which was a pretty vital piece of information. My orgasmic ability eventually encompassed solo clitoral stimulation, but at first, I had to have internal stimulus. I started reading the fuck out of sex books and how-to manuals. I practiced the act of “yoni gazing,” where I just held up a mirror and stared at my bits. I was amazed at the fact that I really didn’t know what my female anatomy looked like.

There is empowerment through knowledge.  Equally, there is shame in ignorance, and fear with lack of edification. All to often, our insecurities hold us back from the potential of truly amazing experiences. It’s important that we cast away the veil that surrounds sex in our culture. Sex is a beautiful, wonderful, natural, and biological act; there need be no shame there. Unfortunately, there is a cloud of misinformation propagated in our society. These stigmas will only go away when we actively work to dispel the myths and judgments that surround sex and sexual expression. This is something that everyone needs to be an active part of: men and women of all ages – we all have a vested interest in bringing about this change.