Lady in Waiting

Friday, November 09, 2007

Question

I am 22 years old, and I've never had an orgasm before. I don't really masturbate since I get lots of foreplay and sex from my boyfriend. He is very frustrated (as am I). He tries to give me oral, which feels nice but doesn't go anywhere. Any advice? Should I try a vibrator? Or is there something my boyfriend and I can do to get me to orgasm?

Answer

When you're getting lots of sex from somebody else, it can be hard to see any reason to masturbate. But let's compare your situation to your boyfriend's. He's probably been masturbating since he could get his hands in his diaper. This has taught him how his penis likes to be stimulated, and given him opportunities to practice coming fast or holding back and making it last. He knows how to have an orgasm with a partner, in part, because his body has experienced so many orgasms that he knows when he's getting more turned on or when a particular touch isn't working for him. This is knowledge that you don't have, and these are experiences that your body hasn't been able to have. Yet!

Your boyfriend is also lucky in some other ways because evolution has favored getting males to ejaculate during sex. Women are capable of having orgasms—more orgasms per encounter than a man can have—but this isn't necessary for reproduction of the species to take place. During intercourse, his most important sex organ is getting plenty of good pressure and friction. But your primary sex organ—the clitoris—is tucked up higher than the zone of action. It takes some conscious adaptation of the way a couple is fucking to activate the clitoris so it can contribute enough pleasure for the woman (that would be you, Lady in Waiting) to have an orgasm.

Child development urges children to masturbate long before they are ready for intercourse. Nobody needs to tell a little boy where his penis is, that dangling bit of flesh shaped just like a handle. He uses it to comfort himself, to put himself to sleep, or just for a little entertainment when he's bored. But the clitoris is smaller and tucked away at the top of the inner lips. It's extremely rare for parents to tell little girls about the clitoris. The standard sex-education line is, "Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina." But prior to puberty, vaginal stimulation has little eroticism for girls. Masturbation in little boys is consistent with their social sex-role; it's seen as a harbinger of virility and masculinity. Some little girls tuck their hands between their legs or squeeze their thighs together and figure out that there's something down there that feels pretty good. But little girls are more often discouraged from masturbating or punished for engaging in it. It's perceived as being too sexual and aggressive. By the time the average little girl grows up and starts having sex with other people, she's often at quite a disadvantage.

This is why sex therapists recommend that adult women who are having trouble orgasming start with learning how to make themselves come. When you are touching yourself, you get immediate feedback about how it feels, and you can act quickly on the plus or minus reaction. Do more of what lights you up, stop what hurts or is neutral, explore for something better. When you have a technique that works really well, you'll know, because you will automatically want to continue doing it and increase the speed and pressure of that touch. There are dozens if not hundreds of different ways to touch the clitoris. This is another hurdle for women who want to be sexually empowered. Take some time to find out whether you like a touch above the head of your clit, to one side or other of the hood, or squeezing the whole vulval mound.

If you're finding that you aren't getting much of a response, there are some things you can try to enhance the experience. Using a little lubricant can make sexual exploration friction-free. Some women really like that slippery sensation. Get a lubricant that is water-based (not hand lotion or baby oil) because these are compatible with condoms. Since your ultimate goal is to have orgasms with your boyfriend, let's include elements of body learning or training that will make intercourse heavenly.

Be patient. This could take a few weeks. You'll probably get closer and closer to orgasm, then get surprised by one. In the beginning, your orgasms will probably be brief, and the contractions won't be very strong. You are strengthening the muscles of your pelvic floor and abdomen. Doing sit-ups can make orgasms better, and so can doing Kegel exercises. Kegels involve the muscle that supports the vaginal opening and controls the urethra. If you stop urinating mid-flow, you are using that muscle. While waiting at red lights or watching clothes go around in the dryer, see if you can rapidly squeeze and release that muscle. Another form of Kegels is to hold a contraction as long as possible, then release it. They are all good ways to build genital awareness and keep the orgasmic muscle system strong.

Vibrators provide strong, fast stimulation that a human partner can't match. You want to learn how to have an orgasm with sensations you or your boyfriend can provide. But if using your hand just isn't doing enough, you might need a vibrator to wake your clitoris up and roar into the sexual response cycle.

I hope your boyfriend has got an open mind about masturbation and understand how important clitoral stimulation is. Sex therapists recommend that you take charge of your clitoris and start touching it during intercourse. Combining clitoral stimulation with penetration can set off very satisfying climaxes. After watching how you do it, your boyfriend may be able to duplicate what you do. Some guys are okay with this, but get threatened if a sex toy comes into the bedroom. Reassure him that you want his body, but make the point that using a vibrator will make your vagina contract strongly, and the vibrations will also be transmitted to his penis through your body. I personally think it's very hot to watch a woman lose herself in the sensuality of masturbation. I don't care if she's touching herself with her hand, a Hitachi Magic Wand, or a mutated mummified kangaroo paw.

Some men bitch about the fact that it usually takes a woman longer to come. But I look at it this way: The longer she wants to keep on having sex, the longer I get to feel all the awesome sensations of being lost in her body. Why complain about that?

I also have a suggestion about how to enjoy oral sex more. Limit oral sex to a few minutes at a time. In between, you should take deep breaths, look into his eyes, and ground yourself in the room. Then masturbate or do something nice to his body. Again, do this just for a few minutes, then return to oral sex. Being teased should help you to enjoy the sensation more. Having it taken away will create a sense of hunger, and you'll want his mouth to come back to your parts. Oral sex should be given with the understanding that when you really need to come, you can masturbate to orgasm.

The lips and tongue feel very different than a hand. Of course it will take a little while for your new orgasms to branch out, so to speak, so you can have more options about getting off. Associating an orgasm with the oral sex by masturbating is a simple form of positive reinforcement. But I think it will also take the pressure off of you to have an orgasm during oral sex. This will happen eventually if your boyfriend teases you enough, I promise.

Let me know how things work out. Hope your experiments are fun. Don't allow any critical thoughts about your body or your sexuality to interfere. You've got someone in your life who wants you a lot, and every woman is beautiful. Yes, every single one. Just the way you are. And that's how you should love yourself: For being just the way you are.