The Passage Of Time On The Mind, Body, and Orgasm
Whenever I mention a toy by name around here and it’s something I’ve reviewed, I try to link to that review so my readers can get all the info I’m trying to relay. Recently while adding links into a new post I found myself reading up on some of those old reviews and realizing my initial feelings are not the same.
This is not uncommon – things change. We spend our whole lives changing. My first masturbatory experiences were simple – I used my hands. I’d move on to grinding (firm pillows, my partner’s lap, etc) the showerhead, actual back managers meant for actual back massaging repurposed, shitty toys stolen out of the back of Spencer’s, and eventually real vibrators. This progression happened over the course of years. In this time orgasms were entirely clit-focused and they came quite easy, I could even have back-to-back multiples. My record was in the dozens.
In that same time, I thought my G-spot was all but non-existent – that thing wound up taking quite a while to wake up. I eventually learned that I could even have G-spot-only orgasms (but they tend to be weaker and can also hurt, so I don’t do that on purpose) but prior to that all the poking and prodding in the world wouldn’t elicit even a hint of sensation.
And my uterus? For a long while it wasn’t giving me any problems, birth control was keeping menstruation issues under control and there seemed to be no connection between my orgasms and my internal organs to worry about.
Today – many years later and even past my “second-puberty” (did you even know that was a thing?) – nearly everything has changed. I can still get off with my fingers (I test this every once in a while, just to see) but I don’t enjoy it at all, it takes forever and a ton of straining, and it’s just the weakest orgasm I could possibly get. Ditto for any other method that isn’t using an actual sex toy. My G-spot has joined the chat, which is great! But so has my uterus – which is awful. At the time of this post I’m working with a 50+% chance that any and every orgasm will cause intense uterine cramping that sends me to curling up in the fetal position, screaming in pain, while I wait for the muscle relaxers to kick in and take me out of my agony. Reaching one orgasm can sometimes be a slog, and multiples are often completely out of the question – long gone are my days of double-digits for sure. I’m finally starting to work with a gynaecological specialist for my endometriosis, and I’m probably going to have to start pelvic floor physical therapy.
Besides my anatomy aging and changing, I’ve also gone through a lot of emotional differences. While I maintain a high libido through basically anything that’s going on in my life (orgasms fix everything), I’m not entirely immune to my outside world having an impact on the workings of my genitals. I really cringe at all those “you have to seduce her mind, orgasms start between the ears” tropes related to women and arousal- when I want to jack off I just grab a toy and watch some porn, I don’t need to intellectually stimulate my brain to turn myself on – but there is a way to turn my brain off enough that it impacts my body. Shitty boyfriends whose egos couldn’t handle honest communication about our sex life caused me to fake a ton of orgasms. I still wanted to have those orgasms though, so I’d take care of myself once I was alone. Any attempt to rectify this problem wound up devolving into them making me feel like my body was broken because it didn’t spit out orgasms like a vending machine for them, and guilty that I was sneaking around pleasuring myself in ways they couldn’t or wouldn’t. Sexy, right? You’ve probably never heard of a better way to get someone to orgasm easier than making them self-conscious about their inability to orgasm to your poor stimulation! Throw in a couple “It worked for everyone else…”s while you’re at it. Comparing my apparent deficiencies to your past lovers is so hot and encouraging. /severe sarcasm if that wasn’t clear.
Even when I started dating men who initially seemed okay with my use of toys, eventually the novelty of me being “sexually liberated” or “freaky” wore off, and they stopped engaging with my orgasm, leaving me to “finish myself off if I wanted to” – because their satisfaction was inevitable but mine was extra – with little to no input from them. I suppose they imagined my toys would make appearances just once in a while to “spice things up”, but when they realized they were actually necessary tools I’d be bringing out every time we had sex, it wasn’t sexy. Once they got theirs, they were done, and I was still left on my own when it came to pleasure. (The number of times I was struggling near-tears to make myself cum while they literally rolled over and fell asleep next to me is humiliatingly uncountable.) They didn’t seem threatened or offended by my need for vibrators like the others were, but because it wasn’t directly involving their dicks and ultimately bringing them pleasure, they saw their involvement with it as more of a chore to complete when they didn’t feel like it. Both groups just didn’t care about my wants or needs. Another incredibly sexy experience! Your partner being bored and disinterested in your body, your pleasure, your orgasm! They don’t even want to watch! That won’t fuck your self-esteem up at all, will it? That won’t make a person feel even more broken, even more guilty for needing something they’re not interested in giving.
If the world were a vacuum, then my body still responds to stimuli just fine, but when it comes to building arousal and reaching orgasm (even alone, but especially with a partner) I greatly struggle to get out of my head and not be overwhelmed by those feelings of inadequacy and burden that have been piling up for years and years. Fear and shame of being unable to orgasm as quickly and easily as they may hope winds up being a self-sabotage – I become unable to orgasm. Or, if by some miracle I do feel emotionally safe with them and the orgasm is right there for the taking, I still have to worry about whether or not the second my orgasm begins a searing pain is going to rip through me and ruin it for the both of us. Do I feel like explaining that everything’s really alright as I rush for the medicine cabinet (as much as someone who is fully doubled-over in pain can rush for anything), do I have to manage their feelings while I’m in the middle of trying not to pass out, is this even worth it? I feel like I’ve been betrayed by my body and I get angry with it instead of celebrating it (they’re certainly not celebrating it, they’re viewing it like a nagging task) I’m worried that my body doesn’t perform well enough to keep my partners’ interest, I become resentful of the both of us. Not fun, not sexy, not orgasmic.
I try to do my toy testing for reviews when I’m having “good days” where it feels like these unhelpful thoughts and feelings are a bit less, and I do multiple tests over a period of weeks just to be sure I’m not in a “funk” (this is all compounding with your standard-issue depression and anxiety as well.) Still, when these changes in body and environment (and the impact that environment has on my body) are happening over the span of years and years, it’s tough to say for certain that anything is going to be set in stone. Beyond just being introduced to better and better technology (and so the vibrator motors of yesteryear that wowed me one day just don’t hold up anymore) and finding materials that really fit me better as time and tech progresses, there’s a few items that simply just don’t work on me like they used to. On the flip-side, there’s a few I wrote off back then that have found their way into my heart. Not all of my opinions have changed – in fact not even most of them – but there’s those special few. For these, I’ve added notes to the review or written addendums explaining what’s happened in the time that has lapsed between my initial post and now. My initial reviews aren’t wrong – they were honest assessments of what it felt like in my body at that time, and for people who related to that body at that time they were hopefully of some help and could continue to be of help, which is why I haven’t just deleted them or re-written them, but I’m sure it’s confusing when someone asks me about my current favourite toys and I link them to years-old posts that say I hate them, so they need some clarifications.
Looking back on over a decade worth of internal and external influences on my experience with orgasm, it’s easier now than then to pick out the pieces that were detrimental to my arousal, to recognize where it wasn’t my body that was the “problem”, but the way other people were treating it. It’s not just my reviews that need updates, but my way of thinking about myself as well. I grieve for the Me who had to go through all that pain and self-loathing, guilt and shame, but I can use this knowledge of what I felt and where it stemmed from to help combat those feelings in the present and future. I’m working on re-framing thoughts like “my body doesn’t work” or even that certain stimulation doesn’t “work” – where “work” means produce orgasm rather than just….feel, good. It’s nothing I’ll cure overnight, and I may never get back to those waves of endless orgasm with just a whisper of stimulation, but I’ll be satisfied with learning to be kinder to myself.