Is Solo Sex The Key To The Female Orgasm? My Jacuzzi Jets Say Yes!

Is Solo Sex The Key To The Female Orgasm? My Jacuzzi Jets Say Yes!

Is Solo Sex The Key To The Female Orgasm? My Jacuzzi Jets Say Yes!

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As female masturbation becomes less taboo, better sex and more orgasms are sure to follow.

It was just another ordinary day when I experienced my first orgasm. It wasn't anything I had planned on. I was only 13 at the time and my sexual forays had thus far been limited to scrambled porn.

As I had many times before, I slipped into a warm Jacuzzi bath, eager to relax with the latest issue of Seventeen. With the tub filled higher than usual, it was hard to keep the gurgling water from splashing the pages. Irritated, I turned to the side, leaning over the edge of the tub in the hopes of alleviating this problem.

That's when I felt it.

Turning to the side had caused my lady parts to brush up against the full-throttle jets.

Tossing the magazine aside, I leaned into the jets. They were so intense that within a matter of minutes, I was done. I lay there stunned by what I had felt and wondering what just happened. Then it dawned on me: Was this an orgasm? 

What followed was an addiction to the Jacuzzi. I felt like Christopher Columbus. He had been looking for India and discovered the New World. I had been looking for a bubble bath and found an orgasm. If it was this good with bath jets, I could only imagine what it would be like with a real-live member of the opposite sex.

It would be years before I lost my virginity, but when I did I came across a powerful realization: Sex did not equal instant climax. Boys did not always know what they were doing. Disappointed but undeterred, I was determined to figure out how my boyfriend could make me climax. And after much exploration, it worked. Really well, I might add. 

Although it wasn't something that my 17-year-old friends and I talked about at the time, I assumed they too had experienced self-orchestrated orgasms.

And hence I wondered if they too had the same problems when they lost their virginity. Imagine my shock, years later, when I found out many of my sexually-active friends had never actually even had an orgasm, self-performed or otherwise. My frequent visitation with the jets, it seemed, had rendered me more comfortable with my own sexuality.

My friends at the time, like many teen girls, were more concerned about "putting on a good show" or "not looking fat" or not smelling funny "down there" than they were about getting pleasure themselves. Some thought they were already having orgasms when, in fact, they were not. Christina* lost her virginity at 16 but didn't have an orgasm until she was 21. Now 30, she recalls "I definitely expected the guy to just know what to do… I just automatically assumed that [having an orgasm] was already happening and it just wasn't that great."

According to a study by the Kinsey Institute, a whopping 98 percent of male college undergraduates report masturbating opposed to 44 percent of women. And seemingly, many young men have fewer hang ups about asking for what they want in bed. I wondered, had my friends become comfortable masturbating at an early age, might they have been more in control of their sexuality?

Female sexual satisfaction isn't just important on a personal level — it's an important factor in the overall well-being and happiness of a relationship.

Numerous studies have shown a happy sex life correlates with a happy marriage—and that the inverse holds true as well—a ho-hum marriage often involves ho-hum sex. That's not to say vibrators should be handed out to 13-year-olds on their birthdays in order to ensure future happiness, but less embarrassment and more encouragement around female masturbation before men get involved may just be one of the keys to female sexual empowerment and, perhaps, stronger relationships.

Family psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent, Dr. Fran Walfish, says, "[Masturbation] familiarizes a girl with what brings her pleasure. I see many adult women who think of it as taboo… and most of those women have some sexual disruption or difficulty with their partners. Usually they come to me when they are already married and something is not going well. "

Lifting the taboo from female orgasms and encouraging women to explore themselves at the time when sexual urges hit can not only be a boon to their future sex lives, but also to their self-esteem. Dr. Gloria Braeme, clinical sexologist and author of The Truth About Sex, a primer on masturbation and orgasms, says "A woman cannot discover her own sexuality unless she masturbates. Masturbation helps women figure out exactly what kinds of touches, pressure, and pace they like, and gives them increased sexual confidence and body self-esteem." 

Rewiring the pop culture message could help. Besides "slut-shaming" sexually empowered women, the zeitgeist often reinforces the masturbation double standard. The Guardian's women's blogger Jane Martinson wrote in an article titled "The self-love that dare not speak its name":

"From adolescence through to the deathbed, men are allowed to be unabashed onanists… It is the subject of jokes, the basis of entire novels (Portnoy's Complaint) and movies (American Pie), and celebrated as a natural and healthy exploration of sexuality available to men. But there is no parity for women.

More often than not, when women in popular culture masturbate, it is often portrayed as a symptom of their deviance.

Elizabeth Banks' masturbating character in the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin is also a mildly unhinged lust-addled sex addict; Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) from Sex and the City had well documented issues with sex and men; Reese Witherspoon's character in the movie Pleasantville is the "bad girl" from the ‘90s corrupting her sexually innocent ‘60s mother, played by Joan Allen (her subsequent orgasm causes a nearby tree to catch fire); and poor Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) in Mad Men earns a slap from her mother before being shipped off to the psychiatrist after being caught with her hands down her pants."

And maybe things are starting to shift for the younger generation. After all, a 2008 Kinsey Institute report shows more than 50 percent of women ages 25-44 have tried vibrators. Despite an expected dose of giggles and euphemisms, sex is something that young adults are talking about more frankly and proactively than ever before. 

Twenty-something writer and editor Elizabeth Narins speaks to this in her Men's Health article "Women On Top" about us entering a sexual golden age, with men and women bearing equal power and pleasure in the bedroom:  

"By age 11, I was pooling change with my summer camp bunkmates to buy a book called Sex Tips for Girls. When I was at Syracuse University, sex-toy parties were common among sororities. (They're like Tupper-ware parties but more fun.)…Information is abundant and talk is loose. Between 2005 and 2010, the use of profanity (including explicit references to genitals and bodily functions) on prime-time broadcast entertainment TV rose nearly 70 percent, according to the Parents Television Council (the use of "boobs" went up 90 percent in 5 years, and "balls" 200 percent)."

Whether by Jacuzzi jets or TV, young women are going to discover their sexuality.

Going forward, hopefully it's something they tackle with information and empowerment rather than ignorance and shame.

*Name has been changed.

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