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I've Never Had An Orgasm During Sex (Not Even Oral)

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never had an orgasm
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Friends have exclaimed, “Seriously?”

He finishes and he slides down my body, plopping down on the bed. I curl up next to him and get into position: right hand between my legs, left arm draped over his chest. I have my face turned up toward him and he, in the breathy aftermath of his own orgasm, begins to talk.

“So, I’m in a park.” As he spins a sexy nighttime story, I begin to touch myself. The tales differ slightly in location, but the characters always remain the same. And I’m not one of them.

“I prefer a true story,” I told him when we started to do this on the regular. “Tell me about a sexual encounter from your past.”

“Really?” he asked. “You like that?”


“I do,” I responded.


“You want to hear about me and some other woman?”

“Yes,” I answered. “That’s what I want.”



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I’ve been masturbating for as long as I can remember. During my childhood, it was completely nonsexual and simply something I did most nights before I fell asleep. I had a formula to my “feeling good,” which involved lying on my stomach, wrapping my blanket around my hand, and bringing the bundle between my legs.

I’d rock back and forth with my blanket-wrapped hand between my legs until a warm, cozy feeling erupted from my gut and spread over my entire body. I’d continue to lie there on my stomach, enjoying the fuzzies; after a moment, I’d roll over, extract my hand, and fall into a deep sleep.

Today, my masturbating method is almost exactly the same as it was when I was five or six. I lie down on my stomach with my hand between my legs (the blanket has long since retired, but once in a while a crumpled bed sheet proves to be an excellent, familiar partner in crime), and move my pelvis back and forth across my palm.

There is, however, one crucial addition to the formula: I envision a sexy couple as I work myself. The woman has a killer body with gorgeous breasts and the man usually has a salt-and-pepper hairstyle with a firm stomach. Sometimes it’s their relationship to each other that turns me on.

He’s the dean of student affairs, she’s a top graduate student, and they have sex in his office. She’s a senator, he’s a journalist interviewing her, and they get it on in a beautiful hotel room. They’re two ex-lovers reunited in Milan on a business trip. Or I recall in glorious detail the first love scene between Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore in The End of the Affair. My mother owned the movie on VHS and I’d watch the juicy parts in reserved, amazed silence some afternoons before she got home from work.

 

 

This is all to say that during my masturbation sessions, I rarely imagine myself as a participant. Rather, I much prefer to watch two other humans do it on a desk, in a car, against the wall. Not in a porn, but in my mind with my eyes squeezed shut. Porn’s okay, don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy it once in a while. But truthfully, all I need is my own brain.

I love masturbating. It’s quick, it feels amazing, I know just what I like, and I always, always [orgasm]. And [orgasm] hard.

When I’m in bed with a man, the process is similar: I masturbate and he provides the images for me. I’ve only been brave enough to try this with my past two partners, both of whom have been a little confused but game.

Prior to sleeping with these two men, my sexual encounters were chock-full of faking it — and one can blame that on my incessant need to tie up every situation with a pretty little bow. Ending sex with a whispery, “Yeah, hold on, you can stop. I’m just not going to [orgasm]” seemed pathetic. “Wow, yes, yes, that’s it, oh my God, oh my God, yes!” conveyed something like "This was great, I’m so glad we did this, and I’d be down to do it again!"

The guys were none the wiser and I felt content with the faking until I realized that, actually, maybe, it might not be so weird to ask a guy to simply tell me a story. It couldn’t be that different from asking him to talk dirty to me (whatever that means — in my experience, asking a guy to talk dirty is just releasing his usage of the C-word thirty times in one twenty-minute sex session).


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After inquiring, “Really? You like that?” my current boyfriend has told me about the woman he [had sex with] in a bar bathroom, another he met on an Amtrak, some threesome he had, plus a fictional fantasy about a particularly hot co-worker. I’ve climaxed powerfully at every single drawn-out account.

Sometimes he plays with my breasts, which feels great and helps me get there. Other times he tries to join me down below and I have to find a sneaky, sexy way to move his hand so I can continue the work on my own. I certainly love his fingers inside me when we start to fool around, but when it comes to having an orgasm, I need to do it myself.

To be clear: I’ve never had an orgasm during sex. Not even during oral sex, to which friends have exclaimed, “Seriously?” I’ve tried anal sex, which felt awesome, but still no dice. I’ve read plenty of women’s magazine articles that suggest touching myself to understand how I [orgasm], but I totally understand how and it has to be by my own hand.

It’s a little disappointing; I wish my partner were more integral to the process. But he gets me off by telling me all about his naughty past with other women. And you know what, it’s just what I enjoy. He is integral, in his own way.

“What do you like about that?” he asked me once. “It’s the most... I don’t know...” He trailed off. “It’s the most specific way to [orgasm]. Why do you want to hear about other women? Why not yourself?”

I can’t answer. Is it because I don’t like to watch my own body? Is it because I don’t like to be in my own body? If I thought myself more attractive, would I orgasm without needing to imagine people with tighter abs, tinier waists, and higher breasts? Is this another way that I don’t “live in the moment”? Do I have to literally extract myself from the current moment in order to come? Or is this my body physicalizing my need to do everything myself?

Why can’t I [orgasm] when he’s the one touching me? If I love this man and love having sex with this man, shouldn’t I be able to let go in front of him? Shouldn’t I be able to release myself over to him?

“It’s just what I like,” I say, and drape my arm over his chest. “Now, tell me the one about the girl from that cafe.”

Excerpted from MOAN: Anonymous Essays on Female Orgasm. Compilation Copyright © 2018 by Emma Koenig. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.


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