A wild goose hunt named orgasm
We rely on Netflix’s algorithm to tell us what to watch next. We would check an app earlier than opening our curtains to find out what the weather is like outside. We want sex, companionship and attention on the tap. Thanks Tinder, thanks Grindr, thanks to the perfectly timed and tactful Instagram DM. We are horses that want to be led into the water, and we would rather you spoon it into our mouths when we get there. We don’t want to have to look for the things in life that make us feel good. We would love them right there, under our fingers at all times.
We especially don’t want to have to go through our trauma – to move slowly through it. We want to blow it up, then bury every last bit.
As a sexual abuse survivor, I didn’t want to have to run after something that the movies would have me believe to flow more freely than unsolicited cock photos that I didn’t want to have to run a race that I did. thought I was hired. my wish.
That something was the semi-mythical feat: female orgasm.
My lonely orgasm happened unexpectedly one day in my teenage years. I had spent years faking my orgasms and my story with my first boyfriend – I thought my silence was starving.
As we settled into a lazy, spoonful sex session on Sunday, I didn’t think much of the occasion.
And then his finger landed on me in the right way, at the perfectly wrong moment.
Absolutely wrong because, while that was the moment my first orgasm erupted in reality, it happened with thoughts of child abuse at the hands of my dad looking through an inconvenient door to the door. back of my mind.
And I’ll tell you this: Orgasm was all the articles and movies told me it would be. It was fireworks and a waterfall and a million sparks circling and ringing in each of my cells.
It was the most delicious thing I have ever felt, and it was absolutely horrible. Because of the door that doesn’t move. Because of the face that came to the fore of my mind when I came.
I haven’t enjoyed since.
I remember being 13 and sitting with my four best friends under a tree in Johannesburg. The kind who would spit liquid on your head while you ate sandwiches and samosas. I asked them when they started to masturbate. Growing up in a house steeped in the inappropriate, with an abuser posing as a father, I didn’t know how “too much” that was. I didn’t know that in other South African homes these things were never discussed.
They did not answer me then, nor for the next ten years. At 23, I still often felt like this 13-year-old girl with butter lettuce in her braces, asking her friends against their will to confirm to me that she is not alone.
I had always assumed my trauma was to blame for my lost orgasms, and I desperately needed someone to confirm or deny. Please sex therapist, please big sister, please Carrie Bradshaw.
And so, my years of manic masturbation began, somewhat reluctantly, when I entered the workforce. I was an editorial intern at Cosmopolitan South Africa, who would later become, of all things, a sex writer. Vulva under the fingertips, most of the time. Vulva under a gold vibrator in the shape of a diamond, sometimes.
I called this vibrator, the gold one, Beyonce. Because of all the sex toys that I had come to examine while working as COSMO‘s sex writer, he was the most beautiful of all. It was all straight lines and sharp edges, and if a man or a Paco Rabanne Lady Million wearer were to spy on him on my bedside table, they would take him for something else.
As I walked through these adult hallways lined with framed magazine covers, I felt like a complete and complete fake – like the impostor syndrome poster. I wondered if they could say that I had only ever had one orgasm before; that I didn’t know where my abuse ended and where my true love of sex began. I am the author of sex that cannot cum, I think. I wondered if they could feel it on me.
Whether alone or with a partner, when the wave swells and begs me to crash, then when I reabsorb it in my belly.
When I’m the sex writer who still can’t cum.
Is it just the trauma? Because here’s the thing about female orgasm; for every woman who can graze her clit along her favorite pillow and reach climax, there’s a woman next to her, her ankles lifted skyward, trying a new method she’s read and praying to Mother Nature that she is not one of the “ broken ones ”.
No one will tell me, and few will speak. And so I devour podcasts and books and articles and audio porn and porn porn. I masturbate sitting and lying down and if I could do it standing on my head it’s safe to assume I would have done it now. But my body doesn’t balance itself that way.
And yes, now 26 years old, I always ask my friends, “Are you cumming?”
I cannot be silenced by Conservative homes and what they have taught these women for much longer.
They are doctors and project managers, teachers and writers, just like me.
“Are you cumming?” I ask them.
Half of them are, it turns out. Half of them are not.
They tell me that like they’re holding their breath, like they can finally breathe.
And so I start to pull on a thread of the story that I’ve been telling myself for years; that I am a broken thing.
I consider that I can be normal, whatever that means.
A normal result of the abnormal upbringing of a girl.
I consider that many women can be affected by a lingering injury, in one way or another – a delicate splinter that you don’t know is buried in the sole of your foot.
Maybe she ran and played in the mud when she was a child; maybe his dad told him not to get dirty and behave.
Maybe she got caught one night, introducing herself to her body; maybe his mother told him that was not the way wives were made.
Maybe his friends all said the same thing. Ladies who eat breakfast on sandwiches and samosas, then like adults, steaks and mimosas. Maybe there are a lot of girls who turned into women who had never heard that lessons could be unlearned.
It took me years to realize that even the brightest vibrator isn’t a substitute for honesty. And so I started again, at the beginning. I floundered by asking my sister if she remembered. I went further, I became more courageous, I blew it up while talking. And instead of burying the pieces, I picked them up, turned them over between my fingers, and allowed myself to look at them. And my rehabilitation began.
Love, none of this was your fault.
Love, you don’t have to look sexy during self-love.
Love, it’s okay to look more like a wounded animal than a porn star.
Love, it’s okay if you don’t peep.
Love, you will never have to run your pleasure again.
Love is not the trip you asked for, but it’s up to you to enjoy it.