I was 28 years old when I had my first orgasm. You're normal.
“Oh my god that’s horrible.” “I feel so bad for you.” “Are you sure?” “Not even alone?”
I won’t miss those questions being hurled my way, sensitively or as insensitively as they were, before I had my first orgasm. I was 28 when I had my first orgasm, but probably 24 when I admitted it to myself, and 27 when I started admitting it to other people.
I hate the fact that I still use the word “admitting,” as if it was something to be ashamed of; but that’s what it felt like, and that’s what it still feels like when I remember those responses coming my way. The people saying them probably didn’t intend to, but every time someone would respond to my anorgasmia it felt like a confrontation of “What’s wrong with you? You must be broken. You are different from the rest of us, who have been doing it all along.”
If you're not having orgasms, you're not alone
If you are someone who has not had an orgasm, or your orgasms are infrequent please hear this from me: You are not alone. This is very common. It does not mean you are broken, or that it will never happen. And I am proof!
I’ve always been a very sexual person; I love kissing, sexual closeness & was always the one initiating sex in my relationships. But I always thought of “sex” as a thing we did that was fun that ended in a male orgasm and then we were done. For some reason (many reasons I realize now) I didn’t realize that my orgasm was a thing that we were striving for or was even attainable. Probably because they don’t teach about it in health class, or the fact that any female orgasm I’d seen on TV seemed to occur within seconds of penetration and I’d think, “Well, she’s special. I guess that’s not for me.”
My orgasm journey
I was 20 when I bought my first sex toy- The Rabbit, which had received acclaim from Sex and the City. My friend had a sex toy party for her birthday and I thought, “Oh I want that.” I tried a few times with it but honestly, the hulking penis portion scared me and I put it in a shoebox in my closet after maybe 3 uses. Again I thought, “This must not be for me.” I was 24 and dating my first boyfriend for a while was when I finally thought, “This doesn’t feel fair.”
I heard about my friends having orgasms and I was pissed. I didn’t know what to do about it and I’ll never forget sitting in the car with my boyfriend before a dinner party with our friends that I admitted, “I don’t think I’ve ever had an orgasm.” He was shocked, having dated me for over 2 years, but said, “Ok well we need to work on that.” We tried everything I could think of; a new vibrator, different positions, that scary rabbit again. It didn’t work. My boyfriend suggested, “Maybe you’re just having so many that you don’t realize.” Oh. Maybe. I googled that and it said, “some people get a rash on their chests after orgasming!” I thought to myself, “oh! I sometimes have a rash on my chest, maybe I AM CUMMING!” No. I was not.
For anyone thinking: “I think I’ve had an orgasm but I am not sure.” I am sorry to tell you this but, no, you have not. YOU WILL KNOW. That’s probably the most annoying but the best advice I have received on my orgasm journey. If you are cumming, you will know about it. But I convinced myself otherwise: I am definitely cumming, I just don’t feel it.
I went thinking that way for a while and then had another resurgence of “Oh. I am not having orgasms.” When I started doing stand up comedy. I’d see other women talking about their orgasms and felt the need to ask more. They would meet me with those phrases again; “Oh my god that’s horrible.” “I feel so bad for you.” “Are you sure?” “Not even alone?” But then they’d offer advice. The best advice came from the “not even alone” group; because I didn’t realize how important starting alone is. I then admitted it to my younger sister, Charlotte who I talk about EVERYTHING with— just not this. Her response? “Oh. Well I can’t do it with other people but I can do it alone.”
Do it alone.
Alone. Hm. What a concept. But alone is confusing and there isn’t a ton of advice when you’re alone. I asked Charlotte & my friends for some tips but ultimately I would give up, because I was lazy or bored or confused or felt broken. It was then that I realized I needed something to hold me accountable on my journey and not be a “lazy masturbater,” as my sister’s friend had lovingly coined. At the same time, I had Charlotte to do some research because at the time she was a research associate producer at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The stats she found were astounding; not only was I NOT ALONE, but many MANY women felt the way I did.
So we started a podcast.
How Cum was designed to give me my first orgasm and share the journey with others. Every week my guests would tell me their first time cumming story and give me an assignment. By week 6 I completed my goal. By episode 35 hundreds of women around the world had listened to the podcast and had their first orgasms as well. One woman was FIFTY.
If you are reading this, and you feel broken, and you think “It’s not for me.” You are probably extremely wrong. I am here to tell you, you can DO IT! It’s not ‘horrible’, I don’t ‘feel bad’ for you, I know you would be certain if you’ve done it, and you should definitely try alone.
And maybe listen to the podcast if you’d like. You can do this.