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Author Topic: Masturbating, and Getting Nowhere I Want to Be
Member # 96700

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I wanted to write to you for an answer about a problem I’m having, but also to express my concern at the homogeneity of the sexual pleasure/how to orgasm advice I have received from every source I have found.

I have never had an orgasm, and I would like to. I have asked for advice from friends, websites, books, and sex advice blogs/columns, and they all tout the same line: masturbate. Especially, masturbate by playing w/ your clitoris. Well, I am posting here today because I have TRIED that—the rest of this letter lists the ways I have tried that—and yet I have not found a significant increase in my pleasure or excitement during partner sex or masturbation after having tried. I haven’t even made progress towards figuring out how I orgasm by masturbating.

Below are the things I have tried, my obstacles, and my observations. I hope they will help you come up w/ some suggestions for what else to try. But, as you read, please keep in mind the key question I want answered about reaching orgasm for a female-bodied individual:

What should one do when masturbation doesn’t work?

As I mentioned before, the majority of advice I have received from different sources on how to figure out how to reach orgasm is the same: masturbate (especially by playing w/ your clitoris and vulva, rather than your G-spot).

The sentences in quotation marks are the pieces of advice/tips I have found. Below them are my results.

“Play w/ yourself. See what turns you on.”

Jah, I get it. My problem? My body doesn’t respond much when I touch myself, whether I use my fingers or toys, whether I use more lube or less lube, whether I’m ragingly horny when I start masturbating or I feel neutral. On a scale of one (agony) to ten (bliss) w/ five being neutral, when I touch myself it feels like a 5.5 or a 6. If I’m lucky, it will be 6.5 for a few seconds.

“Try watching porn or reading erotica while you masturbate.”

I’ve tried masturbating (clitoral, labial, and G-spot) while watching porn and erotic literature I really loved on several occasions, and there was no improvement.

“Try different positions.”

I have.

“Experiment w/ different toys.”

I’ve used vibrators, dildos, fabric, stuffed toys, shower heads, chairs/bicycle seats, pillows, and furniture. I have experimented w/ bladder fullness to increase my genitals’ sensitivity to stimulation. A lot of these feel nice, but they don’t get me far.

I have tried placing vibrators (whilst they are vibrating) against my clitoris and it feels uncomfortable. I have to apply pressure through the hood over my clitoris, or not the hood when applied directly, to feel anything. When I apply pressure to this area w/ a vibrator, it is uncomfortable.

“Create ambiance. Relax. Light some candles, scatter rose petals around the room, take a relaxing bath, make sure you won’t be interrupted, and make an enticing setting for you to explore your body.”

The lighting was nice, but the rest of it was not helpful. Also, me exploring myself is not exciting, so matter the interior decorations. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not my type?

“Explore your clitoris/labia majora/labia minora/the space in between the folds.”

If I do clitoral stimulation for long enough (fifteen minutes), my right leg and toes start twitching, which I have been told may indicate that one is close to orgasm/peaking. Well, once I reach that point I try to continue as long as I can, but nothing happens. I either wind up stopping because my muscles are exhausted, my pleasure plummets, and/or I lose interest. If my muscles had the stamina to keep that up for forty-five minutes, maybe something would happen, but there’s the problem. Also, when I stimulate my clitoris directly or indirectly, I feel my body responding (leg twitches eventually) and I feel physical sensations from touching my clitoris, but…they are not what I would call pleasurable. They are positive, pleasant sensations, but they don’t feel like “pleasure” to me. It’s not the sort of sensation I actively want because it’s not very pleasurable for me. To describe it a different way: I enjoyed the film, but I wouldn’t pay to see it. When partners have played w/ my bits in the past, it often feels better, sometimes a lot better, but they’re doing the same movements I do on my own.

Playing w/ my labias feels nice, but it doesn’t get me far.

Pressure against the space between my urethra opening and my vaginal opening is nice, but it doesn’t do much for me.

“Try taking vacations from your medications that impact your sex drive.”

I wish that was an option. It is not.

“Explore non-obvious parts of your body, such as breast/nipple stimulation, your shins, your knees, or your feet.”

Tried it. My breasts are not sensitive to stimulation. :S Shins feel nice, feet feel interesting, but they do not give me much pleasure. Scalp play gets me excited, but it’s only pleasurable for me when someone else is doing it. I have found no “magically sensitive area” on my body I can access on my own other than my G-spot. And me pressing that one, as you are aware, hasn’t gotten me where I want to be.

“If you have a kink/fetish that really turns you on, try incorporating that into your exploration.”

I have tried this w/ my partners (my kinks/fantasies entail the real physical presence and participation of another person). It increased my excitement a bit, but it did not result in a real improvement in my level of pleasure. I did not get closer to a peak or to breaking through a plateau/approaching orgasm.

“Try alternating between stimulating different sensitive parts of my body.”

Alternate between what? My G-spot and the places that aren’t pleasurable?

“When/before you masturbate, touch yourself the way you like to be touched during foreplay.”

I tend to only get excited by my partner licking and sucking on my neck and ears. Sadly, I am not Gene Simmons.

“Try simultaneously stimulating your clitoris and your G-spot.”

When I do that or have a partner do this, I wind up being able to feel only the clitoral stimulation OR the G-spot stimulation, not both. :S When it’s going well w/ my G-spot, I can feel little or no sensation from my clitoris (or when clitoral stimulation starts, I become numb to my G-spot), and on the rare occasion that the majority of my pleasure is coming from my clitoris, then I become numb to whatever is going on in my vaginal canal.

So, at this point, I feel frustrated and sort of at wit’s end. I don’t experience much pleasure when I play w/ my clitoris or my other external bits. When I or a partner apply direct or indirect stimulation to my clitoris, it feels nice, but it actually feels good when someone else is touching it, yet the sensations from clitoral stimulation still sometimes feel annoying rather than good. The best pleasure I have felt came from deep vaginal stimulation using dildos and vibrators, but I don’t like vibrations in my vagina, I like thrusting. This has its own problems, for A) it is difficult for me to reach a pleasing angle for said thrusting (my arms are two inches shorter than average), B) I often become desensitized or I plateau after a while, C) I don’t have the muscle endurance to keep it up for over half an hour, and D) I can’t maintain an exciting mental fantasy while moving my toy. I have had partner sex (vaginal) where they reached my G-spot and did things that felt great for over forty-five minutes straight, and…nothing. After the initial rise in pleasure, my pleasure just plateau-ed until my vaginal opening became irritated from the prolonged movement (this is w/ lubrication) and we had to stop.

But here is the most frustrating piece of advice that I see everywhere, stated either explicitly or understood implicitly: “If you don’t know how to make yourself cum, you can’t expect your partner to know how to do it for you.”

Oh, really? My partners have gotten much closer to making me orgasm than I ever have. It feels good when someone else touches me the way I touch myself. I have gotten close to peaking/orgasm/or something like it three times, and each of those times was when my partner was the one touching me. Two of those times, I hadn’t even told the person how I liked to be touched there.

As you might imagine, after trying all of these things I have started to feel rather hopeless and, I will say it, defective. But I don’t want to give up. Sex and sexual pleasure are important to me—they are parts of my entity w/ which I want to engage. Really, sexual stimulation for me feels good when I have a partner. But great partner sex doesn’t consistently get me close to a peak, a climax, an orgasm, or whatever you want to call it or its cousins. Exploring w/ a partner sounds nice, but I don’t exactly have a throng of partners offering to play w/ my bits until I orgasm. I have tried what the books, websites, sex advice columns, and my friends have told me. And, as you have noticed, I still needed to write you this letter. I feel stuck, disheartened, and defective, and not through any lack of trying. Overall, masturbation hasn’t helped me discover what I like, it has shown me what doesn’t work.

All this masturbation isn’t working. I am no closer to achieving orgasm now than I was three years ago when I started trying to find answers. So...what am I, or anyone else like me, supposed to do now?

I appreciate any advice or suggestions any of you might have, or even hearing from someone who is or has faced the same obstacles. Thank you for reading.

Posts: 1 | From: U.S.A. | Registered: Aug 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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There's a lot here, so I won't be able to tackle all of it in one reply, but I want to start with what I consider the basics.

As a person and as a sex education professional, I don't consider masturbation to just be about touching genitals, just like I don't consider sexuality to just be about touching genitals. While genital stimulation is certainly a common thread in most people's masturbation (and the why of that isn't as simple as it'd seem, nor as essentialist), the way I define masturbation is that it is simply various ways we choose to touch our own bodies in order to experience or express pleasure, namely sexual pleasure. And when I say bodies, I mean any of their possible parts.

It also sounds like something that keeps getting left out in a lot of what others have told you is that touch feeling pleasurable, or arousing, is often something that doesn't start with the touching, but how we're feeling already before we touch ourselves (or others) at all. That's why, for instance, when we're not turned on, someone can graze our arm and we'll barely notice, but when we are, that same touch can feel like lightening sometimes.

I agree, you've gotten some outright bad advice and then a lot of very pat advice that often isn't helpful to anyone.

So, how about we try and step ALL the way back first? Let's step away from orgasms, away from a host of various activities, leave the rose petals on the roses, and the stinky candles on the shelf for now.

You say that you experience sexual pleasure. Am I understanding right that so far, that's only with a partner?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 108429

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Heather, if I could pick up with responding to your question, is that okay? I am not the original poster, but I don't think I need to make a new post because I could have written this verbatim.

I feel helpless. I've read the books and talked to my friends and tried everything I can think of, but it just isn't working. My boyfriend is great and would try anything to help me, but I don't know what to tell him. I feel like the burden is on me to figure it out for myself first, but like the original poster, I just am not my own type...

I do experience sexual pleasure by myself, but it is for extremely brief windows. I can get myself aroused and for probably five or so minutes I really feel like I'm on the right track, but then eventually it just ends and I'm exhausted and can't get back to that point. I understand the concept of plateauing, but there's just no drive in me to continue.

With my boyfriend, the feelings are stronger, but not so much that I think I'll have a breakthrough. I'm probably being my own worst enemy here, but he will eagerly perform oral sex on me, and I make him stop after 5 minutes or so because I just don't feel like it's fair to him. It feels anywhere from great to good to okay, but most of the time I just feel like I'm performing - like I need to reassure him that it's good, even if to me it's just "okay, this is nice enough" and a vaguely guilty feeling about him being down there for too long. I want to be able to tell him definitively what it is that I would like, except that I don't know what that is.

I try to stimulate my clitoris during sex, but it's weird - like the OP mentioned, it's as if half the time, it just stops functioning and it's no different from me touching my elbow, for example.

I just feel so exasperated. I want to experience an orgasm so bad, and I feel like that desperation is probably only standing in my way. When I'm with my boyfriend, I can get aroused at the drop of the hat, but from that point on, that's the best I can do.

The only way I keep myself from becoming too sad about it is the idea that sex improves with age, so maybe 10 years from now I'll have it figured out.

For the record, I was on Lexapro for ~2 years before quitting it under the approval of my doctor in February, so it's been ~7 months. I am on Lo Loestrin. My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and he's my first sexual partner.

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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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Hi Hols09 and welcome to Scarleteen,

We actually ask that people create their own thread with their own unique question. I realize that you identify with what the original poster asked, but this is their thread, and should they choose to return to chat some more, things will get mighty confusing.

So, if you could create your own thread with your questions and concerns, we'd appreciate it. Thanks.


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Is there anymore answers for this please? I have the same issues..
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Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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If you want to discuss this issue, rosesandruses, we can certainly do that in your other thread. Just add on your concerns and questions around this once we've talked through what you first posted about. [Smile]

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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