no sensation when masturbating

Questions and discussion about your sexual lives, choices, activities, ideas and experiences.
Crow
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no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

I hope I don't write too much here but I just wanna make everything really clear so maybe I can figure something out, so apologies if it ends up a bit cluttered.

Basically, I can't feel anything when masturbating. I usually try to focus on my clitoris, but I just don't feel anything no matter what I try. I've tried moving my finger in different directions, changing the amount of pressure I apply, changing the speed, but nothing feels any different. Even less direct advice like being more physically active or exploring other parts of my body don't really seem to make any difference in the amount of sensation.

I've tried to find an explanation as to why I can't feel anything, but nothing really applies to me. I always make sure I only try when I'm actually aroused, I'm not stressed or anxious about anything, I'm not on any sort of medication. I just can't feel anything, it feels exactly the same as any other part of my body.

What can I possibly do differently? Nothing I've seen suggested before has worked for me and it's getting very frustrating.
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Crow,

It does sound like you're already doing a lot of the recommendations, which is awesome but also, understandably, frustrating. Can you give me a sense of whether there are other parts of your body, genitals or not, that you do feel pleasure when touching? And when you try masturbating, are you focused on a fantasy or piece of sexual media while doing so?
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

I don't really feel like there's any part of my body that feels pleasurable to touch. And sometimes I try to focus on a fantasy, but usually I don't really try masturbating for long enough to get into it or I end up losing focus on it since I'm not feeling anything and I just stop.
Sam W
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Sam W »

Those details are helpful, thanks!

So, there are a few different things you could try. One is to find some fantasies that you get really into; the more engaged your brain is, the more likely you are to feel pleasure from the experience. This article offers some great starting points for that: How to Approach Sexual Fantasy and Desire on Your Own Terms.

Another thing to explore is what kinds of touch or physical stimulation do give you non-sexual pleasure. This is going to vary from person to person, but some common ones are massage (either massaging yourself or getting a machine or person to do it), warm baths or showers, brushing your hair, even touching something with a pleasing texture, like a piece of clothing or even a pet. Do you have some things like that you could explore?
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

thank you for the suggestion, but maybe I worded things a bit weirdly. I have no trouble coming up with fantasies I enjoy, I just can't engage with them properly since I can't actually masturbate to them.

I don't think I'd really know how to approach finding things that feel non-sexually pleasurable for me. I feel like all sensations are either bad or neutral, even the things you listed are just neutral, and I genuinely can't think of a time when I felt any sensation that felt nicer than just neutral.
Sam W
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Sam W »

Ah, okay, thank you for clarifying! With those fantasies, have you ever tried giving yourself time to get deep into them without trying to masturbate, just to see what happens?

If there aren't physical sensations that jump out at you, are there mental ones that do? Things that you find really exciting or enjoyable, things that leave you kind of giddy when you're done with them?
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

I do tend to just sort of daydream through fantasies since that's usually the only way I can enjoy them, but I'm not actually sure if that has ever made much of a difference.

There's a lot of mental things, mostly different art things, but they sort of work at random. Sometimes trying to draw will make me feel drained but sculpting something will invigorate me, or sometimes the other way around, or I'll have to try something completely different, or just nothing works. There isn't really a pattern to it and I sometimes struggle to figure out which will actually be nice and which will drain me.
Sam W
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Sam W »

Have you ever tried introducing a vibrator into the mix when masturbating? It could be that introducing a sensation that's both very intense and novel might introduce new, pleasurable sensations.

Got it, I was asking because sometimes getting really excited mentally can be a path to other kinds of pleasure. Too, if you struggle to not only feel noticeable physical pleasure but also struggle with excitement or enjoyment of other things, that can be a sign of some underlying things that might need addressing.
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

I would, but I'm not currently in a position to get one unfortunately.

My struggle with mental excitement or enjoyment of things is linked to my ADHD and ASD, which given those both affect physical sensations I guess could be related, but they tend to lead to hypersensitivity and easy overstimulation, and I haven't been able to find anything that links ADHD and/or ASD to quite what I'm dealing with.
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Elise »

Hi Crow, with regards to trying a vibrator, we have an article on Scarleteen that has instructions on how to safely make and use a DIY vibrator here, which you may find useful for your experimentation: D.I.Y Sex Toys: Self-Love Edition

As you mention, being neurodiverse is something that can effect our sensory processing in a variety of ways. It is great that you already understand that in other contexts that this is often, for you, linked to hypersensitivity or over-stimulation, and earlier you mentioned that you are still working out when you will feel recharged vs. drained by certain activities. That's some really awesome self-awareness and understanding of yourself!

Our brain and mental state is an important part of our sexual response cycle (if you're interested, this is explained in depth here, and here). Sometimes it can be stress/putting pressure on ourselves about feeling pleasure that makes it hard for our brains to respond to masturbation (as their too busy being stressed). Also, we all have different relationships to activities depending on context, and how we're feeling (like your drawing vs sculpting example), and it can take some time to observe those patterns and they can be tricky to discern, for both neurotypical and neurodiverse folks. So it is totally okay for this to take time, although it is certainly frustrating whilst you are in the middle of it all.

Given that you already understand your individual sensory processing with regards to other physical sensations, do you have a therapist at the moment, or have seen someone in the past, who has helped you better understand your sensory processing and neurodiversity? Masturbation and sexual response is definitely something it would be appropriate to ask someone like this about, as they can approach it from this perspective as well as with regards to mental health/working through your thoughts and feelings about it also, with you. What do you think of this idea?
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

Thank you for the suggestion, but unfortunately I'm not really able to get any of the things listed there either.

I don't think I'm stressed or putting pressure on myself, unless I'm somehow not noticing, but I tend to at least be able to recognize when I'm stressed. Also, I know it tends to take time to figure out, but it definitely is frustrating, especially after years of trying different things and feeling like I've made no progress.

I don't have a therapist, and I don't think I'll be able to get one any time soon.

Is there anything else I can do/try?
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Elise »

Hi Crow, thanks for taking a look at the article, sorry that is logistically tricky at the moment. Some of the items on the list can be bought quite cheaply (under $10) at a Walmart or similar. If you feel comfortable answering, is it an access to shops, or not having the finances to access anything like that at the moment that is the challenge?

Also, with regards to accessing therapy, we could find some resources for you in your area if you are interested. What is the barrier to access for you at the moment? Would it be cost/lack of insurance, or more to do with access (can't attend in person), or both? If you're willing to let us know what state you're in of the US, we might be able to point you in the direction of some appropriate services, if that would be of interest?
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

It's a bit of both, most shops are farther away so I'm unable to go on my own and if I want anything I have to ask my parents, and they won't purchase anything they don't seen as necessary due to a lack of money.

A lack of insurance is the main issue, but also a lack nearby of places to go physically. As much as I would like to have a therapist, now would not be a good time for me to look for one unfortunately.
Sam W
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Sam W »

Ooof, that kind of remoteness can make things so trick sometimes. Do you have friends with more access to shops or to money who would be willing to help you out with this (and who you'd be comfortable asking)? Or an extended family member who you feel comfortable asking for help accessing a vibrator?

Lack of insurance and isolation can definitely make getting therapy harder, but there may still be ways for you to access it, or to access other resources that you can turn to when you need help with things related to ADHD or ASD. For starters, if you're in school, does your school have a counselor? And have you ever looked into any online communities for folks with autism or ADHD?
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

I don't really have anyone I could ask, unfortunately. The only ones I would feel comfortable asking would have the same issues that I do.

I'm no longer in school, plus the counselor there was more harm than good for me. And I've never gone out of my way to find communities for people with ADHD or autism, but almost all of my friends at this point are neurodivergent in some way, which is certainly helpful.
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Carly »

Hey Crow -- this sounds like a difficult situation all-around, but I'm grateful you're finding some comfort with your neurodiverse friends. It doesn't sound like the counselor at school was helpful at all, but would you have any interest in trying therapy with someone else? If you think it would help, is it something you would feel comfortable asking your parents for help with? Have you tried talking with them before?
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

I have talked to them about therapy before, but they generally treat it as something I wouldn't be able to access for the reasons I mentioned before. As I said before, I am interested in getting therapy, but I just don't feel like right now is a good time for that.
Sam W
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Sam W »

Do you think, in the interim, it'd be helpful to find advice on masturbation that's aimed more specifically at autistic folks or folks with ADHD?
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

I do think that would help actually! I've tried to find some before but I don't think I could ever find anything.
Sam W
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Sam W »

Okay! I give you these to start, though we may have to start broad to find what you need. For instance, some of the books in the "teen" section here could have the information you need: https://www.actcommunity.ca/wp-content/ ... Becker.pdf. Some of the content in our disabled sex yeah series might also help, though it won't all be under the masturbation heading (I know sensory stuff and focus stuff is covered at various points: Disabled Sex Yes!.

Those may not have exactly what you need right, so I'll also keep looking during my next shift to see what else I can find.
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

I don't really have any way to access the books in the first link, as at least from a quick search of each of them none of them seem to be free.

I don't really feel like anything from the second one helped either. I guess most of it either didn't apply to me or felt a bit too vague to be applicable.
Sam W
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Sam W »

That's okay, we can keep looking!

For starters, do you have any techniques or tools that help you with sensory processing issues more generally? Because it's very possible that apply those to masturbation may help you some.

I also want to give you this piece. It's technically about partnered sex, but a good chunk of it is about how things like sensory issues can interact with orgasm and how address them: http://www.thinkingautismguide.com/2011 ... rgasm.html. That same author also compiled a huge resource library on neurodiversity and sex; it will take some browsing, but there is a LOT of stuff in there and hopefully some of it is relevant to you: https://cliff-mask-a11.notion.site/b4de ... 5bd1ecf6f8
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

No, I honestly don't even know what something like that would be like for hyposensitivity rather than hypersensitive.

Thank you for the resources, those will certainly take a while to get through but hopefully something will be helpful.
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Urna »

Hello Crow,

Some techniques that hyposensitive people may use for sensory regulation are: eating strong-tasting foods (esp. super spicy, sour, and bitter foods), chewing ice, using weighted blankets (or piling on lots of blankets, or having someone lay on you [if you're both comfortable with it and they are too], or taking very hot or very cold baths and showers (not at dangerous temperatures, of course), and swimming (because it gives you a lot of sensory input, all at once). If you've done any of these things before, how did it go for you? Did they impact you in any way?
<3333
Crow
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Re: no sensation when masturbating

Unread post by Crow »

I guess when I do most of those things they feel how I imagine other people would normally experience most sensations. They don't really feel special, just how I imagine everything would feel if I wasn't hyposensitive.
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