I've been thinking recently about orgasm and how to reach it. Over the past few months I've had the (extremely pleasant) experience of partner-induced orgasm. This might not appear mind-blowing in the eyes of the general universe but from my point of view it's a definite turn up for the books. In the past three months, three different people have been able to make me come, by themselves, with limited or no assistance from myself. That's more people than in the rest of my life, and it's a thing worth examining.
Before we kick off, a disclaimer. Orgasm isn't the sole source of sexual pleasure in this world any more than a gin and tonic is the only way of getting drunk. It's good, and I like it a lot, but I've had plenty of awesome, explosive evenings without one. We tend to put the orgasm on rather a high pedestal and can get a bit bogged down in becoming goal orientated with endless quests for alphabetised spots on the human body. I'm not intending this post as yet another piece of writing on how we must make all women come all the time in order to engender some sort of earthly paradise, just putting over some musings on my own orgasm and how it's changed over the years.
Let's look at the facts and see what has happened. My normal routine consists of two orgasms a day - generally I masturbate once in the morning and once in the evening and have done since i worked out how to do it. More if I've got nothing else to do that day. I don't have a regular partner and I sleep alone, so I can amuse myself however I want without bothering about anyone else or being bothered by anyone else. It's "me time" that precious entity we are often encouraged to acquire more of. Some girls have manicures and facials. I masturbate. I can make myself come pretty easily, in a couple of minutes if I need to, but if I have the time, I'll take the time. Orgasm quality varies, but is usually good, with only the odd instance of failed orgasm - usually because I'm too tired - and the occasionally "meh" experience where the end result is more like the exhalation of breath after being under water than a genuine pleasure rush.
That's the solo version and the control. Physically my body works and can orgasm. Now to add the variable - people. People have come in two flavours in my sex life, vanilla and kinky. Vanilla sex very rarely produced orgasm. A handful of times through very prescribed methods, either through oral sex or effectively replicating my own masturbation practices. My first hypothesis was that the reasons behind a lack of orgasm had less to do with my partners (who had satisfied other women before and went on to do so again) and more to do with the type of sex - and type of relationship - we were having. Later, there was kinky sex, which whilst being more exciting and interesting also didn't really produce much in the way of orgasm.
This led me on to consider that the reason I couldn't orgasm wasn't anything to do with the vanilla/kink divide and more to do with the fact that other people were present. Perhaps I had a shy orgasm? What happened is that I would get the physical sensation of pre-orgasm - held breath, muscles clenched but get stuck just before the tipping point, never able to quite move over into release. Over time, the knowledge that this was as good as climax could get for me probably created a psychological block - I knew I was unlikely to orgasm and therefore didn't try or expect it.
However, under certain circumstances I could sometimes orgasm when someone else was present. But I had to be given explicit permission, do it through masturbation and not put under any pressure. For example, being tied to a vibrator or similar would always bring me right to the edge but never bring me to orgasm. Machines were pleasurable, but not a source of orgasm. Masturbation worked better, but being forced to bring myself to orgasm, perhaps under a time limit would be fifty-fifty success or release. In that way, it was pretty hot and entirely in keeping with the submissive situation, orgasm control and denial being part of that set-up. But there were other situations in which ostensibly I should have been able to, but couldn't. If my partner hadn't reached orgasm themselves, I tended not to feel able to myself, less physically and more emotionally or intellectually - I hadn't given them enough to deserve my own pleasure. It didn't feel right, regardless of how much they wanted me to orgasm I was generally unable to and that was frustrating on several levels.
The only time it ever really worked was when I was told that I could have an orgasm and then left to get on with it. Perhaps a gentle stroke of my partners fingers on my neck, back or cunt (I masturbate on my front), maybe some encouraging filth whispered in my ear but realistically speaking I was on my own, with the knowledge that they were around and quietly supportive. I closed my eyes, focused in on myself and once I'd faded them into background noise it was easy. But a little guilty. After all, if I have to remove myself from my partner to orgasm it suddenly makes it a lot less relieving and intimate than I really wanted it to be. It was a private pleasure that excluded them.
As time went on, orgasm in the presence of others came to represent failure, solitude, "abnormality" and worry. I learned to preface any sort of scene with "it is very unlikely I will orgasm, please don't try." Although this invariably led to an excess of trying and me feeling a bit sore and fed up by the end. Longer term partners learnt to just not bother and leave me to it once they'd fallen asleep. Submission, it seems, despite being deeply personally satisfying on many levels, did not produce a lot of orgasm.
Dominance and topping, however, did. Whenever I was able to switch with my partners or when I had a submissive partner and could use them however I wanted, I could orgasm. The first few times it was difficult, but the more I did it, the easier it became. Different partners delivered in different ways - though clitoral stimulation via fingers and tongues remained the best path to take. The Photographer, Ten and Dandy are all good examples of this. Boys, on their knees, deliver orgasm, survey finds.
But it's not quite as simple as needing to be on top to orgasm. I've recently discovered, thanks to the ministrations of Spiral, that I can bottom and come. This was pretty much the final piece in the puzzle for me and helped me understand what is driving my blockers on orgasm. I'd turned up to her house for a play session. We are friends with no expectation of relationships, ongoing D/s or otherwise and there is no deep and meaningful emotional connection. We were there for mutual fun and pleasure. Which is what we got And I got orgasm. Without any physical input of my own (look mum, no hands).
The ability to orgasm isn't just a physical process, desire has to be there and desire is fickle, strange and in my case downright fussy. Orgasm is also selfish and unselfconscious - it is a singular, personal moment that requires you to let go of all concerns about anyone and anything else and just let go into individual, black-out pleasure. Accepting the "right" to do so within the context of any scenario seems vital to my own ability to orgasm. It's about being comfortable and confident with my own desire and trusting that the vulnerability it exposes - my pleasure and release - is acceptable not only to my partner but to myself. The D/s is part of it in that in that it exemplifies the control and power exchange of give and take that are at play in my orgasm "issues" that I can both take control of my own pleasure and cede it to someone else entirely appears to be the key.