Originally published on xoJane and cross-posted here with their permission.
I am 19 years old. I have been in a loving relationship for over a year. We have been having sex for relatively the same amount of time. He always makes me comfortable, always asks for suggestions, and loves to go down on me. Our relationship is great; he’s perfect, but here’s the kicker, I can’t orgasm.
I know, I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “Girl, go get yourself another man, he must suck.” But that’s truly not it. I physically can’t orgasm.
We’ve tried it all — sex toys, masturbation, pot to try and relax me, physically holding me down while stimulating my clit — seriously, every trick in the book. It doesn’t work.
Don’t get me wrong, it still feels good. I still get turned on. But it’s like all this build up-with no release. I cannot let go – it’s like hitting a wall. This is unbelievably stressful.
I would never imagine how much of an impact lack of orgasm could have on a relationship. I feel like my body has betrayed me, and feel guilty over not being able to demonstrate how good it feels. My boyfriend feels bad about himself and his performance. The thing is, I know what I have to do, I know I have to relax, but it’s as if I can’t.
I’m going to try to describe the feeling as best I can: what’s going through my head while we’re having sex is not the sex itself, because instead of being about pleasure, our sex has now become goal-oriented. While he and I are humping and bumping away, I imagine myself in a library searching for a book, and, as my heart rate increases, so does my pace in the library. I am frantically running through the aisles, passing rows and rows of books, and then it just stops. I lose the feeling I’ve tried so hard to hold on to. I come back to reality and I can’t return. I can’t let go. I can’t orgasm.
This is where you might not find my story credible. I haven’t consulted a professional after all. But I also know what I have. It’s what’s called primary female orgasmic disorder. Some people have secondary female orgasmic disorder, which is when they used to be able to orgasm, and can’t now.
Female orgasmic disorder is generally believed to have psychological causes, such as a history of abuse, anxiety, depression and lack of self-esteem. And guilt.
I grew up in a bible-belt family. My mom grounded me if I didn’t go to church. I am not a Christian now. I do not believe in the same things as my mom, but we are still very close. We dance around the fact that I am not religious.
While I’m having sex, in the back of my head I think about what my mom or grandma would say, and I feel guilty — Strike 1.
My dad and I do not have a good relationship. I’d go as far to say that we do not have a relationship at all. He is a raging alcoholic. A few months ago he went off the deep end, got in trouble with the law and blamed everything on my mom. He left horrible, provocative voicemails on my phone. He talked about sex and used dirty, demeaning language about my mom’s “twat.”
While I’m having sex, I think about that and get grossed out with myself — Strike 2.
My sexual history is not great. In seventh grade, my boyfriend talked about sex all the time. He taught me how to give blowjobs. I wasn’t mature, I wasn’t aware of what I was doing. I wasn’t having fun, but it was what I thought I had to do.
In eighth grade, I dated another tool. He was the same way; I went with it. I never had sex with either of these boys, I described what we did as “kissing and stuff.” I got the reputation of a slut. Nobody liked me. I didn’t like myself.
I lost my virginity at 15 to a guy who didn’t love me. We had sex a couple of times. When I was 16, I “kissed and stuff” with another guy who was four years older than me. That brings me to my current boyfriend.
While having sex, I think about my past and feel ashamed — Strike 3.
In short, I’m sexually repressed. Instead of embracing sex in all its beauty, I feel disgusted. I know it’s wonderful and I know it’s completely normal, but my mind and my body don’t communicate well.
I want to have carefree sex, but with all these conflicting emotions, I always fall short.
I am thankful for having an accepting boyfriend who tries his hardest to understand and is determined and open in his efforts. I think, because of him, there is hope for me yet.
I’m writing this because Googling the disorder gives a lot of fancy medical definitions but no personal accounts. I can’t give anyone a solution, hell, I’m working on curing myself, but I can give anyone struggling with it someone to identify with.