Why are my orgasms so weak?
November 11, 2009 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Are my orgasms always going to be this weak? Teach me to do it better!

A while back I bought a Hitachi Magic Wand. Previously I couldn't orgasm despite being sexually active and trying by my own hand. I had read that the Magic Wand will definitely solve such problems, and it seems to… except my orgasms are fantastically weak. I’m pretty sure I’m orgasming; my clit gets super-sensitive after , I seem to have involuntary contractions, and I get way wetter.

But.. that’s it. I don’t feel at all euphoric (my mood stays completely the same); I guess I feel mildly sexually satisfied but not really. I guess if I had to describe it I would say it’s just a slightly heightened feeling of sexual arousal or whatever, and this feeling only lasts for about half a second. It’s nice, but it’s not much different from the previous few minutes. Really I would say that happens mostly before the contractions start, then I have to get the vibrator away from me because I get so sensitive. So while the contractions are happening, well, it just feels like contractions really…

Something I should probably mention is that before I start masturbating I’m usually not feeling particularly aroused or desirous or anything, and while I masturbate my thoughts aren’t completely sexual. I guess they are a little sexual, but what I mean is I’m not completely mentally turned on. Like thinking of me masturbating is at least mildly hot so that’s why I don’t think of anything else I guess.

But the point is, I definitely don’t feel the most aroused I’ve ever been in my life when I masturbate like this. I rarely get time where I can use the vibrator without other people around, so I just have to capitalize on whatever time I have, even if I’m not feeling too sexy. I’m just curious about my orgasms. This is a new thing for me and I want to see what my body can do. It’s not really about sexy sex fun times when I masturbate. Would being more mentally aroused make my orgasms better? Or am I just doomed to have boring orgasms forever? The stimulation IS physically arousing at least. And feels pretty damn good for the like minute it lasts. I've tried prolonging the time it takes by teasing myself but that also doesn't make my orgasms better. Usually by then I've started analyzing the situation and that is just not sexy, and makes the experience even less sexy. But I still orgasm, and aren't orgasms supposed to be inherently pleasurable, even when purely manual and not very mental?

Another thing I would like to add is that I have trouble getting super aroused without a partner, which is probably why I don’t feel mentally aroused. Plain vanilla sex to mildly kinky is quite arousing with a partner, but erotica or porn with these themes is pretty ineffective. The only thing that really turns me on without a partner is written erotica featuring a lot of submissive behavior. For some reason I have trouble finding such material that is of a quality I desire, but really I just figured this out about myself recently so I haven’t been looking for too long or too hard. (Is this normal? It seems like if vanilla sex turns me on in real life, I should be able to read about it and feel aroused from it.)

Right now using my vibrator + a partner is not an option.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m young and female, in my early twenties.

So my questions are: will my orgasms get better as I learn more about myself sexually, such as what turns me on and how I like to be touched, or should I just give up on my quest to feel the same type of orgasm everyone else seems to feel and accept this is how it’s going to be? Is my Magic Wand perhaps too powerful, would a gentler or no vibrator give me better orgasms?

Thank you for any advice. I really just want to orgasm in a way that feels good, like everyone else seems to report. Throw away email is comingbetter@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

The only thing that really turns me on without a partner is written erotica featuring a lot of submissive behavior. For some reason I have trouble finding such material that is of a quality I desire, but really I just figured this out about myself recently so I haven’t been looking for too long or too hard. (Is this normal? It seems like if vanilla sex turns me on in real life, I should be able to read about it and feel aroused from it.)

This is your path! Go forth and find more of this -- it works for you! What turns you on in real life and what turns you on in your head are allowed to be totally different. Just because you are excited by a fantasy does NOT mean you need to act it out, or that you even want to. Let yourself explore, you will be ok! There is nothing weird about this. Many, many women love written erotica, many women are turned on by submission (either real or imagined) -- there is an amazing amount of that out there, so there's obviously a pretty big audience for it.
posted by pazazygeek at 7:54 AM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

There's a lot of porn out there, and some percentage of it will be appealing to you. I think you should keep searching.
posted by sickinthehead at 8:42 AM on November 11, 2009

A snippet from the Woody Allen gem Manhattan:

Diane Keaton: I finally had an orgasm, but my doctor told me it was the wrong kind.
Woody Allen: I've never had the wrong kind, ever. My worst one was right on the money.

You sound like you're doing fabulously. All of this exploring, touching, figuring out what works for you and what doesn't - that's amazing and exactly the right stuff to do. I can't tell you how long it took me to even get where you are.
How do you know what an orgasm feels like to everyone else? I think they come in all shapes, sizes, and intensities (if that's a word). Mine are different when I'm alone, when I'm not, when I'm using my finger or a vibrator, whether I'm on my back or my stomach, even what mood I'm in.
Most importantly, what matters is not other people's orgasms, but how *your* orgasm feels to *you* and how comfortable you are with yourself. There's no standard you need to measure yourself against, nobody you're competing with - just you, yourself, and you. The more confident you become with your body and with what makes you happy, the more you'll enjoy masturbating and orgasming (and maybe eventually enjoy yourself with a partner). This is an awesome journey - enjoy the ride.
posted by bookgirl18 at 8:43 AM on November 11, 2009 [2 favorites]

as for toys -- if you live near a Good Vibrations, Toys in Babeland, Self-Serve or other sex-positive store (can't do links now, I'm at work) you can get some good advice and equipment by talking honestly to the staff there. If you find a good person, you'll be able to talk about what's worked for you so far, what you'd like to try different, and then get some advice that's based on that. talking to someone with a good attitude and the right experience has been much more valuable to me than reading reviews online and making guesses.

also, the more you know about how your body works when youre by yourself, the more fun you can have with a partner -- you'll be able to really communicate about what you like and don't like.

I'd agree that you're doing fine. No need to worry about things never getting better -- sex is both a skill to develop and a map to explore.
posted by cubby at 9:18 AM on November 11, 2009

"The only thing that really turns me on without a partner is written erotica featuring a lot of submissive behavior. For some reason I have trouble finding such material that is of a quality I desire, but really I just figured this out about myself recently so I haven’t been looking for too long or too hard. (Is this normal? It seems like if vanilla sex turns me on in real life, I should be able to read about it and feel aroused from it.)"

Just to get you started: the The Kristen Archives subsection of ASSTR.org contains a lot of very high quality wank-material erotica, sorted by categories. Adultfanfiction.net also contains many stories catering to different tastes.

I'm no expert, but from what I've read on several forums and sites I'd guess the material that people watch or read for sexual stimulation is often "harder" or more "extreme" than they would themselves be willing to experience; fantasies tend to be wilder than reality. I'm not willing to judge that as a good or bad (or "normal") thing, but it seems to be the case.

"But the point is, I definitely don’t feel the most aroused I’ve ever been in my life when I masturbate like this. I rarely get time where I can use the vibrator without other people around, so I just have to capitalize on whatever time I have, even if I’m not feeling too sexy."

That's another thing: while probably every human being is capable of reaching climax purely through mechanical stimulation I'd say that the quality of an orgasm is heavily dependent on the circumstances. Speaking as a male I'll only note that the early puberty hey-I-have-a-built-in-fun-button experiments tend to compare badly to later ones.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 9:20 AM on November 11, 2009 [3 favorites]

This might not be your thing but I've known women who go from 'mmm...whatever' to 'super, gushing, über horny' with the addition of marijuana.
posted by i_cola at 9:21 AM on November 11, 2009

Are you in touch with yourself in other ways? Are you comfortable getting angry, crying, laughing wholeheartedly? I ask because when I was more locked up emotionally, much more analytical than emotional (I went years without crying, for example), my orgasms were a lot harder to come by and less intense and satisfying when they did occur. Once I broke through that emotional shell and got better at allowing myself the full range of emotions, my sexual and orgasmic reponses improved tremendously.

Also, there is a lot of erotica on the theme of submission. Keep looking, and you will find plenty to keep you entertained and (hopefully) aroused. Or write your own! It's a good way of exploring your fantasies and helping you to think about what appeals to you and what doesn't, both in terms of fantasy-only and what you might like to experience.
posted by notashroom at 9:26 AM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks for sharing. Sexuality and orgasms in particular can be tough for women to talk about.

I don't recommend using the Magic Wand long term. It will become very desensitizing over time. For a quickie, it's perfect. Otherwise, stick to your hand.

Any ideas you are having with orgasm are purely mental and emotional. You are at a common place for many women. You haven't owned your sexuality fully yet, and that's okay. You are still young.

Great masturbation is all about feeling the subtle energy that plays through your body. You don't need to race to orgasm. There is untold amounts of pleasure leading up to and after. Do you enjoy touching your body during or after a long bath? How sensual are you with yourself?

My orgasms took a huge leap in the amount of depth and pleasure I got when I fully opened myself and loved who I am. Without fear or shame or all the crap I've built up in this life. I went from a genital "sneeze" to orgasms that are on par with some of the most amazing sex. Keep in mind, I "work" on this daily and because I'm consistent, I see improvements all the time.

Also, check out Tantra if you have a spiritual interest. Folks in the Tantra community are very good about finding and dealing with whatever shadow aspects of yourself may be preventing you from having fuller orgasms. (Caroline Muir would be a good name to look up, she's very big into female eroticism.)

But to answer your question about whether it will improve, I promise you, you ain't seen nothing yet. When you really take ownership of your god-given right to have absolute pleasure without guild, shame or fear, you'll experience something that most people can only define as spiritual or Divine.
posted by bprater at 9:30 AM on November 11, 2009 [3 favorites]

From the sounds of it, you are putting an ENORMOUS amount of pressure on yourself to react in a certain way, and have a certain response -- and that expectation is getting in your own way and preventing it from happening. I feel like you're half afraid that there are Sex Police who are going to break in and arrest you because you're "doing it wrong" or that there's a team of Olympic judges who are going to score you on technique (and you're nervous about that German Judge who is especialy tough on everyone's dismount).

Relax! Relax, relax, relax. Instead of fretting about whether your orgasms are the "right" size or you are aroused the "right" amount, try taking an experimental, Zen approach to the whole thing for a while. Forget about having an orgasm for a while -- try taking more of a "cataloguing what happens" approach -- you know, just noticing what happens when you use your vibrator one way. Then just noticing what happens if you try another way. What about if you do it this way....interesting, good to know....hey, what about my knees? Nah, that doesn't do anything...how about the backs of my kne -- WHOA, that's interesting....

You know. Just try different things without expecting any of them to lead to orgasm. You're just noting what happens. If it don't do anything, then just note it and move on. If it's interesting, keep going as long as you feel like, and if it gets boring, just move on to something else. If you come, great; if you don't, you've learned more about what your body does. The orgasm isn't the point right now.

The beauty of this is -- you'll probably have a couple orgasms sneak up on you unexpectedly. And because you've been concentrating more on "let's see what this does" rather than "I MUST MAKE MYSELF COME", you'll be able to think "okay, huh. I'll have to remember that," and you can....repeat that experiment next time you try. :-)

But yeah, relax.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:32 AM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Agreeing with i_cola, I've also heard that pot can be an amazing tool in sexual exploration. The primary reason is that it tends to quiet the judgemental part of the mind, so you can focus purely on the pleasure.
posted by bprater at 9:34 AM on November 11, 2009

Personally, I like the Conair Touch and Tone. Part of the reason you might be having weak orgasms is that the Magic Wand is too strong and making you numb.

Have you considered using music to enhance your experience? There's a fascinating article in the International Journal of Psychophysiology that supports the idea that strongly emotional music bypasses your volition, taps your primal limbic system and juices up your autonomic nervous system and provokes an emotional response whether you intended it to or not. Stravinsky, Bartok, Messiaen and Harrison Birtwistle do it for me; YMMV.

If you combine music with tantric breathing, you can have a full-body orgasm anywhere without even touching yourself. Trust me, it's worth the practice!
posted by aquafortis at 9:38 AM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Good tips so far. Another is that working on your Kegel muscles can help with making those contractions more exciting, and you can do Kegel exercises no matter who is around! You literally just have to learn to squeeze and relax your pelvic floor muscles, and then you can do it when you're knitting, cooking, reading, whatever. It will start to make your contractions stronger, and some women like to combine Kegel exercises with clitoral stimulation to induce an awesome orgasm.

I know it's really frustrating to feel like your orgasms are lamer than other people's orgasms, but everyone's orgasm is different and orgasms change over time. Exploring, feeling positive about your body, and not putting pressure on yourself to live up to some ideal are the most important parts, and it sounds like you're on that track.

Other ideas: maybe get a less intense vibrator (I hear putting a sock on the Magic Wand also works wonders to make it less intense) or explore vaginal stimulation. Good luck! It's ultimately going to be a fun ride.
posted by besonders at 9:43 AM on November 11, 2009

You might want to take a high-potency B-vitamin supplement, too:

"Niacin (B3) is also beneficial for individuals experiencing difficulty achieving orgasm. In a clinical study conducted by William Howell Masters and Virginia Eshelman Johnson (the most respected researchers in the field of sexuality) it was revealed that women could not achieve orgasm without having sufficient levels of niacin in the uterine walls. The ability to experience an orgasm correlated with the release of histamine, therefore, Niacin’s ability to release large quantities of histamine has proved to be very beneficial to women who cannot experience orgasms. Niacin is also associated with intense sensations and increase in secretions in the mouth and sexual organs."
posted by aquafortis at 10:34 AM on November 11, 2009 [3 favorites]

1) The privacy issue is probably a major part of it. You would definitely benefit from having some time when you weren't likely to be interrupted.

2) Other suggestions for erotica of the sort that you're interested in: check out the appropriate section in literotica.com; Blue Moon Books and Black Lace Books are both female-oriented erotica publishers that have plenty of D/s stories; and D/s tends to dominate the erotica sections at big chain booksellers like Barnes & Noble and Borders, believe it or not.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:51 AM on November 11, 2009

Anticipation seems to make a huge difference, in my experience. Basically, whip yourself into a bit of a frenzy beforehand- get yourself feeling sexywarm, anticipating the pleasurable feelings. Not so much anticipating the orgasm, but the process. "I can't wait until later when I can turn down the lights, read some erotica and just think nice thoughts and explore my body the way I like to." Or, if there is a partner, "I can't wait until we can turn off the lights and enjoy the feeling of closeness and whatever else I like about my partner."

(Vitamin E succinate seems to work to get the anticipation juices flowing for men... I think it is testosterone based. Since that's also a component of female sexual hormones, it might work too. Depends on the person, I'd wager.)

Don't focus on the destination, focus on the journey. And get all your stuff done before you "leave", so you can allow yourself to get into the moment. Or at least have a way to set aside all your stuff for a while. Get a little zen about it, reduce your zone of consciousness as small as you can. For that little time, the outside world doesn't exist, it is just you and your partner (human or otherwise).

The actual Big Moment can also be a bit of a razor's edge. If you concentrate too much on helping it along, you get distracted. If you don't concentrate on it enough, the sexual tension never builds. Riding that wave is what makes the experimentation fun...:)
posted by gjc at 11:59 AM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just because you are excited by a fantasy does NOT mean you need to act it out, or that you even want to. Let yourself explore, you will be ok!

This. This, absolutely This.

Is this normal? It seems like if vanilla sex turns me on in real life, I should be able to read about it and feel aroused from it.

Being mentally aroused before you masturbate will probably increase the satisfaction you derive from your orgasms. Finding what arouses you will be a lot of trial but it is worth it, and don't put limits on what you think should arouse you versus what does arouse you. Just go with what works, whatever that is, and have fun with it! A lot of desire and arousal is purely mental, the ability to 'let yourself go' and run with it. Just because you're highly aroused with a partner during vanilla sex doesn't mean that fantasizing about it will do you any good when you're on your lonesome.

Trial and error is fun! Anyway, you probably will find more likes and dislikes, things that work and other things that don't, as time goes on. Never give up, there are always options.
posted by neewom at 1:03 PM on November 11, 2009

I'm willing to bet that your orgasms will improve over time. Your situation sounds familiar – for my part, despite my persistent efforts, the effect was always no orgasms ever, couldn't get off with my own hand, two hands, anyone else’s additional hands or assorted naughty bits... all of which added up to awful chronic frustration and not a little resentment on my part as I watched or heard about everyone else getting off and raving about it. When I finally started to orgasm in my early twenties (thanks to the addition of a vibrator), they were desperately unspectacular: a couple muscle blips, some diffused good-feeling, and me laying there thinking, "Uh, really? No, wait - REALLY?" After all that time and endless hype, finally climaxing was just so very deeply anticlimactic.

But having devoting serious time to thinking about and exploring what I like, experimented with a variety of toys and visuals, etc, orgasms have certainly have gotten much more intense, longer, and far more overwhelming. So I certainly second leisurely pursuing anything that’s gotten you hot and bothered so far - erotica or porn or just sitting around fantasizing, really letting yourself sink into it, and THEN trying out your magic wand without expecting anything, just exploring.

I’ll also second trying different toys - my first vibrator may have done the trick, but I’ve found some much better toys since then. Additionally, if you have any past bad experiences or abuse/boundary issues, you might be gradually building up to letting yourself go in more and more overwhelming ways, and that can take a while. Finally, speaking to Halloween Jack’s first point, if you’re having to sneak in diddle time when opportunity presents itself, part of your awareness is on high alert wank-patrol, so not only is your attention divided, you’re quite literally preparing yourself for an anticlimactic moment when your roommate/parents/jesus walks in and you have to pretend you were just, er, reading this here magazine upside-down. Guaranteed privacy and time make a big difference.
posted by involution at 1:38 PM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

I Feel Myself is an amazing erotica site featuring women, well, feeling themselves. Even if that doesn't do it for you in terms of arousal, perusing might help you think of new ideas in your free time that might help your orgasms. The vibrator is great, but maybe you would have more intense orgasms from some other kind of stimulation, or at least varying your routine.

Have you tried penetration with the vibrator? Sometimes just inserting a finger and not even doing much with it on the inside is enough to heighten sensation and really make an orgasm more powerful.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:45 PM on November 11, 2009

I don't really have much new advice, but I just want to say- I am EXACTLY where you are right now! I could have written your post almost word for word. And I'm sure there are about a million other girls like us.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:51 PM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

From a purely physical perspective: try putting something in between the Magic Wand and your vulva/clitoris so it's not /quite/ so powerful and you can let things build up a little. A towel or washcloth works well.
posted by needs more cowbell at 2:33 PM on November 11, 2009

Keep at it. Keep trying. It gets better and better.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 2:57 PM on November 11, 2009

I'm around your age and god, I relate to this so hard. But I can assure you that it does get better. Lose the wand for a bit. It's effective, sure...but sometimes TOO effective. And keep exploring. I have found that my best orgasms happen when my mind is totally focused on an object of arousal, not when I'm aiming to achieve something.
posted by blackcatcuriouser at 5:22 PM on November 11, 2009

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