Dear MJ: A Story of O
I have read too much about the female orgasm. Up until the age of 20 all I had ever done was read about it, so much so that I felt I’d had one before I ever actually had. Everything I read told me how to make my orgasms bigger and better, but nothing I read told me what it was like to have one or even how. I’m not saying I was looking for a how-to guide, because everyone is different and there’s no rules for this. I guess what I was looking for as a teenager was someone to tell me that I should spend some time working it out, for someone to tell me that it was ok to discover what made me orgasm and that it was something I was allowed to.
I realise this is part of a larger problem, that women are, to some extent, still made to feel guilty about sexual pleasure and making time to indulge in sexual activity, especially growing up. I feel that men don’t feel the pressure of that guilt, as it is generally accepted that they are ‘more sexual’ than women. I don’t know if, on the whole, men are ‘more sexual’ than women (I know there are countless studies to prove that it’s the case), but I know that I would have learnt a lot more about myself if I’d not felt guilty about discovering myself as a teenager. I did not have an orgasm until the age of 20 was because I did not allow myself to, and I feel that is a shame. I had to be living alone, single, in a foreign country to discover what my body enjoyed and to build that kind of relationship with myself.
SO, in this post I wanted to write to my 16 year old self and tell her what I know now, and what I wish someone had told me at the time. If you are young and have never had an orgasm and feel that something is holding you back for whatever reason, please listen.
You’re excited, right? You’ve just finished your GCSEs, you’ve got some people around you who actually like you and you just spent the summer in the sun kissing your first boyfriend, listening to music and not getting as drunk as your peers. You’re doing well, really, and I know you’re not as happy with yourself as you could be, but you’ll get there soon (trust me, I’m the only person who can tell you that and you’ll believe it).
I’m glad you’re pleased about your boyfriend choice, you’re absolutely right, he ticks a lot of boxes; he’s clever, your mum likes him and he’s got friends and black hair. DREAMBOAT. I know you’ve decided that this is love, which is a bold move, well done. Who am I to tell you that it’s not love? Well, I’m you and I’m telling you, it’s not love. You will happily come to the decision in two and a half years that you’re alright by yourself actually. Don’t be disheartened by that, and don’t be angry (I know you will be… sorry, not sorry!). You’ll learn a lot in the years to come and I’m pretty sure you’ll eventually turn out to be someone you admire and someone you’d like to spend time with, so don’t worry too much now about how you’re going to get there and with who, my love.
However, I need to tell you something. Something I know you’re going to get angry at, because you’re perfectly determined about the decisions you’re making. Here it goes: the sex you’re having is bad and you’re not enjoying it. There, I said it. Someone had to! You’re confused, I know, your boyfriend is sweet and he wants to please you, but still you’re not enjoying it, what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you be happy with that?
Well, my young protégé, that’s because you’re harder to please than you thought. This is a good thing and it’ll take you far, but it does make things more difficult for you. I know I’m talking about sex specifically but this applies to everything; you’ll soon learn not to settle for less because you’ll be disappointed, and once you learn that you’ll know what it’s like to be truly happy. However, when it comes to sex, the only way you’re going to learn is to teach yourself. I know, I know, it’d be nice to find a boy who could teach you everything you need to know, but that’s not going to happen because no boy will ever know you as well as you know yourself. No, you need a man for that (again, you’ll find one of those soon and I can tell you you’re allowed to be VERY EXCITED at that prospect. You do like beards I’m afraid, no matter what you tell yourself now). What I’m saying is that you need to invest some time into learning about your body. NO, don’t reach for the sex book Ma gave you. Stop it, it doesn’t have the answer. If you want to know about the anatomy of your body look at a picture of a body, but if you want to know about the way your body can make you feel and what your body can do you’re going to have to touch yourself. Really touch yourself. Not stroke your arm distractedly or touch your face nervously, but really grab a hold of your body, your arms, your legs, your hands, your neck, your breasts, your hips, your cunt (oh sorry, I forget you haven’t learnt that word yet, maybe read The Canterbury Tales, it’ll come in hand in many ways) and feel them. I know you don’t like the way your body looks right now, that takes a while I’m afraid, but you can definitely still learn to like the way your body feels right now, and it’ll help.
So, start by touching and stroking yourself. I know you’re going to have to take this step by step here. You’re too keen at the moment, diving straight in poking yourself randomly in the hope that it’ll excite you; enjoying your body comes from your head first, and your hands second. I know, also, that deep down you feel that you’re doing something wrong by wanting to enjoy your body. Well, I can tell you right now that your boyfriend has been enjoying his body, unashamedly, for about three years now. I KNOW, RIGHT. You’ve got time to catch up on. I can hear you right now, why didn’t anyone tell you this? WHY DIDN’T YOU KNOW YOU WERE ALLOWED? Well, my love, I’m working on that, just give me time. You’ll help me out a lot if you follow my advice right now, ok? Where were we? Oh yes, stroking. For a week, before you fall asleep, just run your hands all over your body. Don’t worry that you should be thinking about something specific or that you need to focus on someone in particular in order to validate how this feels, just clear your mind and focus only on your hands and your skin. Think about the movement of your hands, where you want to put them naturally, not where you feel you should be putting them. Take stock of your feelings as you do this. I know you’ll still feel guilty, but know that it’s ok and that this is a secret you’re allowed to keep for yourself. If you want to talk to anyone about it, talk to VJ, she’ll understand.
When you’ve got to the stage where you’re enjoying yourself doing this, then you’re probably ready to start delving a little deeper. Pun mostly intended, but only if it feels good. What I mean is it’s time to develop the stroking and touching into pressing, pulling, grabbing and teasing. I want to say rubbing too, but that’s not great, and what I really mean is the verb that describes what you’re doing when you move the skin of your cunt over what is underneath. Yes, those are all things you’re allowed to do to your body, and that I know you’ll enjoy. Be more assertive with your body, not aggressive. Don’t force yourself to feel the things you think you should be feeling, but listen to how you do feel. You’ll know when you’re excited because your heart will start to race, and you’ll feel a mix of being nervous, lightheaded and that suddenly all the blood in your body has moved to your belly and your cunt (sorry, I know you’re flinching when I say that, it’s a word you’ll learn to love). Beyond this point, I’m not going to tell you what you should be doing as there are no rules. I can tell you this, your mind turns into a receptor and a receptor entirely when you’re close to orgasm, so if your head is filled with things like ‘hmm this is chaffing’ or ‘I wonder if Nick really fancies Carol or just likes her because she’s got big boobs’ then you need to focus on the point/place at which your fingers connect with your body and how that feels. I’ll let you into a secret; you really enjoy having a really wet cunt, wetter than your body will make you naturally, so (and I know you’ll think this is disgusting) spit on your fingers. If you can’t handle that quite yet, take the bottle of lube that your boyfriend bought adventurously and use that. He won’t miss it, he’s got foreskin (again, something you’ll learn more about later).
I know you’re excited but terrified reading this. I also know you, little MJ, and I know you’ll go away and think about it and want to try it. You can, you’re allowed, you’ll love it and you’ll learn so much. If you are doing right by you and building a relationship with yourself, you will only be doing something good. Wanting to love yourself is very right in the grand scheme of the world, and it’ll help you be a better person.
There we go, my love. You’re allowed to feel good, and you’re allowed to enjoy yourself. I’m right here if you have any questions and remember, I love you.
Chin up, MJ and I’ll see you soon xx