How to orgasm and explore your body
Your key questions answered by Dr Elesha
"I have been masturbating since I was about 12 and could never really 'get the hang of it' and very rarely came from using my fingers. I had my first (what I would call) proper orgasm with a bullet vibrator when I was about 16 and since then I haven't looked back. I have an array of different toys and use only vibrating ones for clitoral stimulation. Am I missing out on different toys?"
Our bodies all work differently and how to orgasm and explore your body is important. You have found something that brings you an immense amount of pleasure, so it is unsurprising that you keep choosing the one that you know works for you. This is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed over! The bottom line is that you have not failed in anyway. In terms of having missed out on something, again that is personal! Let us think about it from a different perspective. Imagine you are in your favourite restaurant. Are you needing stability and comfort? Then order the same. You know what you are getting, and it brings you joy, there is no loss. Feeling adventurous? Then maybe now there is sometime to explore, but there is no pressure. Just maybe avoid something you are deathly allergic to! At the end of the day, there is no missing out on something that is not right for you. Back to sex - think about what you enjoy whether solo or partnered. Also consider the things you have not enjoyed and why, what could make those experiences better? Expand on those experiences into your use of sex toys, remember that they are toys… they are supposed to be fun, not a chore. They are also a wellness tool. If you want to try something that is going to give you a different sensation, why not try using your vibrating toy on other areas of your body? Nipples, inner thighs, lower abdomen – all erogenous zones. Put your pleasure at the centre of this, as that is the only thing that matters.
"I feel like I can't orgasm without using a sex toy and have been using them for years. Have I desensitised myself?"
The line has been blurred between the truth and the overwhelming need to suppress femme sexuality when it comes to talking about desensitisation due to sex toys. There is no scientific evidence that sex toys desensitise you. In fact, research suggests that regular use of sex toys improves sensitivity of nerves endings, sexual responsiveness and awareness of your own sexual health. However, this does not invalidate your experience of not being able to orgasm without a toy. Some people require a far higher stimulus to reach orgasm than others. It is just the way some of us are wired! This level of intensity is not achievable by a human, thus the use of toys as a wellness tool is ideal to help you get there. However, if orgasm is becoming increasingly difficult for you over time and you are requiring higher and higher levels of intensity to come, it is probably time to take a step back and evaluate what is going on. There are lots of reasons why it can be difficult to orgasm. Stress and anxiety are a big one, as they not only distract you from the moment that you are in but also alter your biochemistry, making orgasm more difficult to achieve. Learning how to orgasm and explore your body can be difficult but it is worth the time and investment. Many people have spent so long being told that they have used too many toys, that they won’t be able to come with a partner, leading to a subconscious anxiety that they will not be able to perform, which causes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think this might be you, start by taking a deep breath. Remember the only person who can make you orgasm is you – as in it is a chemical reaction created within your own body for your own pleasure. Let go of the guilt, it has no place here. You are not letting yourself or your partner(s) down. If you still find you need a toy to get the most pleasurable experience, then have the most pleasurable experience you can! Medications and ill-health of any kind can also make orgasm difficult. If you are worried, see your doctor for further advice.
"I wouldn't know how to go about exploring my own body sensually - it makes me feel a bit embarrassed. What should I do?"
In a world where we have been repeatedly told not to feel ourselves, it is unsurprising that if feels weird, awkward or downright cringey. Break it down into baby steps. For a start, body exploration can be a great form of mindfulness. Start by giving yourself a massage. Gently warm some massage oil, alternatively use your favourite lube or moisturiser, then begin by using your dominant hand to explore your non-dominant hand. Stroke each fingertip, rub in-between finger, apply some gentle pressure over the base of you thumb and wrist. Get to know it intimately, considering how each sensation feels to you. When you feel satisfied, do the same with the other hand. Gradually work your way up your arms, to your chest, your abdomen, your thighs- wherever your hands want to wander. Remember that learning how to orgasm and explore your body is key to progressing your own knowledge of your body. Some people find this exercise works best with some relaxing music or using a guided meditation exercise (Coral, the app, has a fantastic version). This brings me onto my next point, you need to find your sexy context. What is the environment that really turns you on? Is it a setting? Such as the bedroom, the bath or the kitchen floor. Is it the thrill of potentially being caught or the luxury of knowing you are completely undisturbed? Do you like music or someone else there? If you like company, try porn or audio-erotica. When you are feeling ready, this is also a perfect place to bring your fantasies in to. Your imagination, pornography and toys can all be used to enhance exploration. Remember, everyone else does it too!
By Dr Elesha Vooght