The Little Clit That Could

a train at a train station

I remember the first orgasm I ever had for one distinct reason: It terrified me.

It was New Year’s Eve ’97, and I was sitting on my boyfriend Greg’s lap, straddling him as we kissed on the couch, and he fondled my breasts – a Kathy Griffin stand-up special blaring raucously in the background. We had turned the show up to cover any moaning. Something about the magic combination of my day of the week panties, my run-filled nylons, and the crease of his jeans exploded my field of vision into stars, and I felt seized by a paroxysm of pleasure I had never dreamed possible. It was like every happy neuron in my body firing at once. It was like the sudden gnawing of desire I often felt for him and others had grown to the size of a skyscraper.

I had no idea what was going on, was mortified, checked Greg’s face as we continued to make out and dry hump. Had he noticed? It didn’t seem so. I was pretty loud per routine, so I think I had gotten away with it. Finally, with his nails scratching into my bare back and his hands fumbling with the zipper on the back of my dress, I sunk down between his knees and gave my first blow job. I’d been researching for weeks, quizzing gay male friends on their technique, wanting to perfect the gesture.

You’d have to phone up Greg to get his take, but I had a fantastic time.

Afterwards, we heated up some leftover Chinese takeout, and Greg, in typical paranoid jealous Greg-fashion, accused me repeatedly of practicing my oral technique on other guys. “That can’t possibly be your first blow job,” he insisted.

“Knowing’s half the battle,” I joked, assuring him that I’d just been collecting tips, asking around. And discovering I really liked it when I started to actually do the act, ramping up my enthusiasm was the icing on the cake.

After our leftovers were done, I blew him again. Then we heated up some fried rice and fought some more while we split it. Vintage Greg.

He often accused me of cheating. He lived 45 minutes away, went to a different high school, and I was a bit of a celebrity on the state jazz scene. I never did, though presented with a few opportunities. It became clear later why he doubted me, many years later, working with someone who was in his class. Greg had been cheating on me with not 1, but 2 girls.

Not too long after that night, Greg broke up with me for the first time (he dumped me 3 times total), saying the distance was killing him, he needed to see someone from his school.

Believe it or not, Greg was arguably one of the better boyfriends I had in high school.

Every now and then, I’d touch myself and feel my body respond, but so many emotional barriers were preventing me from stoking it into a roaring flame. Even though I’d gotten other girls off with my hands, I had never masturbated and had a handful of bad experiences with manual and oral stimulation applied to me that blocked me from really enjoying it.

That one roaring orgasm was an oddity in my life.

Until freshman year of college, when Matt (my fiance at the time) indulged me with such genuine and concerted oral pleasure that I came so hard I kicked him in the face, and neither of us cared.

A few months later, a subsequent boyfriend bought me a book on masturbation and a vibrator, and with practice, I was able to train myself to have multiple orgasms. And I started to be able to get off effortlessly, with little more than a few words or a touch, summoning the feeling from deep inside.

“You’re a cumming machine,” a girlfriend told me. “And I don’t even need quarters!”

And so it was for about a decade – until the last year or so, and now, frankly, getting me to have a clitoral orgasm is like playing a game on challenge mode.

On the bright side, I’m in touch with my G-spot and am keen on penetration in a way I never have, ever since my third date with Skyspook, when with four of his giant fingers inside of me and just a handful of lube away from a proper fisting, not a religious person by any means, I swore I saw the face of God.

And though it seems like my G-spot and clit engage in a civil war of sorts, performing a tug of war as I’m assaulted with pleasure, the clitoral orgasms I do have are more powerful than any I’ve ever had.

In part, this change may have to do with the Lexapro I’ve been on the last 4 years (after all, it’s had off-label use for premature ejaculation), though the change has only emerged within the last year or so. And though I’m assured that it’s not a problem whatsoever, and I’m probably average, if anything, in difficulty of achieving orgasm, the change is jarring and fills me with worry.

We tend to teach women in our culture to aspire to be a supreme object of desire rather than focusing on their own pleasure. I find myself constantly worrying about how much fun I am to be around rather than how much fun I’m having. Or how much the people around me like me rather than how much I like those I’m with. “A girl who comes easily is more fun to sleep with,” I tell myself. “You’re less fun than you used to be.”

This, of course, is probably bullshit. And who the fuck cares. I’m at my sexual peak, am having the most fun and fulfilling sex of my life, and my partner emphatically assures me that he feels the same way. Why should I stress over such a change in my physiology? After all, I’m really coming just as much – just in a different way, a way that actually results in more pleasure for me, when everything’s said and done.

But still, the neurotic self-talk and the unrealistic expectations flood my head, the same sort of pressure that leads many women to fake or at least grossly exaggerate their experience of orgasm.

Well, screw that.

One of my resolutions this year is to accept what my body is telling me, to strive to accept pleasure as authentically as I can and without self-judgment and to share that with my partner honestly, whatever that offering may be.

I think I can. I think I can.

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