There is no shame in pleasure.
In a very Carrie Bradshaw way, I think a lot and ask myself questions. I sit at my desk, gazing out the window, gazing at the clouds, and brooding over life’s big questions.
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With much chatter about orgasms and the abundant evidence orgasm gapI had such a thought recently: “What if sex toys were the only way to orgasm?”.
The problem with orgasms
We all want to reach that point of pure bliss, but it’s not always easy. “Orgasms can be very tricky!” says Creative Sexologist, Toya Rici. For some it is more difficult than for others and various factors come into play, such as stress, anxiety, medications and certain health conditions.
According to Caroline Reis and Annie Miller, the founders of the Australian sex toy store, flossy, often the biggest obstacles to orgasm “start in the brain”. Stress and anxiety are linked to an inability to wake up.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, “completely overwhelms oxytocin and dopamine”, affecting our body’s natural creation of these necessary hormones. Ultimately, the ability to orgasm is hampered. The solution to stress is not always so simple (but adopt the benefits of masturbation!).
Whether used as a stress reliever or as a pleasure tool, Toya makes it clear that the supply of vibrating sex toys benefits the body. They stimulate the right nerve endings and activate the muscles in the pelvic region.
“Vibrators and other pleasure devices can provide very fine, targeted stimulation that can be difficult to achieve in other ways,” she tells me.
But can I become too dependent on my sex toy?
The founders of Flossy faced the worry of becoming “too addicted” to sex toys until orgasm. “In most cases, there’s no need to worry about over-reliance on a vibrator to achieve orgasm (not just because we sell them!),” they point out.
Toya echoes that sentiment. “If you know how to bring yourself to orgasm by any means, that’s valuable knowledge!”. As long as you are using your toy safely, there should be no harm. Stronger vibrations can cause a numbing feeling, but Toya reassures me “it’s not permanent”.
It’s not revolutionary to say this, but Hollywood has certainly had an impact on our beliefs around sex and orgasm. Society’s expectations are unrealistic, says Toya, and the ripple effect can cause problems in relationships. Partners feel like they’re cheating on each other or that a vibrator is “a poor substitute.”
And as she reminds us, “Orgasm doesn’t always have to be the goal when it comes to couple sex!” Communicate clearly and acknowledge that this is the easiest way for you to cum, but that you are also open to exploring other avenues of pleasure with them.
There is also the problem of associated shame. What’s wrong with me if I can’t orgasm with my partner, whether through penetration or other means? Am I broken?
“Our bodies are all wired differently, so it’s not uncommon for people to ejaculate only when using a vibrator,” says Toya. “Up to 70% of people with vulvas need direct clitoral stimulation to orgasm. And some people never orgasm, but they still really enjoy having sex.
Her message is clear and inclusive: everyone has orgasms in different ways. We need to change our definition of “real sex”. Granted, masturbation and toy use aren’t the same as partnered sex, but “it’s just as valuable as a sexual experience and can provide many physical and mental health benefits.”
Meanwhile, Caroline and Annie remain firm believers that we should focus on pleasure rather than orgasm. “We like to reframe…vibrators as tools to connect more deeply with oneself,” they tell me.
No matter what works for you, it’s always fun to spice things up. Sex toys (of which Flossy has plenty) are clearly a great place to start. They’re useful for solo or partnered exploration, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with needing them to reach orgasm.
Toya also implores us to familiarize ourselves with our bodies and better understand what feels good. If you’re looking for advice, try these pleasure practices recommended by Toya:
- Think of your body as a map and mark the places you find the most exciting
- Stimulate your mind (it’s “a good way to get juice”), maybe via porn or by reading or listening to erotica
- Give Toya masturbation prompt cards a whirlwind. They offer guided sessions for maximum enjoyment
- Get physical with your vibrator. “Try rubbing against it, sitting on it, tying it to a pillow or in different positions.”
Whether you feel the orgasm or not, and regardless of How? ‘Or’ What you’ve just reached it, the key takeaway here is fun. Pleasure should be at the center of our sexual encounters and that could mean something very different to each of us. That’s how it’s supposed to be; it’s not an erotic script that we all have to follow.
And as Toya says, “Sex and pleasure should be a constant journey of discovery. Make it your goal to wholeheartedly embrace your pleasure!”.
Head here for advice on choosing the right sex toy for you.
#orgasm #sex #toy