Apparently it’s the time of personal stories for me. This one needs some content warnings, so here’s your heads up: This essay contains mentions of suicide and drug use as well as graphic descriptions of sex. And there’s a little bit of blood.
Writing erotica is, for me, an exercise in self-exploration. It’s finding the things that push my buttons and examining them. Isabel Allende wrote that “For women, the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time.” In my experience, that’s absolutely true. Sex, for me, happens mostly in my mind. My imagination is what fuels my engine. I’m not sure yet if that’s part of my problem or part of the solution.
I’m anorgasmic. I don’t orgasm, ever, and because I already know all the helpful suggestions following a statement like this: yes, I masturbate. Yes, I know my clit and my g-spot, intimately. Yes, I’ve tried anal. No, it’s not just with intercourse. No, I don’t take medication that could influence it, and apparently my messed up hormones aren’t responsible either (hard to believe, since my various hormonal deficiencies mess up everything else). I just don’t have orgasms. Yes, I know that the peaks of my pleasure are not orgasms because I had one and a half, both more than half a lifetime (my lifetime) ago. I remember both occasions so clearly, even now.
Mostly, I’m fine. I like sex, a lot, and there’s fun to be had without the climax at the end. You can enjoy the ice cream without the cherry on top.
But sometimes, I’m not fine. Sometimes I’m desperate. Sometimes I’m broken.
For a long time, despite liking sex, I wasn’t exactly capable to express the things I like, and ask for them. And for a time, I didn’t like sex. Things became indefinitely better, though, when I started writing erotica, even though sometimes it’s like taking a pencil sharpener to my pain and turn and turn until it’s so sharp that you want to bleed from it to take the pressure off.
I was fourteen when I had my first and, to this day, only orgasm. It was a short time after my grandmother died and I didn’t know yet that masturbating was normal. I was sure she had to be watching me from above (even though I didn’t have a concept of heaven… I imagined her soul to float around, watching us, until she would decide to reincarnate or move on). The constant feeling of being watched was oppressing, so I moved my bed, hoping that my grandma would no longer see me humping my duvet.
When it happened, I did not know what it was. Something rolled through my body, sparking lights to go off inside me, and for a moment, everything went dark and liquid and overwhelming.
It never happened again.
I had my first boyfriend with seventeen, but I had kissed many girls before, and done more than kissing when I spent the night with one of my best friends. I crushed on girls, fell madly in love with men much too old for me (I still get a little sick and twisted thinking about it), but I was never interested in boys my own age.
I didn’t fall in love with my boyfriend either. He was three years older than I, and weird in a not-cute way. His main concern was he himself, way before he thought of anyone else. I didn’t even like him, but I decided that he was going to be my first boyfriend.
His first kiss tasted of bacon – smoked, made by my dad – because he’d been sitting downstairs in the kitchen eating bacon with my father before coming upstairs to say goodbye to me. I remember the taste, and the greasy slickness of his lips. My first kiss with a man – the first I actually wanted, anyway – was revolting, not only because I went vegetarian when I was thirteen.
We had our first time after three months of being together. We’ve tried a few times before, but each time he tried to enter me, it hurt so much that I told him to stop. The third time it happened he announced that the next time had to be it, or it would be over. It helped that the next time, I was pretty much asleep. Oh, I wanted it. He didn’t assault me in my sleep. He even called my mother to ask if she was okay with me spending the night at his place, because I had pretended to fall asleep… until I no longer pretended. I was awake enough to tell him I really wanted to sleep with him, but asleep enough to be so relaxed that I hardly felt the penetration. Of course I didn’t come. We’ve touched each other before, and I never came.
There was a huge amount of blood – more blood than I could process – but he was the first to take a shower and clean himself up, while I sat on his bed and pressed a towel between my legs until he was done. I was still bleeding when the water thrummed down on me at last, luke warm because it was so late at night.
We had a lot of sex after that. I liked sex, even though it was never particularly pleasurable. Not like it was with my best friend anyway. I gave him my first blow job in the shower and decided that I hated the taste of cum, so I never swallowed again for a very long time. (When we broke up, he told me how magnanimous it had been of him to overlook my uberous use of teeth when we first started out with exploring oral. Not that he ever went down on me, God forbid.)
I never came, and he wasn’t particularly interested in making me. We broke up three months later because he complained to my other best friend that I would be so hungry for sex all the time. He asked her not to tell me, showing that he didn’t know the least thing about the loyalty of women. Or, girls. We were still seventeen.
I didn’t worry so much that I never climaxed. The pleasure would mount and mount and mount and then just before it would happen, it would … fall away. No release, no relaxation, not even a plateau. Just nothing. That’s still the way it is now.
After the breakup, I made a new friend. She was gorgeous, already 18, and at the height of what I perceived as the ultimate independence. She had a car, lived in her own flat with her boyfriend and had a job. I drifted away from my old friends and focused on her.
The day I nearly had my second orgasm will forever stay with me as one of those days when reality shifts a little, the world tilts sideways and everything loses its place for a while.
I was on my way to my friend that day, and because I was still seventeen and didn’t have a driver’s license (you had to be eighteen in Germany then), I took the train. She was supposed to pick me up at the station, because I had only been to her place once and wasn’t sure if I would find the way on my own. This was in 2000, before mobile phones were a real thing, so when something happened on that train ride, I had no way of letting her know.
The railway led past my school, and past the psychiatric clinic next to it. This clinic was the reason that this section of line was known for its huge number of “jumpers” – people committing suicide by jumping in front of oncoming trains.
The jumper that day wasn’t my first – a year before someone had jumped right before my eyes when I was waiting for my train home – but it was the first time I actually saw the carnage. While our train passed the site of the accident in walking speed, after standing still for almost two hours, I could see policemen picking up pieces.
There was an arm beside the rails, lying there on the gravel. And a dark mass underneath the train on the other rail, bloody lumps and a black sweater ripped to pieces.
When I reached the station where I was supposed to meet my friend, she wasn’t there waiting anymore, of course. I had no idea which way to go, so I just walked, numb and shaking and in shock. Eventually, I found the apartment complex where she lived.
I cried. It was just too much; I was a depressive teenager and I had already seen too many fucking suicides to be okay. Luckily, my friend had just the thing to help me.
We were four people that night: she and her boyfriend from Bangladesh, his friend, and I. Her boyfriend’s friend was from Bangladesh as well, and he was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. Slender, dark, with long, curly hair. He was a musician, and his name was Kevin.
Imagine that, you meet a man too beautiful to be true, and his name is Kevin. But honestly, with the day I’ve had, I thought why the fuck should he not be Kevin.
The men cooked, and we had amazing food together, sitting on the floor and eating from bowls. After eating, they rolled a joint, and we shared it while it grew dark outside and Kevin played the guitar. He had such beautiful hands, and I’d never felt music in such a wonderful intensity. Needless to say, I didn’t smoke weed often, and I never have again after that night. (Though maybe I should. I’m still wondering if the weed was the reason for what happened then).
I was amazed by how beautiful the night was. Numbing the shock felt so good. Cutting away all those sharp edges of pain was so relieving, so comforting. The arm on the gravel faded from my mind, washed away by Kevin’s fingers plucking the guitar and him smiling at me.
My friend and her boyfriend slept in their bed later, while Kevin and I shared the floor of their one-room-apartment. It seemed like the most natural thing in the world that he would start kissing and touching me. His lips were soft, gentle, and he knew exactly how to pluck me. I kissed and touched him back, watching like from a distance as he pressed his cock against my waist. He was large and wet at the tip, and I traced the veins under his skin in wonder, hovering on the edge of being repulsed by this throbbing thing humping my hip. Nevertheless, I took him in my mouth for a few feverish moments, because I knew that men liked that.
He slipped his long fingers between my legs while he kissed me, and I was amazed by the wetness he teased from me. And the things he made me feel! I’d never felt anything like it. I was so slick and slippery and open.
He whispered wet things into my ear while he played my clit, begging me to let him in. “Please,” he whispered, “please let me fuck you. I’m clean, I promise!”
Of course, that’s exactly the right thing to say when you don’t have a condom. Even with my body feeling like it was about to burst like a star, I was terrified of having unprotected sex. So no matter how much he begged, I refused. No.
He rubbed his cock against my belly and slid his fingers along my clit, and I was almost there. Almost, almost…! Yet just before I would finally come– Kevin got there first. He came onto my belly and his fingers stopped moving. He just stopped. Like the pleasure before, my disappointment was boundless. I lay there in the dark on the floor, his cum all over my stomach, and he got up – and took a shower.
Why does this always happen to me, I wondered. Why does no man ever even ask if maybe I, the one bleeding, the one covered in your sticky gunk, might want to go into the bathroom first ? I felt so used and discarded.
The next morning, my friend drove me home, saying that we should have just taken a condom from the large bowl on their nightstand.
I never visited that friend again, and a few months later, I met my ogre, the man I would marry five weeks after kissing him for the first time.
Sex with my husband was never mind-blowing, but it wasn’t bad either. Better than with my first boyfriend, even measured by my low standards. And we had a lot of sex. I never came, but it was okay. My ogre never made a huge deal out of it, understanding that I still had fun. We made our first, embarrassing baby steps into kink territory – mostly because I wanted to follow a pull I’ve had from a very young age. I loved to play robber and gendarme, be the robber and get caught and tied up. My first sexual fantasies were gruesome nightmares of mutilated mermaids. I’ve always had this… slant. I knew I wanted to be spanked and roughed up.
My ogre, on the other hand, is as vanilla as they come. He did and does his best, pretending dominance and allowing me to explore submission. He does it not because it comes natural to him but because he loves me and wants me to have fun. I love him for it, even if our play-times often turn out awkward and hilarious.
Figuring out my kinks has been a journey that I only actively started around my 30th birthday. It started when I began to write again. Writing erotic stories is masturbation of the mind to me. It brings out all those images and desires fermenting deep inside the imagination, drags them out into the light and allows me to play with them. It’s cathartic.
In fiction, I can play around with orgasm control, that elusive thing that fascinates me endlessly. “Don’t come. Beg me for permission.” It’s such a simple sentence, but there are worlds in it. Is it possible to grant another person control over your orgasms? And would I come, if someone granted me permission? I’ve reached the moment when I just want to beg many times. Please, please… just let me come. Please. The words bubble up, they fill my mouth, but they never spill. Because at the bottom of my heart, I’m hopeless, and I know that begging won’t change a thing.
In fiction, I can linger on the moments that spark heat between my bones. I can draw it out, let my characters do all the things I long to do but don’t. My ogre loves me so he wants to give me what I crave. I love him and refuse to ask too much of him. I respect his boundaries, he respects mine. So I write and draw my pleasure from wandering paths of desire in my mind.
None of the non-fiction books dealing with female orgasm I read helped me. Erotic fiction, on the other hand, did and does and keeps doing. It’s my happy place. The place where I’m so close to that big O that I can almost feel it.