You Don’t Have To Orgasm To Enjoy The OMGYes Masturbation Site

I love talking about sex. I think the different ways that people experience pleasure, and the psychology behind this, is fascinating. But I have a confession, and it’s something that I can barely believe I’m sharing on the internet. Hopefully, my vulnerability can inspire others who are like me.

I’m anorgasmic.

Yep — even though I’ve written about kink and naked pilates and orgasmic meditation and rubber ducky vibrators, I’ve never had a mind-blowing orgasm. Despite what you might think, I’m not ashamed of my sexuality, and I’ve never experienced trauma. I’m a healthy, sexually open person. I’ve just never had an “I’ll have what she’s having” moment.

In this, I am hardly alone. According to the Mayo Clinic, anorgasmia — which it defines as “regular difficulty reaching orgasm after ample sexual stimulation” — is a “common occurrence, affecting a significant number of women.” (The Mayo Clinic is presumably using “women” to mean people with vulvas. But it’s important to note that not all women have vulvas, and not everyone with a vulva is a woman.)

Yet despite its prevalence, anorgasmia remains deeply misunderstood and stigmatized.

Type “orgasm” into Google, and the first page yields results including “How To Have Your Best Orgasm,” “How To Orgasm Every Time,” “4 Types Of Orgasm Every Woman Should Have,” and “Orgasm Tips To Add To Your Sex Life Now.” Cosmo alone has 592 search results related to the word “orgasm,” and almost all are tips or how-to based, suggesting one can only possibly enjoy sex if they also achieve this pinnacle of the sexual experience.

But while providing an education on pleasure is commendable, these headlines and stories tell those who can’t orgasm, despite their best efforts, that they probably don’t understand their own body and are doing something wrong. The accumulative effect of words like should and now is the inducement of anxiety and shame in those who are anorgasmic — feelings that I have grappled with myself.

In light of my difficulty achieving what our culture presents as the ultimate sexual ideal, I did what anyone would do: I turned to the internet. I was positive that the key to my elusive orgasm lay within some medical journal, women’s health website, or YouTube clip.

Surely, I thought, there are resources for a modern lady like myself who wants some assistance with paddling the pink canoe. (Thanks, Reddit.) Betty Dodson, a feminist sex educator, helped — I even bought one of her videos. But I still craved more, and the World Wide Web couldn’t help me.

Until, that is, OMGYes.

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Still from the OMGYes introductory video.

Using insights from sexual research, this subscription-based website depicts different techniques that people with vulvas can use to masturbate, including edging (approaching orgasm, then easing away), orbiting (circling the clit), and layering (inducing indirect pleasure by involving surrounding skin). There’s so little information out there that many of the technique names were devised by the OMGYes team.

The website is a tool not only for people to explore their sexuality, but for anyone else who wants to learn more about pleasuring their partners. There are interviews with individual women, and close-up videos that show exactly what a particular masturbatory technique accomplishes. And then, there’s a kicker — an interactive video where the viewer can use their mouse to perform the technique on a virtual vagina, while being coached by a guide.

Yeah. Mind blown.

Since learning of OMGYes, I’ve been experimenting with the varying techniques, figuring out which methods feel better than others. And here’s the thing: I still haven’t achieved orgasm . . . but I’m also really enjoying it. Indeed, OMGYes has enabled me to achieve something approaching a revelation: There is nothing “wrong” with my anorgasmia.

The site never shows a woman cumming after pleasuring herself, suggesting this isn’t the do-all, end-all of sexual experimentation. Moreover, watching a host of strangers talk candidly about the pursuit of pleasure has alleviated some of the pressure I’ve put on myself to achieve a particular result.

While working through these experiences, I decided to talk with Emily Lindin, executive director of OMGYes. To be honest, I was hoping that she’d make me feel less like a freak for being anorgasmic — and she did not disappoint.

As you read through, keep in mind that Emily did this entire interview while sitting in a crowded airport. When she says that you shouldn’t feel shame around masturbation — she means it.

Jillian Richardson: How did you get involved with OMGYes?

Emily Lindin: I started out in a different sphere of activism, with running the UnSlut Project. When I heard about OMGYes, I was honestly relieved it existed and was excited to learn more. It’s pioneering — it’s new information. It doesn’t feel familiar, although it draws from people’s real experiences. We’ve never been able to talk so frankly about women’s pleasure.

I love being able to pull together a lot of feedback from women and focus not just on external touching, but all different combinations of techniques, from internal to anal to oral sex. We want to get as specific as possible and learn more.

Jillian: What are you working on for Season Two of OMGYes?

Emily: For season two we’re focusing a lot on oral sex. And when women talk about oral sex, it’s often in combination with something else. We’re going to show that. So we’ll be talking about combos of oral sex, and internal and external touching.

It’s tricky to figure out how we’ll represent oral sex visually, in a way that feels as comfortable as the videos do now. We want to demonstrate these combinations of internal and external stimulation, while still preserving the fun, exploratory tone. That’s important. You don’t see that in most of the sexual videos that are online right now. It can be pretty aggressive, and all about getting to the goal of an orgasm at the end.

Jillian: I think it’s so important that OMGYes emphasizes pleasure, instead of orgasm. Why did you make that decision?

Emily: There’s a myth that women must orgasm every time, and that it always happens. And that it has to happen to be a successful interaction. And I don’t believe that. Women can enjoy pleasure for its own sake. I do!

There’s also the idea that there’s a certain amount of time that it should take women to have an orgasm, and there’s a certain amount of time that they should expect to have attention paid to them. But that’s not what’s actually going on in people’s sex lives, and in their masturbatory lives. It can take a really long time, and that’s totally fine. Besides that, showing women masturbating is still taboo, and that’s absurd. It’s not doing anyone any favors.

Jillian: I currently identify as anorgasmic, and I feel shame about it. I know you’ve talked to other women who have similar experiences. What do you tell them?

Emily: Imagine you were doing some activity that we all agree is awesome, like eating an ice cream cone. If you don’t finish the ice cream cone, does that mean the whole experience was a failure? No! Sexual pleasure should be awesome, and it is. Enjoy it for a few hours, or however long you want — with yourself or with a partner. To think of that as wrong or indecent is an absurd holdover from an older generation, and we don’t need that.

On our framing page, we talk about psychological barriers that might block women from orgasming. There’s a problem with seeing an orgasm as a goal, and thinking that everything else is a waste of time. A lot of women who don’t orgasm, or don’t see it as a goal, are happy. They enjoy pleasure for its own sake.

Jillian: I have friends who are very sexually progressive, but don’t believe that sex can be good without an orgasm. It makes me feel like my sexual experience is invalid. Have you met other women who’ve dealt with something similar?

Emily: Lots of well-meaning discussion around orgasm frames it as an equality issue. Like if he’s orgasming, you get to. And that makes sense, but it’s based upon this idea that that’s the end goal for all women. When really, you can have a satisfying and wonderful experience without an orgasm.

Jillian: How did you find the women who are in your videos? They’re so brave and so open!

Emily: Actually, thousands of women wanted to be involved. Which is great. It seems like people are really ready to talk about this openly, no disclaimers. Pleasure just matters because it’s awesome.

Through rounds of Skype conversations, we found the right people to represent the common themes that we found. We had way too many volunteers for season one — which I think speaks to the many different ways that women experience pleasure.

Jillian: Did women mention any myth about oral sex that they wanted dispelled?

Emily: I can’t speak to the myths specifically, but from the women that I’ve talked to on the phone, it seems that so many of us have trouble relaxing when receiving oral sex. It’s common. We need to give ourselves permission to take our time. Because it’s really obvious when you’re receiving oral sex that it’s all about you in that moment.

I think it’s really important that women recognize that they deserve that pleasure, and should revel in it. But also, there are specific techniques we can learn, and directions we can give. There are new ways to receive oral sex that might not have occurred to us. All of that information is going to be collected and available on OMGYes, and I think that’s really exciting. Of course, I’m looking forward to sharing that with my husband.

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To be honest, I’m still frustrated that I’ve never experienced that mind-blowing, top-of-the-roller-coaster experience of orgasming. But I have to be kind to myself, and meet my body where it is. After all, an ice cream cone is still great — even if you don’t finish the whole thing.

Want to learn more about OMGYes? You can connect with them on Facebook here, and on Twitter here. Go get on with your bad self!

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Lead image: flickr/Vic

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