From time to time I have guest writers on my blog and someone (who is an actual writer but wishes to remain anonymous) has submitted this article to me. I read it and found it interesting and decided to post it as it serves as a nice lead into a topic which I haven’t addressed with a blog and this topic certainly deserves one. It isn’t talked about very much and it may even sound rather uncomfortable. Some of you may squirm as you read this article and even not get to the end of the story, but I do encourage you all to see it through to the end.
To all my relatives – #embarrassmentalert.
Here is my guest bloggers article.
“I guess it’s a particularly female thing. Maybe not often discussed. Somewhere along the line you realise you haven’t achieved this special physical feat. Let’s call it a goal. Well, at least you don’t think you have. You’re just not sure. Oh, you go through the motions. But no matter how experienced you are in the general ‘business’, no matter how much stamina or will you have, this goal seems tantalisingly unattainable. You just can’t get there.
Girlfriends who achieve one regularly assure you somewhat smugly that if you only ‘think’ you’ve reached this particular pinnacle, it’s a pretty sure bet you haven’t. As for ‘multiples’, gee, I’d be happy with just one.
I must admit it’s a little embarrassing to confess what I can’t help seeing as a failure at my age. It’s not like I haven’t been engaging in the activity for years. I just haven’t won the prize. I reckon I’ve come awfully close, but somehow am always left feeling dissatisfied. The build-up is intense, and then, and then …
In my case it’s not for want of trying. I reckon I try at least three times a week. I’m just not sure why I can’t actually make it happen. Perhaps it’s psychological. Do I feel too self-conscious about how I might look at the moment of success? I’m not the most physically coordinated person it’s true. And the whole thing is pretty undignified.
Still, apparently in this key moment, abandonment is the key. Give yourself over to the thing; just ride that wave – at least that’s what those in the know say.
It can be a dangerous business too. More than once I’ve bumped my head rather badly, which totally puts me off my game. I’ve strained my back too. On a couple of occasions, after much thrashing about, I’ve found myself facing the wall, completely disoriented and breathless.
Did I mention I’ve been trying this on my own? Could that be my problem? My technique must be missing something. Maybe there’s some kind of device I could plug in or strap on? Perhaps I should enlist the help of a partner – someone I can trust. Someone who can observe me as I strive and struggle and give feedback. Who knows? Maybe they could physically just tip me over at the crucial moment.
I’m fully aware that some women don’t stress – they simply fake it and lie about it to their girlfriends. But I’m afraid that’s not my style.
It occurs to me I may be overthinking the whole thing. After all I enjoy the overall experience leading up to this somewhat elusive end. The strokes, the physicality, the sheer feeling of exhilaration in my whole body and its movement.
Perhaps I should just be content with the pleasure I get from the rest of the exercise and give up on this heady release I’m seeking.
That’s the answer. Just stop trying so hard. I’ve decided finally, I’m not going to beat myself up about this anymore. Time to admit defeat and be satisfied with the status quo.
After all I’ve been swimming laps now on and off at my local pool for more years than I wish to admit. I’m an excellent, confident swimmer and I simply love the exercise.
So what’s the big deal about a tumble turn anyway?”
Now obviously my guest writer was having a bit of fun with us and that little article could have easily been about achieving an elusive orgasm. However the only difference is you can obviously openly chat about tumble turns, but unless you are at a Hen’s Night or in Grade 11 and have just read Dolly (I’m not sure what the equivalent mag is these days) and are asking your friends what is what, then women can’t easily find someone to discuss their orgasms with. But you can ask a Continence and Women’s and Men’s Health physio anything. We are used to discussing private matters related to pelvic floor dysfunction with care and professionalism and you can feel confident about privacy of any answers you give.
We do have to ask some difficult private questions – we have to ask about your voiding (weeing), frequency and your ease of passing a bowel motion, and it is important to ask women if they are sexually active; do they have pain with intercourse; do they lose urine with orgasm (coital incontinence) and if they are coming to see you with sexual dysfunction, asking about their ability to orgasm is a very important question.
Our role is also to educate about facts regarding orgasm. Many women discount a clitoral orgasm – like it doesn’t count if manual stimulation of the clitoris is involved. In fact only 30% of women are able to orgasm vaginally and 70% of women orgasm with clitoral stimulation only. (1) This article is quite comprehensive regarding the female orgasm if you would like to read more on it. Interestingly it was a female urologist Dr Helen O’Connor in Melbourne who made important anatomical discoveries about the size of the clitoris in 2005 completely turning Gray’s Anatomy description of the clitoris on its head! The article can be found in this link.
I also tell women that an important sex organ for women is their head (brain). There is a humorous YouTube clip on the difference between the male and the female brain and I think he pretty much sums it up accurately the cross wiring in women’s brains (that makes us able to multi-task so successfully). However, this cross wiring (metaphorically speaking), may contribute to the difficulties some women have in trying to achieve orgasm, in that many women find the busyness of their life and the anxieties and distractions of life diminishes their ability to orgasm. Financial worries, jobs unfinished, school reports, un-ironed clothes in the clothes basket – any or all of these things are liable to pop into a woman’s brain when she is having intimacy with her partner and in a second the intensity is lost and there’s no way she will achieve an orgasm. So clearing the head of distractions and setting the scene (minus the children in the house helps) enhances the prospect of achieving orgasm.
Learning that arousal is important, taking the necessary time with no rushing (which can be difficult with young children having daytime naps in the house) and using a good lubricant at any time can improve the enjoyment of intercourse and the potential for orgasm. If a woman is suffering with post-natal or post-menopausal vaginal dryness then discussing the use of a local oestrogen pessary or cream (twice a week) with your GP or specialist can significantly improve comfort and enjoyment.
Maintaining some libido can be an effort in itself and exhausted mothers and fathers can struggle to be bothered when some uninterrupted sleep holds far greater satisfaction than the prospect of sexual intimacy. But some time in the future, opportunities arise, the embers become low level flames and couples get back to enjoying sex as a part of their relationship, not as an obligation to be ticked off for the week. If there is ever any pain for the woman, it is important to ask a Continence and Women’s and Men’s Health Physio for assistance. With effective fear-reducing pain education and sensible advice depending on what has been found at assessment, dyspareunia can be significantly helped or cured. Dilators or a Therawand may be taught at the consultation by your Physio and used by the woman at home to help decrease any hypersensitivity and pelvic floor muscle soreness. As pain dissipates and pleasure and enjoyment returns, women can find significant help in achieving orgasm by experimenting with different sex toys such as vibrators. It can also help to venture into some romantic novels or light erotica, -always sticking to your own comfort zone. Never do anything out of your comfort zone as it could make you have the opposite effect on your arousal.
- Romance from the partners goes along way (even taking the rubbish out or vacuuming can amount to a significant romantic gesture in an exhausted woman’s eyes)
- Offload the kiddies
- Schedule intimacy just like you may schedule a pedicure- it is too easy to keep postponing it
- Trial some different lubricants to see what is successful
- Run away for a kid-free weekend to a romantic destination
- Seek help sooner rather than later (here is the link to the APA’s Find a Physio website)
- Keep your sense of humour with your partner around sex and keep communicating your needs and wants. Don’t assume they are mind readers.