Feminist Writing. Fourth Wave. For Women.

I Had My First Orgasm at 40

Messages we receive since girlhood leave many women behind sexually, but there's still time to catch up.

I Had My First Orgasm at 40

Life begins when pleasure begins. Before I felt it (sexually) for the first time, I had no idea of the whirlwind of emotions that would pulse inside me.

I grew up hearing from my mother that it was not appropriate for girls to touch their vulvas/vaginas. And that boys used to masturbate because they hadn't (yet) met a girlfriend to satisfy their needs. Based on this, I was raised with the belief that the important thing was not to have pleasure but to give pleasure. So, in every sexual relationship I used to have, my focus was always on pleasing and satisfying my partner. I still remember my mother telling me: if you are not able to please your partner, he'll probably leave you.

Amid this cognitive distortion (misinterpretation of some information or idea), I was growing up believing that: "pleasure given, love conquered." What a great responsibility I would have on my hands. Don't you think?

Fortunately, I discovered that I am not alone in this situation. Many other women have also been taught to put their partners’ pleasure above their own, and as a result, they end up developing "Sexual Performance Anxiety." In this type of anxiety, the woman is so focused on reaching orgasm that she cannot reach climax. As a result, many women end up faking orgasms, or even convincing themselves that they had one (just to satisfy their partners). Importantly, sexual performance anxiety is not diagnosed as often in women as it is in men, but it can affect arousal in women. Therefore, emotions play a crucial role in desire, arousal, and sexual intercourse. When your mind isn't relaxed for sex, your body probably won't be aroused.

In my case, for example, I have always been terrified of being rejected and abandoned, whether by friends, crushes, or family members. Because of this, my relationships have always been unstable and turbulent. However, I was only able to understand what was going on inside me in 2020, when I was finally diagnosed with "Borderline Personality Disorder" at the age of 38. I say finally because I had been misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety throughout my life.

But life has many surprises, doesn't it? And one of them was meeting my husband (in dial-up Internet times) in 1999, and getting married in 2008. My husband (as my mother used to say) is an angel that God has placed in my life. He is my great companion and supporter in my emotional crises, and more recently in my complaints about the lack of libido and orgasm. It was then that we decided to look for a gynecologist specializing in hormonal implants because I had been suffering from a lack of libido for months.

During the anamnesis, I told the doctor that I was having a lot of pain during intercourse, which she called dyspareunia. And that, besides, I was never sure I'd ever had an orgasm in my life. To which she replied: well if you're not sure, it's because you've never had one. I didn't yet understand what she meant.

Along with the hormone treatment, my gynecologist also recommended pelvic physiotherapy sessions. However, before starting the procedure, I had to do some complementary blood tests in order to better assess the low hormones in my body. Based on the results, I replaced the hormones gestrinone and testosterone.

The implants are minimally invasive, requiring only local anesthesia, being placed one by one in the gluteal region. They are very small, and look like straw. The effects of the treatment came a month later, and like any procedure it has its side effects. I experienced some bleeding, which stopped after taking medication; acne, due to increased oiliness of the skin; and a hypersensitivity in the clitoral area, as if it were suddenly pulsing. At this point, pelvic physiotherapy helped me a lot, and it is precisely from this moment that my life gains color and movement.

I can say that the hormonal implants (Testosterone / Gestrinone) have awakened my libido, making me have sexual desire. But it was with pelvic physiotherapy that I learned how to deal with my libido awakening.

During the sessions, I found out how my vagina works, as well as the orgasmic potential it had. Understanding how the female anatomy works is crucial to developing an enjoyable and healthy sex life, especially when it comes to the needs and desires between men and women during sex. Did you know, for example, that there can be disparities in orgasms between couples?

This is the "orgasm gap," and it occurs when there is a considerable difference between the number of orgasms men and women are having in relationships. Researchers attribute the orgasm gap to the lack of understanding that men and women have about the female genital organ, in particular the confusion surrounding the vulva, urethra, and vagina.

Regarding sexual climax, one study found that 39% of women always orgasm when they masturbate, compared to 6% during sex. So, to close the orgasm gap, both women and men must understand that the clitoris is the key to women's orgasms. Most women need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. And this was exactly my case.

I had never touched my vulva before, and with physiotherapy, I learned to do intimate self-massage. What was my surprise when during the exercises at home, by increasing the intensity of the touch, I started to feel something I had never experienced before. Suddenly my body was filled with electricity, and intense heat was slowly rising from my toes to my neck. My heart started to race, and I felt a huge contraction in my vulva. I only remember whispering non-stop and twisting my thighs. Oh my God, was that an orgasm? Yes, yes, yes!

I felt such joy and satisfaction that I ran to tell my husband. He could hardly believe it, and he was very happy for me. According to him, this was a milestone of self-discovery and self-love, as now I was also able to feel orgasmic pleasure. Furthermore, he would love to explore other points of pleasure with me, as my body is an orgasmic map to be discovered.

What more can I say? Does life begin or not after the 40s?

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