autobiographical,  masturbation,  Thoughts

Dr. Selflove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Meme

I don’t like to preface things, but in this case, please indulge me. Before I get into the nitty gritty of this post I want to be very clear that I am only speaking from my perspective and not at all trying to be prescriptive nor adversarial. I’m not trying to “yuck anyone’s yum” I’m trying to reconcile and articulate the complicated response I had to the #30DayOrgasmFun challenge. I’m thinking out loud and you may not agree, that’s fine, but please don’t mistake my point of view for judgment.

When I first read the tweets about #30DayOrgasmFun I immediately felt uneasy. In general I find the Naughty Twitter and sex blogger communities very comfortable, which, if you know me beyond my blog, might be surprising. I am a true omni-vert. I’m very capable of being social, leading, presenting, public speaking, working a crowd, etc. but at my core I am much more comfortable 1:1 and I need privacy and quiet to recharge. This also means that I am really, really shit at joining in on things. It is a challenge to stomach the sense of expectation that comes with participation. In my “real” life I miss out on all sorts of opportunities because I don’t often feel motivated or safe enough to join activities, events, groups, etc. One of the most magical things about this writing community is that I feel incredibly safe here. I join in on memes, I am planning on making the journey to Eroticon 2019 and I share and participate quite freely for the most part. The #30DayOrgasmFun concept stopped me dead in my tracks and I went “Nope, never, not for me. Can’t! Won’t! No!” But then I went, “But why not?”

As a concept, I love it. It’s sex positive, body positive, and really, who doesn’t love to come? I completely recognize that it’s non competitive and meant to be about taking time and pleasure for yourself. These are all good things. At least they are if you feel that all of that is possible, viable, desired and effective for you.

For me, I personally come up against a few roadblocks here:

Orgasms for mental health maintenance

April is a month that many use to bring recognition and awareness to mental health, and like so many, I need to actively administer to my own mental health to maintain my quality of life. While I completely agree that orgasms are great for stress relief and the biochemical euphoria is great for brain chemistry, for people who struggle to orgasm, regularly or periodically, a whole month of daily orgasms can be a challenge that’s not worth waging, particularly if so much of the dialogue around it is celebratory and congratulatory. I personally have been re-learning the mechanics of my orgasm in light of new medication that has reduced my over all sex drive and made orgasms elusive, slow to achieve and sporadic. For me, there’s no upswing to my mental health if I’m trying to clock in a daily orgasm that just won’t happen. For me this was just another thing I didn’t feel I could join because I knew I wouldn’t be up to the challenge, despite there being caveats and support. It felt like all or nothing and I couldn’t get past that.

One is the loneliest number

So, here’s a confession that I’m uncomfortable making but I’m pushing myself here: I don’t like to masturbate. Never have. I can hear the collective eyebrow raise happening as people read this. But, but …. you’re a smut writer/sex blogger/toy reviewer …whaaaaat? Yeah. I know. It’s weird, but I have never enjoyed it. I can come that way, I’m not ashamed of it, I don’t think it’s problematic, I just find it really boring and 99.9% of the time I’d rather go without until I’m with someone. I like the sounds and smells and closeness of another person. So for me, not only does thirty orgasms in thirty days feel like a lot of pressure for me, it would also be a lot of pressure for my partners. I’m sure they’d be willing to help, and I get that the whole month isn’t explicitly about masturbating, but still, I just couldn’t engage. I also don’t prescribe to the dialogue that you can’t/don’t know your body if you don’t masturbate. I don’t think that it’s a requisite for healthy, active sexuality at all, so there’s really not much motivation there.

Many different “me times”

If I’m making a point of adding more “me time” to my routine, orgasms are not the top priority. Cooking, reading, yoga, meditation, writing, all those would come before coming. I feel like by sharing that I’m marginalizing myself from the herd. Impostor Syndrome, population: me.

So what is the alternative? I refuse to be nasty or snide while my friends and colleagues joyously pop-off throughout April and share their experiences. I read a tweet just this afternoon that referred to the whole project as empowering to all be in together. I agree, I support that, but with a slightly heavy heart, from the sidelines.

I know that my “issues” here are my own, and it has been so hard to articulate, and I appreciate the generous dialogue that people have entered into on this topic. My hesitations have been met with sympathy, empathy and non-judgment. I believe in the power of self care, it’s a new concept for my life, but I know it works and you get out of it what you put in. I want to follow along (not usurp or disrupt) with #30DaysOfSelfCare and do 30 kind things for myself because self love is essential and worthwhile. Who knows, maybe some of those days, will even be orgasmic.

15 Comments

    • Violet

      Thank you, I’m glad that it comes across respectfully; that’s certainly how I meant it. I was so troubled by how uncomfortable I was that I felt it was worth exploring but not at the expense of #30DayOrgasmFun

  • Cara Thereon

    Orgasms are tough for me as well so I was really glad I wasn’t participating. I also think all your points are extremely fair. I hope it doesn’t make you feel like your on the outside since you’re not particapting

    • Violet

      Thanks, Cara. I do feel a bit on the outside, but not because anyone has made me feel that way. I’m choosing not to participate directly but remain supportive of others. I hope that people get from it what they want or need!

  • Brigit Delaney

    I totally get this. I will be honest, I joined in because I felt like I had to. I’m terrible at 30 day challenges…commitments in general…and I totally understand the pressure and mental stress that comes from not being able to achieve something you’ve signed up for. I figure I’ll do the best I can, just like Feb Photofest. But I May NOT Partake again. I’m not a joiner, either…so I get where you are coming from. Great post!

  • missy

    I loved your honesty in this and can understand why you feel as you do. I agreed to take part and I am not sure where it will go but the challenge didn’t scare me; I know that I would have felt like you do about not joining if so. It’s always the question of whether to push something or not with me. I like your idea of 30 alternative things that you would do for yourself, and I would be really interested to read that. Whether it is an orgasm or another thing that someone does to give themselves a boost, whether it is something you have done yourself or something that happens indirectly it is still part of making you feel good about yourself. That produces chemicals too. Maybe you could do your own ‘alternative’ #30dayorgasmfun? Any of these snapshots into people’s lives can be more inspirational than competitive I think and you would probably inspire others who are reading and possibly also feeling on the outside 😊

  • Sweetgirl

    I completely understand your POV… I find masterbation boring too, it serves a functional need but it isn’t my first thought when it comes to spending a bit of time to myself either..

    I am doing the challenge because MrH and I have put it into our own dynamic, and he has added his own twists to it. As with Missy I don’t know how the challenge will pan out.. but I applaud you for knowing yourself well enough to not take on something you are uncomfortable with!!

  • tabitharayne

    I am so pleased you’ve managed to vocalise your thoughts here – it’s so important to have people willing to do that especially when they feel like an ‘outsider’ because of them – but as you can see from the comments, you’re totally NOT an outsider! And we appreciate all thoughts.
    May I put this in my post (I am adding people’s experiences) I think it’s important as others may be feeling the same and be relieved to read this. (I added Exposing 40’s last year)
    The whole reason I started this was purely to ease my own mental anguish last year and I was so pleased when others joined in – I felt supported and cared for – even by those who hated it (I think that comes from people thinking it’s a challenge, when it really is meant to be the opposite of that!)
    So I really hope that despite your reservations and not partaking in this event, you do still feel supported and cared for.
    Lots of love x x x
    PS let me know if you mind if I add this (totally understand if not, honestly, no pressure)
    Tabitha x

  • Wriggly Kitty

    For me, orgasms are that release and relief that my brain needs to stop, just for a few moments, and they’re certainly part of my mental health and well-being.

    On the flip side I don’t orgasm easily, I don’t ‘do’ body fluids or BJs… there are so many things in the community that make me feel ‘other’ at times, BUT, we’re all different and that needs celebrating loudly.

    It’s also really easy to fall into the position of saying nothing rather than ‘this is not for me,’ and a balance is really important. There are so many people out there who may feel alienated by posts such as my ones, for example, as my narrative and their narrative don’t match. And seeing other viewpoints, such as yours, may be really helpful for them. I know that I’ve read posts in the past that have been written from a different POV and something has clicked for me.

    As you say, it’s a community which means we’re all beautifully different 🙂

  • Marie Rebelle

    I don’t think I can ever think of you as an outsider, whether you choose to participate in things or not. We are all different and you have done the best you could by not participating, because you choose to stay true to yourself.

    Normally I have no problem with these kind of challenges, but with my mental state at this moment, this is quite a struggle. I will be blogging about it…

    Rebel xox

    • Violet

      That’s very kind of you, Marie. The dilemma of participating in things is just a way of life now, but I’m trying to at least be mindful of WHY I do or don’t engage.

  • Aurora Glory

    You’re very brave to have shared this and I definitely don’t think you are alone in feeling that way, so this is such a helpful post for others. I am participating but have missed a lot of days and had to reframe how I saw it, from a challenge to motivation instead. I must admit I haven’t had the empowering experiences of others, but I have kept track of the toys I’ve used so I’m super excited to geek out over that at the end of the month lol
    I hope you are enjoying 30daysofselfcare <3
    Aurora x

Leave a Reply