Part 1: Reflection
For Christmas, I split the $40 subscription fee to OMGYes with three of my girlfriends for access to videos and technical manuals on female pleasure. OMGYes is a platform that provides guidance for women to achieve a better or different orgasm, through step by step guides by real women describing the techniques they use for themselves. Our collective decision to buy OMGYes was fueled by two recent breakups and years of bad sex. I’m also about to dive into the working world, and am confident that I will wade through some pretty significant dry spells. If you want something done right, do it yourself!
I consider myself a decently sexual person. I like sex a lot. I lost my virginity at 16 in a tent after being inspired by excerpts of Walden with my then high school boyfriend. I feel lucky that over the last four years, I’ve learned, from various partners, what I like and what I don’t like in bed — and feel comfortable asking for it.
And yet, I have never masturbated before. Like any other curious woman, I’ve sat in front of my floor length mirror and taken a good hard look, but other than the occasional self check for IUD strings, that side of womanhood has gone unexplored. I distinctly remember a conversation with my friend during freshman year of high school.
Jenna: “Do you ever touch yourself?”
Jenna: “Down there?”
Me: “Only to change my tampon… does that count?”
Jenna: “No. But I overheard my brother tell his friend Derek that girls in porn do it.”
One thing I’ve noticed in my time in college is how sex is rarely about me. Sure, I’ve smooched some boys who are selfish in bed. But, it’s a two way street; my partners always ask for what they want, whereas I generally follow their lead. I know what will get me off, but I care about getting them off more. And, of course, the narrative in my head can be a total roadblock: Does my stomach look flabby? Has he been with other Asian women before? Do I look sexy with my hair pushed back?
I have conversations with my girlfriends about sex all the time, but rarely about how to better pleasure ourselves. Most of the time we side step around the content of the sex itself, focusing more on the thoughts and reactions of the boys we are currently seeing. My insecurities are based on my own performance, not my partner’s. (And how fucked up is that?!?!!!)
Part 2: First Masturbation Saga
It has been four weeks since I bought the subscription to OMGYes. My last ever weeks of college have made me feel more bold, and honestly more random. Let’s do this!
I grab a bottle of wine (Malbec, 2016, $6.99 at the co-op), organic silicone-free lube, my iPad, and ask my roommate to avoid knocking on my door for next foreseeable 30-45 minutes.
Step 1: Chug half my glass of wine.
Step 2: Log onto OMGYes. The site is split into twelve techniques, or types of motions.
Most I don’t recognize, so I click on the first option, “Edging”.
“Edging: increase pleasure by approaching orgasm and then easing away” — OMGYes.
There are three different videos available. The first frames the technique; a woman, clothed, talks about how she uses edging to bring herself to orgasm. She, my masturbation guru, looks vaguely like my best friend’s mom, which is both unsettling and oddly comforting. In the second video, the same woman, unclothed, demonstrates the technique on herself. Up close and personal! Finally, an interactive video where you use your mouse, or your finger to trace along a simulation of a vagina while your masturbation guru’s voice guides you through the technique. I expected a soft, female porn vibe, but the whole experience was very clinical.
Step 3: Actually engage in “edging”. The simulation offers various techniques, ranging from tapping lightly on your clit (a part of my body that went undiscovered until 2015) to putting pressure on the folds of your labia. The point of edging is to bring yourself close to a climax, then taper off right before you actually come, proverbially edging by your orgasm. I try the tapping technique, moving from soft light taps to harder, more aggressive taps. It’s not really doing that much for me, so I’m moving on to the folding movement. Whoa. Something new and different. Wait. Am I doing this right? Oh yes. Definitely doing this right!
In the moment, I’m definitely overthinking it (as I often am in bed), but trying different techniques makes me realize that I can maybe reach an orgasm without the help of a partner. And while I didn’t quite get to a state of OMGYES, I’m definitely walking away from my first masturbation experience recognizing an untapped potential for self love.