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Could masturbating from a young age have caused damage to my clitoris?

Q:

I don't know if I had a pelvic injury in the past or not, but even if I did, I have only really had clitoral stimulation, by myself, with vibrators. Even when I was very young I would use back massagers. And I just had sex about a week ago for the first time and I got a lot of pleasure from the actual intercourse, but during the oral, I felt almost no pleasure, and he was down there for at least a half hour. Maybe my clit doesn't like me because I started playing with it when I was so young? Is there anything I can do?

A:

Hello! I love that you asked this question - I feel like this is something a lot of people wonder about. So, first thing's first: The cunnilingus didn't work for you, let's talk about that. Cunnilingus gets discussed like it's the magic key to orgasm and, frankly, it's not. I tend to refrain from discussing my own sex life, but I will lift that embargo right now just so I can tell you that oral sex doesn't do a whole lot for me. Like, at all. So, the answer might be that you are someone for whom cunnilingus doesn't bring about orgasm - and that's OK. You get to decide if you enjoy receiving it anyway and then find the things that do bring about orgasm for you (if that is important to you, which it sounds like it is).

Now, the big question is, did you damage yourself using vibrators? Short answer: No. Long answer: Because our society tends to think of masturbation as "lesser" and, for heterosexual folks, puts a lot of emphasis on a woman getting her orgasms from her male partner, this question comes up a lot. There can be several reasons why we orgasm with vibrators and not with other stimulation. Generally though, here's how I think about it: When we teach our brains how to do something, they get annoyed/confused when we do that thing in a different/harder way. Think about how we panic if we don't have our cell phones on us but if we stop and think about it, and I may be dating myself here, we remember that we didn't always have a phone with us everywhere and we got by fine. It's kind of like that. Your brain knows that you can orgasm with a vibrator and so when you're in a sexual situation it's kind of sitting there going, "Where's the thing we use for this? Where's that thing that makes this work?"

So, you have a couple of choices here. You can introduce your partner to your vibrator, or you can take some time to cultivate vibrator-less orgasms by teaching your brain about the different paths to orgasm. Call it a vibrator vacation. Or you can do both, keep your vibe around and play with letting your brain connect with the sensations as well.

Whatever you decide, it's all good and I promise, you are not damaged.

NOTE: Taking some prescription medication can change the body's responses and in those cases sometimes extremely strong vibrators seem to be the answer.

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Written by JoEllen Notte
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Writer, eductaor, adult retail consultant and head of the Portland Academy of Sex Education- that's JoEllen Notte, The Redhead Bedhead. Her Superhero Sex Shop Tour took her across the country and made her site home to the internet's most comprehensive directory of sex positive adult retailers.
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