I had my first orgasm when I was 28, at least a decade later than I would have liked. I was blissfully unaware of orgasms as an adolescent, but when I got to college, suddenly it felt like people were coming left and right. I was like, “Hey guys, wait up!”
When I had my first sexual experiences in college, whenever someone would try to touch my vagina, I would say, “Whoa, why are you trying to kill a good time?” and instinctively shoo them away. I slowly realized that I was not comfortable with anything going anywhere near my vagina. I went to the gynecologist, and it turned out I had something called vaginismus, a condition that causes your vaginal muscles to spasm upon penetration. When she diagnosed me, I thought, “Well, this checks out!”
I eventually treated my vaginismus using vaginal dilators, which are like a set of Russian dolls for your vagina, except they are neither cute nor fun, but I still had a long way to go before having an orgasm. I had yet to even locate my own clitoris. Finally, a man put a finger on it, and I shouted, “that’s something!” but it was so ticklish and intense that I would be flailing all over the bed like a balloon man at a car dealership. I then decided to try masturbating, and at the age of 25, I turned on porn for the first time. Though what I would do is watch it, get really aroused, and not touch myself, letting the feeling pass. I still had so much discomfort with my body that I had yet to unpack.
Eventually, I was starting to get really frustrated so I began a serious “take-action” phase. I wanted to come, and I became increasingly pissed that I hadn’t. I was ready to drop some serious dollars to experience this abstract, apparently transcendent sensation. As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a free orgasm.” I’m here to confirm that: coming ended up costing me nearly $2,000. I present to you: an itemized receipt for my first orgasm.
Rocket Vibe ($35)
I’m 22, still not super concerned that I haven’t come yet. At this point, the solution seems as simple as buying a vibrator, any vibrator. I go to Good Vibrations in Boston with some friends, giggle a lot, and buy a vibrator that looks sleek and modern because aesthetics are important to me. My friend says, confidently, “You’ll come with this.” I go home, excited to have my first orgasm. I’m about to cross over to the other side! But, no orgasm. Like, not even close.
I’m 24, in a relationship, and starting to get frustrated. I storm back into Good Vibrations, grab one off the shelf that a different friend swears by (“YOU NEED THE JIMMYJANE”), and buy it without hesitation. Also, apparently a $149 purchase earns you three frequent buyer cards worth of stamps, which took the cashier 5 minutes to fill out. I take it home and… wow! I feel a lot of sensations! But they are not an orgasm!
8 Sessions With A Sex Therapist ($160*)
I’m 25 and extremely frustrated. I decide to start seeing a sex therapist, thinking she would put me on the how-to-orgasm fast track. Instead, she wants to unpack my fantasies, which I really didn’t want to share. She helped me realize that I had a lot of shame about my fantasies because they didn’t feel feminist to me. Turns out being a feminist submissive can be a real mindf*ck. Still no orgasm, but I learned that the problem was with both my body and mind. Score!
*It would have been more expensive, but I was still on my parents’ insurance
Writing A Comedy Show About It ($1,273*)
I’m 28, desperate, and there’s only one thing left to do. Say it with me: write a comedy show. I wrote all of my frustration into a show called Molly Brenner Is Not Coming. I think part of me believed that writing the show would help me come. If I put my struggle out into the world, I MUST come, right? I never read The Secret, but I think that’s the idea. Well, I didn’t come. But as I began performing the show, it got me talking to a lot more women about how I hadn’t come, and…
LELO Mona 2 ($169)
One audience member confidently declared, “You need a new vibrator!” So, living in New York now, still 28, and being extremely trusting of people’s advice, I march into the gift shop at the Museum of Sex, corner an employee and say, “I’ve never come. Fix me.” They pick up a long blue vibrator that makes a “come hither” motion and say, “This makes me come buckets.” I try it, convinced this is the one. I mean, I can’t believe I haven’t tried an internal vibrator yet! I’m such an idiot! I use it and… no buckets. Not even a droplet.
Weed Mint And My Hand ($0)
I’m an older, wiser 28, and I remember something that a different audience member had suggested: weed. Ever heard of it? I’ve never liked smoking weed, but then I tried, well, sucking weed. I was offered something called a “weed mint.” I wasn’t planning to masturbate that night, but apparently weed mints make me really horny. So, I started masturbating, not really expecting anything, but out of nowhere, a feeling I’d never felt before came over my body. It felt like an electric current emanating from my clitoris. I thought, “Oh my God! This is it! I’m having an orgasm!
In total, I spent $1,786 on my first orgasm. Was it a worthwhile investment? Yes and no. On one hand, it makes me really angry that coming was just so hard—and expensive. I know that not everyone is able to spend that much on coming, and I hope no one else does. On the other hand, I believe that every step along the way was part of my orgasm fairytale. If I hadn’t reached the peak of frustration, I wouldn’t have written my show, then I wouldn’t have talked to the woman who told me to try weed, and then I wouldn’t have accepted the weed mint when it was offered to me. A traditional fairytale.
Funds have fully vested and amortization is on schedule. Unrelated, but I know nothing about finance. Who cares, though, because now I perform a show called I’m Coming—and this one has a happy ending.
Molly Brenner is a comedian who has performed at UCB, the PIT, Q.E.D., and other venues. Her show, I’m Coming, runs February 21-24 at the Tank Theater in NYC. Tickets and info available here.
Images: Giphy (3); Good Vibes (2); LELO; Molly Brenner