For the longest time, I found it really difficult to orgasm. Even with the most sensitive partner, it would often take a long while, if at all. I would often resort to faking it because I was taking too long. Even while masturbating, it sometimes took me up to an hour, despite being really turned on.
Then I started seeing someone new, stopped faking orgasms and tried to worry less. I started coming, and it became easier and more reliable. Now it happens every time, sometimes multiple times. While masturbating, I can orgasm within seconds, which was never, ever possible before. What's going on here?
"I wish I knew." That's Barry Komisaruk's matter-of-fact answer, and he's the leading expert on the science behind ...
His lab at Rutgers University was the first to produce a video of the brain during climax in women -- just last November. "We're in the embryonic stage of understanding," he says. "It's not even in its infancy." That's in large part because it's tremendously difficult to get funding for sex research -- but that's a story for another day (and you can bet I will be telling it someday soon).
Komisaruk, whom I've interviewed before, and his team have made huge strides, but still, he says nobody fully understands the mechanism at work here. Just to give a sense of the range of scenarios, Komisaruk explains, "What about people who used to have orgasms but now they're on antidepressants or antipsychotics and they no longer can have orgasms? The blockage could occur in a part of the brain that's different from people who, say, have had a traumatic psychological event like sexual abuse and no longer can have an orgasm." There is no one thing that makes it difficult, or impossible, for women to orgasm.
It's not unusual for a new partner to come with a change in your orgasmic experience. Recently, a woman who had never orgasmed called Komisaruk and volunteered to do a brain scan for his research. "I set it up and then a couple days before the scan was scheduled, she called me up and said she just got a new boyfriend and she had her first orgasm," he says. "So, bummer -- for me, not for her!"
What's most interesting in your case, is that your experience of orgasm even during masturbation changed profoundly and, it sounds like, without a dramatic adjustment in technique. "It seems like it's more of a psychological factor," he says. "If somebody can suddenly start having orgasms, there could be attitudinal changes. It seems more likely that it would be an attitudinal change rather than a physiological change." There's also the annoying irony of getting what you want when you stop trying.
An important part of what's going on here is that by no longer preempting your orgasm with fake ones, you were able to begin experiencing legitimate climaxes with your partner. I asked Komisaruk if it's possible that you experienced a snowball effect: The more orgasms you had, the easier it became to come in the first place. In my supreme scientific in-expertise, I suggested: Maybe she, like, burnt new neural pathways? He responded: "We don't really know; it's possible."
You see, there are many possible explanations. What's important is that you've got ahold of your orgasm. Enjoy it, treat it well and don't let it go!