slow burn

I have never been a fan of quickies and that seems unlikely to change any time soon.

Before my epiphany, sexual shame put a damper on everything. I didn’t feel sexy. I didn’t experience spontaneous arousal. I didn’t experience much arousal even with help. On the rare occasions when I got warmed up, it took a long time to get there and Wolf and I would usually take, oh, 2-3 hours.

The last quickie I can recall was pre-Wolf, so a long time ago indeed. My boyfriend and I had been attending a low-key social event at a restaurant one evening. As I recall, we ducked out to his car in the parking lot and we had 15 or 20 minutes before we needed to give someone a ride home. I don’t remember anything more about it (and what I do remember is very hazy), but I must have been very turned on and that pleases me.

Thing is, as a rule, I still don’t get turned on easily at all. I think my libido is just naturally low, and having had all of my early learning about sexuality tainted with that deep shame, I suspect it continues to affect my relationship with sex even now, despite the fact that I don’t feel that specific shame anymore.

I’ve been trying to figure out my turn-ons but haven’t gotten very far with the project, or there just aren’t many. Either way, it’s a source of frustration. And on top of that, depression and medication have taken their toll. The slightest flicker of libido is therefore welcomed, but if I’m going to act on it, it needs a tremendous amount of coaxing to ignite, like damp wood.

And you know? Fast and furious just isn’t my style. I don’t do anything quickly. Shopping, travelling, crafting and sewing. I like to take my time with all of it, and if I rush, I don’t enjoy it.

So for the foreseeable future, any sex is going to be slow sex.

I set a record

The other day I woke up feeling a tiny bit turned on. Doesn’t sound like much, but it was a big deal to me because I don’t remember when that happened last; my libido has been largely non-existent for a year and a half. So I rummaged around to retrieve my vibe and set to it. I’m glad I did.

When I’m engaged in solo sex, I’ve found I have the most success if I’m mentally warmed up with some yummy fantasies. The manual approach doesn’t work well for me, so I generally use just my vibe, always on the “wave” setting.

I use as light a touch as I can get away with because my clitoris gets desensitised quickly and I don’t orgasm easily. If I use more intense stimulation to overcome insufficient arousal, I can usually force one not especially enjoyable orgasm, at the cost of becoming numb. If I’m more aroused, I can use a lighter touch and that allows me to continue to have orgasms until I do finally burn out, usually after 3 or 4. The first one usually takes something like 5-10 minutes. (I’m not really sure, since I’m definitely not paying attention to the time!)

This time, I had some physical arousal and no fantasising (unless you count the dream) and I came in less than 30 seconds! It was so much easier than usual that I was inspired to see how many I could achieve.

For one of them – I think it was number 3 or 4 – I held my breath from when I applied the vibe until I came. That was maybe 15 seconds?

I reached 6 orgasms before I finally felt burnt out. The number itself is meaningless, but the fact that I was feeling turned on at all tells me that my libido is showing signs of life. And the fact that I was able to have more orgasms than ever before demonstrates that I do have a good understanding of my body. My conclusions – that I have some difficulty reaching orgasm, I need everything going well both mentally and physically, I get desensitised easily, and I need to reduce stimulation to almost the bare minimum – all appear to be correct. And that, to my mind, is the big accomplishment.

I’m still alive

Is something wrong? she said
Of course there is
You’re still alive, she said
Oh, do I deserve to be?
Is that the question?
[“Alive”, Pearl Jam]

Oh dear, it’s hard to get back in the groove after so long away. I’ve had a busy couple of months, but it’s been so long that nothing seems significant enough to talk about. I have lots of ideas of things to write about – or at least I thought I did, until confronted with a blank page. It feels like when you run into someone you haven’t seen for years and yet somehow you’re able to catch up in about 10 minutes. I must be forgetting something…

So, what have I been up to? Well, I went to Eroticon, and it was my second time attending. I’m definitely glad I went and I hope to attend next year too. Although this last year has been very quiet on the blog, it was good to hear interesting talks, visit with people I’ve met before (friends? is that the word?), and just be in a room with a bunch of people who are weird like me.

When I arrived at Heathrow on the Friday morning, Jaime was there to pick me up and escort me back to our room. We spent the next three weeks travelling together, mostly in southern England but we also spent the better part of a week in a Paris AirBnB. By the end of my trip, I was starting to get homesick and tired of the pace. I am, in many ways, a delicate flower.

Being away from Wolf is always strange, since we always spend so much time together. Well, we’re both introverts, so this often amounts to him at his desk and me at mine, but we’re doing our solo stuff together, if you see what I mean. I had good wifi connectivity throughout the trip so staying in touch wasn’t too hard, but this whole me having adventures while he’s at home thing is new so we don’t have a long-distance routine worked out as such.

While I was on this trip, I was tapering off my anti-depressant medication – citalopram, which is an SSRI. I had a bit of a bumpy ride but there were too many variables to know whether that was due to the meds or all of the other novelty that was going on around me. Prior to going off the meds, I had been feeling consistently good and the side effects were starting to bother me, so I think the timing was right. An issue that’s been plaguing me is the not really caring about doing things, or finishing things I start. This was a symptom of the depression but in a slightly different version it became, I think, one of the side effects.

I’ve had a series of mild but still significant health complaints in addition to the mental health stuff. The most recent in the litany is arthritis in my neck, the treatment for which has caused low-grade tension and chronic pain from the shoulders up, plus mild nausea. Add this to the irritable bowel syndrome, whose primary symptom for me is wicked bloating, and my ongoing hypoglycemia, and my stomach is very confused and unhappy.

My libido is still very low and the above seems to have killed it again. I have given Tabitha Rayne‘s #30DayOrgasmFun project a go, but my disinterest, it is high, and persisting would defeat the purpose of having fun with it. So.

Even though I haven’t been posting photos, I seem to have established a habit of taking mile-high selfies (and the occasional comparable ground-level ones) whenever the opportunity arises. It has arisen rather a lot in the last while, and I expect it to do so a couple more times before midsummer.

So that’s my life in a nutshell.

running cold and hot

My partner and I have been apart for going on two months, and although I felt very warm when he first left, last week I felt like I’d cooled a little since he’s been gone. Masturbating, while very useful to get to know my body better, is just not as fun. Although my weekdays aren’t filled to the brim, they just don’t work as well as weekends, so I’d gotten into a bit of a routine of solo play on Saturdays.

Except that last Saturday I had a dance performance, so I was busy much of the time with preparations. And when I wasn’t actively busy with it, it was still on my mind. On top of that, the performance (in addition to all the mental preparations leading up to it) is physically tiring. My piece was near the beginning of the show, but I stuck it out and watched to the bitter end rather than going home immediately, as my gut had suggested. My sleep debt wasn’t exactly delighted.

At the end of the evening, my sporty friend (who is sort of known in our group for having a dirty mind) was whispering something in another friend’s ear, and I asked about it. Sporty has been dating a guy for a couple of months, her first action in a few years. So she turned to me and whispered in my ear, with a wicked grin, that he… was good in bed. Oh. OK. Is that it? No bondage or forced orgasms or spankings that you’d like to confess? OK. Never mind.

I was still tired on the Sunday, but there was still a dance workshop to go to. It was much more of a low-key day, but even though I had some time I just wasn’t interested. I started to wonder whether I was experiencing something beyond a mood, some longer term cooling ­­— minor still, but something that could require a bit of time and effort to rekindle.

And then last Monday happened. In retrospect, I think my brain had just put a damper on things on the lead-up to and during that busy, somewhat stressful weekend, because things turned on a dime when it was over. I spent most of that Monday in a state of dampness. I looked at some hot stuff in the morning, which isn’t unusual, but I seemed to react more strongly. I ended up being pretty distracted much of the afternoon. In the early evening, I needed to eat and get out the door for my dance class. I also had some baking that I wanted to get done before I left. So I had about an hour and a half to eat, get the cake into and out of the oven, and get myself off:

I edge a few times using the Hitachi, and it’s strong enough that I don’t need to get undressed. I put my leftovers in the microwave to reheat and then set about edging again, with the intention of stopping when I hear the beeps. Well, the music is fairly loud and there’s a bit of other ambient noise and I don’t hear the beeps so I go overtime a bit, but at least I get quite far in just a couple of minutes. Then I eat, then some more edging.

All the while, I have to keep an eye on the cake because the recipe is new and the baking time seems way off. Timer goes, check the cake, not done yet so back in for 5. More edging. Phone rings. It’s a friend of my partner’s. He’s a good guy, but I didn’t know whether to expect him to talk for 30 seconds or 30 minutes — both are equally likely. He has a quick question and then sounds like he’s up for a chat, so I tell him I have to leave the house in about 5 minutes and manage to extricate myself quickly. Timer goes, check the cake, still not done so put it back in for 10.

Time to sort myself out. Grab the Hitachi from the couch, the Pure Wand from the bathroom and head into the bedroom. Fuck! I washed the sheets and the bed is still bare. Put the new sheet on the mattress, pillowcase on the pillow, plug in the Hitachi, strip. Discover that the front crotch seam of my panties (which I noticed was wearing thin) has been blown out, apparently from the ministrations of the Hitachi. Oops.

Hitachi. Wand. Hitachi. Wand. Hitachi and Wand. Oh, ungh, yes! Hitachi (don’t stop at one!). More Hitachi. Timer goes off. Oh, fuck it. Hitachi and Wand. Fuck, yeah! Breathe. Rescue cake (only a wee bit overdone). Get dressed and out the door to dance.

I wasn’t even late.