The internet and technology have totally changed sex and relationships, we know you — you adults, anyway, this column is not for children! — have questions about the world of sex. In order to answer them, we've asked our friend Stoya — a professional sex-haver — to field any inquiries. You can write to her at email@example.com.
Are you at least 18 years old?
Me and my partner have been dating for nearly five years, and would say we have a pretty active sex life. However during our time together she has never been able to have an orgasm, either by herself or together. I have tried buying toys for her to use, including the famed Hitachi Magic Wand, but she rarely uses them. I feel as if she is missing out on one of the key experiences of sex and relationships. Each time I bring up her masturbating, she saying she will and yet never does, saying that she feels pressured to do it. I don’t often bring it up, as I don’t want her to feel pressured.
I try not to let this get to me, but It makes me feel inadequate as I can’t help her. After five years I have run out of ideas to help and encourage her in a way where she would feel comfortable and relaxed, instead of pressured.
Is it normal to feel like this? And do you have any tips that could help either of us?
It’s awesome that you care about the pleasure of your partner. It’s nice that you seem to feel a certain amount of responsibility to cause pleasure for them. And it is very sweet of you to bring her presents.
Whether she's ever had an orgasm isn't about youThat said, your partner does not owe you an orgasm. Your partner does not owe you a performance of appreciation for all of the toys you’re purchased for her, nor does she owe you a display of gratitude for your concern regarding her nonexistent masturbatory habits. While the sex the two of you engage in is a team sport, and therefore has lots to do with you, her individual sex drive (and whether she’s ever had an orgasm) isn’t nearly as about you as you’re trying to make it.
You say you don’t often bring it up — but you also mention that you’ve bought multiple toys for your partner. You might have delivered them all at once, like a bouquet of potential orgasm inducers in materials ranging from phthalate-free jelly-rubber to solvent-free varnished wood. But I’m guessing you’ve delivered them individually, over some portion of those four-plus years you’ve been dating. So I’m curious about what increment of time you deem "often," and more curious about how that frequency compares to what your partner considers "often." I’m especially curious about the latter, because you mentioned that she’s said she feels pressured. And even if you aren’t talking about it often with words, bringing your partner sex toys is still bringing it up.
If your partner doesn't feel she's missing out on something, then she isn'tIt is important to remember that the things you prioritize in the world are not necessarily the priorities of your partner(s). Occasionally these differences are a sign that you’ve found a fundamental mismatch in your relationship, but usually they just mean that people are individuals. So, to be clear: if your partner doesn’t feel like she’s missing out on something, then she isn’t missing out on anything. If she doesn’t want to have orgasms, it shouldn’t matter whether she’s ever had one.
Once you think about it that way, encouraging her toward something she might not want at all is kind of pushy. Consider, instead, trying to figure out why you’re making this into a thing that feeds feelings of inadequacy in yourself. Once you’ve got that under control, you should probably find out what your partner thinks is key to sex and relationships. She, like lots of other people in the world, might think that intimacy is more of a priority than orgasms — especially since orgasms are not a thing that all women experience.
I love going down on my girlfriend. She’s really into it, and since we’ve been dating for some time, I know what she likes.
But, after we’ve both orgasmed the first time and we’re aroused enough to continue, she seems to enjoy oral sex a little less and prefers penile penetration. But, I’m not always up to it, even though I have an erection.
Is there something special I could do that could hold her interest a second time? I like watching her finish from between her legs and if not she always orgasms easier after cunnilingus.
That's what fingers are for!Darling! That’s what your fingers are for! And also what dildos are for — although I guess your fingers would still get used to hold the dildo.
As long as your nails are smooth and your hands are reasonably clean, fingers can be even cooler than a penis: they have bones, so aren’t subject to erectile whims, and have joints, which means you can more finely control their movements. And your girlfriend can have as many of them as she wants without anyone having to worry about where all the legs go (which is a major concern if one is attempting to be penetrated at the same time by more than one erection.)
Dildos are also pretty nifty. They come in all sorts of lengths, so it is possible to get one short enough to be inserted and still allow your tongue and mouth full access to every part you have permission to lick. (While it is okay to put a dildo wholly inside a vagina, never ever ever put anything entirely inside an anus. There’s a reason butt plugs have extremely wide bases, and that reason is to avoid going so far up a rectum that they need to be retrieved by a doctor.)
Dildos also come in different materials, textures, and some with vibrating bits. Checking for sharp edges before use and practicing good hygiene are important; these concerns apply to any thing or body part you’re about to insert into an orifice. Anything that can be boiled is always better, and any toy that might be used by more than one person needs to have a condom on it during use or be thoroughly boiled between uses. Oh Joy Sex Toy is a great place to start learning about toys and safer sex practices. Good luck, and I hope you find at least one solution that makes you both happy.