“I came out of the womb depressed”
I have major depression. Came out of the womb depressed, will be depressed for the rest of my days. I’ve learned to accept it, live with it, and more recently – openly blog about my adventures in better living through pharmaceuticals. I’m tired of mental health stigma, tired of hiding my depression. It’s here, it’s a fact of my life. It’s not my fault.
Shortly after that blog post, I filled in last-minute for Katie Mack on a Carnalcopia podcast on Depression, Orgasms, and Navigating the Murky Terrain of Mental Health. It’s 50 minutes of Ashley and I discussing with humor and honesty, our struggles with depression. How mental illness combined with medications to combat our depression has at times caused havoc in our sex lives. She’s coming from the rocky experience of being on many medications, while I’m being rocked by how being medicated is affecting my ability to orgasm. I’m proud of the podcast – if you haven’t listened yet, do so now. It’s grand. (Even my Mom has listened to it and absolutely loved what we had to say. Thanks Mom!)
Quick n dirty recap: My high sex drive and orgasmic superpower have been the most dependable parts of my identity. Sex has been my go-to pick me up for combating depression, allowing myself to feel something other than the darkness. My relationship with sex is healthy, Val (my partner for those of you just tuning in) and I have a fucking fantastic sex life even though we both battle depression, chronic pain and being parents to a small army of wee monsters. I’ve always been highly orgasmic. My orgasms are powerful, universe creating/touching the divine while my entire body rocks with pleasure. Usually when a medication says “some sexual side effects” that always means that I become hyper sexual and even more orgasmic.
After an IUD installation and starting medications for fibromyalgia and an antidepressant, my orgasm disappeared briefly. At the time of recording, with partnered sex I was missing my explosive orgasm. Only experiencing gentle waves. While those waves were nice, they were nothing close to the restorative experience I so depend on for a mental, emotional and physical recharge.
A few weeks later I can blissfully report that universe creating powerhouse orgasms have returned via partnered sex. Midway through foreplay I orgasmed with my usual intensity, froze, then yelled “That was a real orgasm! I WANT MORE!” before actually leaping on him. Oh, there were more. Thank the fucking tapdancing dildo gods.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that orgasm via masturbation is still gone. Nada. Nil. Nothing.
Sure, masturbating feels great. I’m still pulling out my tango vibe any chance I get, but I’m not getting off. This is a huge problem. I *need* my masturbatory orgasms to keep my sanity through the chronic pain, stress of parenting, and just because I fucking love to get off. Masturbating is my zen. It’s my meditation. It’s almost my religion. (Well, masturbation and the Packers..but I digress..) Masturbation is part of my identity, a part that I am not about to give up on.
So, I am now on my #OrgasmQuest. I will regain my universe creating divine orgasms. This will happen. As I know I am not alone in this experience, I’m choosing to share my trial and error publicly.
Here’s my plan:
While partnered sex is back to glorious, without masturbation my sex drive is even higher than usual. To help keep from breaking Val, my glorious loves at SheVibe are sending us a Liberator ramp to test out. Years ago I had a liberator wedge that was lovely, but wasn’t the right size for optimal orgasmic bliss. The ramp hasn’t arrived yet, but trust me, the moment it does – twitter will know. Instead of a single review, I’ll be posting multiple updates on the impact on our sex life in the short and longer term.
For the masturbation side of #OrgasmQuest, our favorite Sex Toy Santa via Good Vibrations is sending a Magic Wand style vibrator. At first I thought that I was psyching myself out more than anything else, because I was still experiencing cramping from the IUD. That has ended, but my orgasm is still missing in action. My fibro med changes the way my brain interprets nerve sensation, so I’m going full power. I love my tango, but what my body needs is full clitoral stimulation covering my vulva, exactly what a wand style vibe achieves. This might not be an instant success, but long-term stimulation should do the trick. As with the ramp, I’ll have regular updates here and on twitter covering how things are going.
Pleasure is vital to my mental health. Orgasms are vital to my mental health. Masturbation gives me life. I love how much better I feel with medication, but I do not accept that I have to sacrifice my orgasm to experience less of the darkness of depression.
This is my #OrgasmQuest.