#OrgasmQuest returns to it’s birthplace, The Carnalcopia Podcast!

#OrgasmQuest was born on a Carnalcopia podcast, Depression, Orgasms, and Navigating the Murky Terrain of Mental Health. My filling in for Katie Mack was absolute last-minute, I’d already taken a ton of NyQuil to combat the cold I had, so midway through the episode I get a little loopy. Okay, more loopy than usual. It was great fun though, and obviously something special as #OrgasmQuest started right after that episode went live.

#OrgasmQuest returns to Carnalcopia!

With Katie on vacation, Crista Anne returns to explain her new mission, born on the Carnalcopia Sex and Depression episode: #OrgasmQuest. She is on a crusade to regain her ability to experience universe creating orgasms and she shares her progress, what has worked and failed so far, and her deep appreciation for her #OrgasmQuest sponsors who are filling her…life, with sex toys.

This episode was recorded before #OrgasmQuest went viral, but I have no doubt that you’ll hear “Surprise Motherfuckers” at the start of another episode of Carnalcopia in the near future covering more of my progress, as well as how gloriously strange it is to suddenly go viral.

Checkout Swingset.fm for Unique Podcasts about Sexuality & Geekery

I would be remiss if I did not also thank my loves at SheVibe and Good Vibes for sponsoring #OrgasmQuest in the first place. Their support helped get this project off the ground and they have all my gratitude. Also, so much love to my dear friendRachel Kramer Bussel for being the first to write about what I’m doing here. Her column on Philadelphia City Paper started all the media coverage. Thank you darling.

Rainbow Holidays!

To soften the blow of losing, I bring you two awesome articles…

Yes, I cried about football. I has feels.

Yes, I cried about football. I has feels.

Oh football, how you break my heart. As you’ve possibly seen on twitter, I’m having strong football feels. When the Packers season ends I usually don’t know what to do with myself for a while. As I’ve said before, I have sportsball feels. I absolutely loathe the NFL, but I love my Packers. Over the NFL season I live on Deadspin, most of what I listen to as I go about my day is sports podcasts. Once the Packers aren’t playing? I don’t care anymore. Normally there is an odd void for a while until I find something else to occupy my time.

This year is different! I can combat that crushing defeat with focusing more of my time on my work. #OrgasmQuest has gone viral, which I am beyond thrilled about. Yes, of course, I am all about Shameless Self Promotion. It isn’t just “YAY I’m popular!” – The columns and articles about #OrgasmQuest have been positive. The comment sections have been wonderful. You could knock me over with a feather there. I’m so very used to being shredded to bits in comment sections, which is why for a while this site didn’t offer them, but they are full of people sharing their experiences. Sharing their struggles. Some their victories. (Oh, and there was thread derail on the Jezebel article when we started to talk about eyeshadow. Thrilling!)

Over the weekend I’ve received messages from people around the globe sharing their stories of how mental illness has affected their sexuality. Tried to respond to every one of them because I am deeply honored that they are willing to open up to me. Much like my days in sex toy retail, I take the trust that my customers, clients and readers place in me very seriously. No one has been comfortable with being quoted, but people are starting to share via the #OrgasmQuest hashtag. As I said on twitter, I don’t “own” that hashtag, I invite others to use it as well. The stigma that surrounds these issues needs to be busted. Sharing is a way of healing for many.

Now, I have two more wonderful articles to share with you:

Brave Mom Crista Anne Goes on OrgasmQuest to Fight Depression One Orgasm at a TimeBustle

OrgasmQuest isn’t about showing off, but rather, about helping to lift various stigmas, including those surrounding mental illness, which we all know are harmful and can prevent people from seeking the help they need. But what struck me about this project is how it clearly challenges the whole “women don’t masturbate myth.” Female masturbation is such a taboo to begin with that this mom’s commitment to exploring her body, and her ability to be so candid and public about it by writing about it on the internet is nothing short of courageous. While some nay-sayers might chastise her for daring to be a mom and post about sex at the same time (the horror!), I think I would have been proud to have a mom who was so open about sex and unafraid to talk about her struggles with mental illness.

Read the rest @ Bustle

Blogger Shares Her Struggle To Orgasm On AntidepressantsRefinery29

“I’ve been working in the sexuality field for 14 years, many of those were spent working in sex toy boutiques. Daily I was speaking to women who were struggling with loss of libido or anorgasmia from their medications,” she revealed. “Empathy went a long way in making them feel more comfortable… Everyday women would tell me how they had no idea this would happen, how they felt broken. Validating their feelings, giving them a safe space to share seemed to help them a great deal.”

Read the rest @ Refinery29

(PS Thank you Laura Hibbs McKenzie for using that photo of me, it’s one of my favorites.)

I would be remiss if I did not also thank my loves at SheVibe and Good Vibes for sponsoring #OrgasmQuest in the first place. Their support helped get this project off the ground and they have all my gratitude. Also, so much love to my dear friend Rachel Kramer Bussel for being the first to write about what I’m doing here. Her column on Philadelphia City Paper started it all. Thank you darling.

#OrgasmQuest Hits the @citypaper!

My dear friend Rachel Kramer Bussel interviewed me about #OrgasmQuest for the Philadelphia City Paper. I could not be more thrilled with how her column turned out or how wonderful the reception has been in the short time since posting. Happily overwhelmed is the best way to put it, as my inbox and mentions are now overflowing with love and support.

Cannot begin to express my gratitude, honestly this blurb made me tear up before I had even made it out of bed. Please read the full column, and if you’re so inclined – share widely. Beyond my adoration of Shameless Self Promotion, Rachel’s skills are unmatched. The more clicks the column receives – the more sex-positive, mental health stigma busting writing gets out into the collective consciousness.

Now! Behold what made me cry happy tears..

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that one in 10 American adults report having depression, the effect of medication on our sex lives isn’t an isolated concern. Moreover, the way Crista values masturbation is a model more of us could stand to follow. By privileging her solo sex life, she’s showing up powerfully in the rest of her life. For her, it’s about regaining her lost orgasm to be the best person she can be…

Read the full article

Crista and Her #OrgasmQuest

“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.

Carnalcopia: A Swingset Podcast

Carnalcopia: A Swingset Podcast

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.

Until now.

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.

Happy face! I like good news...

Happy face! I like good news…

The bad news is that orgasm via masturbation is still gone. Nada. Nil. Nothing.

I dislike bad news

I dislike bad news

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.



Check out the #OrgasmQuest Page for Updates, Clarifications & FAQ