I finally said it to my husband a few nights ago. We’d just finished. “Finishing” for us means he gets off, then I spend a (non)quality hour, at least, with a vibrator (or two) until I’ve finally achieved a fairly unsatisfying orgasm. He usually reads in bed next to me. But he’s solicitous about it. “Do you want help?” he’ll ask after he’s done. “No,” I usually say. That night, I collapsed on our bed, sweaty and probably red-faced. I tottered to my feet to wash my vibrator. “Did it work?” he asked. “Yeah,” I said. “But it wasn’t worth it.”
He threw me a look, like are you kidding me? Seriously?
“Look,” I said. “The sex was great. No, seriously. We did it hard and fast how I like it. We always do it how I like it and I’m seriously grateful for that. But I never get off, because I can’t get off. I have to use my vibrator. And it takes a goddamn hour. A fucking hour. And the end result just isn’t worth it. It’s not worth the energy or the time. So no, it wasn’t worth it. It’s not your fault. It’s just a thing. And I’m sorry. So if you ever wonder why we don’t have a ton of sex, that’s why. It’s not you.”
And I walked naked into our master bath.
Why Sex Is Not Worth It
So I take medication. I don’t take a ton of medication, but I take one in particular (an SSRI for depression, the usual suspect), which makes achieving orgasm difficult. Like, way difficult. Like, near-impossible, hope-that-vibrator’s-charged-up difficult. But unlike its effects on many women, it doesn’t affect my desire to have sex. So I throw on the sexy underwear and hop cutely into bed.
We do the deed. There’s plenty of foreplay involved, so don’t blame my husband. He’s attentive and caring about the whole deal. He does what I ask, and I ask plenty: tie me up and tie me down. Dirty talk. Whatever I want, I get it. Then I get my choice of position, duration (generally), etc. He finishes.
Then it’s up to me.
I tell my husband no when he asks if I want help, because he’ll get tired and lie that he’s not tired and I’ll feel guilty. So I go it alone. Sometimes he leaves. Sometimes he reads next to me. I vibrate away.
Often my vibrator runs out of batteries, and I have to switch. I have several.
Yeah, it feels good. Yeah, it’s kind of nice. But after a while, it’s like, c’mon already. I’ve been at this how freaking long? I get close, then I’m suddenly not close. And when it happens? Well, it would have to be fireworks, The Star-Spangled Banner, and a chocolate orgy all at once. It never is. The greatest orgasm of your life lasts how long? To compensate for an hour?
Not worth my time when I could be sleeping.
Except When I Don’t…
Sometimes I don’t bother. Just not worth it, not worth my time or my effort and I’d rather sleep than spend an hour grasping for an elusive orgasm. I tell my husband to hand me my cute underwear, which I tossed early in the game; I make him dig out my pajama pants and tank top. I get up to pee, always bothersome, because everything feels worse when I pee and I haven’t gotten off yet.
Then I’m left with that feeling of restlessness, that bothersome, twitchy, I-can’t-sleep of I need to get off, and I’m not going to. Horny, but not horny; wanting it, but not wanting it. It eventually fades; I pass out. But I pass out resentfully, because I remember the days when it was easy. I remember days of multiple orgasms and sweet sleep afterwards; I recall the unique delight of drifting off after a night of great sex. Now it’s not worth it. And I hate it. I hate it for myself; I hate it for my husband. He feels inadequate, though he denies it.
It’s not my husband’s fault. It’s not anyone’s fault, really, except my brain chemistry, and I can’t change that.
Medical Science Won’t Help Me
Men get Viagra. Can’t get a boner at age seventy? They’ll give you a boner, alright. I’ve heard rumors it can help women, and I once hijacked a pill from a diabetic friend. We had high hopes. No help. Like most everything in women’s health care, doctors aren’t interested in helping women achieve orgasm, and they don’t care about side effects of SSRIs.
Of course, I could switch to a different drug. Maybe that would make sex worth it. But the go-to, Wellbutrin, doesn’t work for me. Brutal. I’m stuck between overwhelming sadness and bad sex, and since if you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know you’ll pick bad sex every time.
So I try to make it happen twice a week for him, because I love my husband. I try to give myself space to get off, even if it takes forever, and keep those vibrators charged. But it sucks. My end result is some pathetic flutters down there. Nice, but the earth isn’t moving under my feet, and the sky’s not tumbling down like it used to. I’ve resigned myself by now. It’s a crap place to be. But I’m there. I don’t think I’m alone, either.