Recently I wrote about first masturbation experiences – and how little we really know about how and when people start masturbating.  This has naturally led me to thinking about first orgasms, and by extention I’ve been reading about orgasms in general.
But as with first masturbation experiences, I really have more questions about first orgasms than answers.

  • Are first orgasms generally alone or with another person?  I think I know the answer here (alone) but I certainly have never read any research on the topic.
  • When the first feelings of pleasure leading up to orgasm hit, how many people know what’s happening, know the language for what’s going on?  Paul Feig, notably, called it “the rope feeling” after his first orgasmic experience on a climbing rope in grade school.
  • How many people are scared by their first orgasm?  I was flipping through a book last night in the bookstore, and ran across a quote by a woman who said she had her first orgasm in her thirties – and was terrified.
  • Linked to these last two questions: Do first orgasms carry religious significance?

It is, of course, generally accepted knowledge that all men experience orgasm from pre-adolescence or adolescence onward while women have a much wider range of orgasmic experience (with some never orgasming, others joining the club late in the game, and still another group starting quite young).  Or at least I thought that was general knowledge.  But a dear friend was recently stunned – stunned! – when I mentioned it in an off-the-cuff sort of way.  She has since started to postulate wildly about whether or not people she knows – friends, family, acquaintances – have had the first orgasm experience.

Which leads me back to another question: Do people stress if they have never had an orgasm? Do they feel like they “should” have orgasms, feel like lower-quality lovers because they haven’t yet?

And how might the answers to all these questions influence how parents talk with their children and teenagers about sex?  What do you think?