The Opposite of Mind Blowing
Caz Killjoy (they/them) | Honorable Mention
When I was about 30, I confessed to a friend of mine that I wasn’t sure if I was orgasming or not. My understanding at the time was that orgasms were supposed to feel good all over. But when I experienced sexual pleasure, my climax usually ended in what seemed like a skull-crushing headache. It was rare that I could reach that point and even more rare that it would feel satisfying.
Ten years have since passed. I spent so much of that time feeling frustrated with myself, wondering why I didn’t “work right.” It didn’t help that most of my partners expressed insecurity about their inability to help me cum -- and most of them seemed more worried about that than the terrible head pain that frequently accompanied our attempts. During that decade I learned a lot about sex, relationships, and my body. Eventually I clued in that partners who cared more about their “skills” than the physical pain they caused me were not people with whom I should partner.
And in the past two years I came to terms with (mostly) being unable to orgasm. Letting go of what I could rarely have in a safe way has thus far been the pinnacle of my sexual liberation. I came to accept that orgasm need not be a goal during sexual activity: the journey of the experience of pleasure was all the more thrilling when I didn’t focus on the frustration of my painful, often absent O.
Two years ago I learned I had a condition that caused excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to gather in my head. This condition, called intracranial hypertension, was why I was having excruciating head pain as I tried to orgasm. When I was increasing my activity, the CSF was quickly gathering in my brain until there was so much it felt as though my head would explode. I am writing this in the past tense because five weeks ago I underwent surgery to correct my intracranial hypertension.
The excess fluid no longer gathers in my head… and now I can orgasm without pain. With a partner and solo. In less than two minutes and via edging. Multiple, multiple times. I’d say it’s mind blowing but physically, it’s quite the opposite! My head is now behaving in a healthy manner in more ways than one.
While I’ve learned that orgasm isn’t the end-all, be-all to sexual pleasure, it’s given me such joy (and pleasure) to finally experience that for which I used to long. Had I not come to terms with my inability to orgasm, I would not now feel as liberated as I do -- from the sexual expectations of myself and others.