This is a recurring interview that the TFC blog conducts with random women. The idea is to show how varied and unique each woman's sexual experience can be. To protect the interviewee's privacy, she will be identified as her favorite flower.

TFC: Age?

S: 18

TFC: When is the last time you looked at your vulva?

S: Hm...about 4 days ago. Usually I check up on it (yes, I call my vulva an it, more on that later) every few weeks or so, to make sure everything looks in-check - so far, so good!

TFC: What does it look like to you?

S: The first thing that comes to mind are those dark velvet curtains you see at old-timey theaters, all dark and drapey and billowy. The color is really hard to describe, it's quite a dark purple-brown, which sounds gross, but it's nice - it's quite a contrast to my otherwise light skin, but it looks unique and natural. Oddly enough, maybe that's why I tend to like purplish lipsticks for my face....hm, something else to think about.....

TFC: Age at first orgasm and how did you achieve it?

S: 17, and it was at home with myself. I had just started masturbating, and it took me about a month to figure out a technique that worked.

TFC: What does an orgasm feel like to you? Do you have a definition for orgasm?

S: Every orgasm is so different. Sometimes it feels like I shuffled my feet on carpet and am getting shocked all over (but mostly down my legs). Sometimes it's like warm honey is flowing through me. Sometimes I feel like I'm nearly having a seizure. One time I came and had no other sensation except for the fact that my body simply relaxed so fully, quickly, and completely that I couldn't move a muscle for a good 5 minutes. To define orgasm - hmm. Well, for a metaphor, it's usually a feeling like a balloon just popped from being over-filled, you can't really say how it happens, but one second you're climbing, climbing, and then just - pow - you're not, and all these different feelings flow through you (usually not as explosive as a balloon popping, I guess that more describes the climb up and then sudden arrival). I have found that I get different orgasms depending on if I'm with myself or if I'm with my boyfriend - by myself, my whole body seems to react and whatever feeling I have goes through me. When I'm with him, I just suddenly am overcome by the need to relax and lay down. Different techniques get you to different destinations, apparently.

TFC: When was your most recent orgasm and what were the circumstances?

S: Hmm...last night. I was in bed, and felt like I hadn't really given myself enough "attention" lately, and that I really wanted to take some time actually making masturbation last for once, rather than just rushing through it trying to get to the end - so I did, and it was quite nice (and I fell asleep right away :p )

TFC: Have you ever had trouble reaching orgasm? if so, how did it make you feel?

S: With my boyfriend, we would be messing around, and he would obviously be trying to see what would make me come, and nothing was working - whenever that happened, I always felt bad, like there was something wrong with me or him or both of us, or something. And one time, I was masturbating, and simply COULD NOT reach climax. Half an hour of almost-there-just-not-quite and I was about ready to tear my hair out.

TFC: What did you do to overcome?

S: With my boyfriend, I just learned to relax and enjoy what was going on, orgasm or no, and things got to be much more fun (And I actually came more often, weirdly enough. Apparently all that advice about "think about it and it won't happen" is true.) When I was by myself, I gave the self-love a few days rest, and everything worked out. I think I had just overdone the masturbation in the few days around the incident of no-orgasming, and my body needed a break, and wasn't going to go any further without some time off. Lesson learned.

TFC: Have any nicknames for your vulva?

S: No. I mean, if it need be referenced, pussy, but that's not so much a nickname as a slang term. I've never felt comfortable with personally naming my vulva - I think that'd make me feel split 2 people, like my vulva and the rest of me couldn't do things together anymore without arranging an appointment. I don't even like calling my vulva anything other than "it" for the same reason. If I started naming, masturbating would feel like the main part of me was doing service to the vulva part of me - it would totally take away from the whole unity part of sex, the combo head-heart-body aspect. Not to mention that any sex with someone else would automatically feel like a threesome if I named my vulva. (Besides, that would seem unfair to other fun body parts, like breasts and elbows, if they didn't get names.) The few times I have considered naming my vulva I feel this weird tug to give a male name, or at least a gender-neutral name - I guess even my vulva wants to assert her feminist side.

TFC: What is the best piece of sex advice you've ever received?

S: Don't be scared of something just because you've never done it - and have fun with whatever does happen.


(TFC is always looking for more women's vulva perspectives. If you're interested in sharing yours, please send an email to info@maraaltman.com)