Opinion

The Dildo Girl: Meet Ms. M

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The Dildo Girl: Meet Ms. M

Orgasm. Pleasure. Meaning. Love. Connection. These are elements most of us crave at various points throughout our lives. They also remind us of our mortality, even if in the moment, they can make us feel immortal.

Growing up, sexual innuendo seemed to somehow be humorously woven into nearly every conversation whether at the store or around the dinner table. It was always a comfortable topic, even in the most serious of discussions. When I was in high school my mom would jokingly refer to her secret lover B.O.B., which stood for Battery Operated Boyfriend. Naturally, part of my being raised to be an independent woman included the encouragement of taking care of myself; masturbation was seen as a means of stress-relief, meditation, and self-reliance.

At 18 I moved to New York City for college. For the first several weeks of school, unbeknownst to me, I had garnered the nickname the dildo girl. During a search of my dorm room—initiated by my roommate smoking—the resident advisors found my sex toys and porn VHS tapes. Of course they blabbed their findings as the latest juicy gossip. I was flat out mortified when I initially learned of my campus nickname until one day in history class, a girl I wasn’t acquainted with passed me a note that read, “I think I’ve had an orgasm but I’m not sure. How do I know?” I glanced over at her with a huge grin and wrote back, “Oh trust me, you would know!”

Hiding under a rock for the rest of my collegiate career seemed perfectly reasonable, but I decided to talk about it instead. If I was going to be the dildo girl, I may as well share in the good vibes. What began as a fun group of curious friends quickly evolved into an ever-growing weekly discussion group. I was absolutely shocked to learn that the majority of girls my age hadn’t been masturbating their entire lives, for as far back as they could remember. Some hadn’t even masturbated at all! Many had not yet experienced orgasm, and all of them were eager and excited to have a safe space for a collective conversation.

The boys were just as curious and insecure as the girls. We’re taught not to talk about sex, so we live by a code of secrecy, especially when it comes to our inner most proclivities and fantasies. But holding it all in is never going to advance us, much less liberate or evolve us. I realized all those years ago, that the best thing I could do was to keep the conversation going.

So I did.

Too many lovers to count and two graduate degrees later, I have dedicated my life’s work to exploring science and serving others. I’ve clocked over 10,000 hours working with individuals and couples in therapy. I’ve undergone PET scans during stimulation and climax, squeezed out an orgasm in an MRI machine, and masturbated with a camera wand all in the name of science. I served as the advice columnist for the Museum of Sex, answering thousands of emails from all across the globe, which sparked a newly found curiosity in anthropology. I began traveling the world over, examining how various cultures make sense of love, sex, gender, and relationships. From the aggressively fiery hot yet fluid sex culture of Rio, to Istanbul where prostitution is legal but internet porn is not, I’ve found great passion in speaking with all types of people from all walks of life, with vastly different experiences. Whether it’s been on a panel, in an interview, or one-on-one with a client or a stranger, I’m so grateful to continue the conversation I’ve always enjoyed most.

Relationships are a continuum throughout our lives. They are at the heart of what makes life meaningful and they are the catalysts powerful enough to change culture. Yet we have no school of relationships, no classes to teach us how to develop our best selves or how to connect with others in healthy sustainable ways. We’re all just trying the best we can with what we have and what we know to make it work. We start out thinking we know what we want, only to realize it might not be what we need. How do we find the right person uniquely suited for us? And why does love drive so many people to make wildly irrational decisions, sometimes leading to potentially detrimental consequences? What is this thing called love, and why does it elude so many of us?

We live in a time unlike any other in history. It’s only been in the past 100 years or so that the majority of us marry for romantic love rather than for property, power, or economic gain. Even more recently, we’ve seen the shame surrounding divorce disappear, and we’ve triumphed over the cultural stigma of interracial marriage and LGBTQ marriage. Yes, love always wins . . . eventually!

Sex for pleasure is also finally an accepted cultural norm, whereas before, sex was historically seen as something reserved only for procreation. Alas, all the juicy questions! Can all girls squirt? How do I get my girlfriend to have a threesome? Why can’t I orgasm from penetrative sex? How can I last longer in bed? What—as everyone always wants to know—is the gold standard for normal?

In the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring these wonderful complexities surrounding love, sex, relationships, and more. I invite you to join in the conversation, promising a judgment-free zone and the utmost confidentiality. Every other week, I’ll publish select inquiries with answers. Names will be changed and email addresses will never be published. The more questions you ask and the more experiences you share, the greater our collective knowledge and understanding can grow.

It is my duty to serve you as best as I can, and I look forward to honoring the opportunity.

AskM@centerforeroticintelligence.org

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