Dear Dr. Betty,
First of all, as a woman, I can't thank you and Carlin enough for your empowering, liberating efforts, which have closely guided me through my journey of sexual discovery.
I've masturbated with tension since I've been a child by humping the mattress and keeping my legs straight. It gives me localized, nice little orgasms which are clearly defined: there's a built-up of tension, I reach that small peak, calm down, get wet and my clit becomes very sensitive (in a good way).
I've finally discovered the wonders of manual masturbation just this year (btw, I'm 19) after a long time of no results. What I get from it is totally different: there's not much of a localized discharge followed by direct "peace", but a full body sensation (it can get pretty strong) that could go on and on, to the point where I don't know when it begins or ends. I assume this must be an orgasm.
What boggles me is the radical difference between the two kinds. The tension one is so easy to recognize that I never really know when (or if) I'm orgasming through manual, especially if it's not an intense moment. Its undefined quality leaves me frustrated, feeling like there's no conclusion or resolution, wondering if there' something more to come and if the fault's mine for not doing it right. I kinda miss how easy tension orgasms tend to be.
Now, I know my experience is very illustrative of the female model of response, which I have trouble accepting thanks to our man dominated world. But what makes me go WTF is how women themselves describe their orgasms in a very build-up/peak/relaxation/go to sleep way. For fuck's sake, I was having sex with a woman a few days ago, we were masturbating, she orgasmed with involuntary hip movements followed by "relaxation" and I was there having that long ass peak, my clit turned amazingly sensitive and I felt like I had to cut myself off to not keep going on forever. I mean, how can women present such different responses?
I also feel like my libido has decresead over my years of teenage sexual repression and I miss how easily horny I used to get. I also have trouble creating sexual fantasies, especially during masturbation. It's like my mind doesn't get very interested and everything fades to black. I don't know what to do and fear that my sexuality is being robbed by culture and pornography (which I've unfortunately watched a lot during the years).
Sorry for this kind of becoming a rant!
What a great query into understanding your orgasms. No two are ever exactly alike and they never stay the same. One of my favorite things about orgasms is that I can never fully understand all there is to know about this ongoing mystery called "sexual pleasure with orgasms."
It would be nice if we could treat sexual orgasms like eating a meal. Some times it's just like a snack to satisfy my hunger. Other times it seems to transport me to realms of ecstasy. The experience of sexual pleasure has an extreme scale from barely warm to steaming hot!.
Just remind yourself NOT to overthink something that is mostly nonverbal.... like trying to describe "beauty" or "ecstasy" or "spiritual" which are all experienced so differently by each individual. Unlike porn that is one dimensional depicting male fantasies without much understanding about beauty, grace or art. Time to create your own fantasy repertoire.
You're doing great!