Ah, the first orgasm. Some women get up close and comfortable with their pleasure at a young age, and can’t place a finger on when it all began. But others remember their first big O as a momentous event that happened much later in life, after many years of wondering.
This spectrum of experiences isn’t too surprising considering that most of us had to learn about sexual pleasure and orgasms from sources like TV or (often similarly clueless) friends. (Thanks a lot, sex ed.) And as such, many of us ladies experienced our first orgasms by accident, or through some form of self-exploration.
Nevertheless, figuring out how to orgasm is a beautiful, important, right of passage for many women. It’s how we learn what our bodies are capable of.
Here are nine real, hilarious, often heartwarming tales from women about the first time they experienced an orgasm.
1. ‘MY FRIENDS GAVE ME A VIBRATOR’
“I didn’t have an orgasm until college. My family was quite religious, so growing up, I never masturbated. My friends bought me a vibrator as a joke for my 19th birthday. But one day, sitting in my dorm room, I decided to give it a try. I secretly wanted to know what all the hoopla was about. I spent that entire afternoon coming, over and over again. That vibrator changed my world.” —Nina, 25
2. ‘I WAS IN THE SHOWER’
“My first orgasm was definitely with a shower head. You know, it’s kind of how a lot of girls figure it out. I didn’t mean to, but it felt really good. I was probably around 8.” —Scarlett, 24
3. ‘IT WAS A TOTAL ACCIDENT’
“I was walking home from elementary school, probably around third grade. I remember I shinnied up a street sign post and it felt REALLY good. I didn’t have a name for it, but I still remember it and I’m 82.” —Lilly*, 82
4. ‘I’VE ALWAYS KNOWN HOW’
“I’ve been masturbating for as long as I can remember. I don’t have a specific time when I first orgasmed, I feel like I’ve always been able to do it, though the way I do it has changed and evolved! When I was really young, I could just squeeze my legs together and make it happen.
“But it wasn’t until I was 19 and involved with a 53-year-old silver fox named Karl (who actually listened to my body, unlike 22-year-old college seniors), that I finally had my first orgasm during sex.” —Mal, 33
5. ‘I MUST HAVE BEEN DANCING’
“I was 5 or 6 years old and discovered what my clitoris was while grinding up on a four-poster bed. I was maybe dancing or something?
“My mom remembers it vividly and loves to tell the story at family gatherings and to people I’m dating. She didn’t make me feel ashamed or embarrassed. I’m grateful that she taught me to be okay with my body. I don’t think I’ve stopped masturbating since.” —Grace*, 28
6. ‘MY FIRST ORGASM WAS A SECRET’
“It was during a fully-clothed makeout with a boyfriend. We were standing on the sidewalk, next to his black ’89 Mercedes, kissing, touching in the public darkness the way teens do when sleepovers are forbidden and bedrooms are within earshot of curious parents. The rhythm of our hips, his leg, and my lady parts made sparkles that shot down my legs and up to my brain—a blissful surprise I kept to myself. We broke up before college, both virgins, and him never knowing of his secret gift.” —Whitney, 33
7. ‘I HAD A TEACHER’
“It wasn’t until my late twenties when I met a man, a sexual partner, who taught me the greatest and most liberating sexual lesson of all. He told me that we couldn’t have sex until I learned how to make myself orgasm. He said he’d never be able to please me fully if I didn’t know how to ask for what I want. He left me with my ‘homework’ and patiently walked me through some sensual self starters and he playfully evaluated my exercises and techniques. And finally, I brought myself to my first orgasm. He was right, sex was much more passionate and much more enjoyable.” —Lisa, 39
8. ‘I USED A TOOTHBRUSH’
“I found an electric toothbrush in my family’s bathroom. This sounds so gross, but I’m not even sure who the toothbrush belonged to. I was just a kid. I took the head off and touched myself with it. It was like sparks all through my clitoris. I didn’t know what I had experienced was an orgasm, but I knew it felt amazing and I wanted to do it again and again. I put the toothbrush back after using it and continued the same thing for…maybe a few years.” —Michelle*, 30
9. ‘I GOT GREAT ORAL’
“I had my first ever orgasm with a boy in high school. We were sort of together, but never put a label on it. One day, at my parents house, he asked if he could go down on me. We’d only ever made out and he’d fingered me twice. Miraculously, he knew exactly what he was doing. He made me orgasm in less than five minutes. It was a spectacular first experience because it taught me to expect oral sex. If a guy wasn’t willing to go down on me, I wasn’t for him. It set a good standard for sexual pleasure.” —Miranda, 30