What would you do if the medication you needed to feel normal and enjoy life also made it difficult to achieve orgasm? For mom and sex blogger Crista Anne, her inability to orgasm solo—one of her top “life hacks,” which I’ll explain in a minute—led her on an OrgasmQuest to fight the side-effects of her antidepressant. While OrgasmQuest might sound like a sexy video game (and one I’m sure we’d all enjoy playing), it is actually a journey of self-discovery that Anne details on her blog.
Anne explains that although she is still able to achieve partner climax on her medication, it was her inability to do it on her own that caused the most problems in her everyday life. She told Philadelphia's City Paper, “sex and masturbation have been my saviors for combating depression.”
"Being able to orgasm in minutes keeps my stress and anxiety down. Orgasm is my best migraine stopper and helps with fibromyalgia flares. Suddenly not being able to orgasm whenever the heck I wanted to was a massive blow to the core of my identity. I find it completely unacceptable. I would rather orgasm than need to take a pill for panic attacks."
OrgasmQuest isn’t about showing off, but rather, about helping to lift various stigmas, including those surrounding mental illness, which we all know are harmful and can prevent people from seeking the help they need. But what struck me about this project is how it clearly challenges the whole “women don’t masturbate myth.” Female masturbation is such a taboo to begin with that this mom’s commitment to exploring her body, and her ability to be so candid and public about it by writing about it on the internet is nothing short of courageous. While some nay-sayers might chastise her for daring to be a mom and post about sex at the same time (the horror!), I think I would have been proud to have a mom who was so open about sex and unafraid to talk about her struggles with mental illness.
Given that an estimated 1 in 10 Americans suffer from depression according to the CDC, Anne cannot possibly be the only one to experience the unwanted sexual side effects. In fact, she reports that the response to her OrgasmQuest has been overwhelmingly positive: "Every single day I've gotten a kind message from someone letting me know I've helped them."
I would end here by singing Crista's praises and saying once again that what she is doing is admirable on many levels, and then I'd say that we should all vow to take time to go on our own Orgasm Quests, but I think City Paper's Rachel Kramer Bussel said it better than I could:
The way Crista values masturbation is a model more of us could stand to follow. By privileging her solo sex life, she's showing up powerfully in the rest of her life. For her, it's about regaining her lost orgasm to be the best person she can be.
I think I just got the chills.
Images: Crista Anne / Twitter (2)