I’m so proud of Crista, and I’m so excited about her #orgasmquest, and when she opened up for friends to interview her, I jumped at the chance. Be prepared to fall in love with her a little bit.
The Frisky Fairy: OrgasmQuest is blowing up! but let’s get back to the beginning and have a brief overview of what started it all off?
Crista Anne: The quick bullet points are that while I came out of the womb depressed, I also came out of the womb with my hand on my clit. Masturbation has been a lifehack for me since I was but a wee Crista. I’ve used it to connect myself with positive sensations through depression, fend off migraines, deal with stress, or just because I wanted to. After decades experimenting with different anti-depressants, I started one that really works. As I came out of the adjustment period to a new med, I discovered that for the first time in my 32 years I enjoyed being alive, but that also for the first time my orgasm was gone. While my partnered sex life hasn’t been affected by my loss of orgasm, I refuse to lose my masturbatory orgasm. I was on an episode of The Carnalcopia podcast where I ranted about this, the feedback from listeners was really positive, so I started #OrgasmQuest in a public way to raise awareness that sexual side effects from medications are a fairly common experience, to start conversations about how to deal with the life changes that can have, and to work on busting the stigmas.
The Frisky Fairy: You call yourself a Progressive Pleasurist, what does that mean?
Progressive Pleasurist is my encompassing term for being an intersectional feminist, sex-positive in the Carol Queen vein of sex-positivity, really freaking queer, pleasure-based sex educator and an activist for progressive causes. Reproductive freedom, empowered femme sexuality, LGBTQA causes beyond marriage, progressive populism just to start. I have the bare bones of what Progressive Pleasurist means to me on my site
, but that’s only the start.
The Frisky Fairy: As someone who regularly works in sex blogging and education, do you worry that Orgasm Quest might make people who are anorgasmic feel inferior?
I will totally call myself out for not making the motives behind #OrgasmQuest clearer from the beginning. It wasn’t a fully fleshed out concept when I made my first post, and I never fathomed that Quest would leave my small pond of friends and readers. Debated going back and editing the first post a great deal, but I decided to leave it as is with links to updates/clarifications so people can read the growth and change.
#OrgasmQuest is about getting my masturbatory orgasms back, getting my life hack back. I refuse to accept that is gone, that I have to sacrifice a massive part of my identity to enjoy the benefits of my anti-depressant. If you’re anorgasmic (like me!) and okay with that, ROCK ON! Huzzah! I’m thrilled for you. If you’re anorgasmic and unhappy about it, I empathize strongly, here is what I am doing and what is and isn’t working for me. Bodies are different, medications are different, there are so many variables at play that my story and what works for me quite possibly will only work for me. Maybe it gives someone ideas on things to try though! Maybe it inspires people to talk about what they are experiencing. You are not inferior. You are not broken. Anorgasmic sex can still be every bit as awesome as orgasmic sex.
The Frisky Fairy: Do you have any tips for people who are having trouble finding a balance between feeling “good” and maintaining a happy sex life?
Self care is really important. In my experience, giving yourself permission to carve out some time each day – or as often as possible, is vital to improving all areas of life. For me, that’s been masturbation. Talk to your medical professionals about what you need, if they aren’t receptive to prioritizing your sexuality and you have the means to, fire them and find one that will. There are a few online resources for finding sex-positive medical professionals. The Kink Aware Professionals or Scarleteen databases are great starts.
Give yourself time to figure out what a happy sex life is for you. Communicate that with your partner(s) if applicable. Work on healthy communication with yourself and your partner(s). Allow yourself time to get to where you want to be. When I say things that I don’t participate in goal oriented sex, I mean the kind of sex where if orgasms aren’t had the encounter is considered a failure. Do set goals for your sex life, but give yourself a lot of time and space to get to where you want to be. If possible, quality sex toys and utilizing the skills of professional sex educators, coaches can make all the difference. Mostly, you take care of you. Whatever that may look like.
The Frisky Fairy: I’m big on advocating for yourself with your doctors, do you have any suggestions for people who are having trouble telling their docs that the way their healthcare regimen is affecting their sex life is unacceptable?
Crista Anne: It’s hard! I want to start off with really acknowledging that advocating for yourself in this way is incredible hard. Especially for people who have mental illness. I’ve gone through Planned Parenthood for most of my basic health care because I’ve found that they were always receptive to prioritizing sexuality as part of my path of well-being. They’ve also been willing to work with me on sliding scale costs, because I am and always have been a low income person. Look through the resources online for sex-positive or kink aware professionals and see if you can find someone through those avenues. Advocating for yourself can seem impossible, but I’ve found once you start, it gets easier. I hope that is true for others as well.
The Frisky Fairy: What are some snags you’ve hit through this entire process of creating and working on orgasm quest?
Crista Anne: The snags have either been self created, not making it clear that Quest is about Masturbatory orgasms above all else/coming off as prioritizing orgasmic sex much more than I actually do. After that, there have been snags with dealing with some of the media coverage. I was not prepared for national media attention, so there have been scrambles on my end to clean up and streamline my web presence. Mostly, the snags have been people who hear #orgasmquest and assume that I am an attention craving person who is masturbating live on twitter for unhealthy reasons. Pushing back against incorrect coverage and advocating for my voice to be included with media coverage.
Overall, this experience has been beautiful. The conversations happening around #OrgasmQuest are so vital. I’m so proud of what is happening.
The Frisky Fairy: In a couple of the articles (and subsequent comments), people have raised questions about your process as a parent talking about their sex life on the internet. Do you have anything to say to them?
There is extreme stigma when it comes to parents, but especially Mothers, being sexual creatures. My children are being raised in a sex-positive, body-positive way. We have open communication with our kids and that won’t be changing. The information that they get about my career is age-appropriate, since they are all so young that’s mostly that Mommy needs to write on her laptop a lot.
Yes, one day I am sure that they are going to have an ick factor when it comes to my work. You know what? I had an ick factor with my parents over their music, how they dressed, all sorts of things. If it isn’t one thing that embarrasses them, it will be something else. That’s the nature of raising kids. We’ll have open dialogue with them and they will learn about my career from me. It’s not going to be some secret or surprise.
Beyond that, most of what I want to say to those people and the rest of the world is this: I did not give up being a person in my own right the moment I gave birth. I did not forfeit being a sexual person the moment I got pregnant. Motherhood, parenting. Those are currently the biggest parts of my life but they are not the only parts of my life. I am a whole and complete person who is raising children. My kids are growing up with a happy mother who loves herself. My kids are fine.
The Frisky Fairy: What’s your favorite sex toy? (links and pics please!)
I cannot possibly pick out a favorite sex toy, I can barely narrow it down to a top 12. I love sex toys, they are such incredible tools. Let’s go with what I am using for #OrgasmQuest. Right now I’m aiming to spend 15 minutes a day with my original magic wand
, a liberator ramp
for comfort and my Pure Wand
The Frisky Fairy: So now that it’s all out there, viral, and exciting, are you considering a video game? (no but seriously, a game where you beat down bad guys with dildos, and achieve orgasms like points would be awesome…You can even get power-ups that make you trail rainbows behind you!)
Crista Anne: Ah, hahahaha. I wish. That’s utterly beyond my skillset and to be honest, I’m not much of a gamer =p
The Frisky Fairy: What’s next for you? Any other projects, or plans you’d like to plug?
#OrgasmQuest is going to get a majority of my sparse free time for the foreseeable future but I do have other projects coming up. JoEllen Notte
and I are about to launch a podcast on the swingset.fm
network called Progressive Pleasurists
) that will cover a wide range of topics that fall under that Progressive Pleasurist label. I’m a regular contributor to both the Carnalcopia podcast
and Life on the Swingset
. I’m also donating as much time as I can to Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance
and working on making bloggers, podcasters, and the non-academics feel comfortable at their Summit in August. Bringing the different sides of sex-education, the blogging world and the academic world together is a huge priority for me. I’ll also be at Catalyst Con East in March.
Beyond that, I have other offers on my plate but I need to figure out how to find the right work/life balance before I can commit to more jobs. Though if people have workshops or ventures that they think collaboration on would be beneficial, I’m always excited to help in any way I can.
Isn’t she amazing?
If you’re interested in sex toys and transparency in sex toy materials, check out her other project Dildology
Until Next Time!
-The Frisky Fairy