18 Arab Teen Girls Tell the Stories of Their First Orgasms

By: Nour Jumma

DisclaimerThis article is in no way, shape, or form encouraging anyone to have sex or indulge in self-pleasure. Read that again, please. This article is meant to help you understand that women can orgasm, and that’s a scientific fact. If you partake in sexual acts, that’s your choice. The only reason we do these articles is for everyone who does to be reminded to stay safe and everyone who doesn’t be aware of how they can be safe when they do have sex, whenever that is according to their morality/beliefs/religion.

Photo courtesy of the brilliant Sarah Bahabah from her series ‘Eib’.

Most of us don’t really know what it is that happened when we have our first orgasm, at a young age you don’t really have access to that kind of information or knowledge. But in order to break the stigma around shame and self pleasure, we should be able to openly discuss (within comfort zones) our shared experiences with orgasms. After we sent out our anonymous form, here are some of the responses we got.

“I was 14 years old. I didn’t know what it was until a while later. I had spent many months reading wattpad smuts and stuff because I liked the feeling of being horny, but I didn’t think about masturbating yet because I didn’t want to lose my virginity (because of our messed up society that gives too much value to the hymen). Then, I discovered the existence of the clitoris. Also, I got some advice from an older trusted friend about porn. And basically my first orgasm was my second time watching porn (the first time I watched, I fell upon a video involving step bro-sis and it creeped me out hahahahahaha). Since then, I learned many more things on pleasure, and I’ve grathered more information on pornography.”

  • SS, 15, Lebanese-Canadian

“I think I was 13, and I did know what an orgasm was. It wasn’t during sexual activity, but I talked to someone I trust about it later. Honestly, it was heaven. It felt like I was worshipping myself. I used to be ashamed of it, but now I’m not.”

  • N, 16, Egyptian-Turkish

“I was almost 19, I was fully aware of what an orgasm is. It was an experience with someone I trust. We were travelling, and we had liked each other for a while, and we kinda just did it while we were there. I was exploring myself at the time and just starting to accept myself. They were the first to make me orgasm and experience that unparalleled feeling. I’ve just learnt more about it and understood that it is my right to orgasm. For the longest time, I was always the person giving pleasure but never the person who received it during sexual activity. Of course, there was a lot of shame involved in the whole thing about not wanting to experience that pleasure, but it was also that some men didn’t ask or just did a half-assed job at it. Surprisingly, I was a lot more uninhibited with this person than with any of the other people I was with. They were the first and only person I ever let near my vulva, which is, yes, surprising, but also understandable? Anyway, it made me realise that it is my full right to feel pleasure and not to accept any less.”

  • MB, 20, Egyptian

“I was 14 years old, and I had no idea what an orgasm was. I was just sitting on my bed one night watching a movie and I found my hands slip under my panties and doing something that felt good. I had no idea what I was doing but it felt like my hand does. Then I had my first orgasm and I did it for a few days in a row, and I thought I had discovered something that nobody knew. And of course, I didn’t tell my mom or any of my friends because I knew it was a taboo because it involves my genitals so obviously we can’t talk about it. Anyways my anxiety started to kick in and the voice in my head was like what if you’re doing something harmful? What if you’re gonna die? So I went online and asked anonymously about what it was and if it’s harmful and someone said ‘I don’t think masturbation is harmful’. I saw that word before online and I didn’t know what it was but I finally knew and started searching it up on google and got all the info I needed. It has changed a lot from thinking it was gonna kill me or take my virginity away from me to now doing it with no fear but the fear of getting caught.”

  • BE, 16, Egyptian

“Mmm I’d like to say it was a sexual awakening but honestly it induced a sexuality crisis that six years later (I was around 13/14) I have still not recovered from. Honestly tho, I had no idea what was going on, or what I was doing. So I was pretty freaked out but okay at the same time. But I did kind of stop myself from masturbating because I thought it was wrong for the longest time. I kind of know what I’m doing now, but now that I think about it, I wouldn’t have known how to masturbate at all if I didn’t actively try and seek out that information. Also now it just becomes a “whenever-I-feel-like-it” thing and I’ve learned to detach shame from the act, which did take a while.”  

  • FA, 19, Kuwaiti

“I was way too young, around 10 years old, and I had no clue what an orgasm was. I was in the bathroom and the bidet hit the spot. Looking back at it now I remember finding out about orgasms and sex shortly after what had happened”

  • A, 14, Egyptian

“At 18 years old, I had never masturbated before (even though I knew what it was). My first real orgasm was with my partner, who was really patient. I was old (and quick) enough to figure out that clitoral stimulation is what made me feel good. My partner was really patient with me and honestly it probably felt better because it was both of us just figuring it out. They learned how to please me while I did it was a great experience to share with them. I’ve always thought that self pleasure or sex should bee practiced safely. It should be more normalized and the stigma around it needs to be removed. If we can talk about men casually in that context why can’t women explore this conversation? Women are allowed to feel good too. It is also a lot harder for women to orgasm, so women should explore their bodies to understand what makes them feel good.”

  • AB, 19, Arab

“I had my first orgasm at 17. The shake, the way my eyes rolled, it was something else (even though I had no idea that this is what an orgasm is) The second time was with my partner, and it was amazing. But I also felt guilty afterwards, maybe because the society I live in forbids me of pleasure / masturbation / sex any kind of sexual pleasure. When I first started, I used to hate myself for pleasuring myself. But now I understand that fighting the urge isn’t the solution. I am extremely grateful that it happened with the right person over time, and that I didn’t have to regret it.”

  • SAA, 19, Egyptian 

“When I was 18 I had my first orgasm, which I was already educated on. I told my sister about it shortly after, as we share everything. Obviously, it was self induced (lmao guys can’t do shit). I’ve always been pretty open about self-exploration and discovering myself and my body.”

  • AH, 20, Canadian-Egyptian

“I had just turned 14 years old. I accidentally stumbled across porn, and it was the first time I had seen anything sexual. I started to get aroused. I knew nothing about orgasms, but I started mimicking what I was seeing in the video, and found it pleasurable. I continued till I was shaking, still not really sure what was actually happening. Back then, I felt extremely guilty after masturbating, and I sometimes would even cry afterwards. Now I (thankfully) think of it as a form of self-love, and learning to care, love, and pleasure my body.”

  • J, 15, Egyptian

“My first year of uni (so around 18 years old) I knew what the concept of self-pleasure was, but had never really participated in it. I was studying. I got bored. Pushed the books aside. Laid down on my bed. Took my hand down there, started playing, felt good, kept going. The way I view pleasure in general has always been the same, it’s always been something pretty normal to me.”

  • Nour, 21, Egyptian

“At 11-12 years old, I was reading erotic stories. One time, I felt a tingling feeling between my legs. I didn’t know what self-pleasure was, and I couldn’t really talk to anyone about it. For a while, I felt disgusted and ashamed about it.”

  • J, 14, Egyptian

“ I think I was 15, maybe 16. Thanks to twitter, I already knew what an orgasm was. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it after, as it felt like a pretty intimate and personal experience. I actually don’t really remember much, other than feeling anxious but good about it. Since then, my view on self pleasure has only gotten better in general.

  • ST, 18, Arab

“As a kid (5/6), I used to lie on the ground on my belly and move up and down (apparently this sort of counted as mastrubation, which of course I wasn’t aware of). I really liked how it felt, and continued doing it. One time, my mom saw me doing this and told me I shouldn’t do that. I was a kid, so I quickly forgot about it. Fast forward to 16, when I had an intimate dream, and woke up to pleasuring myself. This made me realise what it was I was doing when I was a kid. Obviously now I know much more about it, and I’m aware that it’s completely normal, and I’m okay with my experiences with it myself.”

  • J, 17, Egyptian 

“I was in a playground (must have been 7) climbing up one of those big hanging ropes where you have to wrap your legs around them to get up. As I was climbing up, I started to get this good feeling the longer I stayed hanging on to the rope. So I climbed further and further up, and suddenly I ‘orgasmed’. It’s weird to think of experiencing something like that as a child, but there wasn’t really anything sexual about it, which says a lot in itself. Of course I didn’t realise what had happened until years later but I did want that feeling again and it did happen again.”

  • KM, 25, Egyptian

“I didn’t understand when it was when it happened at first. I was 11 years old, and my mom had told me that it’s important to wash myself down there after I used the bathroom. So I did, and it felt really nice. I did feel ashamed of it, and thought it was a bad habit or something that I needed to break. Eventually I understood what it was and corrected my misconceptions.”

  • A, 18, Egyptian

“It was almost accidental. At 14, I was curious of what was going on ‘down there’. It took a while to be open about orgasms and pleasure in general after that.”

  • CH, 18, Kuwaiti

“When I was 15, fully educated on self-pleasure and anything surrounding it, and finally had my first orgasm, I almost screamed it from the rooftops. It warranted a group call with my girl besties. It was from a guided self-pleasure by a partner through the phone. He definitely knew how to sext? He asked me what I liked beforehand and we had a long conversation around what I thought I liked and what I enjoyed imagining or thinking about. I remember very well that I was really scared to ask him not to use degrading terms like ‘sharmouta’ because my bullies at school would point fingers and call me that often and it was embarrassing and shameful and it hurt. He promised not to use any degrading or humiliating words or phrases. Actually, we discovered that I have a praise kink. It worked wonderfully for us. He told me how to touch my body, how to warm myself up, how to look at my scars and stretch marks and still see something worthy and sexy. Brought me to the brink of orgasm only to draw back. It was my first time orgasming and also my first time having multiple orgasms. He set the bar so high, I haven’t recovered since. After that first experience though, it’s been disappointment after disappointment for months. Then I just stopped my (purely digital) sexual activity all together. We couldn’t date and I was not comfortable being touched physically due to being assaulted earlier that year. It was healing and pleasurable and I wouldn’t trade it for anything…”

  • M. 18, Arab

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