Uncontrollable Orgasms

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Art by Neka King.

There’s a piece of advice we hear over and over: Trust your gut! Listen to your body! The assumption here is that our bodies will tell us the truth. But Angie has a body she can’t trust. Instead of bringing her closer to people, her body often leads her into danger — and makes her feel dangerous herself. 

As a kid, Angie hated a lot of things. She hated wearing jeans. She hated when her mom kissed her. She hated going down slides on the playground. She hated these things because of the way they made her feel. It’s the feeling Angie would struggle with every day for years to come: an intense, uncontrollable, overwhelming feeling of arousal. 

The first time Angie felt this was in kindergarten. One day, during naptime, while the other kids were sleeping, Angie took off her shirt and started kissing the boy next to her. When the teacher saw what she was doing, she came over and grabbed Angie’s hand and pulled her over to the teacher’s desk. Angie remembers the look of horror on her teacher’s face. 

Angie doesn’t want to feel dangerous. So for years, she isolates herself from friends and family and spends countless hours alone in her room masturbating. And she doesn’t tell anyone because she’s deeply ashamed. Orgasms are supposed to be a pleasurable experience but for Angie, they can be painful and sometimes spontaneous. 

What’s causing Angie’s body to go haywire? Why is she always aroused? How can she have meaningful relationships when her body is playing tricks on her?

This episode of Bodies is about the connection between desire and arousal and how we can only build intimacy with others when we truly trust ourselves. 

Discover more about PGAD:

-PGAD Facebook support group
-PGAD Disorder FAQ
-PGAD Newsletter 
-Diagnosis and treatment 
-Sign up for a weekly PGAD fact on Twitter until November 2020

Things to read: 
-Is It OK For My Child To Masturbate?
-Come as You Are
-These Men are Constantly Having Orgasms 
-Being Constantly Aroused is Living in Hell

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Read the full transcript here.


Host and Producer: Allison Behringer
Associate Producer: Hannah Harris Green 
Editor: Stephanie Foo
Composer/Sound Designer: Dara Hirsch
Mix engineer: Myke Dodge Weiskopf 
Additional editorial support: Sharon Mashihi, Camila Kerwin
Story Consultants: KalaLea, Caitlin Pierce, Cass Adair
Research Assistant: Liz Charky 
Managing Producer: Kristen Lepore