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Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome


I had my first orgasm at the age of 17. I was sitting at my desk at school when all of a sudden, I felt a warm, pulsing feeling in my genital area. My vagina flared up and I couldn’t think straight. It was like someone had squeegeed my thoughts away. I was like, whoa, what’s that? It felt really erotic and good, but I was also freaked out, scared, and confused. After that, it started happening a few times a day. I searched online for spontaneous orgasms, but all I found was weird porn.

It kept getting worse. During my second semester of senior year, I counted orgasms on a sheet of paper. I was having 100 and 200 a day. I ran to hide in the bathroom between classes to relieve the pressure.

By the time I started college, the orgasms became even more intense and disruptive, and I was having trouble concentrating. I became really depressed. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and I wasn’t getting any better. I cried a lot. I hid in the bathroom. I became violently protective of my privacy. In the beginning, I told everyone I trusted about my condition. People said things like: “You’re so lucky!” and “Dude, I’d love to date you.” They didn’t understand why I wanted it to go away, and labeled me a drama queen. The school psychiatrist thought I was crazy. After my sophomore year, I bought a bunch of vibrators and took medical leave.

One day in 2003, a friend sent me an article in the Boston Globe about a newly discovered condition called Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome*. When I read it, I started crying hysterically — it described exactly what I was going through. I immediately made an appointment at the institute the article linked to, and after hours of tests, I was diagnosed with PSAS. My engorged genitalia and hypersensitivity made me a textbook case. Every other doctor had thought I was just a delusional hypochondriac.

PSAS feels like having a second heartbeat. No, it’s more than that. It’s alive — it has its own life force, a mind of its own. I often wonder if this is how teenage boys feel about their erections.

My parents pretend my PSAS doesn’t exist. It makes me feel uncomfortable and rejected. My mother is very conservative — she has trouble saying the word “orgasm” out loud, and she thinks I’m a pervert because I have toys. A couple months ago, out of the blue, she said, “You still having that orgasm problem?” That was only the second time she asked about it since 2003. I sometimes wish I could make reference to it in normal conversations without feeling like a freak, but I understand that PSAS isn’t exactly dinner conversation.

Every time I do something, I have to evaluate my situation. Where am I? Are there other people around? How well do I know them? What is the likelihood that, if I don’t get someplace private in time, things could get complicated? Can I make noise? (Being vocal isn’t necessary, but it helps release more of the pressure.) I avoid triggers — things like music with heavy bass, vibrations from riding a train or an idle car, cold air, musky cologne, darkness, stress, scary movies, romantic movies, unexpected touch, a full bladder. PSAS is completely unrelated to sex drive. Watching sex scenes does nothing for me, but the other day, when a friend put his hand on my back, I found it really hard to contain a screaming orgasm. If my heart rate shoots up too high for too long, I flare up. I avoided exercise and gained a lot of weight. One time, I was hugging a male relative and I felt an orgasm arise. It felt really dirty and wrong, and I totally freaked out. Now, I try to avoid hugs in general unless I feel ready for them.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for about six years, but we still haven’t had sex. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to do it. Because of a vulvar pain disorder I have that sometimes comes with PSAS, I know it will hurt like hell. Others who have PSAS say that sex is not satisfying at all — the orgasms associated with sex are nothing compared to the ones induced by the condition. Sometimes I wish I could have sex with him because I think he deserves to have a ‘real’ girlfriend, but honestly, I just enjoy being held by him and not having it feel inappropriate. He’s been very patient and understanding; he’s my best friend, and we talk every night.

I’m 24 now, and have learned to manage PSAS pretty well. I discovered dancing — it’s a great alternative to jogging because it’s not as cardio-intensive. As long I take breaks between routines, folk dancing or doing salsa doesn’t cause a flare up.
Last week, I was at the movies and had to leave twice because I was flaring up. Each time, I ran to the bathroom and tapped my heels on the floor to hear if there was anyone else around. Then I locked myself into a stall, braced myself against the stall door, and let the orgasm run its course. I missed about 15 minutes of the film, but that’s just one of the many things that result from managing PSAS and its collateral damage.

My orgasms feel like a cosmic joke. I don’t know why this happened to me and not someone else. If I didn’t have PSAS, I’d be much more outgoing, and I probably would have finished college two years earlier. I’d have a normal sex life. I feel like I’m lugging around a shadow, a ghost that I just can’t shake. It depresses me that I’m stuck with it, probably for the rest of my life, but strangely enough, I don’t want to be cured instantly of PSAS. It appeared suddenly in my life, and if it disappeared just as suddenly, I would always be looking over my shoulder, and I’m not sure I would know who I was. I would rather have it slowly fade away, but if it doesn’t, well, I’m doing my best to make peace with this part of my life.

Learn More about Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome here –

Photocredit – Comstock

Click to comment




    December 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    WoW!When i saw the title of this post, I thought I would love to be in your position. But after reading, I understand the pain and pressure you must be experiencing…I hope it fades away soon.



    December 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    hey, at first i almost said wowh! that would be nice because all i crave for is at least one in a year – i am anti-orgasmic …i really dunno which situation is worse.

    one thing i believe is that there is nothing impossible for God to do, if its a syndrome, it must have a solution. please trust God and dont stop trusting him…i believe you will be healed and have a normal sexual life.



    December 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    omg… 🙁
    i think you should see a specialist for this…if there is a problem , there is a solution. orgasm should be a blessing not a thing of disgrace and shame. more importantly, im sure youve heard this before but dont stop praying n trusting God. it is well with you dear.


    Fairy Godsister

    December 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Wow, like everyone I wanted to be you till I got past the first paragraph.
    You’ll be fine, again, like everyone else I believe there’s a God, and he can sort you out.



    December 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I cant say its purnishment but it definitely came from God. My dear just hold onto him closely and he’ll see you through pls.


    Anonymous OB

    December 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I wish it were possible for you to take a bit of me and me a bit of you.
    I have experienced orgasm only once in my 14 years on being sexually active. I dont have pain during sex but it is hardly ever pleasurable.
    I have had several sexual partners and have watched several DVDs.
    So now, I just pretend. I make on the loud moans and screams but there is hardly ever any real pleasure



    December 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    This is so sad , but i believe that all things are possible through Christ Jesus, tell all your your struggles to Him , He cares.



    December 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    its very sad, people with PSAS go through a lot of emotional torture. Depending on which part of the world this person lives, she can seek specialist advise/help.
    I strongly believe this lady will be HEALED by GOD in JESUS NAME. The bible says “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed”.
    Isaiah 53:5 NKJV



    December 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    dunno their is such ailment lik this. well this is informative. i pray she recovers quickly from it.



    December 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Really sorry to read this…
    Read the heading and thought hey OMG..some people have it good.
    On reading this…I guess my thoughts changed…I pray you get healed completely and enjoy life more.



    December 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    First I thing I should get it out there that I’m a guy and when I saw the title I was like wow that’s quite a situation you have there and your bf must be thankful because many girls complain that their men don’t get them close to the big o. But i feel really bad for you, it must be quite embarrassing at times. However like someone said above wish i could take some of that from you because I could really use it. Had a couple of partners and I don’t know why but i rarely cum (only once in the past year). So just hang in there, since people are now aware of the condition, the solution wouldn’t be far behind.



    December 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    WOAH! Tank u so much for sharing really…..



    December 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    The Vulva pain you are experiencing is a condition known as vulvodynia (I’m sure you know that already). Dr. Howard Glazer of Cornell University, specialises in sexual pain management, he is well respected for his work in this area.
    Read this –
    there are also several products already in the market to ease vulva pain. see some here –



      December 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      This is quite helpful thanks Zainab, i also know a friend with the same problem



    December 15, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Like every other person, I thought ‘what wouldn’t I give to be having as much orgasms to spice up my life’ On reading this all I can say to you is ‘You Are BRAVE’. And I read somewhere where you once asked ‘Why me?’ Harsh as it may sound, ‘Why not you? Its you simply because were it someone else who didn’t have the strength of spirit that you have, Sister, that person would be gone by now.
    I look forward to reading your miracle someday soon. Because I know that as you have shared your experience with us all, God’s healing will share itself to you soon.
    To other readers who may know of someone who has recovered from PSAS, please share whatever advice with everyone so we also could pass across this advice to any one who may be in similar shoes.
    Thanks once again, our ever strong Sister.



    December 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I don’t know what to say, whether i feel pity for you or whether i should just tell you that you are one lucky girl; but since you have disclosed having pains and being depressed, i can only advice you on two things.

    1. Do you normally feel the heavy urge espiecially when you have just finish urinating? Whichever the case, whenever you feel this urge, don’t use all these sex tools to satisfy yourself, it only makes it worse. Rather i suggest that you close your eyes and think of yourself being in an ocean overlooking the horizon. imagine yourself in odd places you never thought you could be; like in the library, nuns school, etc. I tell you it will help you ease your mind and direct it to another distraction that will take your mind off the feeling of the orgasm.

    2. (Are you a christian) Talk to God, he is your creator, he knows what is happening to you more than you know what is happening to you and if you confide in God that you don’t like the feeling, You will be surprise what God can do. He will just make it go away. Nothing is too shameful to discuss with God. He will listen, try it.

    As for me, i can only wish you the best and if you need any advice on what next to do, never hesitate for a second to buzz me.

    Take care girl



    December 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Well,the very first time I ever heard of this condition was on the series,Grey’s Anatomy.Like your experience it was pitiable but I wanted to be in her shoes.I understand what you are going through and think you should do more research on your condition and get expert medical help.It’s a pity you have to see an orgasm as an illness…It really is a beautiful feeling.I hope you realise that really soon.



    December 16, 2010 at 12:34 am

    hi, i rily feel for u, like on of d ladies said. sexual feelin is controlled by d brain. its our largest sex organ… so effective desensitization and refocusin ur attention, will rilly help u since u hv a fair idea of d triggers. so my advice to u is to very selective of wat u choose to focus ur attentiton. and i m sure der would b a turn off for u, dat only u can discover if u pay closer attention.
    i hope my little words can help. its not as easy as it sounds, i wish u luck and GOD’s help. He made u.


    victoria a

    December 16, 2010 at 9:02 am

    wow, its informative,but dear, dont be embarrass, the situation came and will leave some day, just believe u can overcome it with the Help of God. it is well.



    December 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

    well, first it is good in you are coming to a marriageable age. while growing out of my naive age, i learnt not a tel everyone of my growing experiences. so i would advise that you do not tell just everyone what you are passing through except the person will proffer a solution that is agreeable to you.
    Secondly, i mentioned marriage. i do not advise you give your body to anyone just because you want to know the feel. it may lead to something worse than your situation. so, if you can, be sure f who you want to get married to. make sure he is matured enough to understand and stand by you. believe me, he can help. because once you are married to someone you trust, you will tell him anything and he will help where he can.
    Be prayerful just as almost everyone has mentioned. I can see you are looking for means to control it. thats good and keep it up. do not entertain fear and try to face all your phobias. but not that if you do not stand up to confront this situation especially with the help of God, you will continue to fall.



    December 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    i have an idea of what u r going thru, one of the episodes in Grey’s Anatomy was on this and at least i know its a real issue.
    i also believe it can be solved, by God’s grace. its something u ought to enjoy and i hope u will be cured and have a normal life.

    wish u God’s best


    aguda temitope

    December 19, 2010 at 9:18 am

    i neva nu of somtin lik dis until afta readin dis article.Lord!
    iv heard of issues mo’ severe…God solvd them all!wot u nid,my dear is God,for a divine healing.tak kia.



    February 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Whaoo. Am speechless…You must be living in your own world. i never knew Orgasm could be so fearful and dreaded until now.
    Am sure solution is here already..coz problem shared is half solved.

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