Orgasm Quest Header
Here at SheVibe we're obviously big on orgasms - and quests are only slightly lower on our sex geek list. That's why we're extremely honored to chat with Crista Anne, a beautiful soul inside and out. Educator, Blogger, kick ass Mommy - she's also a self-proclaimed Progressive Pleasurist, Intersectional Feminist and Sex-Positive Parent with her "Partner In Everything" XVO. She's the foundress of Dildology.org and the viral sensation #OrgasmQuest.

She has 14 years of experience working in different spheres of sexuality and is the Co-Host of Progressive Pleasurists. A frequent contributor to the Carnalcopia and Life on the Swingset podcasts, Crista is a lover of glitter, rainbows, and coffee. Her guiltiest pleasure is her love for the Green Bay Packers. You can find her on Twitter @Pinkness

"Rainbow-colored pleasure revolutionary!" - Carol Queen, PhD
SheVibe:
Can you recap #OrgasmQuest for SheViber’s who may have missed this juggernaut?
Crista Anne:
Of course! The brief version is this: I came out of the womb depressed, but I also came out of the womb with a hand on my clit. My Mother was wonderful, she never shamed me for my early masturbation, and over my lifetime, masturbation became a form of a life hack for me. When I was in dark places, I could masturbate to remember that good sensations (pleasure) still existed. I could calm panic attacks, head off migraines. They helped me center when I felt out of control. I’ve been masturbating daily for almost my entire life.

While masturbation has been a useful tool to combat my depression and PTSD, it is not a cure. At the end of last year I realized that my mental illnesses were eating too much of my life and I was not equipped to fix myself on my own. So my amazing MD put me on a new antidepressant, amitriptyline, which is actually one of the first depression medications that is not an SSRI. It works! It works wonderfully! I enjoy being alive for the first time in my 32 years. I absolutely love this medication and will not change unless something drastic happens.

Of course, there is always a drawback. I now am experiencing anorgasmia - the inability to orgasm even with “proper” stimulation. I refuse to change medications, but I also refuse to give up my orgasm - especially my beloved masturbatory orgasm, in exchange for relief from depression. So, being me, I started #OrgasmQuest in December. Updates on my website and on twitter under the #OrgasmQuest hashtag on how I was working through the anorgasmia. My plan was and is to jump start my pleasure centers through devoting time every day to masturbation or other pleasurable pursuits. I’ve had successes and failures so far, and I’m sharing all of it with whoever wants to read. My updates are not designed to be explicit, but I speak in very frank and accessible terms about masturbation and the sexual accessories I am using.

This really is the brief version! Since launch, Quest has gone viral worldwide. It’s been a wild ride.
Crista Anne
SheVibe:
So, that was one helluva month that you just had! What surprised you the most about going viral?
Crista Anne:
Oh, I was utterly unprepared for being a viral sensation. It's an experience that I am still processing, and every day I find out about new articles written about me from around the world. I think what surprised me the most was how deeply other people's stories affected me. People sent me these amazing emails that were full of their full experiences, some deeply broke my heart. The one that affected me the most I cannot really talk about - they asked me not to - but anorgasmia ruined their life in so many ways and I carry their words in my heart forever. I now feel a responsibility to my readers that I never felt before.
SheVibe:
Did you find that most folks wanted to enter into intelligent discourse or was it a judgmental horror show?
Crista Anne:
Equal parts of both. Many sites: Cosmopolitan, Bustle, The Daily Dot, Refinery29 and Jezebel told my story beautifully, with respect and the responses to those articles was intelligent discourse and beautiful connections. Other sites used my story for sensational bullshit, twisting #OrgasmQuest into clickbait and Quest became a judgmental horror show for a while. After the twisted articles were posted, they were picked up by other sites around the world and that was really hard. I've now been mocked and slut shamed on a global scale. There were times when I very seriously considered wiping my entire online life.

Not only was I getting death and rape threats, after my xoJane piece went live, I started getting death threats about my children. That was terrifying. Had to make emergency plans for them to possibly stay with other parents or relatives if I felt that we were unsafe here. That devastated me for a while and I took a hiatus from writing about quest as I got my bearings back. They are back and I refuse to let the trolls win. So here I am, still writing my truth and being myself. "Every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right" my words and my truth are my weapons, and I'm going to continue to fight.
Crista Anne & Val
SheVibe:
Tell us more about your "Partner in Everything", Val. How has his support changed this experience for you?
Crista Anne:
Oh my Val. None of this would be possible without him. I wouldn't have the strength to face all of this without having him by my side. He's endlessly supportive, even when Quest ate up all my time and he felt alone. His support, his love, his faith in me has made it possible for me to be the very best version of myself. He really is the wind beneath my wings. Thank you for asking about him, he's vital to everything I do. When I need time to write, or when I need time to masturbate, he takes over with the kids. He's an incredible Father, very involved. He is my everything, and he's in everything I do. Without him, I am positive I would have quit when the harassment started to outweigh the positives.
SheVibe:
Of all the media coverage you have received, which publication or outlet surprised you the most?
Crista Anne:
Cosmopolitan! Oh my stars! You know, I almost blew off that interview because I had such a negative view of them from reading only the print version. Oh no, their online entity is completely different and their sex & relationships editor - Lane Moore - They are absolutely amazing. Sex positive, feminist, very much on the same wavelength as I am. I never fathomed that I'd be telling people to read Cosmo, but here I am. Go read the digital version of Cosmo and you'll be delighted. They are putting out really great stories.
Crista Anne's Orgasm Quest Warrior Wear
SheVibe:
If there was one element of #OrgasmQuest that you most wanted people to understand, what would it be?
Crista Anne:
That my sex life is not ruined by anorgasmia, it has simply changed. Some of the change is positive, some is negative. It is not ruined by any stretch of the imagination. In many ways this is the most empowering project I've taken on in my very long career.
SheVibe:
Is there an evolution for #OrgasmQuest? So many people were interested, so we were wondering, where does #OrgasmQuest go from here?
Crista Anne:
Orgasm Quest is a lifelong project in my mind. Eventually I will get my "universe creating" orgasms back, though I have no idea when that will be. Once they are back? I'll let quest naturally evolve. Just because I got my groove back, there is still so much work to be done advocating for honest dialogue about sexuality and mental illness. So many stigmas to push back against regarding masturbation. Empowered sexuality for women - especially other Mothers. Promotion of pleasure.

While I am still working out my plans, JoEllen Notte and I are teaming up for a podcast that will cover a wide range of Progressive Pleasure topics, as well as a shared Sex & Depression workshop. I'd love to turn Quest into a book, and be able to travel educating via sharing my story. Soon I'll have a Patreon set up to help fund these goals. Trolls and harassment be damned, #OrgasmQuest is here to stay.
Crista Anne - On The Set