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Lily Allen was 29 when she had her first orgasm.

Lily Allen had given birth to two children before she had her first orgasm.

The 35-year-old welcomed daughters Ethel May in 2011, and Marnie Rose in 2013, with her ex-husband Sam Cooper, but until her 2014 Sheezus tour, she'd never really considered her body being useful for pleasure.

"I have a history with drugs and alcohol, but in terms of sex, up until my Sheezus tour, I was pretty straight," Allen wrote in her 2018 memoir My Thoughts Exactly.

Watch: Lily Allen talks about her journey to becoming comfortable about her sexuality.


Video via Womanizer.

"I didn't masturbate and barely watched porn."

But after a particularly bad family therapy session, Allen decided to explore sex. She's been open about cheating on Cooper with women during this period of her life. 

She wondered if the reason she hadn't been able to orgasm was because she was gay, but she didn't have orgasms with the female dancers either.

Although, that sex had opened her eyes a little.

When she wandered past a sex shop one day in New York City, it intrigued her. She purchased a vibrator. 

"I had tried to masturbate over the years, but I had always felt, like, 'who are you trying to kid?'. It was like trying to get into sexy mode with someone I didn't find remotely sexy - myself."

But after a bit of trial and error with a couple of different vibrators, Allen had a breakthrough.

"I was, like, 'Oh, ok, I'm beginning to see how this works. Oh. Ohhhhhh'," she wrote.

She had cracked the code.

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Allen has criticised the portrayal of her affairs in tabloid media as a "lesbian prostitute sex romp" and she told The Project in 2018 she could now understand her damaging behaviour was "an outlet".

"I know now in retrospect what was going on, I think I had post-natal depression and my marriage was deteriorating. I found outlets to deal with all of that which were fun in the moment, but not so fun the next day," she said.

"I was feeling incredibly lonely and sort of at my wits' end, and I was looking for anything, looking for an outlet, so it is not really like a salacious sex story.

"It is more about hotel rooms like the one that we are sitting in [for the interview], and being on my own and being very far away from my kids and my husband. It is not like steamy, raunchy – although that is what the tabloids have made it out to be like, a sort of lesbian prostitute sex romp, which I guess it was, in a way."

Allen and Cooper split in mid-2015 after she told him about the affairs. They officially divorced in 2018 and now have an amicable relationship and share custody of their daughters, with each taking Ethel and Marnie for alternate weeks at a time.

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In conversation with friend Miquita Oliver this month, Allen said her "sexual awakening" journey was not unrelated to the deterioration of her marriage to Cooper.

"I definitely had a sort of sexual awakening in my late 20s. And by the way, I'm not blaming this on my ex-husband; it absolutely wasn't his fault.

"It was my fault because I wasn't feeling empowered and I wasn't able at that point to communicate my wants and needs and so things broke down. I definitely don't want that to happen again."

Allen said she has a much healthier relationship with her new husband, Stranger Things actor David Harbour

She also hopes to teach her daughters about confidence and pleasure as they grow up. 

"It's good talking to them about masturbation and giving themselves pleasure because I definitely felt like I was a vessel for male pleasure all through my late teens and early 20s and I think that got me into a lot of trouble, especially when codependency is concerned," she said. 

"I got all of my value from how I was pleasing men and it never really even occurred to me that I should be trying to pleasure myself… I’ll definitely be talking to them about it for sure."

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The journey to this point was a rollercoaster, but Allen is much more confident after understanding and embracing her sexuality.

She's now come full circle, partnering with sex toy company Womanizer to release the 'Liberty' vibrator, and adopting the title of Chief Liberation Officer.

It's not too surprising: Allen namedropped Womanizer in her book, and said in an Instagram post the toy had changed her life.

It's all part of her hope to destigmatise female pleasure, so other women are more comfortable with themselves and their sexuality than she was until nervously entering that NYC sex store in 2014.

"Sex toys are still seen as a taboo subject because they are, you know, related to masturbation and female pleasure. I think female pleasure in itself is a taboo subject," Allen said in a video about the partnership.

"The only way to make taboo subjects no longer taboo is to speak about them openly and frequently and without shame or guilt.

"I hope that this collaboration will lead to people feeling that they can talk more freely about masturbation and if somebody like me can talk openly about it without shame, then they might feel inclined to try it out for themselves - a whole new world awaits."

Feature image: Getty/Instagram.

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