It’s not rocket science, but learning how to orgasm regularly, makes all the difference.
Some of my most vivid memories of sex, especially early in my erotic life, are not of the satisfying post-coitus elated release, but their opposite. Rather, it was the myriad times when I was still learning how my body worked, what kinds of touch triggered what response, how much time it took for arousal to take over, what positions reached deep enough inside–basically the whole ball of wax, which made orgasm work (or not). The times when I was so close but couldn’t quite get over the top before my partner was finished, sent me into a fury almost as intense as what I imagine the orgasm might have been like. So did the years after, when I thought I finally figured out how to achieve orgasm and I only wanted to do the exact same moves in the exact same order, believing it would work every time, except it didn’t. And it quickly became a sexual rut that didn’t help my marriage much either.
For a significant period of my early marriage, orgasm misses were more frequent than the orgasmic explosions I so longed for. My frustration turned easily to blame and it didn’t take long for my conflict-avoidant spouse to choose avoiding the whole scene, rather than risk the wrath of not getting it right with me. We spent at least a decade of our sex life among the ranks of millions who approach/avoid sex and keep score on who says no more often. The truth is that whether they admit it or not, everyone wants to experience the seismic shift and profound emotional and energetic releases associated with orgasm. And yet, this most intimate transformation remains elusive for many and for some, learning how to orgasm seems totally out of reach.
In part, this is because of some fundamental misunderstandings of the workings of orgasm and the understandable yet completely unhelpful anxiety that so often accompanies our attempts to create the experience. The most important thing to get clear about orgasm is that you can’t make yourself, or more importantly, anyone else have an orgasm. And in fact, the efforts to cajole and force, only make our orgasmic potential more elusive. Prompting the all too common and vicious cycle where orgasm is set as the finish line and the entire sexual encounter gets tripped up in anticipated performance anxiety and our attention, which is what makes the present moment sexy, is completely preoccupied with whether or not you will find the end.
The other unintended result is the creation of the sex rut, which happens when we become rigid in our sexual encounters and fixated on trying to replicate some memorable orgasm that happened before, is totally losing the fluidity of the moment you are in.
Orgasmic potential responds more readily to one’s capacity to surrender than it does to willfully trying to elicit it. Surrender is an interesting state that emerges; it’s where curiosity and openness can lead. These emotional states, by definition, bring us fully present to what is happening in and around us. They allow the body freedom to experiment and feel while giving the mind freedom to roam. The human brain cannot simultaneously process anxiety and sexual arousal. So giving up the mind space of bad body images, worries over genital size, or the most common: being able to achieve orgasm, needs to go away for the body to surrender to finding its way.
The good news is that the more orgasms you have, the more orgasms you’re likely to have in the future. So learning how to orgasm comes with learning how to surrender to and trust your sexual response will not only help develop your orgasmic potential, but will also give you practice of letting go of anxiety. Not surprisingly, many people have more success achieving orgasm alone than with their partner, but this is worthy practice, because the better you get at honing your own personal turn-on skills, the easier it gets sharing them with someone you love. Think of developing your capacity for orgasm as a potent form of meditation- even when you don’t achieve bliss, the practice of harnessing our attention is where orgasmic potential starts.
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