Among my clients, I hear a continual theme of frustration around orgasm. As a culture, orgasm has become the only permissible destination the sex train can stop at. I don’t buy it.
Superficially, it would seem that culturally we are hedonistic, desireful, and ever-seeking more and more pleasure. I don’t agree. What seems truer, just beneath that skin layer of consumerism, is our absolute terror about staying with our pleasure.
We’ve learned to stay with our pain, our suffering. We sit with it in therapy, and feel the spiritual elevation of allowing our suffering to crack open our hearts. There’s something we deem morally good about feeling our pain.
And I say that there is another road: one in which pleasure can also bring us into the presence of the Divine.
The problem here is often thus: when we begin to feel extreme pleasure, we disallow it. Our story of ourselves at our core is often one of un-deservingness, unworthiness. Who are we to receive such pleasure? To be open to such unrestricted arousal? Who are we to allow ourselves to feel liberation and exaltation through our senses?
No, pleasure has to be gotten on the quick. Furtively, hurriedly, we clench down to encourage our elusive orgasm to happen. Without genital tension, we might take too long, and our partners might give up, leaving us frustrated. Or, we find that extreme pleasure in the body is too intense, and we can’t bear it as it borders on overstimulation and even pain.
Just get the pleasure over as soon as possible, get the orgasm out of the way, and be done with the whole corporeal mess. Change the sheets even.
Viewed through this lens, frustration about not being able to come, and coming prematurely before you want to stem from the same source: get’er done. They are both not the true thing.
The Hitachi Magic Wand vibrator, beloved and useful as it is, has a stake in this orgasm predicament. Putting out such extreme vibrations, people become dependent on a certain level of stimulation that is inhuman, and hard to recreate for a sustained period of time. Reaching for the vibrator when the frustration starts to creep in is perhaps a quick fix, but ultimately perpetuates the same disallowal-of-pleasure cycle.
My teacher, Joseph Kramer, says that we must train to maintain high states of erotic energy in the same way we would train for a marathon, or any sport. I believe that maintaining high erotic energy in the body actually changes the body, and what it is capable of. It changes how much pleasure we can receive. And ultimately, receiving pleasure challenges our story of unworthiness and forces us to reclaim our agency as worthy, sensual and powerful beings.
Here are some suggestions on Erotic Training.
- Hide the Hitachi away, for at least two weeks, somewhere far from the bedroom.
- If you have a partner, block out a chunk of time, say two hours. For that two hours, take turns in 15 minute blocks pleasuring each other. Orgasm is not the goal. If someone gets close to orgasm, turn the stimulation down a notch and continue.
- If someone gets overstimulated, try this reset technique. Stop all stimulation, and remove the hands from the genitals for about 15-30 seconds. Slowly reengage, with a gentle touch. The neurons should have had time to reset.
- If you find yourself feeling really turned on, and the story kicks in and says something like “I can’t take this” or “I’m never gonna come” or “I just want to use the vibrator and get this over with” try acting like a sex coach to yourself. Try saying “See if you can stay with the pleasure just a little longer” or “What happens if you just keep with it?”
- Touch your genitals each and every day, or have a partner spend time touching them, with no goal except exploration. Let curiosity guide the touch. Orgasmic Meditation from One Taste suggests stroking the upper left quadrant of the clitoris for 15 minutes daily, with no goal other than pleasure. I assume this could be translated to the glans on a penis.
This year I’m committing to Erotic Training, and to exploring the pleasure potential my body holds. I’m letting go of orgasm being the only acceptable outcome, and I’m challenging myself to receive more and more pleasure. As I move through 2013, I’ll be posting my findings and offering up the jewels of my research for your erotic benefit. May my pleasure serve yours.
If you like what you’ve read, take this next 60 seconds to write publicly your erotic commitment to yourself this year, and post it in the comments to be witnessed!