Intimacy is not always about orgasm...
Avoiding ejaculation and clitoral ‘peak orgasm’ is a foundation principle in Tantric sex. For many of my clients this is confusing – they hear this and believe that they are ’not allowed’ to orgasm. The truth is quite the opposite. By moving away from the addictive relationship with ejaculation or clitoral orgasms, and focussing instead on playing with sensation, we are able to re-sensitise and reconfigure the body to experience many other deeper types of orgasm and become multi-orgasmic. It’s sex…but not as you know it! Throughout my online courses in genital massage I emphasise the idea of letting go of the goal of ejaculation or clitoral orgasm, so that the receiving partner can relax and access deeper, more full-bodied pleasure. So let’s look at how your body can experience so much more than just the 5-10 second ‘hiccup’ of a peak orgasm…
Within our bodes we have 4 nerves that we can experience orgasm through (3 for men). The ejaculatory response, and the clitoral orgasm, are all stimulated on the pudendal nerve. This nerve innervates in the penis and scrotum, and in the head of the clitoris. Over time, we become used to this way of reaching orgasm, creating a strong neural pathway in our brains. This process is charged by our dopamine receptors. A ‘peak’ orgasm on the pudendal nerve spikes the dopamine level in the body, making us feel happy and satisfied (read more here). However, that dopamine level quickly begins to drop after we’ve experienced orgasm, sliding us into a ‘hangover’ and we crave that ‘hit’ again. So, we masturbate, or have sex, and orgasm in order to get that reward. For some people this addiction means ejaculating or experiencing clitoral orgasm multiple times per day or week. Overstimulation of the pudendal nerve renders the other nerves – pelvic, hypogastric and vagus – dormant and inactive. The corresponding belief in Tantra, and many other Eastern medicines and belief systems, is that the energetic release experienced in ejaculation and peak orgasm causes a drop in the essential life force, sexual energy or Qi. Imagine your body as a battery: that battery contains energy, every time you ejaculate or orgasm on your clit that battery becomes a little emptier. Many Eastern belief systems teach that you cannot actually ‘recharge’ that battery – we all have a finite capacity of Qi that will gradually be used over the period of our mortal lives – but that you can consciously experience the vitality and strength of the Qi you have by practicing not to unnecessarily drain it.
So, what does this all mean? If you want to expand your orgasmic potential, become multi-orgasmic and have access to more than just the pudendal nerve pathway of orgasm you need to get out of the ‘hangover’ of peak orgasms. Research and anecdotal evidence have shown that, although our dopamine levels spike and then drop off after a peak orgasm, they do then begin to rise and re-stabilise after circa 17 days. So, set yourself a challenge to go for 21 days without a peak orgasm whilst staying sexually active (i.e. celibacy is not the answer – that’s just avoidance). Use the 21 days to explore other aspects of intimacy and pleasure, enjoy masturbation, partnered sex and intimate massage but keep your arousal levels around the 6-8 zone, rather than always heading for that 9-10 ‘point of no return’.
21 days without peak orgasm...
For me, personally, the first time I tried this I realised that I probably hadn’t EVER (since the age of 14 or so) gone for more than about 3 days without a peak orgasm. Let’s compare that to something that is more easily recognised as ‘addictive’ – that’s like spending almost 20 years of my life drinking alcohol basically every single day! All sorts of interesting things happened to my body, my emotions and my mind when I embarked on my first 21 day challenge! I saw how unconsciously I reached for my vibrator just to get that sensation I ‘needed’; how I’d use orgasm to calm myself down or to get to sleep at night; how I rushed through sex to feel like I’d reached that goal of clitoral orgasm or making my partner ejaculate. In the first few days I felt frustratingly horny, like an itchy feeling all over my body. Around day 5-6 I felt irritable, angry, exhausted. After day 7 I started to calm down, move a little slower, feel a little more relaxed. From day 10 or so onwards I began to notice more subtle sensations in my body as pleasurable, enjoyable, horny even. In combination with receiving (and giving) a LOT of sensual, intimate massage, and a more conscious sexual practice, my body has opened up and my orgasmic experience is now on a totally different level. I experience myself now as multi-orgasmic: I have access to different routes to orgasm and different types of orgasm: G-spot and squirting orgasms, cervical orgasms, womb orgasms, anal orgasms and deep, slow motion ‘valley’ orgasms on my clitoris.
Tantric massage for couples
I encourage you to approach intimate massage with your partner(s) as something that isn’t just about the ‘happy ending’. Let go of the performance mindset of achieving a ‘goal’ or reaching for an outcome of ejaculation or clitoral orgasm. The intention is to experience your body exactly as it is in each moment, allowing the massage techniques I demonstrate in the online courses to move sexual energy in your body. Over time you will be able to tune into your body more effectively, you will become more aware of your breath, more relaxed and tension or energetic blockages will dissolve. You may find that you experience orgasmic sensations through internal vaginal stimulation (hypogastric nerve), or through anal and prostate stimulation (pelvic nerve), or through stimulation of your cervix as a woman (vagus nerve). For both men and women you may also begin to experience orgasmic sensations from non-genital stimulation i.e. your nipples, skin and ears via the vagus nerve. Laying off the pudendal nerve stimulation, changing your masturbation habits and avoiding peak orgasms allows for neural pathways to be built up via these other nerves. Imagine that your pudendal nerve is the M1 – a huge, well travelled, direct route from A to B… the other nerves (in most people) are more like the tiny B roads that wind through villages and hamlets in the countryside: the journey may take longer but the experience is totally different and often more pleasant!
In conjunction with my online courses you can sign up to the 21 Day Challenge website FOR FREE to join a community of Tantra-curious like-minded people and begin the process of getting out of the peak orgasm addiction cycle. Give it a try and explore the possibilities of your beautiful bodies!