The Evolving Orgasm. The Secret of Sexual Pleasure
When an orgasm is simply a reflexive discharge, it’s likely to be the same each time or to diminish in intensity as one gets older—particularly if the sex is routine or nonexistent. In contrast, for women and men who value their orgasmic experiences alone and/or with a partner, skilled practice can help their orgasms to get better and better.
What I mean by better is more reliable, perhaps, but more intense would also certainly be part of it. The ability to enjoy a full body orgasm is another. This is what Wilhelm Reich called “orgastic potency” or the capacity to surrender to the flow of biological energy, free of any inhibitions. The Evolving orgasm.
Evolving one’s orgasmic experience may also involve having more than one kind of orgasm sequentially. For women, that may include clitoral, vaginal, or multiple orgasms. For men, that may involve learning to contain the ejaculate and having multiple miniorgasms before the final discharge and release.
The Evolving orgasm. Another quality worth evolving is what I call a heartgasm. This is the powerful sensation of opening in the chest and heart that is experienced as intense love for your mate at the same time that you orgasm.
Just as we can become wiser and more skilled in our work as we age, so too can our orgasms get better. Wherever we are in our own sexual evolution, there’s always a next step. That’s what evolution is about.
The Evolving Orgasm
The critical next steps in the process of evolving your orgasm are (1) to develop a more loving and pleasurable relationship with your genitalia, and (2) to learn to build arousal by relaxing and containing your excitement. First things first: your relationship with your sexual parts.
The Evolving Orgasm. Loving Your Genitals.
Why are our privates so major? Is it because when we were children they defined us as male and female, dictating our lives, yet no one was allowed to talk about them? Is it because they have made us feel such pleasure yet also such guilt and doubt? Is it that they can be so contrary, so unruly, with such a mind of their own? It’s all that and more.
The Evolving orgasm. It’s become apparent to me that a lot of people don’t like their genitalia. I have heard too many women say they don’t want to look at their vulvas in a mirror because they think that part of the body is ugly. When men are questioned on anonymous surveys about their degree of comfort in locker rooms, many respond in ways that indicate sensitivity about penis size.
In the body, the emotion associated with rejecting a fundamental part of oneself is shame. Nothing is more inhibiting of the body’s natural responses than feelings of shame. It’s as though the whole pelvic floor tightens, shrinks, and tries to hide.
Tensing the thighs, genitals, anal sphincter, or butt prevents blood flow, automatically limiting arousal purely on a physiological basis. In a sexual situation, a person with a tendency to feel ashamed of his or her body is likely to avoid being looked at nude and more likely to pull away from a lover’s touch rather than melt into it. Right there, two potentially rich sources of erotic stimulation are eliminated. The Evolving orgasm.
The Evolving Orgasm
Whatever reason people have for not loving their genitals, the emotion stirred up is shame. They may have been brought up to feel their genitals are unclean, defective, embarrassing, or unreliable. Even if they no longer believe it, the motivational component of shame makes people want to cover up and hide. The opposite of shame is self-love and respect for one’s body. What does genital self-respect, or pride, look like?
Genital Self-Love. The Evolving Orgasm.
A man who feels good about his penis is comfortable with its size. Whether it’s big or small, he values the pleasure he receives and can give to another with his penis. He enjoys his erections and enjoys masturbating yet doesn’t feel driven to do so. He feels good about sharing his penis with his lover as a gift for their mutual sexual pleasure.
The Evolving orgasm. A woman who takes pride in her body feels good about her vulva—the outer and inner labia, the clitoris, and the vagina—and the distinctive pleasures each part gives her when it is stimulated. She enjoys masturbating with or without orgasm. She can enjoy the touch of a sensitive lover and can relax and allow her vagina to open and surrender to sexual pleasure.
For men and women who suffer from sexual shame but are determined to overcome this programming, there are some excellent ways to deprogram this limiting feeling.
The Evolving Orgasm. Overcoming Chronic Shame.
It has been said that sunshine is the best antiseptic. In general, chronic shame is a persistent hurt feeling of oneself as fl awed and defective in body or character and of wanting to hide from judging eyes. Obviously, the antidote to chronic shame, assuming that a person wants to get rid of it, entails some kind of emotional exposure. Naturally, it has to be in the company of someone warm and reassuring so that the feeling can be experienced and released in the presence of love. The Evolving orgasm.
It’s not easy to confess shameful feelings because doing so involves speaking up about a part of yourself you’ve always wanted to hide. When the emotion starts to well up, you may feel like running away and never showing your face again. That’s why people are more likely to work on their shame in therapy, relying on a trusted therapist to create a safe space for exploring feelings of self-judgment.
People who have suffered sexual abuse as children may carry feelings of shame in their bodies. They may feel defiled or powerless when it comes to a sexual situation and automatically tense their bodies and split off mentally from what is taking place with a partner. A victim of abuse may feel especially ashamed if he or she felt any pleasure during the molestation, which is not uncommon. Talking about it in therapy, or with a loving, compassionate partner can help enormously. Doing the breathing and holding exercise with a partner, especially during an intimate encounter, while practicing to stay present—by talking, making eye contact, kissing, or focusing on the senses—can be a very healing process.
The Evolving Orgasm
In order to free your body of shame, exposure doesn’t necessarily mean you have to strip naked. You don’t have to grin and bare it, so to speak. Yet with an intimate partner, it could help. If you’ve been dressing and undressing in the bathroom to avoid being seen, then baring your body is like baring your soul. In fact, it may be exactly what is needed to shake the habit of shame that is so self-diminishing, causing you to shrink from view.
The Evolving orgasm. One aspect of genital shame is the feeling that one doesn’t measure up. Most of us grow up wanting to be just like everyone else, especially the attractive ones. But as we move along in life, we often discover that the most interesting people are not the ones who are like everyone else.
Diversity is critical to evolution; it creates infinite possibilities in the evolution of an individual as well as in a species. Women who have surgery to shorten their inner labia want to look the way they imagine all other women look. They’re willing to sacrifice feeling as good as they can for looking as good as they can—or at least what they imagine to be looking good. By doing so, however, they give up their individuality and risk loss of sensation.
The truth is that everybody is different. Labia, clitorises, and vaginas are as distinctive as faces or hands. Every penis is a work of nature’s art. That’s what makes our bodies interesting. They look different, feel different, smell and taste different from one another, and each has its own personality, preferences, and quirks.
It can be very freeing to appreciate yourself for your uniqueness and who you really are. Tall, short, fat, or thin, everyone can be beautiful in the eyes of a loving beholder.
The Evolving Orgasm
Overcoming Chronic Guilt. The Evolving Orgasm.
The Evolving orgasm. There is a difference between guilt and shame. When you feel guilty, you feel bad about something you’ve done, should have done, or shouldn’t have done. When you feel shame, you feel bad about who or what you are.
Chronic guilt is often felt as a persistent knot in the diaphragm. Chronic shame tends to affect us a little lower, limiting sexual arousal by generating chronic tension in the pelvic area. Some people feel so guilty about something they’ve done— or something that was done to them—that they are ashamed of themselves. When the behavior was sexual, it can have a major effect on their sexuality.
Confessing to someone you trust and respect that you feel inadequate or that you think you did something terrible and feel guilty about it can be very emotionally freeing. Men and women have confessed things to me that they did as children that still brought up feelings of guilt and/or shame decades later. The Evolving orgasm.
One woman who had difficulty achieving orgasm began to see how she typically carried tension in her genital and pelvic muscles, particularly when she made love with her female partner. As we looked into her childhood experiences, Jean admitted to me, with a great deal of pain and self-loathing, that she had molested her sister when she was ten and her sister was eight.
Jean was so condemning of herself that she resisted talking about it. Eventually, she opened up and described those early experiences. As she did, she said that her heart was pounding and that she felt shame all over her body. She could feel her pelvis getting tight and going numb. I encouraged her to breathe and pulse her PC muscle to relax it. She did this as best she could.
I told her that it was not uncommon for siblings to explore sexual feelings together and that as a child herself, only two years older than her sister, she was not a child molester. She protested that she shouldn’t have done it, that she was forcing her “gayness” on her little sister. That was complete nonsense. It’s quite common for children to engage in sex play with children of the same sex before exploring it with the opposite sex.
The Evolving Orgasm
The Evolving orgasm. Forcing someone to do something he or she doesn’t want to do, of course, is never right, but Jean acknowledged that she did not threaten or physically overpower her sister, who did seem more than willing to play with her like that. Still, she felt that she was the older one and her sister may have felt forced.
I suggested that she take a few breaths, imagine her sister, and apologize out loud if she had felt forced to do things she really didn’t want to do. It felt good to Jean to give voice to some feelings, but she still had a hard time forgiving herself.
The amazing thing about the whole situation was that after all those years, she and her sister had never discussed it. After our session Jean decided to talk to her sister about it. When they talked, it turned out that her sister had in fact been holding on to some resentment—but not about the sex play. Apparently, Jean had forced her to do other things that she resented. The two of them had a good talk, wept together, laughed together, and declared their undying love for each other. For Jean that was the beginning of a process of self-love and acceptance that ultimately led to her becoming more accepting of intimate pleasures with her partner. The Evolving orgasm.
The Evolving Orgasm. Eroticizing Shame.
For some people, shame itself can be eroticized. In one study, sex researcher Jack Morin compiled stories of peak erotic experiences from a diverse group of respondents. He found one aspect of eroticism continually alluded to, what he called “the naughtiness factor”: an excitement that comes with violating prohibitions.
The Evolving orgasm. Even just the hint of naughtiness carries the excitement of breaking the tether of respectability and being a “bad” boy or girl. Morin observed that some of the typical fantasies people enjoy have to do with being forced into sex or engaging in activity they would never want to do in reality.
Some men and women also find it arousing to act out fantasy scenes that involve humiliation. Studies suggest that there’s no harm in it as long as the scenes are played in the spirit of sexual adventure with a mutually inclined partner and that they spur passion without causing physical injury, emotional distress, or self-hate. That’s a big order, but apparently many people can fill that bill and distinguish fantasy and role-playing from reality.
The Paradox of the Orgasm
You may want to feel more aroused, let go more, or become more sensuous, spontaneous, and free. You may want sex to last longer and to enjoy more frequent and more intense orgasms. There are some excellent and pleasurable ways to practice building skill at arousal and orgasm.
The Evolving orgasm. The paradox is that in the moment it’s happening, you can’t be too goal-oriented, because that’s trying to make something happen. Orgasm is all about letting go. You can be deliberate about your movements and do what feels good, but you can’t strive to let go. They’re contradictory actions, like trying hard to relax. If you try for something, you’ll limit your possibilities to what’s typical. You’ll be firing your left brain and linear thought, turning up your SNS stress circuits, and triggering old reflexes.
The Evolving Orgasm
Once again, maximizing your experience is all about breathing, relaxing tense muscles, and letting the energy flow. As you take deep sighs and move into your senses, you activate your PNS and get the right brain firing. Now you have entered the realm of imagination and eroticism, body language, pleasure, and presence. All that exists is this sensuous present moment, this wonderful feeling, this aliveness in your body, and, when you’re with a partner, this special time together.
The Evolving orgasm. What you’ll want to avoid is getting into a frenzy of activity that is over before it fully begins—before intensely pleasurable excitement can fill every pore in your body.
Containment and Sexual Arousal. The Evolving Orgasm.
In the early days of psychotherapy, therapists firmly believed in the value of clients’ explosive emotional outbursts during the session, signaling a genuine release of blocked feelings. It’s called a catharsis, a word derived from the ancient Greek meaning “cleansing” and “purification.” Freud saw it as an instinctive and involuntary body process.
Without a doubt, there is great value to providing a protected place where a person can break through years of withheld grief, guilt, and hurt by sobbing at a memory or yelling at a violator seen in the mind’s eye. Unexpressed sadness or rage are kept locked in the muscles and organs of the body and can cause damage. It’s healthy and freeing to get them out of there.
The Evolving orgasm. But therapists and clients alike began to see that we could get hooked on the dramatic displays of sobbing and screaming. People were starting to show up at workshops covering the same emotional territory, beating pillows, and venting a seemingly inexhaustible supply of rage or tears. Catharsis didn’t seem to be helping. We began to see that simply discharging the emotion might be temporarily relieving, but without fully processing the underlying unresolved issues, the frustration and outrage would simply build back up.
Around that time, social psychologist Carol Tavris came out with a book challenging the current trend in psychotherapy that embraced what she called a “ventilationist” position, the notion that releasing pent-up emotions gets rid of them. In fact, she suggested, you are teaching a “cathartic habit” and missing the nuances of the situation. Tavris advocated cognitive approaches that essentially sought to contain the behavior. She suggested taking the time to reduce the rush of adrenaline through reappraisal and humor, and if you must vent anger, decide on an effective course of action that will bring a useful result.
Psychologists Jack Rosenberg and Marjorie Rand also took issue with the traditional emphasis on catharsis, but instead of containing the behavior, as body-based psychotherapists they focused on containing the emotion. They suggested using breathing methods to stay with the anger or fear sensations without releasing them and to simply watch the flow of feelings and the holding patterns in the body. The Evolving orgasm.
The Evolving Orgasm
They observed that when people breathe into their tense muscles and relax, the body—essentially a physical container—can expand to make room for the increased emotional activation. The energy can then spread and circulate throughout the body without being discharged in catharsis. The person can face the feelings more clearly and do what’s necessary to come to terms with the issues.
What does this have to do with sexual arousal? The way many people “do” sex resembles a kind of cathartic habit. Rather than allowing the energy to build and containing it, they go for a quick explosive discharge and are finished. But when you breathe into the sensations, the chest, the rib cage, the belly, and the pelvic muscles relax and allow the sensations to intensify.
The Evolving orgasm. There’s certainly nothing wrong with a good orgasm, but an orgasm often ends the sex play. It is possible to have a new experience in sex by playing with the sexual energy and the intensity of the sensation rather than discharging it at the first opportunity. That way, the first orgasm can be the beginning of a stream of orgasmic pleasures.
The Evolving Orgasm. Containment Is Not Suppression.
With emotion, when you are containing rather than suppressing yourself, you are feeling it in the body, breathing into it—not tensing, but relaxing. You don’t deny your feelings as you do when you suppress yourself. You feel where in the body you feel them. You keep breathing into the muscles of the torso activated by the emotion, expanding with each inhalation and relaxing with each exhalation. In this way, you can feel your feelings and still be in command of how you interpret or express them.
The Evolving orgasm. It’s the same with sex. Containment is essential for building and sustaining sexual arousal, desire, and pleasure. It’s another paradox. To enhance your capacity for sexual abandonment, you have to learn to relax and contain yourself.
Containment and Sexual Freedom. The Evolving Orgasm.
Some people are afraid to look at what turns them on because they’re concerned that if they do get aroused, they’ll have to act on it—with a sense of urgency. In fact, muscular contraction does generate pressure to do something to get rid of the feeling.
But when you keep breathing and relaxing, regulating any stress or emotion, you can tolerate the growing excitement. Containing sexual feelings allows you to sustain and enjoy them, letting them develop gradually over time rather than having to discharge them immediately. The Evolving orgasm.
The Evolving Orgasm
People who notice that they have a tendency to squeeze their thighs, genitals, or butt can get anxious when they start to let go, because they feel exposed and unprotected. That’s natural at first. It’s worth recognizing that you actually have greater control and more choice when you’re relaxed. You can feel sexy and do nothing but enjoy it. That’s true sexual freedom. You can notice an attractive woman or a handsome, well-built man on the street and get turned on. Enjoy the rush. It doesn’t mean you have to get a room together. Nor does it mean you’re cheating on your partner. It’s a private moment you’ve had for yourself.
The Evolving orgasm. Whatever contributes to being in touch with your sexual self during the day sends a shot of warm blood and good energy into the pelvis. That keeps the region alive and vibrant, which is good for your committed partner.
The Evolving Orgasm. The Essential Role of Masturbation.
Masturbation is the most prevalent sexual activity. Some statistics show that more than 90 percent of the male population and 65 percent of the female population in the United States masturbate. The Evolving orgasm.
In “Sex in America,” the highly regarded 1994 University of Chicago survey of nearly thirty-five hundred participants, the researchers made some interesting discoveries about the practice of masturbation. Among Americans between eighteen and fifty-nine years of age, more than 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women admitted to it; especially surprising was that most of those who masturbated frequently had regular sex partners.
This contradicted the widely held belief that masturbation is a substitute for sex with a partner, necessary for releasing sexual tension but not something that people with partners need to do. In fact, the researchers found that the most satisfied people masturbated the most, indicating that masturbation “is not an outlet so much as a component of an active sex life.”
It makes sense. Sexual appetite is not like a desire for food or water. If you’re hungry or thirsty and you eat or drink, you feel sated and you’re done eating or drinking. In contrast, good sex makes you want more. Masturbation stimulates erotic fantasies, responsiveness to sexual stimuli, and thoughts of sex—all of which maintain sexual interest.
The Evolving orgasm. For both women and men, practicing the Kegel exercises to strengthen and relax the PC muscle and developing a greater proficiency at masturbation are the most effective methods for maximizing the pleasures of orgasm.
The Evolving Orgasm
Erotic Self-Attunement. The Evolving Orgasm.
Studies show that virtually all males begin to masturbate early in their development and certainly by puberty. Many women, however, did not masturbate as girls. Among those who masturbate as adults, a majority started only after they had had sex with a partner. It’s been speculated that the low incidence of masturbation in many adolescent girls may have a limiting effect, developmentally, on their ability to enjoy sexual pleasure and achieve orgasm with a partner.
Honing your skills at stimulating yourself to orgasm is an important developmental step for both men and women in shaping how you orgasm with a partner. Beyond orgasm, self-pleasuring is also an opportunity to sensitize and eroticize the whole body.
The Evolving orgasm. Slowing down, breathing and relaxing, and building and containing excitement are critical skills for women and men who want to get the most out of their love lives.
The Evolving Orgasm. Skillful Self-Pleasuring for Women.
For some women, the lack of familiarity with their own bodies operates against knowing what turns them on or, as you will see in the next chapter, makes them unaware that they even are turned on. The Evolving orgasm.
With practice, women can learn to masturbate in ways that stimulate different kinds of orgasms: vaginal, clitoral, or both simultaneously, and genuine multiple orgasms, one right after the other. The critical factor is to try a variety of ways to stimulate yourself and not just to rely on a vibrator.
Women can learn to stimulate the clitoris with one hand while they have inserted one or two well-lubricated fingers into the vagina. They can also explore different dildos and perhaps experiment with a dildo that’s specifically designed to stimulate the G spot.
The Evolving Orgasm
Some women bring themselves to orgasm by squeezing their thighs together, but that method may not be conducive to being able to orgasm with a partner. These women may want to experiment with bringing themselves to orgasm by opening and relaxing their thighs—skills that would have more positive transfer with a partner.
The Evolving Orgasm. Skillful Self-Pleasuring for Men.
All boys masturbate, and adult men typically achieve orgasm more easily than women do. However, most boys learn to masturbate as quickly as possible in the bathroom or behind the closed doors of their bedrooms. The fear of getting caught is likely to ratchet up the excitement. But the habit of a quick, secretive “jerk-off” can operate against a man when he wants to sustain his pleasure with a partner.
The Evolving orgasm. Although ejaculation and orgasm generally occur together, a number of men have discovered that they can separate the two, withholding their ejaculate while allowing themselves the pleasure of orgasm. California sex researchers Bill Hartman and Marilyn Fithian found that men who were capable of separating orgasm from ejaculation could also learn to have what might be considered multiple orgasms. Practicing the Kegel exercises proved to be very helpful in learning this skill.
Also, by practicing self-stimulation to the point just prior to ejaculatory inevitability and then relaxing, some men are able to train themselves to enjoy mini-orgasms during sexually stimulating activity. Doing so gives them better control over the fi nal and full-bodied orgasm, choosing when to release it to maximize their sex play with their partners. For men who want to withhold their ejaculate until their partner orgasms first, this is a highly valuable skill.
Sexually Explicit Material: Pornography, Erotica, and Fantasy. The Evolving Orgasm.
It’s common knowledge that sperm banks hand out sexually explicit magazines along with a container to the men who are there to make a deposit. Most males grow up using pictures of naked people to stimulate themselves during masturbation. The Evolving orgasm.
Today a big concern about pornography is that the women typically depicted in it (whether in magazines, on the Internet, or in videos) don’t look or act genuine. A steady diet of porn stars can desensitize the male libido toward real women.
The Evolving Orgasm
Erotica is “women’s porn”; it typically consists of stories or novels that focus on building desire through romantic obstacles to consummation. Some women also enjoy watching sexually explicit videos, particularly those like Femme videos made especially for women, and they may masturbate to what they see there. They also might masturbate to a favorite fantasy about a romantic crush or even a sexual encounter they would not consent to in real life.
One frustrated woman who couldn’t have an orgasm with the man she was falling in love with told me that when he left in the morning, she was able to orgasm by herself by picturing him making love with her. But she couldn’t do it when he was actually there. “How sick is that?” she cried. I understood completely. When she was with him, she was too busy worrying about what he thought of her to relax and enjoy him.
The Evolving orgasm. One question I am often asked is whether it’s okay to mentally fantasize during sex with a partner about someone else. For some people, doing so increases the likelihood of having an orgasm with the partner. However, it does keep them from being fully present. I suggest alternating between brief fantasies and making contact with the lover.
I encourage people to stop working so hard for an orgasm. If they open their eyes and interact erotically with their lovers, it is very likely to enhance their enjoyment of each other.
I’ve also been asked whether a repetitive fantasy can indicate a desire for it in real life, like fantasies of being raped or being a voyeur or an exhibitionist. For most people, fantasies do not translate into activities a person wants to act on. If you can enjoy having a fantasy about a naughty or even illicit activity without feeling compelled to act on it in real life, you’re safe. If you feel pressure to act on a fantasy that may be criminal or cause you or another some harm, then clearly you’re in danger. See a therapist before you hurt someone or yourself.
The Evolving Orgasm. Relaxed Excitement: The Key to Building and Containing Arousal.
An orgasm is the ultimate experience of intense excitation and complete abandonment simultaneously. Once again, relaxed excitement is the key. The Evolving orgasm.
Loving sex completely depends on being able to enjoy high levels of physiological activation coupled with deep relaxation— in the heart and chest certainly, and particularly in the diaphragm, the belly, the genitals, and the pelvic muscles. If you feel yourself tensing your pelvic muscles, you can experiment with pulsing your muscles, vacillating between gripping and letting go. As you breathe deeply and pulse your muscles, tensing and relaxing on purpose, that action is likely to build excitement until you’re ready to release control and abandon yourself to pleasure.
A person who can enjoy the sensations of arousal and desire without having to discharge the excitement can boost the intensity of all aspects of libido and sexual experience. Allowing sexual pleasure is like tuning the nervous system to run at a more intense level of activation while also letting go and enjoying the sensation of increased energy flow.
The Evolving Orgasm
Masturbation as Art. The Evolving Orgasm.
In the early 1970s I attended the opening of the Erotic Art Museum in San Francisco, and in the idiom of the time, my mind was blown. I wandered through the exhibit, viewing paintings, detailed drawings, and sculptures of genitalia and men and women in various sex acts. I was enthralled by the beauty of the works displayed.
Betty Dodson’s drawings particularly appealed to me, especially the ones depicting female genitals spread open and stylized as flowers. Georgia O’Keeffe had also painted lush flowers that appeared to be inspired by vaginal imagery, but she denied it. Dodson’s drawings were clearly intended.
The Evolving orgasm. A few years later, I enjoyed the first exhibit of The Dinner Party by feminist artist Judy Chicago. Chicago also used the theme of female genitals in her monumental piece of mixed media using embroidered textiles, weavings and ceramics commemorating historical and mythical women. Each place setting at the table featured plates shaped as open vulvas in beautiful fl owing designs.
Betty was my earliest inspiration, however, and I sent away for her self-published booklet, Liberating Masturbation, which included a series of pen-and-ink drawings of female genitals held open in artful designs. She called it “designing an aesthetic for the female genitalia.” In her newer books she has included male genitals.
The Evolving Orgasm
I still show those original drawings to female clients who have no idea what the inside of the vulva looks like. I also find them useful with couples and with men who want information on how to please a woman. I like that I’m showing artwork and not an anatomy chart.
In her “Bodysex” workshops, Betty introduced me to the notion of masturbation as an art form to do for yourself, like dancing or playing the piano when you’re alone. Her notion of masturbation as a meditation on self-love further casts a warm and relaxed tone to solo sex. Step seven offers some new methods for solitary pleasures.
Step Seven: Erotic Basics. The Evolving Orgasm.
Objectives: To discover new ways to pleasure yourself and to allow excitement to build and flow throughout your body Most people have some reliable methods for bringing themselves to orgasm. These exercises are meant to offer an opportunity to do things a little differently and try something new. For that reason, none of these exercises starts with the use of vibrators or sexually explicit photos or videos. It’s not that I’m against them; I’m just encouraging you to try something different so you can add to your repertoire.
Once again, the trick is to stimulate your excitement while becoming more relaxed. That’s containment. Containment is an erotic asset that can be practiced at every stage of sexual arousal. The basic principle of containment is to feel the charge of energy and to breathe into it and relax rather than tense, suppress, or discharge the excitement. Breathing and relaxing allows the energy to build and become a reservoir you can dip into when and how you choose in order to become sexually engaged or enjoy release. Orgasm that follows containment is more intensely pleasurable than an orgasm that pops out.
The Evolving orgasm. Each exercise can be done for just a few minutes or for an hour or longer.
The Evolving Orgasm. Solo Eroticism.
Naturally, you can enjoy solo sex anytime the mood strikes, as long as you have privacy. The following suggestions are meant as opportunities to enjoy more extended periods of exploration.
- To fully enjoy your sensual and erotic play, go to a private space where you won’t be disturbed. Turn off the phone. Spread a thick towel on the bed, a yoga mat, or the carpeted floor—wherever you intend to experiment. Put out whatever lotions, toys, or other sensuous items you might like to include. Be sure to have at least one or two pillows around to use under or between your legs. You may also want a light blanket to use part of the time.
- Dim the lights, light a candle, and put on some soft music. Sit on the towel and take some deep breaths and a few sighs, and check in with yourself. You may want to do a few stretches to relax your body and blow out any tension. You can begin this exploration with or without your clothes on.
- Lie on the towel with a pillow under your knees and take deep inhalations that begin in your belly, widen the rib cage, and lift your chest. Blow out slowly and steadily on the exhalation, and keep blowing until you run out of air. You’ll feel your abdominal muscles pull in as you push out the last bit of air from your lungs.
- Begin your sensuous self-massage with your head, face, back of the neck, and throat. Just feel your own skin, muscles, and bones with care and consciousness. You may want to use lotion. Move your hands down slowly and smoothly along the muscles of the arms, chest, and rib cage. Use your fingertips to massage tense intercostals (the spaces and muscles between the ribs).
- Most women don’t get their breasts touched and massaged enough, so if you’re a woman, take this opportunity to squeeze and massage your breasts. Both women and men may enjoy lightly touching and stimulating the nipples. Breathe slowly and deeply, sighing and relaxing.
- Now is a good time to remove your clothing if you haven’t done so already. But instead of touching yourself with the goal of bringing on an orgasm, massage yourself slowly and sensuously. Stroke your belly with both hands and breathe so that the belly grows round and full with each inhalation. Massage your thighs and work your way to your genitals.
- If you are a woman, tug and squeeze the outside of your vulva and see how much of the inside you can stimulate just by squeezing and massaging yourself on the outside. Press down on the pelvic bone and feel how that can stimulate your clitoris without actually touching it on the inside. Take some deep sighs and relax. If you have never seen the inside of your vulva, place a mirror between your thighs and take a look.
- If you are a man, put lotion on you scrotum and lightly massage your testes, drawing them up toward your belly. Then move your hands to your penis as you gently slide up the shaft and tug on the head. Massage your penis slowly and deliberately. See if you can discover some new strokes.
- Feel yourself becoming more excited. Make some deep sighs and relax into it.
The Evolving Orgasm
Sexual Imagery. The Evolving Orgasm.
Sexual fantasy keeps your mind focused on the erotic and helps to fan your passion. Most of us have our favorite fantasies: mental pictures and scenes that can come from early childhood or adolescent associations or from hot real-life experiences. The Evolving orgasm.
- Play out a favorite scenario in your mind’s eye, but this time embellish it by using all five ordinary senses in your imagination. For example, if you are imagining yourself with a partner who is nude, add some visual details to the image of your partner’s nude body. Imagine the sound of your partner’s heavy breaths in your “mind’s ear.”
- Imagine yourself stroking your partner. Imagine the sensation of gliding your hand along his or her smooth skin. See if you can conjure up the pleasing smell of his or her body and the taste of his or her kisses.
The Evolving Orgasm. Change the Routine.
Since the purpose of these exercises is to slow down and experiment with pleasuring yourself differently, change your position at least once or twice. The Evolving orgasm.
- If you usually lie fl at on your back, try bending your knees or lying on your side with a pillow between your thighs. You could also sit, get up on your knees, or stand up and see how it feels to stimulate yourself that way. Some men and women may enjoy putting a firm pillow between their thighs to squeeze against.
- You might also enjoy pulsing your PC muscle as you stroke your genitals, tightening and releasing, tightening and releasing as you breathe and relax.
Orgasm for Women
Remember that sometimes the beginning of an orgasm feels like the urge to urinate. To avoid having to get up to go, it’s always good to urinate before you start. Also, make sure you have something absorbent underneath you so you won’t be afraid to let your PC muscle go. The Evolving orgasm.
For women who enjoy using a vibrator to orgasm, it’s reliable and I have no quarrel with using one. Nevertheless, to broaden your erotic repertoire, I encourage you to discover the pleasures to be had with your own sensual, sexy hands.
- Explore two-handed masturbation. Use one or two well lubricated fingers of one hand to stimulate the clitoris while one or two well-lubricated fingers of the other hand are inserted into the vagina. Saliva is a great lubricant because it’s handy and organic, but anything you like is good. Press down on your pubic bone and squeeze the outer lips together to stimulate the internal parts of the clitoris.
- Fantasize and practice slow, deep erotic sighs. If you get tense in your groin, pulse and relax. Change your position at least once. As your excitement increases, notice how your breath naturally quickens.
- Women can also practice containment by relaxing the PC muscle and other pelvic muscles and letting the sexual energy spread. You can stimulate yourself and build excitement, then stop, breathe and relax, and start again. Do that once or twice before allowing yourself to orgasm. See how extending your orgasmic experience affects the sensation of release throughout your body.
- Some women also enjoy inserting a dildo inside the vagina, slowly and rhythmically pulling it out and sliding it back in while stimulating the clitoris. Once a woman has enjoyed a clitoral orgasm, a dildo may help in reaching a vaginal orgasm.
The Evolving Orgasm
Orgasm for Men
For many men, the big challenge is to slow down and change your boyhood patterns. If you typically use sexually explicit materials, try doing without any, relying more on your imagination. Be sure to take the time to create a sensuous environment with low lights and music where you won’t be interrupted. The Evolving orgasm.
- Explore two-handed masturbation. Apply lotion or oil to your genital area and use both hands to stimulate your scrotum and testes, gently pulling upward. Use both hands to slowly squeeze along the shaft of your penis.
- Between the shaft and the head of your penis is the coronal ridge, a rim of tissue at the bottom of the glans that is one of the most sensitive areas in the male genitalia. Pay particular attention to stimulating that ridge as well as the glans.
- Take slow, deep erotic sighs. Many men have learned to masturbate or make love without making a sound, and that can inhibit their enjoyment. When you begin to feel your excitement increase, try vocalizing your sighs and see if that adds to your pleasure.
- Fantasize and practice deep sighs. If you get tense in your groin, pulse and relax. Some men enjoy inserting a finger or a dildo inside their rectum. Change your position at least once. As your excitement increases, notice how your breath naturally quickens.
- Practice containment. Learn to recognize the point just prior to inevitability, when you won’t be able to stop from coming. When you recognize the sensation, stop stimulating yourself, slow your breath, and relax the diaphragm, the belly, and the pelvic muscles. When you’re ready, let yourself come. You are now very likely to know your sensual and sexual body better than you did before.
“The Heart of Desire”
Keys to the Pleasures of Love
Stella Resnick, PHDA Four-Inch-Long Penis Is More Than Adequate