I'd say that 99% of my clients' are working from the script that sex is all about orgasm and is only 'successful' if a man ejaculates/a woman orgasms on her clitoris. So, sex has a goal attached to it - something to be achieved. Which creates an incredibly narrow playing field in which to experience the sensations and pleasure potential of your body...

Avoiding ejaculation and clitoral ‘peak orgasm’ is a foundation practice of tantra, a philosophy which informs my work as a Sex Educator. 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 an addictive relationship with ejaculation or clitoral orgasms we are able to re-sensitise and reconfigure the body to experience many other deeper types of orgasm.

Within our bodies we have 4 nerves that we can experience orgasm through (3 for men). The ejaculatory response, and the clitoral based orgasm, are all stimulated on the pudendal nerve. This nerve innervates in the penis and scrotum, and the head of the clitoris. This is, typically, how we experience orgasm for the first time - the most accessible and easy area to stimulate being our external genitals. 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 and orgasm in order to get that reward. For some people this addiction means ejaculating or experiencing clitoral orgasm multiple times per day.

Over stimulation 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 certain 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? The first step in moving away from the addictive, draining cycle of peak orgasms is to get out of the ‘hangover’. Research and experience 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, the challenge is to go for 21 days without a 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 3 days without a peak orgasm. Let’s compare that to something that is more easily recognised as ‘addictive’ - that’s like spending almost 30 years of my life without going for more than 3 days without heroin…

All sorts of interesting things happened to my body, my emotions and my mind! I saw how unconsciously I reached for my vibrator to just get that sensation I ‘needed’, how I’d use orgasm to calm myself down or to get to sleep at night, how I didn’t feel satisfied in sex unless I’d reached that goal of clitoral orgasm. 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. In combination with tantric massage, and a more conscious sexual practice, my body has opened up and my orgasmic experience is now on a totally different level.

Within my sessions we work with the principle that there is no ‘goal’ or outcome to achieve. We employ curiosity and mindfulness with the intention to experience your body exactly as it is in each moment. Over time you will be able to tune into your body more effectively, you will become more relaxed and tension will dissolve. Laying off the pudendal nerve stimulation, changing your masturbation habits and avoiding peak orgasms allows time for new neural pathways to be built up via 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 often more pleasant! 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.

If you still have questions about the process or how avoiding peak orgasm can help you then get in touch.

With Love,

Libby

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