There’s an old joke in the performing arts: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Answer: “Practice, practice, practice.”
Today, I read a great post by the awesome sexual health writer August McLaughlin in which she responded to a HuffPo piece about why couples need to schedule sex — with one of the reasons being to boost the man’s ego. In her response piece, August gives her reasons why a couple might not want to have regularly scheduled sex — she advocates having sex when you want to, and her points regarding that particular HuffPo scenario are solid. Women should not feel compelled to have sex just to soothe a man’s delicate ego. We put up with enough of that outside the bedroom. But the concept of scheduled sex actually ties in to my own orgasmic practice and my approach with helping others realize their orgasmic potential.
I wholeheartedly endorse regularly scheduled sex, especially at the beginning of a relationship, as long as both people enter the process honestly and equally. When a couple has made the leap from hand-holding to sex, there is so much to learn about each other’s bodies. The newness of the relationship should make arousal very easy with all those lovey-dovey hormones drowning your brain in bliss-vibes. Once the relationship is established, life and work and kids tend to take priority. That alone is a great reason to have regularly scheduled sex-time, to make sure you have that consistent connection that centers you both back to why you’re together in the first place.
And before dissenters blast me with “But sex shouldn’t be the basis of the relationship!” Well, then, you’ll have to explain 500 million years of evolutionary procreation and a big chunk of human biology, anthropology, psychology, and sexology. Sex is imperative to a good relationship, and at the foundation of both sex and the relationship is communication. Bad sex can often be attributed to bad communication. And even if you can’t have traditional sexual activity due to a disability or medical condition, there are alternatives; so yes, persons with disabilities can have enjoyable, satisfying sexual experiences. My point is that lovemaking can improve with regularly scheduled “training sessions”, or as I call them, “awakening sessions”. (Remember, part of the definition of “arouse” is “to awaken”.)
Sex with yourself as well as with a new partner should be scheduled to happen on a regular schedule, preferably daily. Unless you’re blessed to have an Orgasm Faery guarantee your arousal and climax, regular sexual activity is required to keep the body in orgasm-mode. The intent of the “awakening sessions” is to awaken the body and your capacity for increasing your orgasmic response.
The word “orgasm” comes from the Greek orgasmos and means “to swell”, therefore true orgasm is NOT the sudden release at the end of arousal. Technically, orgasm is happening throughout arousal with the climax being a sudden swelling and release of muscular tension. For many, this release is very physical, but for some this release is full-body and emotional as well. This is most confusing for men, who associate orgasm with ejaculation, even though these are different actions from different parts of the autonomic nervous system. High school sex education classes still teach that men “must” orgasm to expel semen for procreation. This is wrong — ejaculation is required for expelling sperm. Ask any man who’s ever needed Viagra, and he can tell you that orgasmic pleasure and ejaculation are not necessarily one and the same. (But that is a whole other blog post.) Because of the misperception of what orgasm actually is, men especially miss out on many orgasms during the arousal period because they don’t know to separate the subtle orgasm response from the explosive ejaculatory reflex. Men who have mastered non-ejaculatory climax orgasms love being able to have multiple climatic orgasms in one lovemaking session.
This brings me to another point. Get rid of the goal of orgasm. Men are taught to be very goal-oriented, which is why they can miss so many good feelings during the journey to climax. Men also are under the incorrect myth that women have more capacity for sexual arousal and more orgasms than men. This is not true on the subtle body level. Men have the same capacity as women for hours of orgasmic bliss, especially if the man has learned ejaculation control. If so, the whole session is a swelling of pleasure, wave after wave of orgasms, and multiple climatic experiences with no refractory period necessary. The orgasms just keep building until he’s ready to stop.
But how do you get to that point of awakening? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. How do you work that practice into your busy life? Schedule, schedule, schedule.
Because I come from a Tantrik perspective, I am an advocate of regular, scheduled practice for a number of reasons but mainly because awakening the subtle body is a meditative practice for me.
Orgasm is a learned response, and your body needs regular practice to become proficient. Yes, there are times when orgasm happens by itself, but that is not the case for most women, considering so many women have never orgasmed during penetrative sex. Orgasm is a dual response: the physical body and the subtle body. Most men know how to jerk off, and most women know how to rub their clit to soreness. That does not ensure an ecstatic experience. I think we’ve all experienced at some time or another the physical orgasm that was just located to the genitals, and we somehow felt disappointed.
Today, in fact, is the day my daughter heads back to school, and I am finally alone at home again, something I don’t have on a regular basis when school is out for summer. Every summer since my initial awakening, my practice is minimal to non-existent due to privacy issues (thin walls … I’m loud). During these nearly three months of little to no practice, I can most definitely tell a difference in my arousal levels, my “swelling” responses, and the intensity of my climaxes. I still have spontaneous orgasms and my stealth O’s, but going nearly three months without my super-orgasms is like being accustomed to a daily round of the 1812 Overture but having to settle for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star instead. Not cool! Thank goddess, school is back on!
No one would tell a wannabe concert pianist that he should practice only when he really has the urge to play. He would never become proficient enough to call himself a concert pianist, much less to play a gig at Carnegie Hall without dedicated, routine practice. When it comes to orgasms, we have to practice regularly, learning how to play our body as an instrument of pleasure the way a musician plays a piano or oboe or guitar with expertise and ease.
As I teach my clients, the subtle body is the real wonder when it comes to orgasmic fulfillment. But awakening the subtle body requires specific steps done repeatedly and routinely over a span of time. Yes, you schedule your orgasm-awakening sessions the same way you schedule your daily shower or your gym workout or having dinner ready by a certain time. Have your sessions at the same time, preferably daily, but at least three times per week, and under the same circumstances. As with any exercise, routine repetition allows the body and more importantly THE MONKEY MIND to know, “Oh, we’re doing this now. Okay,” and settling into that higher bliss state begins to happen more quickly and more effortlessly. Then, when you’re in the moment with a partner, you have a reference for where you want to be in your arousal and you can get there more quickly — you’ve done your practice, practice, practice, and now you’re ready for Carnegie Hall. Orgasm becomes not just one major release, i.e., climax, but a true swelling of sensations and experiences that grow and expand exponentially for hours if you want, until you’re ready to come down from that higher bliss state; and even then the long, slow descent can be as throbbing, undulating, and breathtaking as the journey upward.
When we do not practice our sexual-ness and sensual-ness and awakening-ness in a dedicated, routine practice, our sexual response lessens. Regular arousal can even lessen. Arousal and even vaginal fluid are dependent upon hormones; if you neglect keeping your hormones happy, your hormones won’t be there to keep you happy.
For most people, their sexual “practice” is sporadic, and yet they expect Carnegie Hall-worthy orgasms to result. And when the arousal and/or the climax is less than what was hoped for, people often turn to other means of artificially increasing the odds via vibrators and/or porn, neither of which helps your body awaken to its own amazing potential. Vibrators can damage the nerves, and porn keeps you in your fantasies in your head when your focus should be entirely on your body and the awakening responses to stimulation.
For a couple, scheduling regular awakening sessions can be a much-needed time to learn each other’s bodies. After all, do you automagically know what to do with a penis if you’ve never had lots of time to play with one? Do you know what to do with a vagina if you’ve never had a languid evening to explore inside one? An awakening session is for the awakening — orgasm may or may not happen. However, the more you do it, the more likely spontaneous orgasms will be a regular part of the experience. This greatly benefits the orgasmic response during lovemaking as well as deepening the bond between partners. No stress, just exploration and awakening. Though, I would be very surprised if such juicy exploration and discovery didn’t lead to sex. (Enjoy!)
In some Tantric traditions, scheduling sex on a daily basis is an important part of learning and growing and sharing. Some teachers have clients set aside a week or 14 days or even 21 days to do nothing but make love. If they aren’t going to the bathroom or eating a meal, they’re making love. There is something deeply intimate and intense that happens when you are that committed to being so connected with another person. For most people, this kind of “sexcation” is impossible to arrange, but it is possible to schedule that hour per day when it’s just the two of you: awakening, sharing, and loving.
Approach the awakening session as an active meditation. Allow and receive. Let the subtle body do its thing. Relearn what it means to orgasm and feel pleasure. Soon, you’ll have orgasms while walking down the street, shopping at the grocery store, standing in line at the post office. You’ll have laugh-gasms, heart-gasms, foot-gasms, scalp-gasms, face-gasms, arm-gasms, soul-gasms, and more-gasms — all of which will enrich your lovemaking as a couple. As you progress with your daily, scheduled practice, you will learn a whole new respect for the wisdom of the body as it takes you to levels of pleasure that are unimaginable until you actually experience them. Have you ever had a climatic orgasm so powerful, you could feel that you were the universe? You could feel all of eternity with your fingertips? I have. And you can, too.
Now, get out your calendar and commit to daily awakening sessions for at least a week, but preferably for one month. You’ll be amazed how you’ve grown orgasmically in so short a time!
Aroused and practicing,
I agree, sex can be a wonderful shared meditation!
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