I’m a Crazy, F*cking Mess: Orgasmic Tuning & PMS. {Adult} ~ Candice Holdorf

Via Candice Holdorf
on Jun 7, 2012
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Photo: SimplyAbbey

Warning: some adult language ahead.

You don’t want to be around me right now.

My body feels heavy, full and thick. I’m exhausted. Every nerve is raw and exposed. I’m prone to burst into tears at any moment and if you question what I do in any way (even if it’s just the way I make coffee), I might be tempted to throw a French press at your head.

Another typical day in the world of a pre-menstrual woman, right?

Well, not quite. It’s another typical day in the world of a woman whose orgasm is out of alignment (to clarify, when I say “orgasm,”I don’t mean sexual climax, but the electrical driving force that is always coursing through your body). What we call PMS is actually the result of stuck orgasmic energy building in the uterus—the seat of sexual expression, unconscious desire and creativity (a.k.a Second Chakra). Acupuncturists call this chi stagnation. In orgasmic terms, we call this tumescence.

The basic definition of tumescence is “swelling,”and to be tumesced is to experience this kind of energetic swelling. It’s a neutral state—neither good nor bad—and anyone can experience it, though it is significantly prominent in women just before their periods. In the case of PMS, the swelling of orgasm will continue to accumulate and most women will experience symptoms of heaviness, discomfort and lethargy unless A) the orgasm is expelled,  B) the container (your body) that is holding the orgasm itself expands.

Most of us are pros at Option A. We cry, we get angry, we cram our faces with sugar, we go impulse shopping or we have lots of hard fucking—thereby alleviating the pressure in the moment, but failing to address the underlying issue.

These methods tend to decrease your ability to feel rather than increase it. We become masters of energetic anaesthetization and lose the opportunity to utilize the extra orgasm.

Then there’s Option B. In connecting to my orgasm through orgasmic meditation (a.k.a. OM, a simple, two-person sexuality practice where one person strokes the genitals of another and focuses at the point of connection), I put my full attention on the sensations in my body, learn to approve of what arises and ultimately create space for that energy, which can then be used as fuel for my desire.

Photo: Ashley Webb

Let’s say you’re a guitar player, your body is the instrument and the strings are your orgasm. The guitar is out of tune. What do you do? You don’t yell at the strings (anger), blame yourself (crying), avoid the strings (shopping/eating) or bang them really loud and hard (f*cking). You slow down, pluck each one, listen to the vibration and turn the peg until the sound created is in alignment with the desired note.

If it’s that simple, why do we run away from tuning our orgasm?

One of the biggest reasons is shame. Our genitals, one of the most sensitive and highly electrical parts of the body, are laden with social conditioning, fear and unexpressed desire, which trap orgasm inside us. This orgasm eventually rots and putrefies into what we call “shame.”

To desire is selfish. To be hungry is weak. To feast is morally unclean.

So we pack all that energy into numbed-out, but highly explosive, pockets on our clit. It’s no wonder we shy away from sharing a sexual landscape riddled with landmines to anther person.

Also, our patriarchal society is notorious for culturally gaslighting women into thinking that emotional fluctuations and sensitivity are symptoms of mental instability (or at the very least, fodder for mockery), thereby adding another layer of embarrassment and shame. This can be seen in TV shows where the hapless dope has to run into the drug store to buy tampons for his insane, hormonal girlfriend.

Many men won’t talk about (much less have sex with) women on their periods because it’s “disgusting.” In the workplace, women (or men with more feminine natures) are not given as much credence because their “emotionality” and “sensitivity” are evidence that they don’t have the “balls” to handle high-level positions of power.

Finally, we are in the midst of an all-out, political war on women and reproductive rights. If both sexes continue to treat each other as enemies, how are we ever going to feel safe enough to take off our pants and ask to have our genitals stroked?

In addition to shame, there is also simple ignorance; we’ve never been taught how to manage energy. If we don’t know what we want, how can we ask for it? PMS is considered a “normal” affliction in our society. How many times have you told your friends that “it’s that time of the month,” and their response is something like, “Yuck, I’m so sorry.”?

You never hear anyone say, “Awesome! How are you going to use all that extra energy?!” Or, “Sounds like you could use an all-downstroke OM.” The social prescription includes popping a Midol (or twelve), grabbing a carton of Ben & Jerry’s and burrowing in a cave for a week.

Finally, I see women (and men) avoiding direct interaction with orgasm in the name of being a “good, spiritual person.” What that means is people go to yoga, or they go meditate, or they  say affirmations, or cling to non-violent communication, or “send heart vibes,” or utilize any method to avoid confronting “darker” energies. Anger, hate, jealousy, terror, fear—all of these are part of the human experience. I see so many people try to “rise above the negative”and therefore sacrifice connection to all of who they are. They get caught in their own spiritual vanity (yes, I’ve done it too).

This is not to say that yoga, meditation, etc., don’t do anything to help in energy management. To the contrary: they are integral pieces of the whole. However, to return to the guitar metaphor, you can buy the highest quality instrument, clean her to a shine and study musical theory—but eventually, you have to leave music school, get out in the real world and play the damn thing.

But if you practice connecting to orgasm, expanding your capacity to receive, learning to ask for what you want and including the whole experience—even with its judgments, messiness, pain and tears—you will find a terrain rich with desire and raw power. And this power, converted from tumescence to turn-on (which is essentially tumescence plus approval), can be a most delicious experience.


Yesterday, I was a total nut job. Crying, depressed, pissed off and completely indecisive. Then I had an OM. I felt my orgasm drop down from my belly, through my pussy and to my legs. The air around me was dense and crackly. My body felt light and spacious. Later on, while I was having sex, I noticed there was much more openness in my pelvis. The blood that was once trapped had room to flow down into the undernourished pockets of my genitals. Instead of heavy, dull ache, I felt thick, lush wetness dripping out of me. Painful cramping transformed to a velvety, electric undulation that pulled my partner deeper into me. This was not hard f*cking to run away from sensation—this was sex that had me grateful for all the sensation available.

Good sex is just one way to utilize the energy made available through alchemizing orgasm.

Maybe you want to write a book, start a family or run for president. The choice is yours. My hope is that you will choose something that is in alignment with your deepest desire. Or, at the very least, I hope you find a little more space for the crazy, f*cking mess of a woman that you are.

She’s gotta a lot of love to give—she just needs a little orgasmic tuning.


Editor: Brianna Bemel

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About Candice Holdorf

Candice Holdorf is a writer, performer, sex + life coach and Orgasmic Meditation trainer. She is currently working on her book, “From 6 to 9 and Beyond: Widening the Lens of Feminine Eroticism.” You can pre-order your copy here. She is a writer for elephantjournal and The Good Men Project, as well as a performer and public speaker specializing in desire, sexuality and Orgasmic Meditation. She is also a former yoga teacher and recovering anorexic who has discovered that there is tremendous power inside of hunger. Find out more about Candice on her blog, follow her on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube


20 Responses to “I’m a Crazy, F*cking Mess: Orgasmic Tuning & PMS. {Adult} ~ Candice Holdorf”

  1. John O says:

    For many years it was during pre-menstruation and menstruation itself that my then wife and I had a degree of intimacy and multi-level "travelling" that defies words – these were some of the most extraordinary sexual experiences of my life – sacred, nourishing, total togetherness/oneness and a degree of desire and passion that no words could ever describe!
    And to fall asleep eventually in this vibrating reality was bodysoul nourishment of the highest order….

  2. Candice, I have been reading your articles regularly on Elephant…some of them have touched a chord for sure. But all in all, I have to agree with you, and the chord that gets touched is just the shell of my own misunderstanding breaking. I am being challenged but expanded by your writing. But this article really hits home. I especially like your exposing the word gaslighting (I recently found out what this is, and unfortunately it is practiced all too often in our culture) and the exposure of spiritual vanity. That aside, I also love that you are talking about PMS and how to re-channel this energy into something creative and productive. Bravo for your bravery to start talking about this stuff. I love the WHOLE EXPERIENCE. Thank you!

    • WOW!! Thank you for reading and for your generous words…I am so happy the writing resonates. What a vulnerable thing to admit–"the shell of my own misunderstanding breaking"–what courage. Many blessings to you…xo

  3. Danielle says:

    this sounds really fantastic and i feel like a can relate but im almost really confused on how your supposed to make the connection or how to ask your loved one to do it with you? or how it works?

  4. "My body feels heavy, full and thick. I’m exhausted. Every nerve is raw and exposed. I’m prone to burst into tears at any moment and if you question what I do in any way (even if it’s just the way I make coffee), I might be tempted to throw a French press at your head."

    You were in my head today, huh? hahahaha! Love this, Candice. Definitely the best way to deal with PMS, and great to know more about why!

  5. yaurie11 says:

    I always love me some brutal honesty. Thank you for being straight and true!

  6. omg says:

    thank you Candice….. now I can use orgasms to cure PMS…. wow

  7. catnipkiss says:

    I have been a longtime "victim" of PMS. I usually find time to just burrow in a cave – or take a Xanax. I'd love to try this method just to see the result, but I do not have a sexual partner. I feel uncomfortable asking someone off the street…. (that was a ha-ha, ok??) So how would one access this, self OM?? – Alexa

    • Hi Alexa, great question. If you want to practice OM it is a 2-person practice–there is no 'self-OM' because you are creating a container for you to totally surrender and go out of control. In any masturbatory practice, you can not fully surrender (not knocking masturbation, just saying it's not the same as OM). As far as finding a partner goes, I wouldn't want to ask someone off the street either 🙂 the great thing about OM is that it is a practice that strips all the layers so we can come into full contact with orgasm. Therefore you don't need the romance and the marriage material BS we usually pile on our sex. They don't have to be a sexual partner. I OM with people who are just OM partners–no sex/romance involved. Your OM partner can be a good friend, an ex-lover, whatever…really someone you know, like and trust (it can be a woman too if that's more comfortable).

      Thanks for your question! I really love your articles!! xoxo

  8. […] it’s been derogatorily called “the curse of womanhood”, and for those of us regularly plagued with premenstrual symptoms the term is apropos. According […]

  9. Rebecca says:

    I am full of untapped (unstroked) potential. thank you!

  10. […] Porn reared its head again when it became a third partner in my marriage and competition for my having a mind-blowing orgasm. […]

  11. GretaCargo says:

    Is this solution applicable for girls 12 through 18? Nice adult article…but the general perspective is S**T.

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