The first time I had absolutely blissful, ego-dissolving sex with a lover, I didn’t come.
Oh my god, did I just say that?
Not only did I not come then, but I don’t always. By choice, I should hasten to add.
The sex is incredible and, somehow, orgasm isn’t always that important a part of it. In fact, not having an orgasm is often more important so that we can spend as long as possible in that shared bliss rather than have it end. Is that something we’re ready to hear and discuss yet—that orgasm should be far from being the most important component in sex for either men or women?
Seriously, though, is noone else getting slightly frustrated with our recent collective fascination with orgasm? It’s getting to the point that if we were to take it at face value, it would seem that you’re not a real woman if you’re not have multiple ejaculatory orgasms several times a week and not a real man if you’re not helping to make it happen.
Yes, orgasmic energy is amazing and does wonders for your health. And yes, for a long time women were—and many still are—finding it difficult to orgasm or to talk to their partners about what they want and need in order to reach that high point. There is no doubt that many good people are doing great work in supporting men and women in their sexual development and maturing processes.
What about the other aspects of sex, though? I can have a pretty good orgasm on my own, thank you, but what about the connection, the sharing, the mutual pleasure, the discovery and the wide variety of other reasons we want to have sex? With mass media hopping on the orgasm bandwagon, it’s hard to hear other, quieter dialogues around sexuality that are more important but don’t make such good crowd-pullers.
What concerns me is that a focus on orgasm can take away from some of the deeper aspects of sex.
It can also exacerbate the existing tendency to approach sex as a performance and a goal-oriented practice, the end result of which is supposed to be a mind-blowing orgasm. This not only takes both partners out of the moment they’re supposed to be enjoying, it can also lead to a sense of inadequacy if the goal isn’t reached. Orgasm doesn’t set women (or men) free and it doesn’t necessarily lead to great sex, either.
So, what if we drop orgasm from the radar for a while and just enjoy the journey, how might that feel? Isn’t that the gift of the feminine anyway, to expand and flow rather than the masculine gift of focus?
Great sex reminds me of great art: a mixture of skill and experience coupled with a huge dollop of intuition and an ability to get the ego out of the way. And, of course, that elusive element, energetic compatibility (or chemistry). What lifts average, everyday sex into a connection that can be deeply fulfilling, and even transforming, is not a better orgasm but a willingness to expand our horizons beyond the physical.
It sounds almost counter-intuitive to suggest that a physical experience can be enhanced by expanding our focus on the non-physical, but that’s something regular yogis, meditators and consciously spiritual folk would understand. Techniques and practice can take us some of the way, but there’s more to it than that.
When we expand our perspective, reconnect with a deeper part of ourselves and practice being totally present, our experience of life becomes richer and the guidance we need comes naturally. The same goes for sex, too.
Great sex is an art rather than a science. It’s a personal, intuitive, in-the-moment creation that is inspired by something more than just the mind and body.
And it requires some very non-sexual ‘skills’ that few outside of spiritual circles are willing to talk about, things like:
Surrendering to the moment.
It’s one thing being totally present when sitting cross-legged in meditation or focused on a yoga asana. But trying to remain in the moment when faced with an emotionally or sexually charged experience is a completely different challenge.
When we can stay fully present with a lover, not only do we engender a greater sense of trust, we’re also more able to surrender to the flow of energy which we’re sharing with our partner and more able to intuitively understand them. Maintaining eye contact, focusing on the breath or on the skin-to-skin contact are some of the best ways of anchoring ourselves to the moment with a sexual partner, as is bringing ourselves constantly back into the body and out of the mind.
Connecting the mind, heart and genitals.
In some ways this is an expansion of the last point. When we’re totally present, we are present in body, mind and soul. But modern society encourages a compartmentalization which results in the separation of body, mind and emotions. Few of us are fortunate enough to get from childhood to adulthood without having built walls between these parts of ourselves and perhaps its no surprise then that we find women trading sex for love and men doing the reverse as an unconscious way of filling the gaps. But for the fullest sexual experience possible, we need to bring all of these together into union – into a yoga.
Our minds need to be in harmony with our hearts and both of these comfortable with the physicality of sex. There’s no quick and easy way to do this, though. It’s more a gradual process of addressing old belief patterns, of practicing opening the heart and of allowing our sexuality to become a fuller expression of who we are rather than something which happens in a separate compartment.
Bringing love into it.
Again, this ties into the previous point and I can’t resist quoting the old song lyric ‘..love the one you’re with’. And that really sums it up. Unfortunately, we have a fear (usually based on past experience) of opening our hearts—of being taken for fools or hurt. And this is particularly true of new or brief sexual encounters, when we almost deliberately shut love out until we’re sure where it might lead. We guard our hearts.
But when we close our hearts off, we also close down the flow of energy within ourselves as well as between ourselves and others. And no amount of genitally-focused sex can break down that barrier if we’re determined to keep love out of it. Without love, our sexual experiences will never be as fulfilling as they can be. With a deliberate decision to open our hearts to our sexual partners, though (yes, even casual ones), we make ourselves fully available to the best the experience may have to offer.
Taking a soul perspective.
Yes, sex is very definitely a body-based experience. One of the privileges of having a physical body is that we have the opportunity to enjoy all of the pleasures of the senses. Smell, touch, taste, sight, sound—they are all the result of having a physical body and they can all come together beautifully in sex.
But when we remember there is more to us than our physical expression, when we take a spiritual perspective on life, instead of it taking away from our sexuality, it can enhance it by reminding us how temporary and fleeting, and therefore precious, our time is here. There’s something refreshingly innocent about having sex with a partner whose view is similar. It can bring a lightness and simplicity to sexual sharing when lovers see themselves as two souls connecting through bodies which they know won’t be around forever, it seems less serious somehow. On the other hand, it can also bring a depth of connection which no amount of learned expertise in love-making could ever produce on its own.
When our sexual connection with another is broad enough to include these elements, there is less need to learn techniques, practice specific disciplines or to be anxious about performance. The experience of the moment and our lover become the only guides that we need.
Our actions arise spontaneously from our immersion in the experience and whether orgasm is part of that or not is dictated by each unique exchange. Sometimes orgasm is part of it. Other times the energy builds into a crescendo which is re-circulated and re-absorbed inside the body. And then there are times when it feels right to just let it simply die down again without any climax at all.
Somehow, when our experiences of sex are deeply fulfilling, orgasm becomes less relevant in itself.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard