Orgasm is great, orgasm is good, but let us take a moment to pay homage to sex sans orgasm. Because orgasm-less sex can be just as juicy, just as earth-shattering, just as heart-opening as sex with multiple body-trembling, breath-quickening climaxes.
During the time when I was pre-orgasmic—that is, unable to have orgasms during intercourse for what seemed like for the rest of forever—I read this tidbit of advice from a place I don’t remember, which said something to the tune of. . .
Sex is the prize, orgasm is just a bonus.
To this I cried bull shit.
How could orgasm possibly be a bonus? Isn’t the orgasm the reason for the sex? Don’t we go into sex because of the orgasm? I mean, what is the meaning of sex without the orgasm?
And what about blue balls? And sexual frustration, the kind that prompts road rage? But mostly. . . how can my sexuality, my sexual expression, my womanhood be legitimate without an orgasm?
It seems like the magnitude of having orgasm-less sex means and speaks to more than just not being able to get off sometimes. It’s almost as if it signifies that our sexualities are not valid, that it reflects our innermost flaws and gives hard evidence to the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with us—our bodies, our genitalia, our selves, everything.
Except that it doesn’t. Or at least, it doesn’t have to. Perhaps orgasm-less sex doesn’t have to mean anything, and if it does mean something it just means that orgasm didn’t happen and that it is OK that it didn’t happen, and that even though it didn’t happened, nothing was taken away from the sexual experience in any way. How liberating would that be!
But before one gets to that point, I have a hunch that one needs to change their relationship to their orgasm first. Because that’s where the trouble is.
If our relationship to orgasm is full of expectation and anticipation, and then deep disappointment and resentment when our expectation is not met or our anticipation left unsatiated, well. . . orgasm is futile. Orgasm doesn’t blossom well in an expectation-anticipation-disappointment-resentment atmosphere. Mine most certainly will not.
Here, let me paint you a picture. This is what my relationship with orgasm looked like before. . .
We (my partner and I) start to make out, and my mind immediately goes to “Will this result in an orgasm?” The anticipation is there throughout every avenue of foreplay, constantly nagging me as if to say, “Yeah, yeah, all of this is good and hot and whatever, but when the orgasm comes then it’ll be real sex.”
More kissing, more petting. Still my mind is fixated on orgasm. Orgasm, orgasm, orgasm. When will I come? When will I come? Then. . . Why am I not coming?
This spurs a cycle of inner dialogue with themes of self-deprecation, deep unworthiness, despair, and hopelessness. And all of this is happening simultaneously (paradoxically) as I’m being penetrated or as I’m continuing to stroke. . . while still impatiently, begrudgingly anticipating that elusive orgasm.
Moments pass. He has either already come and is looking at my face to gauge my emotions, or my body is clenching too much to be able to go on. Then. . . tears, apologies, more hopelessness, more despair, more brokenness; bruises of black and blue all over my spirit. Dysfunctional, bitter, woe-as-me, self-abuse—all from an orgasm-less sack session.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I don’t think I have to tell you that sex is not meant to create and stir this vile pot of self-hatred, shame, and guilt. You already know this.
And here, we come back to that sage piece of wisdom I stumbled upon years ago: Sex is the prize, orgasm is just a bonus.
A lot of importance has been (and is being) put on orgasm, and in my experience, this is quite dangerous. When we begin to use orgasm as a means to quantify or validate our sexuality and sexual experience, we begin to create a great divide that separates us from the essence of what sex is about: connection. And from that great divide, from that separation, follows a disconnect from ourselves, from our pleasure, from our sensuality.
One thing is certain: orgasm has a mind, an energy, a spirit of its own, and to try to harness it with the right thoughts, techniques, and invocations is like trying to tame a wild animal.
So how does one begin to change their relationship to orgasm, from a place of dysfunction to one of synchronicity and ease?
They begin to notice where orgasm (or expectation of it) acts like a bulldozer in their arousal and sexual expression. They begin to broaden the definition of what sex and orgasm is, and they see that sex sans orgasm doesn’t have to mean “lack of” but just one of many expressions of sex an energy and play.
This is your sexuality, your sexual expression. You can create a sex life that nourishes you, protects you, keeps you warm and cozy, because it is yours and no one else’s. You can do the same with your relationship to orgasm.
And. . . I’m sure you’ve heard quotes like, Sing like you think no one’s listening, or Dance like no one is watching. Well, I’d like to take it a bit further for the sake of this writing:
Fuck like the orgasm doesn’t exist.
Try it. Try taking orgasm out of the equation for just one night. Try putting all of the emphasis you’ve been putting on orgasm into something else, like the ebbs and flows of energy that course through you with every touch, or the way your body heats up as it’s coming into contact with your beloved, or how a little cry of delight escapes your lips when you hit the spot.
Try that, and watch as erotic magic happens.