To Forgo the “O”

Sex without orgasm? You’re jokin’, right?

Recently, I had a returning female customer come into our boutique and giddily thank me for advising her and her husband to try preventing orgasm. I remembered the woman by sight because she and her spouse had struck me as a particularly handsome older couple who were deeply in love; but frankly, I didn’t remember giving them that specific advice. “Oh yeah,” she said, “at first my husband thought you were trying to be a smartass!” Then I remembered. He’d been having a difficult time maintaining an erection, and they’d come in to our establishment to see about purchasing pleasure aids he might use to focus on giving her orgasms when he wasn’t feeling up to the task.

At the time, I’d just finished re-reading  Viktor Frankl’s classic account of surviving as a prisoner in various Nazi concentration camps entitled Man’s Search for Meaning¹. Towards the end of his autobiographical account, Frankl, a neuro-psychiatrist by profession, posits his theory of logotherapy and explains some of his techniques for working with various mental illnesses. One of the techniques he suggests involves “tricking” the brain into a sort of reverse psychology. Since I am not a mental health professional, I cannot subscribe or even explain how it works; nonetheless, I suggested this couple might try something of the sort.

I asked if they’d ever tried pleasure mapping [I’m a huge fan of the practice] and suggested that they “map” their erogenous zones together. “But,” I said, “neither of you are allowed to climax.” Her husband scoffed, “Sex without an orgasm? Where am I? You’re jokin’, right?” I explained that I thought his condition (erectile dysfunction) was perhaps exacerbated by the anxiety he was experiencing by trying so hard to make his wife orgasm via penetration. Of course, they had a lot of other options that they could explore, for example cunnilingus, arousal enhancers, adult toys, etc., that could bring both of them pleasure. I admitted that I’d be happy to sell them the latest and most expensive toys in our store; but I was curious to know whether or not they would benefit from just leisurely exploring one another’s bodies. Sometimes, when orgasm is seen as the end-all, be-all of sex, so many other pleasurable opportunities are missed.

When the woman came back to tell me how happy she had been with their pleasure mapping experiment, she said it was practically a miracle. “If it hadn’t been so passionate, it would have been funny. In fact, ____ and I laughed about it later, but he couldn’t keep from getting aroused!” I admitted that I couldn’t take credit and told her about an example from Frankl’s book wherein Frankl worked with a man who had been overwhelmed his entire life with a terrible stutter. The man was to speak publicly at a conference and sought the doctor’s help. Frankl suggested that during his speech, the man force himself to stutter throughout. The result was that the man actually couldn’t stutter.

I knew that it sounded too good to be true, but the woman assured me that she didn’t care about the “how” of it happening; she was just thrilled that she and her husband had been able to reconnect intimately and she promised she would be sharing the wonders of pleasure mapping with all of her friends.

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For more on Pleasure Mapping, see my post on Searching for Your Buried Pleasure.

¹Man’s Search for Meaning  by Viktor Frankl, 1946. [find a quick link in Resources]

Searching for Your Buried Pleasure

global pleasure, painted breasts, art of pleasure

“Remember that thing you did that one time that I really liked?” 

Not long ago, I witnessed a woman say to her husband, “Remember that thing you did that one time that I really liked?” He just threw up his hands and laughed, “Are you kidding?” The vagueness of her question left the poor guy completely flummoxed. And, rightfully so. It’s unreasonable to think that another person automatically knows what turns us on or off … especially when we consider the fact that most of us couldn’t list everything that would curl our toes (or potentially turn or stomachs) until we actually experience it for ourselves.

Do you know what brings your body pleasure, your erogenous zones? How do you communicate to your partner what brings you pleasure during intimate moments? Are you the sort of person that patiently allows your lover to fumble through trial and error while you silently pray for the best? Or, do you know exactly what melts your butter and are happy to share?

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Physical touch is very important when it comes to arousal and it’s an excellent idea to know what kind of touch, and where that kind of touch, brings your body the most pleasure. The practice of mapping your body is a wonderful way to connect with your body and to discover the different sensations you experience and how they make you feel on a deeper level. Some areas may be ticklish. Other areas may really arouse you. Touch in some areas may be painful and some that are typically neutral may even be uncomfortable or diminish your pleasure all together depending on the circumstances. For example, my reaction is very different when my spice playfully bites my neck during coreplay than it is if he bites my neck while I’m browsing through Facebook. True story.

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…when a person zeroes in completely on orgasm as the goal, they can miss a lot of pleasure points…

If you’re already comfortable with masturbation, you may think you already know everything you need to know; but, when a person zeroes in completely on orgasm as the goal, they can miss a lot of pleasure points that may ultimately bring new and exciting delights to their repertoire. Regardless of what society tells us, Sexuality ≠ Orgasm. Sexuality and erotic pleasure are about a myriad of feelings, sensations, and emotions. The “Big O” is not always a big deal. Rushing towards climax may produce a release of sexual tension, but it does not always produce a full and pleasurable connection — be it with ourselves or with someone we love.

As I often tell people, “Learning never ends.” Movements, touches, and techniques that have pleased you in the past, may no longer please you today. As our bodies and life experiences change, so do our erogenous zones. Mapping your own erogenous zones can sometimes be a healing experience with touch, it can also help you formulate boundaries or “forbidden zones.”  But you needn’t go it alone.

 Keep in mind that as you’re exploring each other’s bodies and experimenting with different types of touches, you are critiquing technique, not each other.

If you are uncomfortable with solo masturbation, mutual mapping can also be an incredible bonding experience for you and your lover. Keep in mind that as you’re exploring each other’s bodies and experimenting with different types of touches, you are critiquing technique, not each other. You may find it helpful to agree on non-verbal cues or signals to use before you begin. One person may be comfortable being specifically vocal, but another person may be uncomfortable directing their partner verbally, especially if using the names of some specific body parts  (like saying “my nipples” or “my testicles”) makes them uncomfortable. Some couples may prefer to use sounds and silence to convey the pleasure they are or are not receiving, others may want to use hand gestures (like a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”) whenever a specific touch triggers a specific response, be it pleasant or not. However you decide to communicate, make sure the information is clear and mutual.

 

Ylanite Koppens via pexels

3 Important Tips for Finding Your Buried Pleasure

  • Wear something comfortable. Comfort is key when hunting for your buried pleasure. Wearing your birthday suit tends to work best for many people, but it’s perfectly okay if you are more comfortable with a light robe or undergarments. Some people even prefer to pleasure hunt in a nice warm bath surrounded by aromatic candles. Others prefer to luxuriate in their “sex spot” of choice (wherever they are most likely to begin a love making session).
  • Give yourself at least an hour for exploration. You want to stroll leisurely along your path, taking time to stop and consider the different sensations you experience along the way. Make a mental note with every stroke, paying as much detail to the signals your body is giving as is comfortable for you. If time allows, you may move from light touches to firmer ones, slow strokes to faster ones, etc..
  • Leave your baggage behind. Before you begin, take stock and make sure you are in a relaxed, comfortable state of mind. If you had a crap day with the kids or just had harsh words with your boss, it’s unlikely you’ll be finding anything close to your bliss this go ’round. It’s okay to reschedule your search, just as long as you aren’t simply finding excuses to forgo the exercise.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary sex education session, feel free to contact me.