This episode features a passage from The Art of Sexual Ecstasy by Margot Anand
It is very common for both men and women to tense up while experiencing sexual pleasure. Whether solo or with a lover, many people tense their whole body while being stimulated and heading towards climax.
This pattern of muscular tension is often left over from being a teenager living at home and rushing towards having a quiet orgasm as quickly as possible before getting found out. This habit often stays with us even when we have grown up and moved out. Many of us continue to have solo sex in exactly the same way as we did as teenagers for years. However as adults who are embracing the gift of experiencing pleasure we can choose to start having different habits and experiences of orgasm.
The problem with full body tension during arousal is it limits the amount of pleasure you can feel in your body. The more tension, the less blood flow, the less sensation. By tensing up the whole body you keep arousal localized in just the genitals and don’t experience full body arousal.
A key to changing your sexual response and experiencing more expanded kinds of orgasms is to unlearn this pattern of full body tension during arousal, and instead train yourself to relax deeply as you are try experiencing more sexual pleasure.
One of my teachers, Joseph Kramer, calls traditional kinds of orgasm a ”genital sneeze”. This speaks to traditional orgasms being more of a reflex rather than an expression of your full sexual potential. Training yourself to relax as your pleasure builds allows orgasmic energy to start moving from just the genital area to being spread around the whole body. This is one very important step towards learning how to experience full body, expanded orgasms.
Often people don’t want to relax as they near orgasm as they worry they may lose their orgasm, and this may well happen as you start exploring this skill. But if you do, it is possible that as you build up again towards orgasm that the climax you eventually have may be more powerful than the one you would have had, as you have had more time to build stronger arousal all over your body.
I reckon it is worth experimenting with exploring this even if you do lose your orgasm, so that you can eventually train your body to be able to experience more pleasure during orgasms. If we don’t think about sexual pleasure as something that is so scarce and hard to access but as a renewable resource that we can access and play with again and again we can begin to relax and explore expanding it beyond what you may have experienced before.
Your Ecstatic Arousal Challenge:
Your challenge this week is to experiment with this. Start exploring sexual pleasure either solo or with your lover (you can tell your lover what you are doing or not!) and as you reach increased levels of pleasure, take deep breaths and then consciously relax the muscles of your whole body, and if you can, the muscles in and around your pelvis and genitals too. And notice what you feel.
Your orgasm may slip away a little but keep going with experiencing pleasure and see if you feel your sexual energy raise a little. Keep relaxing as you continue with your sexual stimulation, notice if you experience getting higher each time you approach your climax.
This kind of calm, peaceful, slow and steady increase in pleasure can be one element in allowing you to fall into more pleasurable orgasms, again and again.