Most of us grew up in a society that values hard work and frowns upon play. Sex is so often just a moment of relief before getting on with the ‘should’s’ of life. But what if there was more to it?? What if deep profound earth moving orgasm was the golden elixir for our hormones, mental vitality and longevity?
The Vital Orgasm
“Orgasm is vital and we have a huge lack of vitality in our culture,” says Dr Sara Gottfried, author of “The Hormone Cure” and prescriber of the Orgasmic Meditation.
We are not alive to just work we are here to live! There are many beneficial reasons for orgasm including the simple reality that connecting with a beautiful sensation in the body allows us to be available to the deliciousness of life. But if orgasms enhance our vitality why are they so scarce?
An orgasm a day will uplift your mood and bring on a whole host of internal healing actions. It can reduce pain and it’s immune boosting. Good sex is a full body workout it tones your muscles and gets your circulation pumping for great cardiac health. The activated tone in your pelvic floor helps improve bladder and bowel function, as well as preventing a prolapse womb. Sexual stimulation does something for the nervous system that nothing else can, it both soothes and energizes nerves simultaneously. Being turned on makes you feel more calm and centered, it pacifies anxiety and enhances mental functioning. Having sex at least three to four times a week is anti aging. The energy built from sex enhances your trust in yourself encouraging a more confident presence in the world.
Sex is clearly the hottest topic this century, but is that because everyone is satisfied, or because we are not? According to over 50 years of research on women’s orgasms, the International Orgasmic Survey shows that between 50% and 90% of women have never experienced a vaginal orgasm, and 36% have never or rarely achieve clitoral orgasm during penetrative sex. According to wholistic sex therapist Sheri Winston women usually take 30 to 45 minutes to be properly turned on, yet the average sex act lasts a maximum of 12 minutes. “Female orgasm is vital for every woman on the planet. It roots our fundamental capacity for connection,” says Nicole Daedone, author of “Slow Sex” and founder of Orgasmic Meditation (OM). Considering our societies obsessive focus on sex, we seem to be missing what really works for the ladies.
Women are not Orgasmically Dysfunctional
When chatting to your therapist (if we have the courage to) about any sense of ‘shortcomings’ in the orgasm department, you may find yourself being labelled with female sexual dysfunction, sexual arousal disorder, female hypoactive sexual desire disorder or anorgasmia. Unfortunately being informed of your ‘dysfunction’ can easily leave one feeling despondent or even broken in some way. The gynae on the other hand may slap you with a testosterone patch, transforming you into a rather scary cat on heat, or just an aggressive woman. According to Nicola Daedone, the founder of Orgasmic Meditation, testosterone patches are far from the answer to expansive, fulfilling, brain chemistry changing orgasm.
“We have a lot of conditioning that sex is bad, even though everyone talks about it all the time,” says American psychiatrist Dr Pooja Lakshmin, Assistant Research Professor at Rutgers University Psychology Department. Lakshmin is currently researching the neuroscience of gynecological pain disorders, orgasm and female pleasure at the Rutgers University Orgasm laborator. “It’s not that women don’t want sex it’s that we don’t want the sex that is on the menu,” exclaims Daedone.
Orgasms happen to different degrees. Most women are not experiencing full body, electrifying, mountain moving orgasm… but they can. Sheri Winston, world reknowned wholistic sexuality teacher and midwife has discovered that women have a Female Erectile Network: a set of interconnected but separate erectile structures. “Pound for pound and inch for inch, women have just as much erectile tissue as men, it’s just arranged differently. Some of these pleasure parts are well known while others are almost unheard of (even by scientists, medical practitioners and sexologists).” The erectile tissue is located in various areas; with proper stimulation, each can become engorged. Even though women can have some form of orgasm with only some of the network activated, for maximum pleasure the whole network needs to be deliciously engorged. No matter what age you are women can have mindblowing orgasms.
Turning off the Vigilant Brain
Before we can experience a great orgasm, we need to turn off our vigilance centre in the amygdala (in our brain). Stress can tell our amygdala that we are in emergency, initiating its obsessive warning, “There’s a problem. There’s a problem. You can’t relax until you have solved the problem!” Even though there are few life threatening issues in our daily lives we have wired our brains to react to normal day-to-day responsibilities as if they are dangerous. Living in constant vigilance results in emotional and physical disconnection, and eventually burnout. Meditation has been found to lower the vigilance centre, but interestingly so has the experience of deeply surrendered orgasm.
Just as much as our emotional story can influence our sexual expression, our sexual connection can also impact our emotional lives. “Connectivity is so important for women. Female orgasm roots our fundamental capacity for connection.” says Daedone. The ‘mars and venus’ story illustrates how men need sex to feel connection, where women need connection to feel like sex.
“People that do this practice begin to step away from the hectic drama of sex, stripping intimacy down to the bare bones and allowing the orgasm to become deeper and more expansive over time,” explains Lakshmin, “Your pleasure is much higher because you have turned on your nervous system all the way.” Often, when we first connect with a partner, sex is driven by a dopamine (the addictive hormone) rush, which soon fades away. When the sexual connection is focused more on intimacy, oxytocin (the love hormone) is produced, cultivating a heightened sensitivity and bonding. This allows you both to drop into your body and feel everything including pleasure. You can even attain a heightened state, which you can carry through into your daily life.
Could touch be more effective than taking a pill? “Each of us comes fully equipped with all the apparatus we need to access ecstasy,’ shares Winston. “We all have the equipment but not everyone learns how to fully operate it and really make it sing. Just like learning to play the piano, our sexual skills need to be learned, and then practiced if we want to develop mastery. The more you practice, the easier it gets.”
The limbic brain controls our emotions, subtle physical sensation and our ability to connect with people. “A healthy limbic brain is like having a wider bandwidth for life,” explains Lakshmin, “When we stimulate the genitals we stimulate the activity in the limbic system creating an increased ability to feel the world.” The limbic system is in charge of connecting with and reading people. Training limbic capacity helps increase this ability. It deepens the connection with your partner, heightening your ability to understand each other. When the limbic brain kicks in, the narrative mind turns off.
“When women walk into my centre, the most common complaint I hear is ‘I work to hard, I eat to much, I diet to much, I drink too much wine, I shop too much and still there is this sense of hunger that I can’t touch’,” shares Daedone.
According to Gottfried “Cortisol is the main hormone of stress and living in a state of vigilance keeps cortisol riding high. This lowers all your pleasure hormones like progesterone, oxytocin and your thyroid hormones. Orgasm balances your hormones; it improves thyroid function and boosts your oxytocin which lowers your cortisol.” By increasing oxytocin and serotonin (your happy hormone), orgasm also acts as a natural antidepressant.
Instead of thinking you are so stressed you no longer have a libido, turn it around: because you are stressed you need to make space for intimacy and discover your full orgasm. “Women that have a sense of pressure don’t find relief no matter how much they do or how successful they are,” shares Daedone. “The stress doesn’t go down until they begin to work with their orgasm and release it from a deep place.”
If you feel numb and disconnected, start by getting yourself a yoni egg (link in sidebar). The more we enjoy the blissful sensations of sensual orgasm, the more we produce these important anti-aging hormones and increase our vitality.