As of today, we are 50 days away from the release of my book, which I can’t shut up about because I genuinely believe it’ll change people’s lives for the better.
In celebration, I wanted to tell you about an email I received recently – one of those wonderful emails that tell you you’re doing something right.
I was doing a Q&A with a group of students and we got to talking about orgasm – you know, as you do – and in particular we talked about what to do when you notice yourself struggling with orgasm.
I said, “There’s this thing called spectatoring, where instead of paying attention to the pleasurable sensations in your body, your attention is focused on things like what your face must look like or how the fat on your belly is moving or the cottage cheese on the back of your thigh or whatever, and then of course there’s that thing where as you get close to orgasm, you start to think, ‘I think I might have an orgasm! What if I don’t have an orgasm? What if I DO have an orgasm? Will I know? Am I doing it right?'”
And as I said all this, heads were nodding – not every head, but a lot.
And so I said, “And do you suppose all those thoughts are hitting your sexual accelerator… or are they hitting the brake?”
“Brake,” the group chanted, obedient and unanimous.
“Absolutely!” I said. “And so what you do when you notice these thoughts is you give yourself permission to let those thoughts go for now – you can think about them later if you want, but just for now you let them go, and you shift your attention back to the pleasurable sensations in your body. And then your mind will wander back to those distracting thoughts, and you just notice that and let those thoughts go and return your attention to the pleasurable sensations in your body.”
“Isn’t that hard?” one student asked.
“Not always, but sometimes, for sure,” I said. “Especially if a person is a trauma survivor or grew up in a family or culture where they were taught that those pleasurable sensations are bad and dangerous, then it’ll take a long time to untangle those knots – and of course all of this is OPTIONAL! Nobody ever has to have an orgasm if they don’t want to. But if you want to, if it seems like something you’d like to try, then you just keep practicing paying attention to the pleasure in your body and letting go of the distracting thoughts, and gradually it will get easier and easier.”
For about half of pre-orgasmic women of all ages, this kind of education is all that’s necessary in order for them to learn to have an orgasm. For the other half, something more intensive like therapy is very often helpful.
And in this case, one person emailed me a few weeks later to let me know it had worked for her.
It’s SO great to hear when the work I do expands someone’s access to pleasure. The pleasure of our bodies belongs to us, but we live in a world that tries to tell us we’re not allowed to access it – like a bank telling you you can’t take out money from your own account. It’s absurd and criminal.
I hear a lot of stories of struggle and trauma and shame. I want to start building a word where we hear stories of transformation, where that struggle and trauma and shame metamorphose into confidence, autonomy, and joy.
And of course all of this is in Chapter 8 of the book. 🙂