Orgasm. As misunderstood as it has been sought after. The past several decades of research focusing on the inner-workings of orgasm, though important to our growing understanding of arousal, confine the identity of orgasm to a few fleeting terminal moments. History, especially within the reign of patriarchal ideals, has revealed a pattern of oppressing ideas it fears most, keeping them from flourishing into their own bounty. Such has been the story of orgasm and our relationship with this experience. But the tides are slowly shifting into a new realm of orgasmic possibility. With the incorporation of Eastern spiritual traditions into modern approaches to psychology and sexual medicine, this new wave brings with it a more encompassed perspective of the grand nature of orgasm. It begins with the idea that orgasm is not simply defined and isolated to climax. Rather, its experience is as varied as the practitioner themselves and as deeply entwined with the change of life’s seasons. To begin to explain the nature of orgasm we must first understand the nature of our very own being.
You are made of energy. It’s a simple scientific fact. The building blocks of organs, like your heart, and systems, like your circulation, are made up of millions of cells all working in harmonious concert with one another. With all the work in progress, it’s understandable that these cells require fuel. The mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, is the fueling station for energy exchange. This process is a finely-attuned communication between chemical elements made up of atoms; the vibrating signature of matter itself. Within an atom there’s neutrons and protons held within a discrete nucleus and then there’s the electron which simply put, is the force that supports two or more atoms to connect. But the really interesting characteristic of an electron is that we can never know it’s exact location. We know only that it exists within an energetic realm or state called an electron cloud. So how does this relate to orgasm? Well, what if we parallel the idea of orgasm into the metaphor of an electron. It’s an energetic element (climax) of the larger atomic complex (sexual response), and unique in its properties while constantly moving, fluctuating, connecting, rising, and falling, depending on the context of its environment. It’s in this latter description of the spirited movement of an electron, or orgasm, where the shift of orgasmic perspective takes flight.
In Women Who Love Sex, a beautiful reflection on the experience of eroticism, Gina Ogden reframes orgasm away from that of a peak experience, to one of the ingredients of a woman’s sexual energy. Other ingredients of this primal energy include pleasure and ecstasy, all three of which participate in a dance of expression along what is called the continuum of pleasure. Whereas the traditional idea of orgasm is defined linearly (excitation, orgasm/climax, relaxation in the sexual response cycle), the continuum of pleasure is constantly moving between and amongst the states of ecstasy and pleasure. Unlike the traditional sexual response, the continuum of pleasure is a process that can be experienced in a number of forms and combinations at any time, and not just in the bedroom; it’s your aliveness, your Erotic, your experience of Self with a capital S. With this understanding in-hand (no pun intended, but yay masturbation!) orgasm is the process of allowance-letting go into one’s ecstasy, opening up to one’s pleasure, cycling through, within, around, inside, and out of these states of experience, just like that little electron.
So, there is no such thing as ‘achieving’ an orgasm. It’s not a thing to check off of a to-do list or to perceive as a failure in its absence. It’s as much of a living, breathing, dynamic process as you are, because it IS an expression of you. Your body is a comprehensive collection of time in the form of your emotional state, your external environment, and your thoughts, all of which inevitably can be felt within the body, and all of which have the ability to heighten or dampen the felt sensation of your orgasmic energy. But know this, your orgasmic energy is Divine and is therefore constantly flowing as a brilliant and ever accessible river of pleasure. Your body, also being a vessel for your Soul or spiritual energy, is therefore the physical valve to access this flow. It is then when you approach orgasm as part of the pleasure continuum, knowing that your awareness in the form of your sensual relationship with your body is yet another key ingredient in the energetic dance of allowance, orgasm, ecstasy, and pleasure become a discovery process, a process of self-attunement and a process of self-knowing. In coming to a greater understanding of your Self and your Soul, orgasm is a celebration of your divinity.