Whole Life Magazine

August/September 2012

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Page 21 of 51

whole living SEXtalk Befriending the EroTic SELf in childhood. Normal childhood development includes a variety of self- soothing behaviors that start quite early. Some of the sexually stimulating behaviors that inform us about our pleasure response early in life include squeezing our legs together, or for girls, applying pressure to the vaginal area by leaning heavily against or on something. It is extremely common for young girls to try a variety of methods to experience indirect pressure to their genital area, whereas little boys will more commonly apply direct pres- sure through their hands. Like thumb-sucking, these early practices teach us about our body's capacity for self-soothing, which is a precursor to the experience of pleasure. Over time, many girls discover and explore direct and intense stimulation matures our access to, and experience of, orgasm. Most of us begin to discover and experiment with our erotic selves G of the vagina. Curiously enough, this practice is often coupled with tensing of the whole body and even holding the breath. These orgasms are often discovered in early adolescence because they are powerful, quick and quiet enough to be secretive, which is generally how most of us learn to inhabit our sexual selves in adolescence. Although these orgasms provide a gateway to the experience of pleasure, they can inadvertently become habits that prevent us from more deeply embodying our full capacity to orgasm. For men, this practice of intense, fast orgasms can result in issues of premature ejaculation. Many children feel shame along with pleasure at their early discoveries. rowing up your orgasmic potential is where the meaning of maturity gets really interesting. Befriending and relating to our erotic selves is a lifelong process that expands our relationship to pleasure and By wendy St rgar Name That Orgasm Artist and sex educator Betty Dodson was the first to name and de- scribe a broad variety of orgasmic experience. Her groundbreaking work, Orgasms for Two, based on more than 30 years of teaching with thousands of women of all ages, remains a classic guide for how orgas- mic experience shapes us throughout our lives. Here, some highlights. Multiple orgasms. While female multiple orgasms are more often talked about, both men and women are capable of having multiple orgasms. Dodson distinguishes between multiple orgasms and the "aftershocks of pleasure" that follow a big orgasm, which some people might call orgasms, and which allow them to count 20 or 30 orgasms in a session of lovemaking. One of the pitfalls of multiple orgasms is the trap of waiting for them and having anxiety about whether or not you'll have them, which takes your attention away from the pleasure you're feeling. This is a waste of an orgasm, whatever number it comes in. Mostly uninformed and powerfully attracted to the experience, they begin to wonder if they are sexually normal. Learning to relax into sexual pleasure ex- periences and letting go of the fear and shame often associated with youthful sexuality opens the door to a wide range of deep spiritual connections with your partner, and even the divine, through a multi-layered sensory experi- ence. Tantric practices that focus on intimate connected breathing, eye gazing and relaxation can produce dramatic peak orgasms that are experienced at the core of your being. As we learn to inhabit and become more and more comfortable with our erotic selves, the process of orgasm becomes a fluid dance in which we are able to combine multiple techniques and simultaneously experience a wide variety of sensations. Developing a physical language of orgasmic techniques, including clitoral stimulation, vaginal stimulation, contractions of the pelvic floor muscles for women; and a range of pelvic thrusts, depth of penetration and penile stimulation techniques for men, create opportunities for new and unique combinations of orgasmic waves every time you make love. 22 wholelifetimesmagazine.com G-spot orgasms. While Dodson doesn't discount the g-spot, she fa- vors clitoral stimulation and is wary of those who argue for orgasms that result from penetration alone. Nonetheless, many women report experiencing orgasms resulting from g-spot stimulation as fundamentally different from orgasms that come from other kinds of stimulation. Fantasy orgasms. Dodson largely discounts the idea of orgasms that result from mental stimulation alone (not surprising, given her belief in clitoral supremacy). But there have been several studies and years of anecdotal reports by both men and women who have orgasms without any physical contact, and from mental fantasy alone. There is a tendency by many to see orgasms from fantasy as being "less than" other kinds of orgasms, but this attitude seems to come mostly from rigid thinking about the right and wrong way to orgasm, and less from real personal experiences. Sex columnist Wendy Strgar is the founder of Good Clean Love, Inc., purveyor of organic personal love products.

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