During my postings about how to be orgasmic some weeks ago, someone asked: What if I can’t do what you suggested? What if I can’t just relax and feel more of my body even on my own, let alone with my husband?
What I am about to suggest can be applied by everyone; there is always another level of pleasure to be found. There is a lot you can do, whether you are alone or in relationship to open to more pleasure.
Some people have made experiences that make it hard for them to feel pleasure. This can be because of sexual abuse, but it is just as often because of a sexually repressive upbringing, and unfortunately very often the two go together. That’s a deadly combination, but it is very prevalent. Mostly, where there is abuse of any kind, there is also repression and shame. It is sexual repression that breeds sexual abuse. But even if there was no abuse, repression on it’s own can do quite enough damage. Being shamed sexually is part and parcel of our upbringing in today’s society. Even if the parents are wonderfully healthy and don’t shame their child, which is rare even in enlightened circles, unless the child is isolated, it will be exposed to sexual shaming as soon as they interact in society. Guaranteed.
The good news is: Anyone can regain their ability to experience pleasure and orgasm, absolutely any one, at any age, no matter what the degree of repression and shaming, no matter the length or severity of abuse. Really! Truly! But some people will have to go really, really slow. Any slight moment of pleasure may bring up such strong feelings of shame, hurt, fear, anger or even flashbacks (vivid images of past trauma) that it may not seem worth it. Or rather, any moment of pleasure would bring up the above-mentioned feelings if the person allowed it. But more often I hear things like: “I just don’t feel anything.” The decision that feeling pleasure is not worth it has been made by the person long ago and is now unconscious.
That’s why most people don’t get as far as the actual feeling; numbness takes over first. You must realize this numbness is not a dead feeling, it is an active strategy our inner child has learned to employ in order to avoid feeling bad. It’s a protection. So if you can’t feel pleasure at all, or if do have pleasure but can’t let go into orgasm, be open to the possibility that you simply go on automatic when the pleasure triggers something, it’s like an unconscious, automatic shut off in the system saving you from bad feelings. What you will need to do in that situation is: Be ever so kind and caring with yourself. At whatever stage it is that you go numb, whether it is that you can’t feel physical pleasure at all or whether you go dead right before orgasm, or you loose the feeling somewhere in between, slow it down, admit to yourself that you just shut down, be compassionate with yourself, know that there is a reason, a good one, for this, and then become the detective. Ask yourself, if I had kept feeling and opening, what would I have been feeling? You may not right away get an answer, but just keep asking the question. Then slow down any movement enough so that you can listen. Sometimes it is even helpful to take a wild guess.
When listening to our bodies and hearts, sometimes what we hear may be inconvenient or embarrassing or we don’t think what we hear is relevant, so we ignore it. That’s a big mistake. Listen to the messages of your body like you would listen to a most precious child.
Also ask, what was going on in that moment that I went from feeling pleasure to not feeling anything so suddenly? What could I do differently next time? What could I ask of my partner that might make a difference? Signing your partner up as collaborating detective along with you can be a wonderful thing. I highly recommend it. Going on this journey together is can feel very vulnerable but it is also precious.
If you really want to get serious about becoming orgasmic or about having more pleasure and fulfilling sex, I suggest you go back to my posts from March and April of this year and ask the above questions while you follow the various assignments that I offered there.
Make friends with the feelings that come up as you do this. Love yourself for allowing them. Be compassionate, give yourself time, watch them come up and release under your loving care. If the feelings that show up when you ask the suggested questions are overwhelming, that’s a good time to call or go to someone knowledgeable in trauma healing. If you can’t find anyone where you are, you can contact me.
And remember, having orgasms is fun but it is not important, so don’t’ make it about that. Make it about having a fabulous time enjoying your body for yourself and with a partner. It’s your birthright.
I always love your questions and comments, even the critical and frustrated ones, so don’t’ hesitate to comment or write to me, Niyaso
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