“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” –Madeleine L’Engle
Growing 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 matures our access to and experience of orgasm. Like millions of other women, I learned from Betty Dodson who was the first to describe the variety of orgasmic experiences that occur throughout our lifetime. Her groundbreaking work: Orgasms for Two, based on over thirty years of teaching, remains a classic guide for how orgasmic experience shapes us throughout our lives.
For many of us, it is early in our childhood where we begin to discover and experiment with our erotic selves. Self-soothing behaviors like thumb sucking and rhythmic rocking are the precursors to the sexually stimulating behaviors that mark normal childhood development. Some of the behaviors that inform us about our pleasure response early in life include squeezing your legs together, or 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 pressure through their hands. These early practices of recognizing the pleasure capacity of the body teach us about our body’s capacity for pleasure. Parental response to these behaviors can either generate more curiosity or shame, which sadly can live inside of us for life.
It is not unusual for women to carry these early stimulating techniques forward into their adult orgasmic life. Yet over time, many adolescent girls discover and explore direct and intense stimulation of the vagina. Interestingly, this practice is often coupled with tensing your whole body and even holding your breath, which creates a powerful, quick orgasm. These orgasms are also quiet enough to be secretive, which is generally how most of us learn to inhabit our sexual selves in our adolescence. Although they provide the gateway to our pleasure experience, they can also inadvertently become habits that prevent us from more deeply embodying our capacity to orgasm. For men, this practice of intense, fast orgasms can result in issues of premature ejaculation. Sadly, but not uncommonly, most of us felt shame along with pleasure at these early discoveries. Being that we were mostly uninformed, yet powerfully attracted to the pleasure experience, this is where many of us begin to wonder about our sexual normalcy.
The transition to relaxing into your sexual pleasure experiences happens at different rates and for different reasons. Generally, there is some kind of education, whether through a partner, friend or book, about pleasure and the acceptance of our erotic selves, which occurs as we enter early adulthood. Replacing the fear and shame often associated with our youthful sexuality opens the door to a wide range of deep spiritual connections within your orgasmic experience. These orgasms come over us when we fall fully into the multi-layered sensory experience that the body is capable of holding. 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 where we are able to combine multiple techniques and experience a wide variety of sensations at the same time. Developing and experimenting with a complex physical language of orgasmic techniques including: clitoral stimulation, vaginal stimulation, contractions of the pelvic floor muscles for women and the range of pelvic thrusts, depth of penetration and penile stimulation techniques for men create the opportunities for new and unique combinations of orgasmic waves every time you make love. This maturity and experience can often lead women to discover the g-spot orgasm, which is the spot where the clitoral legs meet deep in the vagina.
The freedom to explore our mysteriously complex anatomy of pleasure often leads many couples into a whole new experience of multiple orgasms that literally transport the lovers into other realms. These orgasmic experiences are the literal meeting place of fantasy and reality. It is not unusual for fully matured orgasmic people to experience twenty or more different kinds of orgasmic experiences within one evening of lovemaking. The orgasm literally is the leader that the partners follow.
Orgasm in fact is always the leader at every stage of development. It cannot be cajoled and will not be forced, even in early childhood. It is through curiosity and increasing opening in the body that we are graced with our most exquisite healing experience of orgasm. When we wait for them or demand their appearance, they will elude us. Anxiety and fear cannot coexist with the brain during orgasm. Judgment scares them off. Loving your erotic self is the key to maturing your orgasmic potential.