“Squirters” aren’t just for porn anymore. More people are experiencing and exploring the experience of female ejaculation, often referred to as “squirting.” A recent review of the science associated with female ejaculation has helped end some of the debate in two ways: 1) it really happens and 2) the fluid might not be what you think it is.
How does it happen?
There is no clear scientific understanding as to why female’s ejaculate, but it indeed happens. In a recent review by Rodriguez et al. (2020), publications dating back to 1889 provide evidence that female ejaculation is a very real occurrence. Not all females experience this, but there may be methods or situations that increase the likelihood that a female can experience ejaculation. Anatomically it appears that the fluid originates in paraurethral (Skene’s) glands, which is similar to the male prostrate gland. There does not appear to be much scientific experiments around how to initiate female ejaculation during sexual activity, there is quite a bit of reported, anecdotal information that indicates strong stimulation of the “G-spot” may assist in stimulating a “squirting” experience. There are some reports of external clitoral stimulation that have resulted in ejaculation, but much of what I have found focuses on internal stimulation.
So, what is the fluid?
This does remain a bit of a debate. However, based on the Rodriquez et al. (2020) review, the ejaculated fluid differs from urine in the different creatinine and urea concentrations, and antibacterial properties to protect the urethra (similar to male “pre-cum”). While there may be traces of urine in the fluid, it appears that this may not be very different from male ejaculate fluids where urine can also, at times, be found.
Something to think about
One of the best anatomical education reminders about human sexuality I have heard comes from Emily Nagoski’s book Come As You Are. Nagoski reminds us that male and female genitals are basically the same, just arranged differently. Considering the ejaculation experience of both males and females, orgasm with ejaculations would be a similar experience though not a similar function. In essence, ejaculations for males and females may simply be a part of our biological response to sexual stimulation, but they function different (i.e., male ejaculation carries sperm for reproduction). Another possibility is that the consistency of female ejaculate fluid is similar to that of male ejaculate fluid, which provides protection to the urethra. Scientists could consider whether this might be the primary function of the female ejaculate fluid. But we will let them figure that part out.
Beyond the science, and my speculations, it appears that the female ejaculation itself is similar to the male ejaculation in terms of its alignment with the orgasm. Since the female ejaculation experience is not common, I say feel free to explore it through masturbation and internal stimulation. You might find an added experience to your orgasm. If you are concerned that the fluid is urine, hopefully this allays some of those concerns.
Coaching is a service that supports you in identifying goals, overcoming barriers, and moving towards accomplishing whatever it is you have hired a coach to do. There are numerous types of coaching services. In the business world there are executive coaches, business coaches, leadership coaches, and team coaches, to name a few. Each niche area coach helps advance the interests and skills of their clients. For example, an executive coach focuses on executive management-related issues in making decisions about employees or working with a board of directors. More personalized coaches, such as life coaches and career coaches, focus on the personal goals of their clients. Lifestyle coaches, which are most closely related to relationship or life coaches, focus on their clients personal interests, goals, dreams, and desires related to growing within their lifestyle choice (e.g., swinging, polyamory). Lifestyle coaching helps clients (individuals, couples, poly relationships) work to improve their relationship through communication development and exploration of needs, desires, and preferences.
If you search the term coaching, you will find a lot about what coaching is not. We think this is because coaching services are very diverse and meets the diverse needs of their respective clients. There are also many styles or approaches to providing coaching services. For us, we approach coaching from an educational consultant and mentorship approach. This means that we will listen to you and learn what experiences you want to get from your lifestyle choice and the barriers you face in experiencing what you want with a judgment-free and worry-free experience. Leveraging our education and scientific background in doctoral and masters level studies in human development and healthcare with an emphasis in human sexuality to ensure that our support is grounded in science. We do not give you an opinion. Rather, we ensure that we are up-to-date on the latest research in the area of your needs and provide you with information that is useful in your journey. As mentors, we can share personal experiences in our journey to an open relationship. These experiences only help provide you feedback as you explore open. You and your relationship(s) is/are the center of the coaching experience. It is about you!
Why Coaching Works
Fredrickson (2013) found that coaching provides the client with positive emotion (e.g., inspiration, hope, joy, gratitude, pride) when working with a relationship coach. Coaching creates a safe space to explore your emotions and move towards your goals. Now this is where you might be saying “this sounds like therapy or counseling.” There are indeed some basic skills shared between therapists/counselors and coaches, but they are distinctly different services. Therapy and counseling are geared more towards overcoming past issues and trauma in order to move forward emotionally as an individual, within a relationship, or professionally. Therapy and counseling are extremely important and useful services for couples, for example, who must address complex relationship challenges before being able to move the relationship in a needed direction. Lifestyle coaching does not explore the deep emotional aspect of the relationship(s) as a therapist would. Rather, lifestyle coaching focuses on the how you can continue to grow within your relationship(s) through exploration of your goals, dreams, and fantasies to identify what barriers are preventing you from experiencing those goals, dreams, and fantasies, and then help you explore skills to remove the barriers.
Positivepsychology.com contributor Kori Miller stated in her post 30 Proven Benefits of Life Coaching & Mentoring that clients of coaches are better able to identify their strengths, attain their goals, and are more satisfied with various aspects of their lives through coaching. Here are some additional reasons why coaching works.
Practical Solutions: You get to be heard through the coaching process. Your coach uses active listening techniques to ensure you are able to fully explore your thoughts and support you in identifying ways to solve challenges you are experiencing.
Find Your Honest Space: Your coach helps you identify skills that will enhance your ability to be honest with yourself and in your relationship(s) as you explore your desires, needs, and fantasies for living an open lifestyle.
Get Unstuck: As a neutral partner, your coach will encourage you to work through those nagging or difficult conversations or thoughts that hold you back from moving in the direction you prefer.
Authentic Support: Your coach wants to see you succeed in overcoming whatever challenges you are experiencing, even if you think they are small or silly or maybe you even think they are unimportant. Sometimes the smallest thing becomes the biggest barrier. I mean even elephants are afraid of mice and have to navigate them to go forward!
Quick Story: Addressing Jealousy through Lifestyle Coaching
As coaches and lifestyle participants, we have become very familiar with jealousy as an incredibly common barrier to many couples (and polyamorous relationships) being able to get the fullest experience desired from the lifestyle preference and choice. Lifestyle coaching helps identify the jealousy triggers, practice ways to navigate feelings (e.g., inadequacy, relationship loss) of jealousy when they occur within the relationship, and then practice effective communication skills related to jealousy in a judgment-free, safe environment. We personally have had to learn and apply these skills. We have been able to learn more about the science associated with jealousy and are able to help people (and ourselves) move forward when these feelings pop up.
We navigated our jealousy by writing down what made us jealous. We learned that it was not really about seeing our partner have sex with another person, which is often what we hear from people unfamiliar with the lifestyle. In fact we learned that, in many cases, seeing and hearing our partner with others enhanced our sexual arousal and attraction to each other. We learned that our jealousy was mostly about fears we had of “losing our partner” to another person and personal inadequacies (e.g., body image). We worked on communication methods, based on communication science, and discovered “triggers” that provoked those insecurities and, thus, our jealousies. Over time, we practiced methods, based on counseling concepts and skill development training, that enhanced our communication about the “triggers” and identified other ways to manage these feelings when they occurred. We read a lot about this and more as jealousy was related to living an open lifestyle. Now, we want to use that knowledge to support others who are exploring open.
Why a Pleasure Ambassador is a Great Lifestyle Coach Choice for You
Simply put, we have the educational background and lifestyle experience that you want in a lifestyle coach. We decided to become coaches because we wished someone would have helped us navigate this journey, especially when we were still new to the lifestyle. We want to be that support for you on your journey to open and as you explore your open lifestyle. We have years of experience in coaching-like services, are well educated, and very open minded. We want to support and encourage you!
All of our services are virtual. We provide a free initial consultation before offering you the options that might best support you. All of our lifestyle coaching services are offered in 3-month packages, each designed to fit exactly what you need including video chat, email, and texting support. But you do not have to end your coaching support after three months. We can provide ongoing, annual virtual support as well as offer additional support packages based on your needs, wants, and desires. Let us support your journey as you explore open. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule your free consultation.
Do you sometimes wonder if you and your partner(s) are effectively communicating about your sexual desires and interests? How about that craving for more intimacy in your relationship(s) but talking about desires and interests are challenging? Wonder if you and your partner are good at sexual communication? Take the below quiz and find out.
Rank the following questions on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Keep track of your points.
My partner(s) rarely talks to me when I want to talk about our sex lives (scale 1-5).
Some sexual matters are too upsetting to discuss with my sexual partner(s).
I think it is difficult for my partner(s) to tell me what she/he/they like to do sexually.
My partner(s) and I never seem to resolve our disagreements about sexual matters.
Whenever my partner(s) and I talk about sex, I feel like she/he/they are lecturing me.
My partner(s) often complains that I am not very clear about what I want sexually.
Scoring: If your final score was between 6-12, you are probably communicating with limited concerns or challenges. If you scored between 13-24, you may be experiencing some challenges in communication. If you scored higher than 25, you are probably experiencing some communication challenges in your relationship(s). No matter your score, it is important to know that sexual communication is not comfortable for most people, especially in the U.S. Americans are fairly conservative regarding sexual communication and experience a great deal of discomfort.
Tips to enhance sexual communication
Tip #1: Use “I” statements
The top barrier in communication between partners is the use of “you” statements. You never listen to me when I tell you what I like. You avoid talking to people when we go to the club? “You” statements become a barrier because they can be heard as accusations or threats. When we feel under attack, we activate our innate life-saving fight, flight, or freeze responses. Use of “you” statements typically provokes these responses. Our fight response means we respond argumentatively and we may seem defensive. Our flight response means that we might leave the discussion and may seem that we are avoiding the issue. Our freeze response means that we become immobile, unresponsive. This makes us appear as if we are present, but we our minds are trying to find a way out.
Instead, try using “I” statements. I sometimes feel that you are not listening to me. I actually like it when I see you turned on by another person. Focusing your communication from the “I” perspective allows more space for your partner(s) to hear you without experiencing a fight, flight, or freeze response. Instead, this approach pulls your partner(s) into the conversation. Limit your “I-You” statements as well. I think you should listen to me does not count as an “I” statement. I want to tell you about how I’m feeling about that couple we met last night is a better use of the “I-You” statement. Still, try to limit these when possible.
Tip #2 Tell your partner(s) about your desires, interests, and fantasies
Some people are uncomfortable with the term “intimacy.” However, intimacy is all about the emotional connection with your partner(s), which is exactly what communication brings about in a relationship. Sharing your sexual desires, interests, and fantasies creates an connection between you and the person(s) with which you become vulnerable. I know, I know. People also don’t like the term “vulnerable.” But this too is exactly what open communication is all about. We must be vulnerable with our partner in order to enhance intimacy. All of this encourages growth in your relationship(s) and strengthens communication between partners. And, as it turns out, exploring our desires and fantasies helps us feel “normal,” that we are not so different. If you’re interested in learning more about desires and fantasies, I strongly encourage you to read Tell Me What You Want by Justin Lehmiller. We highly recommend this book…and, no, we are not making money off of that recommendation.
Want to explore your fantasies with your partner? Make a game of it…even a drinking game, if you are so inclined. Tell your partner what sex act or sex position you like. If they agree, they drink…or kiss your neck. If your partner(s) is not interested in that specific act or position, you drink or kiss their neck. Take turns and explore your desires. Here’s the thing, as the game continues, you have to up the ante by sharing more about fantasies that you are sure you have not shared with your partner(s). Then, you begin sharing the fantasies and desires you’ve never shared with anyone. By the way, this does not have to happen in one night. Have fun and explore deeper as you feel closer and safer…you know, less vulnerable and more intimate.
Tip #3: Create space and time to talk
Work. Kids. Chores. Family commitments. And so it goes. Finding the space and time to genuinely sit and talk without interruption, and before you are ready to collapse into bed after a long day, is not easy. But your relationship(s) is a priority. So put communication on the calendar. Schedule a time to talk. Sometimes this is a night away from home and dinner, or a picnic. Sometimes it is 30 minutes before going to bed, but schedule a time to talk. If you use your “I” statements, you will more easily fall into a rhythm that is comfortable for you and your partner(s).
Now here is an extra tip during your intimate communication: stare into each other’s eyes without saying anything for at least 60 seconds. I know! I know! No effing way, right?! But here’s the thing: sexual communication is mostly non-verbal. Think about it. It’s a glance here or a smile there. It’s slap on the ass or a kiss on the neck. We communicate without words all the time So practice non-verbal communication. Sure it will feel awkward at first, but the rewards to your communication system will be greatly enhanced.
One of the most common myths about sexual interactions is that someone “made me cum.” While we obviously connect our orgasms with the person(s) that was engaged with us during sex, the reality is that we actually own our orgasms. Another person does not give you an orgasm. An orgasm is a complex response to sexual stimulation. You see, our bodies respond to sexual stimulation by shutting down the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, which decreases fear, anxiety, and pain while turning on remote brain regions that are involved with orgasms. In those remote brain regions we have the thalamus, which is related to sexual memory, fantasy, and touch and the hypothalamus which produces oxytocin. When our body reacts to sexual stimulation, the brain releases neurochemicals, like dopamine, which is responsible for the experience of pleasure, and oxytocin, which provides a sense of affection toward the person(s) with which we are sexually engaged. Oxytocin is also released during breastfeeding to promote bonding between mother and child. This is not to imply that the experience of breastfeeding and orgasm are the same or that breastfeeding is sexual, but just to indicate a sense of bonding. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for that feeling of satisfaction that we feel with the orgasm.
We tend to connect the neurochemical response of orgasm with the sexual stimulus occurring with our genitals. Our brains, in essence, map the experience as pleasurable with the genital stimulation taking place. But it is essential to understand that this is not always the case. For example, there are abundant data that describe the “orgasm” physical response to unwanted sexual stimulation as a unpleasurable experience. This can be very confusing and disturbing for people who have this biological response to unwanted sexual stimulation. Such an experience may warrant therapeutic support to understand that the body reacted naturally and that the unwanted experience was not the survivor’s fault. Simply put, the body responds to stimulation and the orgasm itself is an interpretation of pleasure in response to the chemicals released in the brain.
It is also important to know that individuals who may have reduced or unavailable sexual functioning in the genitals may “remap” the orgasm experience with other parts of the body. For example, a person with lower body paralysis may experience orgasm through stimulation of the nipples or another responsive part of the body. The body and brain, therefore, work in tandem to create a biological response to sexual stimulation that we interpret as an orgasm.
Okay, so that’s a lot of scientific information. It’s good to know this, however, in order to take ownership of our orgasms, we need to first understand that: 1) our bodies naturally respond to sexual stimulation whether we want it to or not; and 2) the other person(s) who may be engaging with us sexually are not responsible for our orgasms. The other person(s) are only supporting our orgasms by creating stimulation. So the idea that “someone made me cum” is probably better stated as “someone helped me cum.” Your body did the rest. So, dear reader, you now can take back ownership of your orgasms. This is particularly an issue for women who have been disadvantaged in the orgasm ownership category throughout time because men have been given power over the sexuality of women. By taking back ownership of your orgasm, you are empowered to experience orgasms on your own terms. Here are three tips for you to take ownership of your orgasm and enhance the pleasure experience with your partner(s).
Tip #1: Use your toys!
We have heard so often that women are not comfortable using toys during sex, particularly with men, because they do not want to offend their male partner. Why? The answer is that when men own the sexuality of women under the myth that they “give women orgasms” and that using a toys is emasculating. This is patently false. If you’re responsible for your own orgasm, then you have the right and responsibility to use toys or other sexually stimulating devices, food, or objects that bring you pleasure. The male penis does a terrible job of directly stimulating the external part of the clitoris. The clitoris is essential in stimulating the majority of female orgasms. To meet the need to stimulate the clitoris, we encourage use of toys, such as a vibrator, or your fingers (or whatever else might be safely used) to stimulate the clitoris during sexual intercourse. Becoming comfortable with using toys during sexual intercourse will enhance your ownership and opportunity for orgasms. Men that are intimidated or feel emasculated by the use of toys need to recognize that sexual activity is a two-way (or threeway…or moreway) experience. The male penis is typically fully engaged in sexual intercourse, which includes the sensitive tissue just under the tip of the penis (this is the equivalent to the female clitoris). So, if it’s good for the male, then it is good female in terms of fully engaging the clitoris. Remember, the release of oxytocin enhances the “bonding” experience with our sexual partner(s). So if you are a male who is unsure about your female partner’s use of toys, you are definitely rewarded when your partner experiences orgasm because of the chemical response to the orgasm in which you played a part.
Tip #2: Go solo
Masturbation is a tremendous way to learn what you like and dislike when being sexually stimulated. You can explore your fantasies and “map” the sensations with the parts of your body that enjoy sexual stimulation. You can also use your toys so that you know exactly which ones you want to use during sexual intercourse. The more you know yourself, the more you can own your orgasms. Explore. Enjoy.
Tip #3: Let your partner(s) watch/join
Sadly, we have been taught that masturbation is a “private matter” not to be observed by others. We cannot disagree enough with this notion when it comes to your intimate partner(s). If you have dedicated the time needed to explore with your toys and know what helps you achieve orgasm, then it is time to teach your partner(s). Why? Because you own your orgasms. Let them watch. Show them what you like. You may also want them to use toys with you so they can learn how the toys work for you. Just do not be surprised if, at some point during this process, your partner(s) become so aroused that they may need to enjoy their own orgasms with you.
Polyamorist couple, Cinna and Beau Lewis, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa were highlighted in a littlevillagemag.com article written by Emma McClatchey earlier this month (read article here). In the article, Cinna and Beau share their poly relationship experiences covering everything from dating logistics to transparent communication to sexual identity. Cinna describes polyamory as “really beautiful” and that their strong monogamous relationship helped them build their poly relationships from a solid foundation. Cinna and Beau represent an understudied population who are rewriting the standard narrative about how relationships are to be structured. They are not alone. A California-based triad recently symbolically married (see article here) and others are exploring a lack of evidence in negative effects on parenting-while-poly (see article here). Now all this positivity should not infer ease or perfection in poly relationships. Just like any other relationship, there is work involved. Everyone involved in the relationship must effectively communicate, negotiate, and, of course, share intimacy in ways that works best for them. But who, exactly, are these polyamorists and are they different than those who practice monogamous relationships?
A recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research compared the demographics of Americans who are in polyamorous relationships with those in monogamous relationships. The study, led by Rhonda Balzarini at the University of Western Ontario, compared data of over 2,400 polyamorous individuals with over 500 monogamous individuals. The study findings concluded that polyamorous individuals were significantly more likely to identify as bisexual, pansexual or an other, non-listed orientation than those who were monogamous. They did not differ, however, in those who identified as gay or lesbian. Monogamous individuals were more likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher education. Religious affiliation for monogamous individuals was primarily Christian, which was significantly different than polyamorous individual who reported other religious affiliations equally with Christianity. Polyamorists tended to affiliate politically with the Democratic party than the Republican party, but polyamory was represented in both parties. This study may not tell us much about political affiliation beyond a simple statement that polyamorists may align with either political party. Polyamorists reported a lower annual income compared to monogamous individuals and polyamorists tended to be in civil union relationships compared to their married monogamous counterparts.
These findings show that there are some differences between individuals who are polyamorous compared those who are monogamous in the areas of sexual identity, religious affiliation, and income differences. These differences may not really be too surprising considering the predominate religion of Christianity of those surveyed has not historically supported sexual identities beyond heterosexuality. While this study is a demographic picture of the individual differences between polyamorous and monogamous individuals, there is so much more to learn and understand. As more research is published we will learn more, from a scientific perspective, how these relationships differ (if at all), how parenting differs (if it does), and maybe even more about how this particular relationship configuration may create a healthier state of well-being for those in a sexually autonomous relationship. Indeed the poly relationship tends to look more like that of our ancestors, as we shared in a previous blog post, Inconvenient Truth About Monogamy.
Balzarini, RN., Dharma, C., Kohut, T., Holmes, B.M., Campbell, L., Lehmiller, J.J., & Harman, J.J. (2019). Demographic comparison of American individuals in polyamorous and monogamous relationships. The Journal of Sex Research, 56(6), 681-694.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Club G’s continued growth as Iowa’s premiere lifestyle club. We will facilitate club orientations and offer workshops to its members. Its’ a very exciting collaboration.” Openogamy.com
Iowa’s top choice for people curious about or living a sexually open lifestyle is Club G, located in Des Moines, Iowa. With over 1,000 members on its private Facebook page and hundreds of club members, Club G has clearly established itself as the go-to place for lifestyle-friendly people. The club’s owners and advisory board have big plans for 2020 in continuing the club’s growth as Iowa’s premiere lifestyle club.
The pleasure ambassadors of openogamy.com will facilitate orientations with Club G on a monthly basis. Orientations are designed to introduce new members and those eager to learn more about the lifestyle an opportunity to connect and grow together as a member of the community. Workshops, which are currently under development, will be provided to club members at a discounted rate. However, non-members will be offered the opportunity to attend workshops at the club location so that they can explore lifestyle experiences of interest to them and be introduced to the club itself.
“There are a number of workshops that are under development. However, we already know that there is interest in Lifestyle 101 workshops that explore aspects of swinging and polyamory for those new or curious about the lifestyle. We also know that there is a great interest and need for relationship workshops, like managing jealousy and effective lifestyle communication. We plan to provide workshops that are backed by the science of sex to ensure superior quality in the educational experience. ” Openogamy.com
Additional workshops will also be developed based on an a forthcoming survey of club members. Establishing workshops and educational opportunities will further support Club G’s goals of being the place to experience and learn about the lifestyle. The added benefit of the Club G and openogamy.com relationship is the additional access to future virtual education programs and coaching by local pleasure ambassadors.
Sexual satisfaction occurs in three domains: biological, psychological, and social/context. Since none of us have exactly the same biology, psychology, or social contexts, it is impossible to address every possible aspect of most desired result of having sex (alone or with others) is the orgasm. However, we are going to define the orgasm, types of orgasms, benefits of the orgasm, and three tips to enhance your orgasm game!
What is an orgasm?
Most of us believe we know what the orgasm is, although there are many females who report problems with orgasms. Female orgasm challenges can be based on psychological and social/context aspects (Moura, Taveras, & Nobre, 2020) but can also be biological. Males too can experience biological function changes that can disrupt the physical orgasm experience. If you are experiencing biological or functional orgasm challenges, you should visit with your medical provider about this to learn of your options.
Typically, its described as the moment (or moments) when the body releases its sexual arousal. For males, we think of the ejaculation. For females, there is an internal response that has been described as “waves” or “pulses.” Each of these responses create a sense of euphoria, and mostly genital focused. Interestingly, this is only part of the orgasm and does not even fully capture the sense of euphoria that can be experienced without ejaculation or waves.
Medical professionals describe the orgasm as physiological (biology). Mental health and social science practitioners/researchers describe the orgasm as emotional or cognitive response (psychology). In Western society, with its emphasis on the male sexuality perspective, we tend to focus on the visual (ejaculation) or auditory (moaning) aspects of the orgasm (social/context). The reality is that the orgasm is actually a combination of all of these.
Types of orgasms
Betty Dodson, sex researcher, identified numerous forms of orgasms. Some of Dodson’s, and other, orgasm types are below. See if a few of these described below match your experience:
Tension orgasm: direct genital (or touch) stimulation causing the body and muscles to tense, and then release.
Multiple orgasm: several orgasms that occur over a short period of time.
Pressure orgasm: indirect stimulation of applied pressure (e.g., females have reported squeezing thighs together to generate an orgasm).
Fantasy/Mental orgasms: orgasms that result from mental stimulation alone (e.g., tantra techniques, imagination).
“G-spot” orgasms: stimulation of an erogenous zone during penetrative intercourse (Note: the G-spot has recently become controversial as to its existence and whether the G-spot is actually the physical extension of the clitoris).
Clitoral orgasm: stimulation of the pea-sized and shaped (typically)part of the female anatomy that is often considered the female pleasure hub (Note: Males have a similar pleasure pressure point on the bottom of the penis, just under the tip).
Body part orgasms: Breasts. Nipples. Kissing. That’s right. People can experience an orgasm through stimulation of these body parts.
Anal orgasm: Females and males can experience orgasms through anal stimulation (Note: Use lube! Move slow. Tight anal muscles and cell layers are at risk of tearing. Anal beads and plugs may assist in preparing your body for anal sex).
How do these types of orgasms fit within the biological, psychological, and social/context aspect? With each of these types of orgasms, our bodies have a physiological response to stimulation. Our muscles tense and release. Our sense of touch is heightened. Connecting biology to psychological, our bodies release chemicals in response to stimulation. This combination of hormones typically causes our brain to interpret the biological response as pleasurable. That’s why we can feel euphoria or other intense emotional responses (e.g., crying) following the orgasm experience. Finally, the social/context component is based upon things like why you’re engaging in sex, the situation in which you’re having sex, what time of day, level of desire, attraction, arousal and so much more. These three aspects work together to create the experience of the orgasm. So let’s identify a tip within each category to enhance your orgasm experience.
Tip #1: Strengthen your pelvic floor (biology)
Stop what you are doing. Imagine urinating (just stay with me here). Now imagine stopping the flow of you urinating. Aaaaanndd hold..one…two….three….four….five. Relax. What you just did is a Kegel exercise. These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor. As we age, this is a great exercise to address age-related change (e.g., urinary incontinence). However, it just so happens that these muscles are associated with the muscles used during the biological aspect of an orgasm. Doing this exercise routinely can create a stronger physical response to sexual stimulation (see Castleman blog) To increase the biological intensity aspect of the orgasm, do five slow contractions, followed by five quick ones three times per day for a week. Then increase the number of contractions by fives (10, 15, etc.) each week until you are doing 25 slow and fast contractions.
Tip #2: Touch and be in the moment (psychology)
Masters and Johnson originated a Four-Phase Model for sexual expression: Excitement, Plateau, Orgasm, Resolution. If you look at these, you can see that very little of this model is exclusively biological. Excitement includes arousal and desire. Allow your fantasy and imagination to support your sexual experience. Identify and share what turns you on with your partner(s), and then explore. The plateau may be those intense moments where our bodies are about to climax, but our minds are focusing during this time. “Being in the moment,” allowing ourselves to enjoy the sensations we are feeling enhances the orgasm. The orgasm itself, psychologically, is our interpretation of what we have felt in the build up and what we experience in the heightened moment. Finally, the resolution is the emotional post-act experience. Sex science has found that “touch” is an essential component of enhancing the orgasm experience (Galinsky, 2011). To enhance the psychological experience, explore fantasy and desire as part of your sexual experience. Integrate touch, even if it is not direct stimulation, as it heightens the experience (remember that biology and psychology are interconnected). Be in your moment with touch and fantasy. Focused attention will strengthen the orgasm experience.
Tip #3: Explore your desires and fantasies (social/context)
The Dual Process Model of sexual expression can be summed liked this: Accelerators and Brakes. Accelerators are the things that get you going. We all have sexual scenarios that push our accelerators and those that become brakes. Our accelerators are driven by our fantasies and desires. Communicating these with your partner(s) can enhance your relationship and allow for you to explore those fantasies further. Our brakes, however, are those things that we simply do not find arousing or create jealousy or fear for us. Communicating and understanding your brakes are also important. Why are brakes important related to the orgasm? Those of us who are in the lifestyle may experience all types of sexual experiences. If group sex makes us uncomfortable, and we are in a situation to participate in group sex, we may do so and still experience an orgasm (biology, psychology), but have a negative experience on the context side. So, knowing those brakes will help ensure that the orgasm, which includes all three components, can help you manage through the brakes and promote a healthy orgasm experience.