Connection & Communication Orgasm & Energy

“But She Had a Great Time…” – Why Orgasm Is a Bad Way to Measure Good Sex

Jenny Hale
Written by Jenny Hale

The female orgasm has long been held out as the gold standard for measuring a man’s sexual performance. Countless column inches have been devoted to finding the clitoris and the G-spot, lasting long enough, moving the right way, giving her enough pleasure, and so on, and so on, and so on.

There is certainly nothing wrong with developing the sexual skills to give a woman amazing sexual pleasure and strong orgasms. Go all out on that front, seriously.

What many men don’t realize, though, is that for many women, a crashing physical orgasm is not necessarily an indication that they are having an enjoyable sexual experience.

What the …?

Seriously?

Yes, seriously.

Let’s start with the obvious, but often overlooked, unpleasant truth.

Women can have orgasms when they are being raped or sexually abused.

Therapists working with rape victims report that somewhere between 10% and 50% of victims of forcible rape experience orgasm – something which they often find confusing, horrifying, and shameful. The percentage is even higher among victims of ongoing sexual abuse, some of whom report experiencing arousal and orgasm even before reaching puberty.

Beyond this uncomfortable truth, there are other reasons that orgasms are a bad measure of good sex.

Women can have orgasms when they are in pain.

The line between pleasure and pain can be blurry, and moveable. Sensations which are painful under normal circumstances can be pleasurable in states of high arousal.

The body knows this instinctively, and if there is already a state of arousal present, the body can deal with pain by triggering an orgasm, making the sensation momentarily pleasurable, and releasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, to reduce any ongoing pain afterward.

Indeed, some women seek out orgasms as a way to deal with pain, especially abdominal pain. These “medicinal orgasms” are not as enjoyable as “pleasure orgasms”, even though they may be more physically intense.

Physical pleasure is less important to the average women than psychological pleasure.

Individuals may vary, of course, but in general, women’s definition of “good sex” will include a significant component of psychological safety and emotional connection. If these are missing, only a small percentage of women will rate the experience as “good sex”, regardless of the level of physical pleasure they may attain.

Indeed, if a woman experiences intense physical orgasms in the absence of emotional connection, she may feel confused, lost, empty, and even ashamed afterward.

This “emotional connection” is not necessarily love, or a committed relationship – it is an in-the-moment presence, awareness, attention, and empathy. Generally, women want to feel held psychologically as well as physically.

A significant proportion of women do not consciously experience “orgasm” at all. They can, however, have deeply satisfying sexual experiences without experiencing the classical orgasm.

Bottom line: make love with all your bodies, not just your physical body.

We are all (hopefully!) reasonably familiar with our physical bodies, and how to make love with our physical bodies.

Entwined with the flesh of our physical body is an “energy body” – the constant flow of bio-electrical energy through our nervous system, which can even be detected by scientific instruments a centimetre or two outside our bodies.

Traditional Tantra includes a detailed study of this energy body, and how to move energy through the system while making love, to attain extended states of orgasm, and ultimately to reach higher levels of consciousness.

energybodytry

These two bodies, together, are referred to as the “gross” body. We also have a “subtle” body, which is composed of our emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.

When we merge at the level of the subtle body, sexual union shifts in a dramatic way, much like the shift from back-and-white to Technicolor.

In Western culture, men are raised to ignore the emotional body, so it is more often the woman who consciously yearns to connect at the level of the subtle body. In some couples, though, it can be the woman who is emotionally more numb, and the man who feels that the “gross body only” experience lacks something. Some couples are both somewhat emotionally numb during sex.

The good news is that wherever you start from, there is a pathway to the bliss of subtle body union.

Attuning To The Subtle Body

measure-good-sex-orgasm

Photo credit: Dani_vr

Feel inside your own body, in detail

For many people, the major block to merging with another is an unwillingness to feel what is happening inside themselves. If there is emotional pain present, you must feel it fully before you can feel into your partner’s emotional body.

Blocking awareness of our own emotional pain is such an automatic process that it may take some time, and possibly the presence of an empathic and soothing other, for us to reconnect with our disowned emotional pain.

1. Sit or lie beside your partner, heart to heart

With time, you can learn to access your partner’s emotional body in any position, and even from some distance away, but the emotional activity is strongest, and we are the most sensitive, in the area of the heart, so it is wise to start the practice with the hearts close together.

2. Expand your detailed awareness beyond your skin, into the space occupied by their torso

This step can seem strange, particularly if you are not familiar with empathic practice. Remember that your partner’s electrical field is now extending into your body. By imagining your awareness expanding into the space of their torso, you are giving your subconscious mind (rheticular activating system) permission to make the sensations caused by your partner’s electrical field consciously available to you.

3. Relax, release any tension or resistance; surrender to the sensations

The initial moment of awareness may generate an overwhelming sensation, and the automatic response is often to tense, blocking it out again. Use long, slow out-breaths, and consciously relax any muscles that have tightened. If it helps, you can also give yourself mental reassurance “It’s OK, relax, it’s OK …”

4. Check in with your partner for verbal confirmation

When you have stabilised your awareness, check in with your partner to validate what you are feeling.

Sometimes, you will feel sensations in your body, mirroring what they are feeling. Sometimes, you will feel as though their sensations are located in the space their body occupies. Either is fine – it is just your brain representing the information from their electrical field in the best way it can.

Limit your description to the sensations – avoid deciding what they mean, and phrase it carefully, so you are asking, rather than telling them what they feel. For example, say “Is there a tightness in your chest?” or “I am feeling some tightness in my chest – is that coming from you?”

As you have more and more experiences of your empathic perceptions being validated, you will develop confidence in your empathic ability, and you will be able to rely on it to guide you to do exactly what your partner desires during lovemaking.


Wow, some of those points really surprised us! You, too? Let us know in the comment section below!

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About the author

Jenny Hale

Jenny Hale

Jnani (Jenny) Hale has an Honours Degree in Psychology, and had a successful career in academia, consulting, and executive coaching before leaving the corporate world to pursue her passion - empowering people in non-traditional relationships.
She has over 15 years of experience building community in polyamorous, D/s, and sacred sexuality communities, and providing support to people to negotiate the relationship structures that serve their highest selves. She runs discussion groups, workshops, and one-on-one sessions, focusing on relationships as a pathway for personal and spiritual growth.