If you want to revive your sex life....forget about orgasm & get off the orgasm train.
I had a revelation recently, it was that the western culture of sexuality really didn’t suit me. In fact, I am pretty sure it doesn’t suit a lot of us.
What I am talking about is our sexual narrative that sex always has to have the aim of orgasm.
I see it like a train on the tracks.
Once we get on the sex train – which could be in the form of touching, petting and kissing – it feels like there is only one destination; orgasm station.
"Getting off" together
The general sex narrative goes like this;
You are both trying to get there, heading the train in that direction, making sure it maintains speed and momentum. Hoping against hope that you “perform” well enough to get there.....orgasm.
Orgasm is great. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful and delicious, but having all the focus on it like this means that the experience is not “love making” but instead it is “getting off”. This, in my experience, gets in the way of genuine intimate connection.
In my sex life, I have always felt the pressure of orgasm station looming. The pressure to reach orgasm and to get my partner there. When you only have one destination – then sex can either pass or fail. Not getting there is most definitely failure.
Who needs this pressure in their intimate life? Not you and not your partner either.
The other pressure the train loads us with is that until we have reached the station – there is only one way off – getting to the station.
As a young woman – I tended to feel railroaded. A kiss or a cuddle would find me on this O train. I would be eager to connect but I didn’t necessarily feel ready for sex. Inevitably however the train would be in motion. I would feel the pressure of not wanting to disappoint, not wanting to be a prick-tease, not wanting to give up this delicious attention by risking asking to get off the tracks.
Many of my female clients tell me the same kind of situations are happening in their marriages. They are turning away from basic affection with their partners for fear that there will be expectations for them to go all the way. Sometimes women report feeling repelled by the very initiation of touch as they see it as a sign of pressure to get on board. Leading, no doubt to many a confused and rejected partner and guilt ridden woman.
It’s about the journey
The O train doesn’t just add pressure to complete, it also means that the whole experience feels less connected.
With the one aim of orgasm station, are your bed mates at all interested in tuning in to you and your specific needs? And you to theirs? The focus seems to be so much on our destination, that the enjoyment of the journey, the connection and the moment are steamed by without much attention.
It feels like O station steals our ability to notice each other’s needs, feelings or desires. At best this can be avid enthusiasm to succeed in the goal – at worst this can be abuse.
I am not a tantra guru. But what I have absorbed has transformed my sex life and helped me and my partner get off the train.
The big lesson I learnt from tantra was that sex was so much more than the race to orgasm. In fact, if orgasm is put to the side and seen as a bonus, and the aim is connection, then things really start to get interesting. There is no failure and thus no pressure.
Tantra inspires a sexuality in which we aim to feel in, tune in, and tend to our partners needs and desires. In which connection on energetic, spiritual, emotional and physical levels is what matters.
If western sexual culture has us on a train – tantra has us in a pleasure mobile – steered only by our responses to each other.
With my partner tuned in to me and me to him, my frazzled nervous system starts to feel safe. All pressure dissolves away and I am left feeling present, connected and alive.
Get off the train
Our sex lives, especially in long term relationships, are delicate. Women are losing their libidos, men are losing their erections. If there is one thing that is causal to both these dilemmas, it is pressure.
The Western sexuality model of heading to orgasm, creates pressure and it is not helping. We need to get off the train!
What to do
- Have a conversation with your partner about trying some tantra to take the pressure off and to feel more connected. You can use the train metaphor.
- Start with some basic tantric breathing techniques. Layla Martin has this video for beginners.
- Whenever you feel pressure, pause and communicate. You might have a reassuring dialogue such as: “Honey, can we pause, because I feel like I’m on the train” and you can remind each other “there is no train, there is no station, we are just here in this moment enjoying each other”
Listen to this podcast “Sex is like Food” with Jacqueline Hellyer
Need more ideas for reconnecting with your partner, try my free resource "Relationship fuel".
All the best