Just a few days ago the main newspaper in Finland published a long article about research on orgasms. The article is called “Big O” and I think it’s wonderful that these kind of topics get to mainstream news! If you read Finnish, you can find the article here.
The research was done with the readers of the newspaper, and they got more than 7 000 answers from women (and some 1 500 from men). The researcher says “Nothing like this has been collected before. The answers are experienced, lived, and globally exceptional material in their width and depth.”
More than half of the women reported they have difficulties orgasming.
When the women were asked what’s the main reason for not having an orgasm, there was one difficulty that clearly arose above the rest.
Earlier on it was thought that the reason for not orgasming might have something to do with some physical quality of the woman, or the skills and qualities of her lover.
But no, the main reason, according to this research, was difficulty focusing.
The women explained that their minds are too busy, there are too many things in mind that take their focus from the sex act. Worries, thoughts about work, hectic daily life, children, fear that someone will hear and so on.
One of my teachers joked that nowadays we have the attention span of a goldfish! It seems that our bodies and nervous systems are not able to cope with the current way of life, with stimulus, all the time. I wrote about the importance of sleep in this previous post on Yoga Nidra and the tantric type of yoga can work as a great tool to help your body to rest and recover better.
But wait, did you just say focus?
Yes, the research concluded that the main reason these women were not orgasming was the difficulty to focus when having sex with their partner.
From the tantric point of view, focusing sounds more like doing something, as if having sex with your partner should be an exercise of some kind. And maybe it is, if sex is goal-oriented, or orgasm oriented. When I was reading the article, it more sounded like the problem is a difficulty staying in the present moment. Which I think is a different quality than being focused.
When I’m focused on something, I’m attentive and concentrated, and there’s a feeling of intensity of some kind. From tantric point of view, the better approach would be to let go, to surrender to the moment, to stay with what is just right there. To be present.
One of the core ideas of tantra is to let go of all the unnecessary stuff, the layers that we have collected and are accustomed wearing. Layers we have acquired as compensation for our inabilities and insecurities. To find our true self which is below all conditioning. Could it be that here we also can let go of everything that is not needed at this moment? Maybe then there will be enough space for the orgasm to come?
What does it mean to be present?
Being present is like being in a “zero-state”. You are aware of everything that is happening, but your mind stays calm and still. Being open to experience, being open to feel what is happening. There’s no agenda, there are no expectations, no stories.
The past is left behind for that moment, and the future is not yet there. It’s the sweet spot in between. You’re aware of yourself, your body, your contact with the other person.
Thoughts may come, but just let them drift by like clouds in the sky.
How to be present, then?
In tantric sexuality, there are numerous ways to practice being present, being in this moment and experiencing it fully.
Breath is a very important and effective way to bring your attention back to your body and to the present moment. Observe your breath, feel how the air flows in and out, feel how the air touches your nostrils. Notice how the air temperature is different when you inhale and when you exhale.
You can synchronize your breath with your partner, or you can alternate your breath. Try and see how this affects your way of being together!
You can practice being present through your touch. Our hands and fingers are extremely sensitive instruments, and we just are not used using them this way. If you stop for a moment, lean back in your chair, relax your hand in your lap, touch it with some object and move very, very slowly, you will notice how much sensation there is. It can be overwhelming at first!
When you touch your partner, bring all of your attention to your hands. Your mind will most likely wander away, this is normal. Simply bring it gently and kindly back to the touch.
Eye contact. You can stay present with your partner and present in the moment when you have your eyes open and have eye contact while you’re having sex. If it feels too intimate to start with, you can simply start by sitting face to face and softly look into each others’ eyes. For some, this is very difficult. Do not stare, let your eyes be receptive. You will notice the difference.
Last week I wrote more tips about how to connect with your partner. It’s all relevant here as well. You can read the article here.
One more thing to add…
If you look at the photo I chose for the header, there’s one more thing to remember: do not blame or judge yourself or your partner. It’s all ok. We are not very well educated in our sexual behaviour, as it has been quite a big taboo in most cultures. You can learn to enjoy your sexuality if you wish to. But it will require some work, patience, cooperation and mutual understanding.
And remember, sex can definitely be enjoyable even if you do not strive for an orgasm!