Let’s face it: We’re not living in the sexiest of times, are we? The pandemic aside, the daily news cycle is so bizarre that the average story reads like it was lifted from The Onion; global economies are shrinking while waistlines are expanding; earthquakes have been reported in the most unlikely of places (Cape Town? Hello?)…the list of the odd and uncanny just seems endless. There’s just a lot going on for the brain to sort through, process and digest. It’s hard to imagine anyone has sex on the brain, but the surge in searches on how to have safe sex in a pandemic, an uptick in the sales of contraception and sex toys defy that notion. Yes folks: sex is very much on the brain.
Which brings us to today’s topic! What part does the brain – or more specifically, our thoughts – play in the orchestral event that is an orgasm? It’s a question I’ve spent many years thinking about, which is why I was very excited to hear from experts on the matter.
So if you missed it, Adventures was featured on Science Vs: The show that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. Last week we discussed Science Vs Orgasms, where we’re all cordially invited to COME FOR THE SCIENCE!
In this episode, I and other respondents had been asked several questions about orgasms: whether we’d ever had one, did we remember the first one, what was it like, etc. As you have by now heard, I didn’t have my first orgasm until I was nearly 30, in total isolation, in the absence of coitus. Basically, I had a wet dream about shoes and nutted in my sleep. And it was one of the most satisfying moments of my life. I had thought myself into an orgasm.
What I didn’t tell the host is that I have attempted to recreate the experience on several occasions while doing mundane tasks like attending zoom conferences, or having tea on the veranda, or yes – during sex. Sometimes I’ve had great success and sometimes not at all. In the times that I’ve failed to achieve climax, reflection reveals that I’ve been too far in my head. I’m not present. There are so many thoughts crowding my mind that the laser focus on hitting the Big O target weakens and disappears in the fog.
The brain is a powerful tool. It computes, creates and stores a wealth of information. It also does so crazy shit, like releasing hormones and chemicals that make you feel good when you’re doing things that feel good (like having sex or eating chocolate) which in turn encourages one to indulge in more good feeling pursuits.
But what about that part of your mind that stops you from pursuing pleasure? How do you address the mental block that is a barrier between you and the climax you deserve? There are several ways in which the mind/thoughts inhibit orgasm. If some sound familiar to you, know that you are not alone.
For those of us who have been raised in conservative/sex-negative/hyper religious environments and cultures, shame when it comes to sex is no stranger. Women are taught that our vaginas are dirty, that it was through our bodies that sin entered the world, and a whole lot of other ridiculous messaging that you can hop onto any thread on Facebook to witness for oneself. Shame is a powerful control tactic. If you’ve been taught that sex is immoral or bad, it’s very hard to find pleasure in the act.
Fears about re-igniting memories of past traumas, that you won’t be able to satisfy your partner, about external judgement, and a lack of trust can be paralytic and definitely dampen the mood. (And not in that good panty soaking way we’re all after.) If you have specific fears, identify, acknowledge and accept them first and then discuss them with your partner. These fears go beyond partnered sex. Many people report a reluctance to engage in solo sex because they are afraid of negative consequences. It’s in these moments that the mind can either keep you a prisoner or set you free; because as you will discover, most of our fears are specters that we’ve created in our heads.
It’s only natural that in our imagine conscious society so many women report feeling unsexy. Any time a woman takes off her clothes, there is an inner dialogue she has with herself. Her thighs are too big/small. Her stomach isn’t flat enough. Her skin isn’t dewy. She doesn’t look like a sexual goddess. Throw in a few COVID related pounds and the whole thing is a disaster! I’m not even going to pretend to give advice in this area. I battle with self-criticism on a daily basis, so tips on how to overcome this area are welcome in the comments. What I can and will say is that I have found that people (my partner and strangers alike) don’t notice most of the things I spend time beating myself up over.
Lack of control
Perhaps you are worried about that moment when you DO have an orgasm and it’s like everything you’ve heard/seen/read about. Let me assure you: the hype is true. There is indeed a moment and space in time where you’re suspended between this world and the next; where you’re limbs lose stability and function and when your mind goes blank. In short, you are not in control of those moments. If your brain is wired/trained to be in control at all times, you’re gonna have to let that go for the 30 – 90 seconds required to cum.
My fellow Adventurers! Open your minds. Let the cum thoughts come to you! Show your brain who’s boss and think your way to the pleasure you deserve!