Orgasm

DeBora M. Ricks Interviews Me on She Struts Radio

I am honored to be featured on DeBora M. Ricks' podcast She Struts Radio, which focuses on feminine personal empowerment. You can learn more about the show and catch up on all the episodes here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shestrutsradio 

Click on the video below to listen to my interview on living an orgasmic life.

The (Forgotten) Key Ingredient to Orgasmic Bliss

Photo by Jocelyn Marquis

Photo by Jocelyn Marquis

Originally posted October 2, 2014

Wisdom. Compassion. That snake is bound to bite ya. ~ Sean Hayes, "33 Fool"

I feel like I am burning in fire of my own fear. All these little demons pour into my brain and whisper their frightening tales:

You're not good enough
You'll never succeed
You're too old for this
You're no expert


On and on the story goes until I am paralyzed in a sea of negativity.

But I have the (forgotten) key to freedom. And it not only supports me in daily life, but also works wonders in the bedroom:

Compassion

"Seriously?" you ask. "Isn't that some sort of hippy-dippy, Buddhist, spiritual thing?"

Well, yeah! Compassion shows up in Buddhist philosophy, but it's a universal principle that serves all of us.

On the surface compassion is the ability to feels another's suffering and to be moved to alleviate the suffering. But it goes much deeper than that. When you feel yourself in the midst of your own suffering, you invite in healing by acknowledging and loving that part of yourself that is in pain. It reminds us that we are whole and perfect as we are when we have forgotten the steps to the gloriously messy dance of being human.

On a biological level, when we experience compassion, our heart rate slows and stress level decreases, we secrete more oxytocin (the bonding hormone) and we activate the parts of the brain that are also connected to empathy, caregiving and feelings of pleasure.

That's right: pleasure.

Often while having sex, our grimy little demons arrive, spewing their poison into our ears (telling us that we are a fat loser, not orgasmic enough or can't last more than five minutes) and cutting us off from pleasure. The usual response is to reach for techniques or masks to cover the tender vulnerability yearning to rise. 

We have been conditioned for achievement and external validation; so we grip harder, run faster or make a hasty retreat from anything that may threaten our fragile little ego's perception of itself. Our climaxes have become trophies that we pass back and forth to each other, reminding us that we are "winners" in the bedroom and that we are "doing a good job."

When we are covering for our own perceived shortcomings, we are blocking and numbing our own capacity to feel, both the pain and the pleasure. Or we become so sensitive that the slightest touch causes us to jump in our skin and do anything to get rid of the sensation (as in premature ejaculation). 

Many of us are lying during sex. We feel we don't deserve what we want, so we don't ask for it. Or we don't know how to communicate it in a way that our partners can hear, understand and easily follow. Or we haven't taken the time to cultivate an awareness of our desires and have no idea for what to ask. 

We don't want to hurt each other's feelings, so we hold back from the truth until we either implode in a barren wasteland of sexlessness or explode in a vitriolic game of blame and victimhood. 

I will tell you this: the best sex I've ever had was when I didn't know what the hell I was doing and I just surrendered to the moment-to-moment unbridled expression emanating from my deepest truth. 

I simply got naked, in every way possible, and revealed the burning treasure within. 

I stopped performing and started feeling.

And when the voices arose, I had compassion for myself. I was honest. I told my lover(s) that I was afraid that I wasn't hot enough for him. I told her that I was afraid that my pussy smelled. I told him I was afraid that I would get too attached and that our relationship would get awkward.

Most of the time, this opportunity for compassion opened the door for my partner's deepest fears and wounds to arise and be witnessed.  The benefit was a level of intimacy that we would have never discovered had we stayed hidden behind our masks. 

And any lover that couldn't accept all of me--well, I tapped into my capacity for compassion and opened my heart wider to their pain (which he or she was obviously trying to mask) and my own feelings of rejection. I blessed them, didn't take it personally (as best I could) and walked away.

Compassion allows us to cast the net of acceptable experiences so wide that everything that arises is not a hindrance to our happiness but an opportunity for evolution. We become erotic alchemists and step into the tantra of everyday life. Every sigh, whisper and moan is born from our erotic truth. We relax our monkey minds, soften into presence and surrender into the delicious, erotic yearning that comes (wink, wink) when we are a "yes" to all of creation. 

This is what it means to truly live an orgasmic life.

So next time you are feeling the need to reach for a technique or solution to your suffering, both in and out of the bedroom, see if you can simply step back and see your situation not as a "problem," but as a chance for greater intimacy. Remember your humanity, find compassionate acceptance and allow the gifts of your heart, hands and genitals to arise in service to your highest calling and deepest desire. 

How Orgasm Saved My Life

Photo by Jocelyn Marquis

Photo by Jocelyn Marquis

Originally posted June 24, 2014

"I thought I was going to die. But the truth was I was coming back to life. My orgasm would no more withstand the capital punishment I’d forced upon her and the harder I tried to hold her down, the louder she would cry. She would not stop until every lie I’d built around me collapsed into a burning pyre at my feet and there was nothing left but…me. Vulnerable. Surrendered. But in my charred nakedness, I discovered that the things I’d been taught to fear were the very things that had set me free."

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE ON MY TINY SECRETS

6 (Non-Linear) Steps to an Orgasmic Life. (Part One)

girl jumping.png

Originally posted November 11, 2013

View this article on Elephant Journal

I hear it all the time from my clients:

“My relationship is boring”

“My life is so blah”

“I’m stuck in a job that I hate”

“I eat/shop/fuck/diet to numb myself from my emotions”

“My sex life is non-existent”

“I’m afraid I’ll lose control”

“Everything feels so stagnant”

“I don’t know what I want”

Fortunately, I know what they want: orgasm.

Not necessarily sexual climax (though that can be quite a lot of fun), but a high-octane shot of The Orgasmic Life.

So what does all that mean?

Orgasm, as I define it, is that living, breathing life force that births every moment. It’s that energy wakes us up and reminds us how alive we are.

If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you may have heard the word pranaIf you are into acupuncture, you may have heard the term chi. Both of these are good analogies for the kind of orgasm of which I speak.

When we think of orgasm in these terms, we realize that this force is accessible in any moment, not just in the bedroom. And when we learn to identify and work with this energy (and its partner, desire), we open the door to an Orgasmic Life.

An Orgasmic Life is a dynamic life.

Each moment is a fresh one. It’s a life full of wonder, passion, electricity, surrender, pleasure and aliveness.

While that may all sound amazing and exactly like what you want, an Orgasmic Life also requires risk, a willingness to change in any moment and trust in the unknown.

Our little reptilian, survival brains are wired at an early age to keep us safe. Don’t color on the walls, lest we make mommy mad (and lose her love). Don’t take center stage, lest we end up the object of public ridicule (and be ostracized). Don’t touch ourselves pleasurably, lest we be shamed (and labeled as “perverts”).

Or it could have been more sinister. To rebel against our conditioning may have resulted in some sort of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

Thus we’ve grown up in a world that values security and linear thought: If I make straight A’s and go to college and get a stable job and make a lot of money, I will attract a member of the opposite sex and get married and have kids and be happy.

While this may be exactly the right way of life for someone, for many of us, it just doesn’t work that way. We have the intuition that there is more. More of life to see, experience and love. We get the sense that we’ve been settling for OK, rather than reaching for our potential. We’ve chosen a life of numbing the chronic pain that is trying to tell us somethingrather than feel it all, learn from it and expand our pleasure threshold.

To be clear, an orgasmic life takes an infinite number of forms. It’s less about changing the external circumstances and more about your perception of those conditions. A vendor selling coconuts on the beach in India for 50 years may experience more orgasmic pleasure than a jet-setting, billionaire CEO.

It’s the how, rather than the what, that helps us tap into the orgasm already present and flowing in our lives.

In Part 2 of this article, I’ll list and explore the 6 (non-linear) steps to an orgasmic life.

A Love Story in the Field of Orgasm

Me post-OM

Me post-OM

Originally posted November 25, 2012

 

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing

there is a field. I will meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

doesn’t make any sense.

~Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks

 

I met him in a field. The field of Orgasm. And, miraculously, he met me there.

We spoke very little. The words: a momentary verbal stroke guiding us back to that place beyond language.

Many of us ask, “Where is this place and how to I get there?”

The answer is deceptively simple.

The Place: here and now.

The How: Two words.

Attention.

Approval.

That’s it.

Simple? Yes.

Easy? Hardly.

But that’s why we practice. To invite our vulnerable sex out to play. To coax out our impacted erotic voice. Stumble and fall. Stumble and fall. Blame. Project. Hide. Reach. Touch. Soar. Drop. Down, down, down. Humility. Grace.

Rise up.

Repeat.

Ad nauseum.

Until a day comes when the moments of surrender outweigh the moments of struggle. The moments of judgment. The moments of taking it personally. The moments of ‘not loud enough or hot enough or good enough’.

The day you enter the field. The field of Orgasm. The field beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing.

I lay down in a nest of pillows, naked from the waist down. He sat to my right. We came together, as we had many times before, to practice Orgasmic Mediation.

I noticed his curious and unwavering attention. Total focus and approval of my body no matter where he roamed. Gentle fingers gliding over smooth skin. A few firm kneads into the meat of my thighs. Grounding. Deep. The knuckles of his fingers slipping over the coarse hair at the juncture of my hip and pussy.

He then slipped his left index finger lightly into the pocket of my clit. An immediate, electric zing coursed through my torso, down my legs and into his hand. My soul surrendered to the grass. All my defenses, masks and fears dissolved.

As he began stroking I could feel the heat building in my pussy. My left leg. My bottoms of my feet. Riding the edge of ecstatic unbearableness.

And then, in an instant, I popped out above our cloud. I lost connection to the sensation. And it’s oftentimes here, when we’ve scaled heights beyond our homeostatic range, that one can get lost in a judgmental mind-fuck.

“He’s not doing it right.”

“Oh, no, I lost attention and fucked it all up.”

“I’m not a turned-on, orgasmic woman.”

“I don’t want to ask for what I want because it will hurt his feelings.”

“I don’t want to ‘kill the moment’ with my trivial requests.”

“This sucks.”

“I’m bored.”

“My vibrator can pleasure me better than this.”

One might even, in the twisted logic of sexual anorexia (laced with puritanical fear), be grateful to have disconnected from such naked intimacy. After all, this man is not my fiancé. He is, in fact, not even a lover. How could I possible give over all my Orgasm, all my pleasure, all my treasures to someone I casually know? What if he expects something in return? How dare he try to take more than his fair share! No one violates me!

But none of that enters the field. Years of practice have now bypassed the ‘ego preservation’ response.

First: Attention. Pure, clean attention. I noticed the sensation in my genitals has decreased.

Second: Approval. My clit feels numb. And that’s OK.

No drama. No self-lacerating. No debating with Orgasm on how it ‘should’ feel.

And the moment I admitted those four little words, “My clit feels numb,” a rush of fire flooded the left side of my genitals and tiny, sharp clit-teeth dug into his stroking finger.

Attention plus Approval begets Orgasm.

Later on, another moment arose. This time, the sensation dropped, though it was not from numbness. Orgasm had moved and requested attention elsewhere.

I listened to her. I acknowledged her request. And in return, my desire rang clear.

I spoke.

“A little lower. Less pressure, please. Slightly to the left.”

Cool, fresh air expanded over us and icicles prickled the skin on my arms.

At the end of our OM, he shared that there was no screen to our venture.

“Yes,” I agreed.

Almost too much to acknowledge the truth in our shared experience. My “yes” was a confession. A giving up of my game. Checkmate. I had been seen.

Raw and unfiltered. No pretense, veneer, artifice, seduction, romance, manipulation, drama or gilding the lily. Simply me. Him. And the field.

And with that level of surrender came the greatest range of Orgasm I have yet known.

I’m not talking about Orgasm as climax. As a 30-second exhausting crash at the end of a rollercoaster you’ve been chasing with all your fury.

I’m talking about Orgasm. That breathing, pulsing force of life that births every moment and catapults you into the unknown. Knocks you on your involuntary ass and demands the immediate relinquishment of your emotional arsenal. That burns and twists and grinds and fucks you open in depths of your shadow.

And Orgasm. That sweet, downy caress that bathes your face in fresh milk and purrs mildly in your ear. That sings you softly awake in the purest of light.

And Orgasm. Unattached. Unexpectant. Unconditional. Love.

He got up. Washed his hands. I twisted my skirt back on. A warm hug.

“Happy Thanksgiving,” he said.

“Safe travels,” I replied.

The door closed.

The dance ended.

I met him in a field. The field of Orgasm. And, thankfully, he met me there. 

10 Lessons from the Playa: Acheivement Brain vs. Orgasmic Brain

Originally posted October 5, 2012

Read this article on elephantjournal.com 

This moment…is forgotten when you start thinking in terms of achievement. When the achieving mind arises, you lose contact with the paradise you are in…guilt sits on your chest like a rock, it crushes you; it does not allow you to dance. How can you dance? How can guilt dance? How can guilt sing? How can guilt love? How can guilt live? So the one who thinks he is doing something wrong is guilty, burdened, dead before death, has already entered the grave. ~ Osho

It’s that time of year again: dust off your sparkle pants, grab your goggles and hop on your bikes, cuz we’re going to Burning Man!

Okay, okay I know. Many of you reading this may be thinking “Dear God, she’s one of those crazy, drugged-out hippie people.” Perhaps you’ve gotten jaded by the popularization of it all (yes, I too have noticed the recent surge of fanny pack-wearin’, picture-takin’, bucket list-completin’ tourists). Or it’s possible you see it as an irresponsible way to use time and resources (I get it; I also want to punch the faces of college-raver kids who leave their beer cans and glow necklaces in the port-o-potties).

Or it’s possible you think it’s a really cool experience you’d like to explore. Maybe you’ve been and it changed your life. Or perhaps you’ve never even heard of it.

There is a gift within these seemingly various perspectives and it’s reflected in the first principle of Burning Man:

1. Radical Inclusion: Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

That means that the jaded guy, the college-raver, the tourist, the explorer, the believer and the novice all have a place within the system and provide value with their voices.

This may seem at odds with how we normally interact with life. Typically, we choose a perspective and work tirelessly to gather evidence that supports our perspective while rejecting anything that is in conflict with it.

This is an example of how the “Achievement Brain” works. It’s a pattern of reasoning that’s a product of social breeding. It’s based on a system of reward and punishment. As children, our parents offered us ice cream if we sat quietly in the corner. In kindergarten, we got gold stars if we kept our hands to ourselves. In school, we were graded on a scale from A-F, which determined our intellectual merit. And now as adults, we use any mix of money, trophy spouses, cars, food, houses, jobs and spiritual development as “proof” of our worthiness.

When we are living in the Achievement Brain’s world, nothing is ever enough. We have to constantly seek new, bigger, better things to fill the holes in our lives. Each new achievement may provide temporary solace from the fear monster; but it’s only a matter of time before we have to scramble to keep our pedestals super-glued, cemented and duct-taped together.

The antidote to “Achievement Brain” is “Orgasmic Brain.”

In the realm of orgasm, everything that arises is fuel for transformation. Our sense of well-being comes from within. We move only when we are inwardly moved (as opposed to moving in blind reaction to something outside of ourselves). In the orgasmic world, the present moment is alive and the spirit of play, connection and improvisation guide the way.

Burning Man is the ultimate orgasmic world and Camp Contact, a camp at Burning Man, is one representation of that. Originally founded as a Contact Improvisation Dance camp, they are now taking their dance philosophy into workshops that focus on relating, intimacy and the never-ending tango between femininity and masculinity.

Their list of workshops includes: “Tune-Up From a Loving Bitch,” “Shame, Pride & Play” and “Embracing Awkwardness.” What separates Camp Contact’s workshops from many others is that the workshops are created based on the conversations, inspirations and in-the-moment surprises that arise during the festival week. There’s no set structure for any of these classes and nothing is pre-planned. All that exists is the course description, a question and a box of tools; anything that happens within that container is solely based on the connection generated between the facilitators and the participants.

This dance between each of us and the magic that is created is at the heart of orgasmic living. It’s not to say that any one way of thinking is better than the other. However, in my opinion, we have lived in a default muggle world for far too long. The principles of fun, spontaneity and the unknown have given way to certainty, safety and a “nose-to-the-grindstone” mentality that is out of balance and therefore draining us of our vitality.

I’m not saying that schedules and plans and hard work don’t have their place. Without them, we’d be floating around on dingys at the mercy of whatever storms life tosses our way. But without orgasm as our compass, we are unkindly over-taxing our systems trying to doggy-paddle “where the reward is,” when we could be effortlessly flowing where desire guides us.

And maybe your desire takes you to Burning Man. Or church. Or creating a business. Or travelling to Peru. It doesn’t matter how the exploration of your Orgasmic Brain expresses itself; what matters is that you took the journey in the first place.

So, in the spirit of the 10 Principles of Burning Man, I offer you 10 Lessons from the Playa: Achievement Brain vs. Orgasmic Brain.

1. Achievement Brain resorts to force. Orgasmic Brain thrives on surrender.

We are constantly doing and working harder and faster to feel like we are making progress in our lives. The Orgasmic Brain takes us out of the role of “doer” so that life can effortlessly flow through us.

2. Achievement Brain is transactional. Orgasmic Brain is self-generating.

The Achievement Brain is constantly asking “What do I lose or gain if I do this thing? What is my reward or punishment?” The Orgasmic Brain simply acts out of its own pleasure, without the fear of loss or gain, because it has a self-generating source of energy.

3. Achievement Brain divides the world into Good & Bad. Orgasmic Brain includes everything as an opportunity for play.

The Achievement Brain categorizes things as Good/Bad, Right/Wrong, Winner/Loser, which can be fertile breeding ground for shame. Anything that is good is to be clung to and anything bad is to be avoided. The Orgasmic Brain has objective neutrality that allows space for everything that arises. Note that this neutrality is not a sort of dissociative passivity, but is a full-body engagement and allowance for what is.

4. Achievement Brain seeks to fill the void. Orgasmic Brain expresses from the void.

Rather than stuffing ourselves with more things to numb our hungers, the Orgasmic Brain wants us all to grow big enough (and brave enough) to unleash our desires onto the world.

5. Achievement Brain focuses on lack. Orgasmic Brain focuses on sufficiency.

Again, the Achievement Brain uses objects to temporary relieve the quiet the places where it feels like it is not “enough.” The Orgasmic Brain knows that it is enough, expresses its gratitude for all that it has and acts accordingly.

6. Achievement Brain obsesses on the past and future. Orgasmic Brain is rooted in the present.

The Achievement Brain is obsessed with processing “where we went wrong” and securing ourselves against impending doom. The Orgasmic Brain rests in the wisdom found in the present.

7. Achievement Brain craves an answer. Orgasmic Brain lives for the question.

The Achievement Brain goes insane without a problem to solve and an answer to seek. The Orgasmic Brain flourishes in continuous curiosity within the unknown.

8. Achievement Brain clings to the goal. Orgasmic Brain enjoys the journey.

The Achievement Brain has a very tiny lens with little space for spontaneity and mistake-making. The Orgasmic Brain knows that if there is fluidity in the journey, one can make a “wrong turn” and end up in a space far richer than previously imagined.

9. Achievement Brain lives by “shoulds.” Orgasmic Brain lives by desire.

The Achievement Brain wants a “How-To” Book on life—and unfortunately for many of us, that comes with social dogma on how we “should” be living. The Orgasmic Brain works within our own personal code of integrity.

10. Achievement Brain seeks absolution. Orgasmic Brain knows it is free.

Guilt, guilt, guilt. The Achievement Brain soooooo wants to be punished so that it can feel better about all the bad things it’s done in the past. The Orgasmic Brain rests in the knowledge that it deserves to feel good, wholesome and healthy, without having to pay the toll for a pleasure-filled existence. It’s this level of acceptance that allows the Orgasmic Brain to nourish itself and be of service to humanity.

Energy Accounting: How Giving Up the Credit Card for Lent Improved my Orgasm

Jack in the Pulpit No. IV , Georgia O'Keefe

Jack in the Pulpit No. IV, Georgia O'Keefe

Originally posted April 9, 2012

See this article featured on elephantjournal.com 

I’ve never been into the ‘Lent’ thing. Raised a semi-faking-it Episcopalian in a sea of Southern Baptists, I was never really forced to adhere to a lot of religious dogma and ritual (thank God). Plus, that black, ashy cross on the forehead was more a Catholic thing, anyway. 

One year I told the youth minister at my church that I was giving up ‘boys’ for Lent. I was about fourteen years old and had only ever had one boyfriend (which lasted about a month) when I was thirteen. Plus I was too interested in making straight A’s and playing soccer to even care about the boys in my school (none of whom I was particularly drawn to anyway). It was a non-issue for me. 

Over the years, I saw how letting go of something for a period of time might work for other people, but I never saw myself as having any tangible addictions. Yeah I could give up alcohol—but really, the few glasses of wine I have a week? Will that really teach me a lesson? I rarely smoked, so that was off the table. And food? Well, I tried to give that up for seven years straight, but that’s another story.

Honestly, I saw trying to find something to give up for Lent about as useful as abstaining from dressing up Chihuahuas in fuzzy sweaters (the former I do not own and the latter I vehemently abhor).

But this year, something felt different. I’ve been digging deep lately into the way that I manage my energy. Exploring which circumstances leave me feeling energized and which ones leave me feeling drained. Where do I put my focus and where I ‘check out’ on life. How I busy myself with a bunch of little crap instead of concentrating on what will move me forward in my career. How I make up a bunch of excuses as to why I am not ‘successful’ yet, as opposed to feeling my desire and moving from her wisdom. How I will say ‘Yes’ to things I don’t really want to do because I am afraid ‘No’ will make me look selfish or will help me accrue credit with another person that I can cash in on a later date.

Enter my financial situation. It’s my belief that the way we do one thing is the way we do everything, and money is simply one expression of the way I cultivate and utilize the energy within and around me. And for the past three years, I have been living on borrowed energy. Oh sure, I started off with a hefty little supply of cash. But over time, I have been spending, spending, spending (with the best of intentions) and have done very little to deposit, deposit, deposit. Granted, it hasn’t been all whores and crack (joke, Mom), but when I finally came face to face with a 5-figure AmEx bill, something inside me went, “Um, Candice…this might be a problem.”

I do have some savings in an emergency fund. A little bit of cash in investments. And a Roth IRA. But over six weeks ago, I estimated that I had only about three more months of savings until I dug myself into serious hole. And this hole was fucking up a lot of my best-laid plans. “I gotta buy that MacBook Pro and that iPhone and that Red Prius and get my ass to LA so I can be in the movies and bring Orgasmic Meditation to Hollywood.”

But the truth is, if I want to even have a chance at accomplishing any of that, I have got to get my energy accounting in order. Financial, personal, relationship, career…you name it. I like to spend, but am not so good receiving.

This is where the power of Orgasmic Meditation comes in to play. I know, many of you are thinking, “What the hell does making money have to do with my orgasms?” But stay with me for a moment. I am going to expand the definition of orgasm and I invite you to do the same (but only if you want to…you can always pick up the old definition on the way out the door. No obligations. No questions asked.)

Most of us equate ‘orgasm’ with ‘climax’: you work yourself up to a boiling point, discharge a large amount of energy and crash over a sharp edge. That’s cool and all…AND that is only one landmark on an entire map of orgasm. The way I define orgasm is that it is the creative life force that births each moment. Yogis refer to it as ‘prana.’ Acupuncturists call it ‘chi’. Whatever floats your boat.

Sometimes this orgasm is low and soft and sweet. Other times it is sharp and scratchy and acrid. There are infinite expressions of orgasm in the world—from the sunshine dancing off the warm, green buds of spring, to the muddy, sticky floor-beds of a swamp. Everything has its own orgasmic, erotic, creative expression.

And through the practice of Orgasmic Meditation, we learn (stroke by stroke) how to tap into the orgasm, feel each nuance inside and relax and expand our ability to hold more of that energy, while still maintaining consciousness in that expansion. Because the way we often operate is once we reach a certain level of energy in the body, we will go unconscious, move into habitual autopilot and do everything in our power to get rid of it. We drink it away. We fuck it away. We Facebook it away. We eat it away. We starve it away. Or we push it down until it sits in our bodies and festers into bitterness and resentment (this is how misers operate—alone in their mansions with no friends or meaningful expressions of their life).

And this was the trouble with my finances. Occasionally I would do the clamp-and-horde dance, but 99% of the time, I would reach a certain level of ‘havingness’ and then I would spend my money…money I often didn’t have. I didn’t know how to hold it. My excuses were valid: Holding that much is greedy; I’m not responsible enough to hold that much; If I hold that much, then how can I play the poor little starving artist girl to get the attention that I want? You get the idea. And the way I rationalized spending the money was just to put those big purchases on the credit card. The phone bill. The plane tickets. The retreats. Let it just sit there.

But the thing with credit is that you build interest, and the same applies with your energy. If you spend $10 worth of energy that you don’t have, you not only have to pay off the $10, but you have to pay off a little bit more to just turn direction from spending to depositing. It’s a game of diminishing returns, which, if you play every once in a while, can be alright…but if you make it a habit, it becomes unsustainable.

And so, I found myself looking at my credit card statement about a week after Lent began and noticed that the last purchase was on Fat Tuesday. “Bingo!” cried Desire. This is exactly what you are meant to confront: 40 days of only spending energy if I had the immediate funds to sustain such a purchase. OK, I admit, there were a few times I had to use the card within the 40 days. There was an iTunes purchase that automatically charged my card. There was a day I was out with a friend and, due to a miscalculation in my checking account (my mistake), I had to use the card to cover lunch. And yes, there was that one (just one!) time I had to buy a $3 cappuccino. But I was cold. And it was Sightglass Coffee. And I reeeeeeeaaaaaaaallllyyyy wanted it.

However, over the 40 days, I managed to put only $61.42 on the card (not including the $68.71 in interest). It felt like some sort of breakthrough for me! But the point of the experience was less about could I manage to get through Lent without using the card and more about bringing a certain level of consciousness to how I spend. Like I discovered that travel means more to me than new clothes. I learned that I often play innocent when it comes to big purchases and just hope that ‘someday’ I’ll be able to pay it off (I call this the ‘Rose-Colored Glasses Syndrome’—like that energy-draining, co-dependent relationship with the drug addict who can’t admit his/her problem, and if you wait around long enough, maybe someday he/she will come around and get the help they need). And that I spend about a quarter of my food budget on Kombucha alone (Yeah. I know. Leave me alone).

And with this new level consciousness, I am now free to make an informed choice about how and when I spend my money. I learned more about what I value in my life and can now make purchases that are in alignment with my personal integrity, rather than out of trying to run away from feeling the hungers within me. And with this level of clarity, I am now sitting in position of empowerment, rather than ignorance. I know what I want in my life and I am willing to do what it takes to have it. And if that means dropping into the murky, dark shadows of my orgasm to drop off what no longer serves me, then so be it (even if that includes Sightglass coffee and a few Hippie Festivals).

PS: Of course, I couldn’t write an article with the word ‘Orgasm’ in the title and not mention sex; so for those of you wondering if this kind of accounting helps your sex life, the short answer is yes. However, it helps not by teaching you some technique or fancy way of stroking, but by bringing your attention to the present moment, cultivating sensitivity in your body and learning to trust the deeper desires that arise. Great sex/orgasm/climax is simply the by-product of this level of attention and capacity to hold energy. It’s like those people who step into a yoga class for ‘a great body.’ Yes, you will get ripped doing yoga, but that is the by-product of learning to slow down, feel and honor the subtle wisdom your body has to offer. The same is true in Orgasmic Mediation. We take the ‘goal’ of climax off the table and create a space where you simply get to know the landscape of your orgasm. It takes a bit more time and requires a lot of patience, but in the end, it is the most sustainable way for you to bring that level of aliveness and turn-on into the bedroom and into your everyday life.

Happy OM-iversary: The Terrible Twos

La Vague Violette , Georges Lacom be

La Vague Violette, Georges Lacombe

Originally published February 11, 2012

I feel like I am going out of my mind right now. Truly bonkers. Climbing out of my skin, bloodying my nails, ready to scream and looking for anything, anything, to deaden the intensity of this sensation: food, cock, wine, Facebook, TV, picking a fight, obsessive cyber-stalking, inert-your-checkout-vice-here.

On the verge of tears. Can’t make a decision. My feelings get hurt at every turn (even though I try to play it off like I am so caring and understanding). And here comes the entitlement. The anger. The bitchiness. And a splashy cameo by the Princess (or is she really front and center?).

Two years to the day. Two goddammed years doing this crazy stroking practice and I feel like it's only just now that I have begun to lean against the membrane that surrounds my hunger…and everything catches my attention and whets my appetite like the smell of freshly baking bread (or is that sizzling raw meat?).

What. The Fuck. Is Going On?

I ask for what I want. I get it. I get angry. I deserved more, asshole—didn’t you know?

I ask for what I want. I don’t get it. I get angry. Fuck you.

I feel your resentment (or is it mine?). I get angry. Go away from me.

I want. A lot. And I want that to be ok. Why is it not ok? Don’t warn me against greed or consumption or that I am setting myself up for samsaric suffering (please, spare me the self-righteous bullshit, thank you very much. Your greed to collect income in the spiritual bank is just as comparable to my carnal hunger).

Who is this person I am fighting with? Of course, the obvious answer is myself. Yes, yes, yes…like a good little coach I “inquire” and “take responsibility.” I see all the faults and fears and scarcity in others and project all my shit all over that. Where am I saying YES when I mean NO? Where I am giving in to unspoken requests, when deep in my heart they are not in alignment with my integrity? Where I am acquiescing as opposed to surrendering?

But as a real live human woman, I just want. So very much. And the most pressing question in my mind is “What do I want?”

I was originally thinking of calling this post “The Sex I Want,” because I was feeling confused and hurt and angry about my sexual hunger. Was I craving sex to fill a void, which will ultimately leave me undernourished and depleted? Or was there really a desire to intimately connect and express. I think it’s a little of both. And there was this overwhelming shame that came with wanting more. More than 2 OMs a day. More than sex twice a week. And once that faucet started to turn on, a whole flood of other desires started to flow. Beyond the sex (which was just the catalyst). Into the shoes I want. The clothes I want. The acting roles I want. The money I want. The job I want. The car I want. The travel I want. The writing I want. The awards I want. The glamour I want. The beauty I want. The people I want. The freedom I want. The life I want.

So…this is the process of “turning on.” I get flooded with energy (orgasm). My system comes alive. And what no longer serves me comes to the surface like salt in a wound. All the ways I played small so as not to acknowledge that very dangerous appetite. And then comes all the anger I feel for playing that game. Oh God…I don’t want to see that. And then, my poor little body (which isn’t used to this much activation) tries to do anything to expel this energy.

Growing pains. It hurts to expand out. To break through the old armor and feel the raw, exposed nerves and tender flesh of something so well-hidden that I feel too humiliated to share it. Not knowing anything anymore. Not knowing what’s right. Having really no clue what the future holds for me. Just sitting here with an unbearable ache and no way to find relief.

Just sit. Just sit. Just. Sit.

I could search around for the some lame piece of self-help advice. Some momentary aphorism that may inspire me for the moment. Post it on Facebook. Secretly hope all my friends like it and think what a cool person I am.

Or I can just be here and listen to the quiet little voice in me that has one simple message: Live your life.

Huh? That’s not very comforting. But on some level, it’s the only true thing that exists right now. There is nothing to figure out or fix. No map or plan or prediction that is going to make it easier. It’s only through simply living my life and cultivating a relationship with all that arises—the fear, the confusion, the pain, the joy, the love, the heartbreak, the rejection, the surprise, the anger, the hunger, the magic—that I will come any closer to knowing what I want. If that even matters anymore. What if trying to “know” anything is in and of itself an attempt at triggering the pressure release valve?

Just live my life. It feels so simple. A moment-by-moment fumbling in the hot, blind, wet cave of my wanting. And in that one stroke, I suddenly feel just how very sexy this place is. This void. This empty hole. This cavern wanting very, very skilled penetration—to cut through the briars of my NO into the aching warmth of my YES.

My heart is racing. My genitals pulse. My belly is swollen. My breath is slow and deep. I feel the cool wood of the floor against my tingling feet. I feel…alive.

OK, Orgasm. You win. Gratitude washes over me and I suddenly know that I am capable—more than capable—of holding this and so much more.

This is the process. The alchemy. Orgasm in. The fire burns. The pain. The fighting. The acceptance. The surrender. The insight. The gratitude. The expansion. The love. The pouring out. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Two years—a lesson in unbearable patience. I’ve been hungry for so long that the moment I see something that remotely resembles nourishment, I clamp down on it and I want it all for me right now. A vicious cycle of feast or famine. Now the work for me is to simply sit. Sit in the hunger, trust that she is loved and will be fed and that with the passing storms, the next right thing will appear in time.

And breathe. Always remember to breathe.