Originally posted August 7, 2012
You don’t want to be around me right now.
My body feels heavy, full and thick. I’m exhausted. Every nerve is raw and exposed. I’m prone to burst into tears at any moment and if you question what I do in any way (even if it’s just the way I make coffee), I might be tempted to throw a French Press at your head.
Another typical day in the world of a pre-menstrual woman, right?
Well, not quite. It’s another typical day in the world of a woman whose orgasm is out of alignment (to clarify, when I say ‘orgasm’, I don’t mean ‘sexual climax’, but the electrical driving force that is always coursing through your body). What we call ‘PMS’ is actually the result of stuck orgasmic energy building in the uterus—the seat of sexual expression, unconscious desire and creativity (a.k.a Second Chakra). Acupuncturists call this chi stagnation. In orgasmic terms, we call this tumescence.
The basic definition of tumescence is ‘swelling’ and to be tumesced is to experience this kind of energetic swelling. It’s a neutral state—neither good nor bad—and anyone can experience it, though it is significantly prominent in women just before their periods. In the case of PMS, the swelling of orgasm will continue to accumulate and most women will experience symptoms of heaviness, discomfort and lethargy unless a) the orgasm is expelled or b) the container (your body) that is holding the orgasm itself expands.
Most of us are pros at Option A. We cry, we get angry, we cram our faces with sugar, we go impulse shopping or we have lots of hard fucking—thereby alleviating the pressure in the moment, but failing to address the underlying issue. These methods tend to decrease your ability to feel rather than increase it. We become masters of energetic anaesthetization and lose the opportunity to utilize the extra orgasm.
Then there’s Option B. In connecting to my orgasm through Orgasmic Meditation (a.k.a. OM, a simple, two-person sexuality practice where one person strokes the genitals of another and focuses at the point of connection), I put my full attention on the sensations in my body, learn to approve of what arises and ultimately create space for that energy, which can then be used as fuel for my desire.
Let’s say you’re a guitar player, your body is the instrument and the strings are your orgasm. The guitar is out of tune. What do you do? You don’t yell at the strings (anger), blame yourself (crying), avoid the strings (shopping/eating) or bang them really loud and hard (fucking). You slow down, pluck each one, listen to the vibration and turn the peg until the sound created is in alignment with the desired note.
If it’s that simple, why do we run away from tuning our orgasm?
One of the biggest reasons is shame. Our genitals, one of the most sensitive and highly electrical parts of the body, are laden with social conditioning, fear and unexpressed desire, which trap orgasm inside us. This orgasm eventually rots and putrefies into what we call ‘shame.’ To desire is selfish. To be hungry is weak. To feast is morally unclean. So we pack all that energy into numbed-out, but highly explosive, pockets on our clit. It’s no wonder we shy away from sharing a sexual landscape riddled with landmines to anther person.
Also, our patriarchal society is notorious for culturally gaslighting women into thinking that emotional fluctuations and sensitivity are symptoms of mental instability (or at the very least, fodder for mockery), thereby adding another layer of embarrassment and shame. This can be seen in TV shows where the hapless dope has to run into the drug store to buy tampons for his insane, hormonal girlfriend. Many men won’t talk about (much less have sex with) women on their periods because it’s ‘disgusting.’ In the workplace, women (or men with more feminine natures) are not given as much credence because their ‘emotionality’ and ‘sensitivity’ are evidence that they don’t have the ‘balls’ to handle high-level positions of power. Finally, we are in the midst of an all-out, political war on women and reproductive rights. If both sexes continue to treat each other as enemies, how are we ever going to feel safe enough to take off our pants and ask to have our genitals stroked?
In addition to shame, there is also simple ignorance; we’ve never been taught how to manage energy. If we don’t know what we want, how can we ask for it? PMS is considered a ‘normal’ affliction in our society. How many times have you told your friends “It’s that time of the month,” and their response is something like “Yuck, I’m so sorry.” You never hear anyone say, “Awesome! How are you going to use all that extra energy?!” or “Sounds like you could use an all-downstroke OM.” The social prescription includes popping a Midol (or twelve), grabbing a carton of Ben & Jerry’s and burrowing in a cave for a week.
Finally, I see women (and men) avoiding direct interaction with orgasm in the name of being a ‘good, spiritual person.’ What that means is people go to yoga or meditate or say affirmations or cling to non-violent communication or ‘send heart vibes’ or utilize any method to avoid confronting ‘darker’ energies. Anger, hate, jealousy, terror, fear—all of these are part of the human experience. I see so many people try to ‘rise above the negative’ and therefore sacrifice connection to all of who they are. They get caught in their own spiritual vanity (yes, I’ve done it too). This is not to say that yoga, meditation, etc. don’t do anything to help in energy management. To the contrary: they are integral pieces of the whole. However, to return to the guitar metaphor, you can buy the highest quality instrument, clean her to a shine and study musical theory—but eventually, you have to leave music school, get out in the real world and play the damn thing.
But if you practice connecting to orgasm, expanding your capacity to receive, learning to ask for what you want and including the whole experience—even with its judgments, messiness, pain and tears—you will find a terrain rich with desire and raw power. And this power, converted from tumescence to turn-on (which is essentially tumescence plus approval), can be a most delicious experience.
Case-in-point: yesterday, I was a total nut job. Crying, depressed, pissed off and completely indecisive. Then I had an OM. I felt my orgasm drop down from my belly, through my pussy and to my legs. The air around me was dense and crackly. My body felt light and spacious. Later on, while I was having sex, I noticed there was much more openness in my pelvis. The blood that was once trapped had room to flow down into the undernourished pockets of my genitals. Instead of heavy, dull ache, I felt thick, lush wetness dripping out of me. Painful cramping transformed to a velvety, electric undulation that pulled my partner deeper into me. This was not hard fucking to run away from sensation—this was sex that had me grateful for all the sensation available.
Good sex is just one way to utilize the energy made available through alchemizing orgasm. Maybe you want to write a book. Or start a family. Or run for president. The choice is yours. My hope is that you will choose something that is in alignment with your deepest desire.
Or at the very least, I hope you find a little more space for the crazy, fucking mess of a woman that you are. She’s gotta a lot of love to give—she just needs a little orgasmic tuning.