Rate Your Sex
by Nirmala Nataraj Oct 29, 2013
I can think back to a recent experience of being with my lover and relish the details as they unfold in my memory: he strums my clit as if I am a precious stringed instrument, hushed to an almost soundless vibrato, my musicality only known to him. He is a practiced virtuoso in the art of eliciting the desired response, but paradoxically, I am fully aware that his actions are devoid of a goal. We are not in a rush to get to our destination, whatever and wherever that may be. In the here and now exists the realm of the numinous, of dreams, of imagination, of the sublime, of ultimate reality. It isn’t what I’ve come to associate with sex or fucking or any of my previous experiences with men—it’s something else entirely.
Most of us are pretty familiar with the tried-and-true paradigm of good, old-fashioned fucking. It’s the kind of sex that’s accompanied by lots of pressure, a build-up of energy, a decisive release of tension that culminates in a “Gee, that was a great workout” mentality, and perhaps even a restful night’s sleep. But when we’re already lagging in energy, the effect can be like taking a long nap at the end of the day and waking up in a listless stupor. Getting absorbed in the down strokes of intense fucking can be pleasant, but it can also leave us feeling soporific or even mildly depressed when what we really needed was a boost of vitality.
This is quite different from the kind of sex that is electrifying, hydrating, that places us smack in the center of our experience by blowing open the doors to sensation and widening our sensory field to the extent that we want to be there for every moment rather than fall asleep in the midst of it. Whereas fucking, as intoxicating as it can be, tends to leave us feeling depleted, since we are literally experiencing the expulsion of orgasmic energy from our bodies, what we refer to as generative sex isn’t about racing to the finish line and walking away with our climax as the ultimate reward. Generative sex is energizing precisely because it isn’t oriented towards that kind of endgame; it doesn’t seek to sand down its edges through a release of energy, but rather, works to build it up and transform our relationship to pleasure.
OM is a great way to build energy, because it involves light strokes and the persistent tendency to play right on the cusp of our orgasmic energy without necessarily going over. It’s a direct descendant of ancient Taoist and Tantric sexual practices, which encourage paramours to engage in sexual activity without climaxing, as that can can diminish us of necessary vitality and leave us feeling lethargic and zapped of creativity. When we allow sexual energy to build in our bodies, we can learn to utilize it to various ends—in our work lives, in our relationships, in our spiritual pursuits and creative endeavors.
The cultivation and movement of energy is a tricky transaction, though. And by no means are we suggesting that fucking isn’t sometimes necessary, especially when we need to “drop off” energy that’s been stuck in our bodies for too long. While many of us find it fairly easy to form desires, there are plenty of us who get stuck when it comes to putting our money where our mouth is and making the shift from thinking to action. This can happen without us even consciously realizing it’s happening. And the familiar sense of “stuckness,” of free-floating irritability that has no real cause, has to do with this sense of surfeit. This is why having a place or way to expend our energy is necessary. When we don’t, we experience something that we call tumescence, or the build-up of sexual energy in the body. When a woman is not experiencing pleasure, sexual energy builds up in her body. So in many ways, “detumescing” through vigorous sex, precipitous climbs, and sharp dips can be just what the doctor ordered.
However, for those of us who find that we are lacking valuable energy, it’s often a good idea to learn to play with our orgasm—to allow sexual sensation to build so that we can learn to hold more and more. Admittedly, most of us aren’t accustomed to storing a great deal of sensation in our bodies. We get to terminal velocity with our desire (or, more often, our discomfort), experience it at its fever pitch, and want to jump ship post-haste because it can often feel unbearable. Sexual yearning becomes a mere itch to scratch rather than the fulcrum of our most essential power. So we go for the sex that brings us down, otherwise we suffer the ache of “blue balls.”
When we don’t capitulate to this kneejerk reaction to turn the volume down on our sensation, we can use the energy of orgasm rather than chucking it overboard. Because OM focuses on light strokes and on honing our attention to every little detail, we are able to fuel up and turn on instead of delivering the deathblow to our sex by heaving bricks through the windshield of our desire.
“When I started OMing, I discovered that the sex I was having was qualitatively different,” said a new practitioner of OM. “Before OM, sex was like moving the carriage before the horse—all my partner and I wanted to do was go over, and it kept us from feeling into all the nuances and textures of the experience outside that blind need. Now, with sex, I come out of it feeling alive and so much bigger. And beyond sex, I have the energy to be creative…or even to just stay in really intense situations without feeling like I need to get away.”
As she and other women are discovering, constantly seeking out climax as a goal is an extreme expenditure of energy, and it is like attempting to melt a stick of butter by turning a blow torch on it. The outer layers may melt off like quicksilver, but not much else gets touched, and the approach can be intense enough to short-circuit our system entirely. But allowing ourselves to feel each stroke and experience the slow burn of our longing is like cooking our desire with a low flame—it’s a slow process, but it gives us fuel for a long time and allows us to melt evenly, through all the layers of armor and sensation. And with this clarified desire, our sexuality is able to take on a deep, potent richness—one that electrifies us and gives us energy in almost every aspect of our life.
To begin to increase your energy, start by looking at the areas in your life in which your energy levels are low. Is it your sex life? Your creativity? Your finances? Generative sex can be an effective way of raising your energy. This can include sex or OM without climax as a goal (which, as many women have discovered, can actually open the body up to more sensation, and make it naturally receptive to the movement of orgasm, often resulting in climax), massaging your partner with the lightest of strokes, and experimenting with your body’s ability to notice and hold sensation rather than blow it up and exhaust it.