Rediscovering Play With Orgasm
by OneTaste Living Library Feb 2, 2015
So what is this mysterious thing called orgasm, anyway?
“Orgasm” is simply the best way to describe what really happens when a woman opens up. It feels like someone has finally turned the electricity on, or like the genie has sprung full force out of the lamp. We feel it most when we’re sexually turned on, but orgasm happens in various areas of our lives. Maybe you get into that space when you’re having a great conversation with a new friend, splashing joyously in puddles during a thunderstorm, acting in a play before a big audience, or enjoying a delicious evening indoors with your lover. In essence, orgasm is what happens when you let your desire out to play. And that rush is what makes life rich and meaningful.
According to Stuart Brown, the author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, humans are fundamentally equipped for and need to play actively throughout our lives by nature’s design. In fact, our adult biology is unique compared to other animals in that our capacity and need for flexibility, novelty, and exploration persist as we get older. Adults who don’t play tend to be narrow-mindedness, inflexible, humorless, pessimistic, and tend to react to stress with violence or depression compared to adults whose play life persists.
Those of us who can roll with the punches and innovate by virtue of our imaginations are better equipped to survive. Through the trial and error of millions of years of evolution, our taste for play is encoded in the very fabric of our DNA. And it’s what orgasm is made of. In many ways, our earliest relationship to play is connected to desire. As children, for example, we don’t need to be taught what we want—we simply know we want something. We see a puddle, and we jump into it! We anticipate the splash with delight, and we relish the feeling of floating through the air and landing. But we were probably civilized by a harsh scolding from Mom and the message that the irrational urge to get dirty and play made us bad. In this way, we internalize the message that following our desire, and engaging with it in the spirit of play and non-judgment, is bad, so we learn to domesticate the beast of desire, only grudgingly giving in to her appetite from time to time. So later in our lives, we often are at a loss as to what we truly want, and even if a genie popped out of a lamp and granted us three wishes, we might be hard pressed to say what would tickle our fancy the most. This is because we’ve forgotten how to play.
So if we want to coax our orgasm out again (civility be damned), we must learn how to do one of the things that play mandates: that is, walk steadily into the unknown. Getting clear on what we want means going slow. If we want to learn how to swim, we start at the shallow end of the pool. But soon we’re going to master the basics, and we are going to start getting curious about trying something a little bit harder. So we dip a toe in. We get excited by the new challenge, and it lasts for a few weeks. Soon we’re ready to upgrade again. The key is not to be recklessly spontaneous; it’s to take it slowly in order to build trust one inch at a time. Accordingly, with our desires, we start following them where they want to go, little by little. We might need to dip back into old patterns and take cover in familiar shelter. But once we regain our balance, we can walk back into the water and explore a little more. Learning to play again takes practice, and you can begin by making a list of everyday turn-ons: things that engage and enliven you, and bring you joy. What items on that list have you been depriving yourself of lately? Start treating yourself to some little experience that turns you on every day. It can be as trivial as wearing the pretty scarf you have been saving for a special occasion, or taking fifteen minutes off to people-watch while sipping an espresso. Savor the orgasm. Notice what happens in your body as you do. Be grateful to the desire itself for leading you to this place of enjoyment. Gratitude is how you console desire that has experienced getting its feelings hurt. Feeling fully appreciated, even in a very small way, encourages it to come out of hiding.
When we begin to engage with our desire, and to play with our fears and boredom, a world that once appeared shadowy and dangerous begins to reveal its charms. The first trick is to simply identify what brings you pleasure, and move in the direction of that pleasure. What absorbs your attention, drives your energy, activates your curiosity, delights your senses, and fills your veins with turn-on? How can you begin to incorporate these experiences into your life? When you start to view your world through a lens of play, even a seemingly straightforward encounter holds the potential of sex and surprise, and the darkest of corners get lit up by a splash of color, excitement—and orgasm!