Painting by Alex Florschutz
We all have our own unique experiences of orgasm, so there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. But there are certain things that can help with the most important part of experiencing an orgasm fully, and that is your ability to loosen up, let go and release. There are various factors that can prevent women from experiencing orgasms as fully as they’d like to—or even at all—but let’s just look at tension for now.
Can you recall a time that you were feeling stressed out and tight throughout your body? And rather than sex with a partner—or with yourself—helping you relax, you felt like you couldn’t fully soften and let go? If yes, one possible explanation for that is muscular tension is a barrier to orgasm. This is because tension blocks the movement of qi and blood, both of which are necessary for lubrication and orgasm.
What the heck is qi, you ask? Qi (pronounced chee) is vital life-force energy. It’s all around you and inside of you, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine they say that qi is the commander of blood. When qi flow is strong, circulation is good. So when you relax your body, both energy and blood flow improve. When energy and blood are circulating in a relaxed and open body, one natural response is actually arousal.
(Image: Betty Davis Nasty Gal Lp Original 1975)
Plus, when you soften your body, your mind relaxes as well so you can be less in your head and more in the present moment, more in your body—more embodied. And when you are more present in your body, you can feel more. All your senses are likely to be heightened, taking in more stimulation, thereby enhancing your pleasure and orgasmic potential.
What you eat also affects how relaxed or tense you are—physically, emotionally, and energetically. Physically, there are certain foods that contribute to feelings of stiffness and tension by creating or contributing to inflammation. Then there’s also the effect of mineral depletion that occurs when eating sugar. If not getting the proper nutrients, our muscle tissue health is affected, and we can experience more tension and pain in the body. Hydration also affects muscle tension. Are you drinking enough water?
Also consider that what you eat can affect you emotionally, and your emotions can affect your musculature. Have you ever noticed yourself feeling happier and more relaxed after eating, or more agitated and physically tense? For me, I know that if I eat sugar late at night, I’m likely to wake up feeling anxious. Can you relate? And once I notice the feeling of anxiety, I might tense up physically even more before remembering to use my toolbox of relaxation techniques.
And then there’s caffeine. What does caffeine do to your body and the energy flow if taken in excess? Jacks it up.
Speaking of energy, yes, sugar and caffeine and drugs will knock your energy out of whack, and that leads to muscular tension too, which cuts off energy flow, and then it’s a vicious cycle of reaching for foods and stimulants instead of feeling fulfilled and energized naturally. It’s harder to truly enjoy life and relax into pleasure if feeling controlled by this cycle, and that can absolutely affect your ability to reach peak orgasm or the quality of it when you do. So it’s important to clean up your diet in order to help you loosen up and let go.
But if you’re not ready to cut out things like sugar or coffee right now, then don’t. As I tell my clients and explain in The Multi-Orgasmic Diet, there’s usually no need for forced or premature restriction unless you have a serious medical condition. When possible, it’s best to allow changes to occur more naturally, when you’re ready, to prevent increasing stress and therefore creating even more tension. So just relax; don’t worry about it. Instead, get out a notebook and write your answers to the following questions—or just think about them:
- How tense are you right now?
- How tense are you when eating?
- How tense are you when having sex, masturbating or even just naked?
- Where do you feel tension?
- Is your jaw relaxed? How much can you relax it right now?
- Is your belly soft? How much can you let go and soften that belly?
These are all good questions for bringing more mindfulness into your daily life. Plus, sometimes simply asking the question triggers a release of needless bodily tension. But usually it takes more than just thinking about it, so here are some of my favorite ways to relax muscular tension:
- massage (self or professional)
- Epsom salt baths
- yoga or stretching
- going for a walk
- lying down with or without a someone to snuggle
- shared or solo laughter
- a good hug
- taking some slow, deep breaths
Regardless of the method, relaxing your body and relieving tension, without agenda for it to be sexual or result in peak orgasm, can help you open up to experiencing more pleasure both in and out of the bedroom. If you have difficulty with orgasm or with delighting in life, simply start off with learning how to soften your body, little by little. No pressure. No rush. If there are other factors that need to be addressed as well, those will become more clear. But for now, just take a moment to shut your eyes and think about what relaxes you. And then? I encourage you to go do it.
Rebecca Clio Gould is a holistic health coach and mentor specializing in women’s sexuality and spirituality. She is also a qigong and meditation teacher and author of The Multi-Orgasmic Diet: Embrace Your Sexual Energy and Awaken Your Senses for a Healthier, Happier, Sexier You. Her commitment to spreading love and light is evident in the work she does helping others learn how to live happier, healthier, juicier lives. She is known to be a “possibility realist”—offering uplifting spiritual guidance while also grounded in reality. Learn more about Rebecca and her book by visiting www.rebeccacliogould.com.