Orgasm 9: energy orgasms

Energy orgasm. I’ve gotten more questions about this since BigThink posted the video of Barry Komisaruk on thinking yourself to orgasm. (Actually he says more about the topic in this video.)

“Is it true that some people can have orgasms without touching themselves?”


“Cool! How does it work?”

Well, it’s complicated and it’s not well understood, but here’s my take on it:

Remember first that an orgasm is the explosive release of sexual tension, and that that tension is generated by giving your Sexual Excitation System something to respond to. Your brain notices the sexy things in the environment and sends signals down to your genitals to say, “Turn on!” Mostly we think of sexy stimuli as sensory experiences – touch, sound, taste, smell, sight – but they can also be imagined sensory experiences.

When you think about a body part being touched, the area of your brain that represents sensation to that body part “lights up,” as if you that part were actually being touched.

Energy orgasms work because we can stimulate our genitals with our brains. People who have energy orgasms are using their brains to generate those “Turn on!” signals without external stimulation.

It’s a neat trick, to put it mildly.

How can you do it? Here’s a strategy to try:

Set aside an hour or two, and be ready to dedicate the entire window of time to sexual pleasure. Get yourself in a calm, happy, and sexy context (turn off email and phone, etc), lie in bed (or wherever) and use a combination of imagination, muscle tension, and breath to increase your arousal level.

Imagination. Have you ever sat staring idly out the window fantasizing about sex, and have you noticed that that fantasy can turn you on, even though you’re getting no physical stimulation? Thoughts can create real physical changes in your body, and you can use this to your advantage. This is why people fantasize even while they’re having sex – the added juice of the fantasy heightens arousal when the physical sensations aren’t enough to get us where we want to go.

I’m afraid I can’t help you with advice about what to think about – only you and your specific sexuality can figure out what kinds of thoughts turn you on. It might be an explicitly sexy story, or it might simply be imaginary sensations over the surface of your skin or it might be a non-sexual but blissful situation. Try lots and lots of things.

Muscle tension. You know all the “sexual tension” that I keep saying gets released explosively at orgasm? In large part it’s actual physical muscle tension, especially in your abdominal muscles, buttocks, thighs, and (especially) pelvic diaphragm – aka the pelvic floor muscle or pubococcygeal muscle or PC muscle or Kegel muscle. It’s the muscle you tighten to stop yourself peeing midstream.

Slow rhythmic contractions of the pelvic floor muscle will generate sexually relevant stimuli that will get sent to your brain, which will stimulate your brain to send back down “Turn on!” signals. As you’re lying there fantasizing, add slow, strong contractions of the pelvic floor muscle.

Breath. Your breath is tied inextricably to your sexuality. Ya’ll know I’m by no means a crystals-and-burnt-sage type; I eschew all religion and openly mock astrology. I like science. So when I say your breath is tied inextricably to your sexuality I mean precisely that. You may have noticed that when you get close to orgasm, you gasp, your abdominal muscles lock down, and you hold your breath until it releases in a gush and then you gasp again.

You have a second diaphragm in addition to the pelvic diaphragm; the thoracic diaphragm is an arch of muscle under your ribcage that governs the expansion and contraction of your lungs. When it contracts, it flattens out, creating more space in the lungs, so you inhale, and when it relaxes it arches up, decreasing the volume of the lungs, so you exhale.

So what we just learned about muscle tension and sexuality tells us something: if, with high levels of sexual arousal, your muscles contract in rhythmic waves, then you thoracic diaphragm will do the same. Hence the gasp (contract!) and hold (stay contracted) and exhale – often a forceful, noisy chuff of air (relax) then gasp (contract!).

(Dear Male Readers, If you want to tell whether or not a woman is faking, watch and listen for this gasp, hold, chuff, gasp cycle. Every muscle in her body will contract at a shared rhythm. )

(Dear Female Readers: Please use this knowledge for good, not evil.)

As you become aroused, you’ll begin to breathe more deeply as your body’s demand for oxygen increases, and then as you get closer to orgasm your breath will lock into this pattern. Pay attention to your breathing and allow it to change, allow your arousal to grow with it.

So there you have it.

There are no negative consequences to not having an energy orgasm; in fact, going through this process without having an orgasm will still teach you loads about your own sexuality, give you pleasurable sexual experiences, and expand your sexual horizons. I don’t know if ANYONE can do it… but, hey if you try and don’t manage an orgasm, you’ve still had a really nice time, right? Might as well take a whack at it at least once, eh? Some idle, rainy Saturday? Let me know how it goes.