In 2011, I published my first book called The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary. The following is a brief excerpt from the chapter titled “Living Orgasmically:”
“What would it be like to live your life full out, allowing the rich juiciness of who you truly are… to ooze, to ripple, to burst forth in all its glory? I feel exhilarated just typing that question. Heart racing, blood pumping, vivid imagination soaring off into all kinds of dazzling places. Take a breath…
Are you in that delicious place in your life, living in technicolor? Or do your days feel like a series of one mundane experience following another? My desire is for you to dwell in the first land, but if you are simply existing in the second, I extend my hand and invite you to cross the line that divides one from the other.”
When I wrote those words, I was 52 years old, in the heat (no pun intended) of menopause with the accompanying hot flashes — or, as I called them, “power surges” that would have me kicking off the covers in the chill of winter.
Now, at 61, that still hasn’t changed, thank goodness — and my body is both the recipient and giver of pleasure.
I experienced the onset of memory blips that had words, thoughts, names, and plans slip through the breaches in my brain. Single at the time, having been widowed 12 years earlier, I knew my libido hadn’t vacated the premises since I had luscious experiences with wonderful lovers, short term partners, and friends with benefits.
Now, at 61, that still hasn’t changed, thank goodness — and my body is both the recipient and giver of pleasure. The common wisdom is that women lose the sexual desire or, at least, notice that it takes a downturn when they are in the fifth decade of their lives.
HSDD (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder) has been attributed to hormones, stress, depression, vaginal dryness, the nature of a particular relationship a woman is in, body changes, shame, history of trauma, as well as the inability to have an open conversation about sex. Many women still find it an embarrassing topic to explore, based in part on what they learned about their own sexuality throughout their lives. If their mothers couldn’t broach the subject, how could they teach their daughters to do it, gracefully?
In our culture, sex is touted as “get it on, get it up, get it in, get it off, get it out.” In reality, sex is about more than what goes on below the belly button. It actually has more to do with what is between our ears than our legs. I love the idea that the brain is the most important erogenous zone. A vivid imagination goes a long way in enhancing pleasure of all sorts, not just that experienced under the sheets.
Experimenting as I Entered the Tantra Zone
Kama Sutra, which is often viewed as a guide merely to double your pleasure and double your fun, is “a Sanskrit treatise setting forth rules for sensuous and sensual pleasure, love, and marriage in accordance with Hindu law.” At its core, Tantra is about our connection with Spirit; not just as a means of heightened sexual pleasure but perhaps enlightened sensual pleasure. It also about a connection with human partners and the universe itself, in a sense, making love with the Divine.
My introduction to the pink-streaked hair, outspoken, bold and badass passionista, sex educator and author, Barbara Carrellas came as a result of attending a Tantra workshop in Philadelphia that she taught in 2004 or 2005. What moved me most and made it safe was that the workshop was more about energy than the stereotypical image of marathon sexual sessions. Remember that infamous quote offered by rock star Sting about seven-hour tantric sessions? Even he and his wife Trudie Styler clarified what he said, decades later, that it was about intimacy and connection and included dinner and a movie.
At the time of the workshop, I had just re-awakened the sexual channels following five years of intentional celibacy.
After 12 years of monogamous marriage, I wanted to ease my way back into experience with new partners. I was also getting to know my body again, what I enjoyed, and what I wanted to avoid. At 45, I was entering menopause and had a sense of adventure that I hadn’t experienced in the over a decade of my time spent with my husband. Although the sex had been satisfying, the idea of sexploration was tempting. Even as I was open to experimenting, I discovered that, unlike some others in my life, I am “vanilla with rainbow sprinkles” and that some of them play far deeper in the sexual pool than I do.
Years later, when I told a lover about those perceptions, he tapped my heart and told me. “You play deep here.”
After 12 years of monogamous marriage, I wanted to ease my way back into experience with new partners. I was also getting to know my body again, what I enjoyed, and what I wanted to avoid.
I had heard that Carrellas was going to be featured on The Learning Channel’s show called Strange Sex speaking about what the producers referred to as “thinking off.” Carrellas is quick to add, “That term is much too limiting. Non-genitally based orgasms are achieved by different people in different ways but very few people use only their minds to achieve these orgasms.”
What it amounts to is an energetic orgasm that incorporates breathing, visualizing, and squeezing the pelvic muscles.
That same year, my mother was placed on hospice for CHF and end-stage kidney disease. She lived in Ft. Lauderdale at the time and I headed down from my Philadelphia area home seven times in the last six months of her life.
The show aired during one of our visits. I was sitting on my mother’s living room floor while she slept (or so I thought) in her hospital bed. As Carrellas had participants lying in a circle, energy rising with the sounds of their panting breathing and moaning, my mother opened her eyes at the moment of erupted rapture.
She asked, “What are you watching?” wondering if I was watching some porn flick featuring a free-for-all orgy.
I responded, laughing, “Mom, this is my friend Barbara, teaching people to have the safest sex there is: Hands-free, clothing on, nobody touching nobody.”
She looked at me, waved her hand and said, “Ah, meshuggenah!” (which is Yiddish for “crazy”) and dozed back off.
That story always comes up whenever I tell people about Carrellas. She continues to inspire me as she travels the world, blond hair dyed with pink streaks, encouraging people to juice up their lives. But she’s not the only woman who has inspired me with her goal to live orgasmically.
How Other Women Learned to Live Orgasmically
Verna T. is 69 years old and shares her story about what it means to live an orgasmic life: “I’m having the best sex of my life. Several early childhood sexual traumas caused me one day to scream to the far reaches of the galaxy, ‘I WILL NEVER BE HURT LIKE THIS AGAIN!’ So the Universe cloaked me in energetic shackles which took half a century to finally unlock. Feels like I was born old and at long last am having the adolescence I missed out on as my friends were trying various parts of their personas on in order to decide who they wanted to be. Other people’s wounds made all those choices for me as I continued to dig and heal, excavate and rage, beg for mercy then (finally) able to grant myself all the tender mercies I missed all along. I’m currently dating a beautiful Greek man whom I playfully call Adonis — apparently even the sky isn’t a limit for me anymore.”
Terree is a 57-year-old professional woman who waxes poetic about her orgasmic life: “Each and every day is an opportunity to fall in love with everything and anything but always there’s at least one thing to go absolutely crazy over! Dwelling in pleasure as often as possible is exactly where I live. Though life hits hard at times, and I’ve so felt those fastballs, nonetheless, we are so fortunate to be alive, here on this amazing planet rich in wonder and always ripe with opportunity. I may fall down, I may need big rest and healing at times, but I’ve allowed myself to deeply feel all the emotion of life, in so doing I am fully aware of how fleeting a lifetime can be. This has led me to live each moment in full appreciation for all I am capable of doing, feeling, seeing, experiencing and of course, loving! I am here, awake and alive, and able, therefore, I choose to live my best life in all moments, darker or lighter! It is indeed a beautiful, wonderful life.”
Living orgasmically is not limited to tingly genital sensations. For some, it is about the full expression of their passions in art, dance, cooking, writing, and making music. Since orgasmic energy is life force energy, it can be anything that lights you up and has you feeling like a human sparkler.
Living orgasmically is not limited to tingly genital sensations. Since orgasmic energy is life force energy, it can be anything that lights you up and has you feeling like a human sparkler.
Sensual pleasures, such as eating as you savor every bite, admiring your toned biceps after a satisfying workout, running water or sand through your fingers, squishing mud between your toes, inhaling the scent of a lavender candle, soaking in a bubble bath, listening to your favorite music, draping different textures over your skin, feeling the reverberation and pulsating drum-beat rhythm in your chest, a pampering pedicure, breathing with a partner, massage which may or may not lead to a “happy ending,” and eye gazing can all feed the hunger for immersing in orgasmic energy.
Whenever I contemplate the subject of orgasmic living, I am always called back to the on-screen image of Meg Ryan as Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally. You know, the famous scene in which she fakes an orgasm in Katz’ Deli and at the end of her heavy breathing, body rocking, hair tossing, a woman at a nearby table played by Estelle Reiner (mother of director Rob Reiner) calls out the classic line, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Yes, yes, yes!