THE BIG O
The Ultimate Buffet
Doing sexuality seminars, I receive a lot of interesting, sometimes ludicrous questions about sex, specifically about orgasms. But the questions that most intrigue me are those that speak to men's and women's uncertainty about orgasms. I remember one woman in particular who had been recently widowed after a twenty-nine-year marriage. She said to me, "I don't know if I've ever had an orgasm. I think I have, but I'm not sure. How can I be sure?" This same feeling was echoed by a man who said that his girlfriend was convinced that she had had an orgasm, but he felt sure that she hadn't.
How can we be so uncertain about something so big? That's one of the questions I want to answer in this book.
Recently a French gentleman I know asked how it was possible for me to still be objective and open to sex after eight years of doing research, listening to hundreds and hundreds of stories, and reading countless books about sex. He thought my perception of sex must be "deformed" (give him a little room for translation error here). When I asked him why he thought my ability to perceive would be deformed, he explained that one of his companies had manufactured sound equipment and he had to train himself to know everything he could about these musical systems. As a result, he could no longer listen to music, all he would hear were the distortions of a system or equipment. "Ahh," I said. "There's a big difference. With music equipment, you know exactly how things should sound. With sex, there is no 'exactly as it should be.' Thank God!"
I want to be very clear that I see this book as one of possibility, not shoulds or should nots. What I mean is that everyone should be able to enter into a sexual situation with excitement, anticipation, and a sense that they may discover something new about themselves or their partner's likes and dislikes. No one should have to enter a sexual situation with fear or insecurity or the sense that they "should" be doing something they're not or "shouldn't" try something new or different. Heaven knows we have had plenty of messages of what we are supposed to be doing or feeling in the arena of sexuality. The fact is, in all the time that I have been doing the sexuality seminars, one of my strongest observations is the vast and wide continuum on which women and men experience sexual pleasure. There seems to be a limitless potential to what one can try, which in turn gives us a universe of possibilities to explore. I refer to this phenomenon as the ultimate buffet. Sometimes you may only want to sample an hors d'oeuvre, other times you might find yourself reaching for good old-fashioned comfort food, and then on occasion, you just might want a full-course meal, entree included.
This book is about having the options to try. Think of sex this way: Being intimate is like dancing. You kind of know where you are going, but you don't do the same step every time. You want a variety of moves that flow for you. As one man from a seminar said to me, "I know I want to have two or three things I do really well, and to know that they work for both of us."********************
secret from lou's archivesAccording to Kate White, editor in chief of
Cosmopolitan magazine, their number one reader question is "How can I have an orgasm during intercourse?"
If you've come to Orgasms
after reading my two other books, you might have a question: How could there be more information about sex, specifically orgasms, that wasn't covered in the men's and women's books? Valid question. At first, I didn't think there could be more information--sure, a few details, but I couldn't yet imagine what else was out there related to orgasms that I hadn't already covered. Surprise! I discovered that there was a lot more to learn.
If you haven't yet read How to Be a Great Lover
or How to Give Her Absolute Pleasure
then not only will you learn all there is to know about orgasms, you'll learn that I see sex not as a performance experience with orgasm as its ultimate goal, but instead as a wide, meandering avenue toward pleasure—in whatever form you desire. An orgasm, of course, is a wonderful, satisfying state, but it should not be held up as the sole goal that drives your sexual experience.
As you may recall, during the 1980s, Americans seemed to be all about conspicuous consumption and amassing as many material goods as possible. Well, our attitude about sex and sexual experiences suffered from the same bonfire-of-the-vanities performance attitude, which dictated that you had to perform and amass extraordinary experiences. There were fairly set (predetermined) types of experiences that qualified as extraordinary, such as the multiple orgasm, which was rarely defined but always expected to occur. And what about the blitz on simultaneous orgasms? This hype had couples believing that if only they did X, Y, Z they'd discover the bliss of coming together every time they had sex! Fortunately, as we've shed or at least begun to question this consumption-oriented attitude, we as a culture have also begun to look at what makes us comfortable in all areas of our lives, including sex. The attitude has become more about making it simple, and my goal with Orgasms
is to make this information smart, simple, and fun for you.
What I have also discovered in my research is the potential for a much broader range of orgasmic experiences than I had imagined. Not only does Orgasms
assemble the most up-to-date information about orgasms for men and women, it also delivers it to you in a way that you can read alone or together as a couple, sharing details and experiences.
Now a small caveat here: A pox on anyone who tries to tell their partner they have a problem or are lacking technical skill or sensuality or do not experience one form of orgasm or another.
Before you get into the body of the information in the chapters that follow, I'll tell you a few reasons why I feel we should know more about orgasms. First, women and men experience orgasms very differently. Whereas men can experience an orgasm in up to seven different ways, women can experience orgasms in up to ten different ways! Have you ever heard of a mouth orgasm? A zone orgasm? Breast orgasms? Both sexes can and do experience all of these types. The second factor complicating orgasm information is the very physiological fact that men and women have very different sexual arousal cycles. From the starting gate, a couple trying to coordinate orgasms simultaneously generally faces very normal physiological challenges.
HISTORICAL AND HYSTERICAL FACTS
Throughout the ages, people have referred to sex in many different ways.
Try these on for size:
• Come in and recognize her again (attributed to Louis XV)
• Fling one's spear into the future (Franz Liszt)
• Long conversation
• Disrespect for my person
• Tool (Lord Byron)
• Swive (Elizabeth I)
• Be overcome with sympathy
• Feel like a woman
The good news is that with the following information, you will have much more insight into your own body, your partner's, and orgasms in general. This book will give you awareness and permission to have an orgasm, seek one out—in whatever form you desire—and even choose not to have one, should that be your preference.
Although this book stands on its own in terms of complete information, you can also use it as a companion to the first two books. The way I like to think about the three books is that the first one is hers, the second one is his, and the third is for both of you, together. Readers already familiar with my work will recognize some techniques, including such now infamous manual sex techniques as Ode to Bryan, and oral techniques, including the Ring and Seal. I repeat them here for new readers and in the event you need a refresher. For new readers, welcome, and bear in mind that these oral and manual techniques are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In other words, if these techniques work for you and your partner, you can further add to your sexual repertoire with the information in the other two books.
My feeling about women and their sexuality is that they are entitled to accurate, respectful, fun information that works for them. I echo that sentiment for men and add further that if women have cultural permission to not know about sex, then men should be afforded that same prerogative. Men don't have cultural permission to not know about sex, and hence they often receive or infer inaccurate information about their own or women's bodies.
HISTORICAL AND HYSTERICAL FACTS
The most active time for sex in the United States is 11 p.m.,
especially on weekends.
The majority of couples I meet want to keep their sexual relationships alive and new. Yet they know that, regardless of age, if they've been together five months, five years, or twenty-five years, sex will gradually lose the newness of that thrilling beginning. I hope this book will provide couples with some options and ideas to retain or infuse their sex lives with freshness and energy. With this in mind, I've tried to capture techniques that will help either launch new couples or rejuvenate those who have been together for a while.
One of the recent trends I've noticed in giving my sexual-ity seminars is the growing curiosity and willingness to experiment—be it with sexual toys or sexual styles. Often, once women and men experiment with a particular toy—the Rabbit Pearl, for example—they begin to incorporate it into their sex lives. They may not do this all the time—just when they want to heighten the variety factor.
Other cutting-edge information included in the book comes from brand-new research in the area of the physiological sexual responses in men and women. Specifically, researchers can now trace—with tremendous accuracy—the neural and muscular pathways orgasms follow in the body. With this information, we can now know where the nerves are on which these specific responses travel, and hence, that gives us a better ability to create and enhance orgasmic responses.
Such prescription drugs as Viagra have certainly opened the doors further. It's interesting to know how scientists stumbled on Viagra's orgasm application. Originally, it had been developed as a heart medication. When researchers had finished their clinical trials, they found that men in the study were not returning their trial samples. What they later discovered was that these men were having erections and had become potent for the first time in years. No way were they going to give back the sample drug! Pfizer hit a home run with that accident.
In the area of women's orgasms, we have seen "orgasm trends" come and go. First, there was unassailable predominance of the clitoral orgasm, then it became the quest for a G-spot orgasm, and before women had time to catch their breath, they were told that all
women experience ejaculation when they orgasm. While all these orgasms can occur in women and have been known to give certain women tremendous sexual pleasure, they are not universal truths. I hold the American media and the adult pornography industry responsible for establishing false and unrealistic expectations. In most cases these forces are not acting out of meanness or ill intent, rather, they are simply not as up-to-date or aware of the information as they could be.
********************HISTORICAL AND HYSTERICAL FACTS
According to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, women are 30 percent more sexually active during a full moon.
How is a woman to know what's true, partially true, or not at all true because a certain fact may have been taken out of context?! In chapter 2 I will go into more depth about just how certain myths about sexuality impact us on a daily basis.
In chapter 3 I describe the details of the physical side of orgasms--how your sexual organs are affected, as well as the rest of your body. I have included diagrams so you can orient yourself and your partner. Again, you will see that men and women differ here. With this information, you and your partner will have more knowledge and awareness of your differences and similarities. I've also included information on the most recent medications that impact--both positively and negatively--sexuality and the ability to orgasm. As always, I have taken into consideration factors such as age, physiological condition, and those ever-changing emotional conditions that affect your ability to enjoy sex.
Sex is a multidimensional experience: it is as much about the body as it is about the mind. Have you ever felt that your body wants to let go but your mind gets in the way? In chapter 4 I address the mental side of orgasms. How do our attitudes or expectations or fears get in the way of our pleasure? I'm an unrepentant believer in the attitude that allows you to be as free to seek as much pleasure as possible—in whatever way makes you comfortable—as long as it is safe—meaning you use methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy or the spread of disease. I'm not proposing that you run willy-nilly in the pursuit of just anything, but rather that you simply break down self-imposed barriers to pleasure. This alone can be a powerful force. Sex and specifically orgasms can make you feel vital, promote inner self-esteem, and give you more energy. If you share this energy with your partner, who knows the limits of your intimacy and pleasure! Why would you want to prevent this?
Naturally, the heart and soul of Orgasms
are the two chapters that gather the latest information on the types and techniques of orgasms for women and men. In chapters 5 and 6 I open the lid on the vast reservoir of new information that has yet to reach the public. I describe information and positions that are the best for certain types of orgasms, as well as ways to adjust what you already know.
The next two chapters cover the medical issues related to orgasms (or what gets in the way of orgasms) and the enhancers that increase sensation and ways in which to access pleasure, including aphrodisiacs, massage techniques, and lubricants.
Saving the best for last, in chapter 9 I offer some ideas on how to make your sexual experience with your lover more of a spiritual experience. I describe my version of Tantra, culling information from the most exotic and ascetic of sources. You will learn ancient Eastern techniques for prolonging erection, controlling ejaculation, and extending the length and intensity of your orgasm. Interested in a cross-cultural visit?
This book is for you and your partner to share, read together, and most importantly to have fun. The information gathered is real, accurate, and meant to widen your horizons, pique your curiosity, or whet your appetite. Enjoy!
Excerpted from Orgasms by Lou Paget. Copyright © 2004 by Lou Paget. Excerpted by permission of Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.