The Big O, La petite mort (the little death), climax; all of these are terms used to describe reaching or having an orgasm. Orgasm is often the most sought after feeling during sex. We generally understand someone having an orgasm to mean that they have had a good time, that we have done our job well and that satisfaction has been achieved. When our partner does not orgasm, we often feel disappointed, inadequate, or unsatisfied ourselves. Why is that? Why do we place so much pressure on sex to give or have an orgasm?
While having sex, nerve endings in the erogenous zones (primarily the clitoris for women and the penis for men) send messages to the “pleasure center” of the brain. When this pleasure center get activated by orgasm it causes us to temporarily lose control and literally the area of the brain that is responsible for decision making and behavior control temporarily turns off. This is an effect that happens to the brain similar to taking an addictive substance, such as heroin. At the same time, oxytocin, our “bonding chemical”, is being released in high dosages. Some studies have even found that when experiencing an orgasm, women have decreased levels in the areas of the brain that monitor fear and anxiety. It is theorized that this is because women need to feel relaxed and safe in order to have an orgasm. In fact, many of the women that struggle with anorgasmia, the inability to reach orgasm, also have very high anxiety levels. Might as well face it, we can be addicted to love or sex or having an orgasm.
That being said while orgasm can certainly enhance the sexual experience, sex without an orgasm can also be very satisfying. Oxytocin is still being released and our pleasure centers are still being stimulated during sex alone or even while kissing. If you take the pressure of the orgasm off of sex, you may actually find that it is easier to have one. It is also important to remember that no one can GIVE someone else an orgasm or MAKE someone have an orgasm. You are responsible for your own orgasm.
Get to know your body, your specific erogenous zones, how you like to be touched, your fantasies and your turnoffs. Sometimes when we think we are about to have an orgasm we get excited or even anxious and can end up trying too hard and then feel tricked out of it once again. There are also varying levels of orgasm, they aren’t always mind blowing, earth shattering, or amazing; they aren’t always the best treat during sex. So relax and enjoy the ride, it isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey.