Harder, faster, longer ... NOT! ILLUSTRATION: Tim Furey

Harder, faster, longer ... NOT!

It takes a little work to build a better lover

By Patti Carmalt-Vener 09/22/2011

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­­Dear Patti,
I’m 23 and recently broke up with the only girlfriend I’ve ever had. We were together for seven years, and although it was a great first relationship, I always felt like she never really loved sex, just tolerated it. 
Since she’s the only person I’ve been sexual with, I secretly believed women didn’t enjoy sex as much as men. At a friend’s party, I joined in a conversation with four young women who were talking about sex. When I shared my opinion on the subject, they scoffed at me and said they’d had fantastic sex when they’d been in love and feeling close and intimate. I don’t know if their claims of being orgasmic were true or if they were just showing off for each other. 
Two of them started talking about orgasmic meditation and how that deepened the sexual experience.  
Friends say that if you’re in love and open to pleasing each other, that’s all you need in order to learn and explore your sexuality together. I’m sure that’s the foundation, but I still want to have skills beyond what’s derived from love, closeness and experience. 

Dear Connor,
The orgasmic meditation — or “OMing” — you referred to is a mindfulness behavior where the objective is genital stimulation. When a couple practices this meditation, they’re focusing their complete attention and nonjudgmental awareness on the moment-to-moment consciousness of developing connective resonance between them. 
The focus of orgasmic meditation is very often centered on the female orgasm through subtle and deliberate stimulation, but there’s no fixated outcome or goal to sex, not even what’s considered to be a normal climax. It is, instead, a lesson on how to feel and enjoy all arousing sensations. Each thought, feeling or sensation that occurs is acknowledged with curiosity, openness and acceptance, which collectively allow increased recognition of mental events.  
Orgasmic meditation teaches how to focus on the feelings within rather than externalize sex to being about something outside of us, such as having a beautiful body or a technique-minded partner. Many believe that orgasmic meditation encompasses more than just orgasm and that it encourages greater emotional awareness, connected relationships and a deep sense of fulfillment and happiness.  In such a practice, it’s considered more important to savor every impression derived from one or more of the five senses and staying in the “now” rather than defining expectations in sexual activity. This, in turn, enables you to learn more about your own body as well as hone your ability to acknowledge and direct your attention toward what is actually being sexually aroused. 
It is a sexual experience that goes wherever it goes rather than forcing it to go where we think it should go. Orgasmic meditation is not intended to replace sex but to enhance normal sex lives. In this practice, a woman would never fake an orgasm or act or sound the way she thinks is expected in such a situation. Rather, she would allow the natural force of sexual sensations to lead her.
Women sometimes tend to try to emulate a particular or “appropriate” way to express satisfaction or focus so heavily on whether they’re “doing it right” that they end up distancing themselves from their true desires and their bodies.  
As in any mindfulness practice, OMing is considered a way for developing greater sensation in all areas of one’s life, not just physical relations. It’s especially helpful if there are challenges in sustaining meaningful relationships, building intimacy and exploring feelings of disconnection with one’s sexual desires. 
Your willingness to question your currently held beliefs about women’s enjoyment of sex is a positive step. Give yourself and your partner permission to stay out of “performing” and take the time to be comfortable with each other’s bodies. To learn more about the principles of orgasmic meditation, you may want to read Nicole Daemon’s book, “Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm.” 

Patti Carmalt-Vener, a faculty member with the Southern California Society for Intensive Short Term Psychotherapy, has been a psychotherapist in private practice for 23 years and has offices in Pasadena, Santa Monica and Canoga Park. Contact her at (626) 584-8582 or email pcarmalt@aol.com. Visit her Web site: patticarmalt-vener.com.

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