I watched the third episode of Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab this week, entitled “The Pleasure is Ours,” after seeing so many people on my newsfeed rave about it… and I was disappointed.
Most of the episode was beautiful. They talk candidly about female pleasure, about asking for what you want in bed, and they show multiple vulvas of different shapes and colors on screen – definitely a major breakthrough, and a really incredible one.
But the episode ends with an orgasm. Betty Dodson, 90-year-old sex educator, guides her CEO, Carlin Ross, through self-pleasure.
And her orgasm….. is tiny, quiet, and about 3 seconds long.
I understand the premise of this. They want to show that porn orgasms are often performative, and that this is the way most women orgasm.
I’m also not trying to judge the orgasms of other women – if you are totally happy with your orgasm, wonderful – there is no “right” or “wrong” way to have an orgasm.
But it still made me angry.
Because liberated sexual energy can create orgasms that are minutes long, that feel like they could keep rolling forever, that bring tingling waves of energy and pleasure throughout your entire body, that are full of growls and screams and hysterical laughter and, yes, porn-star sounds, and lots and lots of tears.
Liberated sexual energy is so. much. more. Than a 3-second tiny moan.
And then Cosmopolitan wrote about it and said, “This is what most women actually sound like.”
This is a fucking disservice and disappointment, all of it. Because our bodies are capable of WAY more than that.
After just beginning to work with my sexual energy, my orgasms went from quick highs I would feel only around my genital area, to more extended waves of pleasure that I could feel throughout my whole body.
When I spent a year learning to become a sex coach, my orgasms transformed even more. I have had orgasms where I scream out in anguish and grief and have visions of my younger self. I have had orgasms where I am crying and laughing for ten or fifteen minutes at a time because I can feel that the orgasm could keep going forever, and I decide when it stops. I have had orgasms where they give me such tingles and bursts of energy that I’m on a high for the rest of the day. I have had orgasms where there are sounds of anger – genuinely, growls and yells – that are moving through my body. I have felt so many different kinds of orgasms from so many different parts of my body that it is my belief that there are truly infinite kinds, infinite expressions, infinite things to be felt.
These things are LEARNED. It is not that I am naturally super-orgasmic, or that I have some secret characteristics most women don’t. It is a skill, and it is never taught to us or even mentioned.
I have been meaning to write this piece for a long time, and watching that episode finally spurred me to do it. Because I want you to know that more is possible. More is possible than that.
And while it can take a while, it is actually pretty simple. Your brain has been taught one way of orgasming for a long time. And you now have the opportunity to create new pathways around orgasm. It might take 3-6 months. It might even take a year, or longer. Give your brain and body some time to learn.
But it is absolutely possible.
How to have a super long orgasm:
(a note – these aren’t steps. There are 8 tips. Implement as many as you can; they’re in no particular order).
1. Believe it’s possible.
This is really important, and hopefully this piece has given you some evidence around this. I have been in groups with hundreds of women who have transformed their orgasms, who have gone from never orgasming at all to having incredible orgasms, who have gone from having one kind of orgasm to multiple kinds. I have coached women who have experienced depths of feeling in their orgasms that they never experienced before. All growth is possible. And if you don’t actually believe that your body is capable of it, it’s going to be hard to allow it to happen. Our minds are very powerful – if your mind is against it, it will be difficult.
2. Self-pleasure more often, and differently.
Instead of fantasizing and giving yourself an orgasm in 5 minutes (or whatever you usually do), try setting aside 30 minutes to do an extended self-pleasure session. Play music that you love, light the space with candles, make it feel special. Use a body-safe oil, and touch your body gently all over. Stroke your arms and your legs and your breasts. Play with your hair, your ears, your lips, your neck. Notice the sensations all over your physical body. Don’t bring yourself all the way to orgasm every time. Bring your mind back from elsewhere. It’s you, in the moment, with your body, right now. Notice how this feels. Be curious – how are you feeling? What does your body want? What does it like? What does it not like?
If you usually watch porn, take a break. Nothing wrong with porn, except that it will teach your body to orgasm while your brain is focused on something outside of your body. You are creating new pathways. So focus on your body in the moment.
3. Explore the rest of your pussy.
If you usually have clitoral orgasms, try using just your finger (or a dildo, it will make it a bit easier) and touch different spots on the inside of your vagina. Touch around your cervix. Breathe deeply into those spots. Notice what it feels like, notice what different areas feel like inside your body. You might be completely numb and not feel much inside – that is common and okay, and you can learn to feel more sensation with practice and time. If you usually only use a vibrator, take a break from the vibrator. If you’ve never used a vibrator, try one and see what happens. Touch other spots around your vulva – your clitoris is so much bigger than the tiny little head you see on the outside. Notice what feels good. Notice what you like.
4. Create safety.
We cannot ever fully let go unless we feel safe. Unfortunately, most of us as a default do not feel safe during sex (and usually, we’re not aware of it). This can be because of sexual trauma, because of childhood experiences, because of being taught that sex is dirty and wrong and shameful, because of who we’re with, because we feel insecure in our bodies, and so much more.
Creating safety starts within ourselves. You can start by tuning into your body to find a place that feels good to you – that place is called your resource. To find it, you can close your eyes (if that feels comfortable, if not, keep them open), scan through your body and see if you can find any space that feels soft, stable, reliable. I often resource into the feeling of my hair on my head. You can choose your heart or your toes or any part of your body you want. You can feel this space internally and connect to it regularly. That can help anchor you into your body in any moment and feel a sense of pleasure, and safety.
Boundaries are also an integral piece of safety. If you regularly override what your body wants (your pussy doesn’t really feel like having sex but you feel bad because your partner wants to so you go along with it anyway), stop. Let this be the last time (or one of the last times, you probably won’t be perfect in the beginning, and no shame in that) that you ever do something your body does not want to do. To create safety, you have to trust yourself. Love yourself, parent yourself. Be kind to yourself. Start saying no more often. Ask your body what you really want.
We can also create safety with our partners – are there any things you need to hear from your partner in order to feel relaxed during sex? Maybe you want compliments about your body, maybe you want to be appreciated for things you did that day, maybe you’ve had a fight and you’re still holding onto things you haven’t said. If we don’t feel clear with our partners – and I mean it, like totally, completely clear – it’s going to be a lot harder for our bodies to fully express with them. An exercise my partner and I do often to stay clear with one another is taking turns finishing the sentence “Something I want you to know is…” and saying everything that needs to be said. While one person speaks, the other holds space and listens, they don’t respond. And then you switch.
Also – be clear with yourself. Are you living your life the way you truly want? Are you completely in alignment with yourself? Or are you working a job you hate that makes you exhausted and dating a partner who criticizes you and barely meets you? These things matter – if you’re not in alignment with what you truly want, you’re essentially lying to yourself. Feeling deeply and expressing yourself fully will be difficult.
5. Breathe through your whole entire body.
The breath is another huge part of orgasm. If you aren’t breathing deeply, you will not be able to feel the pleasure throughout your whole body. You can start practicing this while you self-pleasure – start seeing if you can breathe into your pussy. Take super deep breaths and feel the sensations in your pussy. Imagine that breath getting bigger and bigger and touching all areas of your body. Breathe into your whole entire body. In tantric and daoist traditions, it was said that sexual energy moves in a circuit – this loop starts at your cervix, goes up your spine to the top of your head, and then goes back down the front of your body (you can go in either direction). As you breathe, you can imagine yourself breathing the energy from your pussy up to the top of your head and back down.
6. Keep breathing as you orgasm.
As you start to orgasm, breathe that energy up. Take a deep breath and imagine it extending throughout your body, all the way to your toes and fingertips. Breathe it through the loop. It really doesn’t matter that much exactly how you imagine it – the key is to just breathe deeply and stay connected to the sensations throughout your whole entire body. This spreads the energy out, so it’s not just a short localized climax in your genitals. Breathe it around, use your breath to keep it moving, and it will eventually get longer and longer and go on forever (again, it takes practice. but you might start noticing a difference right away).
7. Begin healing trauma and locked-up self expression.
There isn’t one way to do this – you can go to therapy and work through sexual trauma if you’ve experienced it, you can hire a coach and do the same thing. It doesn’t have to be just sexual trauma, either – if you’re holding onto repressed emotion around anything, that can and will show up in your sex life. If you’ve had a traumatic experience, that can show up in your sex life. Something really beautiful is that sexual energy can also help us heal – if you’ve ever had an orgasm and then burst into tears, you know that feeling. It can help us release.
Breathwork is also a great tool for this – particularly, connected breaths through the mouth – but I recommend finding a practitioner or someone who can guide you through it safely (you can also learn it in my course!) because it can bring up a lot of emotion. Dearmoring the vagina is another thing that can help (and another thing I teach in the course!) – basically, gently pressing different areas inside the vagina while making sounds to release stuck emotion and pain.
Lots of things can work – the point is if you’re holding onto a lot of pent up emotion, it will be harder to feel safe to express, so it will be harder to let go. If those things are hard, it will make having epic, multiple kinds of orgasms more difficult.
8. Make. Sounds!!
Sound is fucking essential. That is why the episode of that show made me so angry. Sound is how we release feeling. Sound is how we feel more deeply. Sound is how we let go of our cortical control (our thinking, non-stop monologuing brain) and surrender fully. Sound is healing.
Make sounds on every exhale. Feel into the sensations your body is feeling, and sound them out. They can sound like whimpers, wails, moans, growls, screams, and like a hyena is dying. You will eventually make sounds that you never knew could come out of your body, ever. You will make sounds that will make you question your sanity. Make all of the sounds. Sound is liberating. We are animals, and we make sound.
Let go of the attachment to what you sound like. It will certainly not all sound like porn-star moans (though some of it might!) – it will sound like a gigantic range of what it sounds like to be human. Your energy will move through sound. Your orgasms will feel deeper and get longer if you make sound. You will start to fully express yourself in the rest of your life. Sound is important, and sound is magical. It matters. Be loud.
Your body has so much more potential than you know is possible.
Longer orgasms bring you more pleasure, more aliveness, and fuller self-expression in your everyday life. You deserve to know you can have that.