I Went On A Quest To Channel My Sexual Energy Into My Everyday Life
Two years ago, I took up the practice of orgasmic meditation, where someone strokes the upper left quadrant of your clitoris for 13 minutes in a "nest" of pillows with the aim of tuning into your sensations and increasing mindfulness. For several weeks following my first “OM,” I noticed I was horny all the time. I spoke to OneTaste founder Nicole Daedone, who popularized OM, and she said it was supposed to increase your sexual energy — but that if I funneled it into other areas of my life, it wouldn’t just be sexual. I’d be a more effective worker and overall person.
A few months down the line, I realized I hadn’t made much progress on that front. After I’d OM, I’d get super horny and distracted. So, I decided I needed some help:I would go on a quest to figure out how to harness my sexual energy toward every area of my life. In addition to revamping my OM practice, I researched other methods aimed at building and channeling sexual energy, including extended orgasm, manifestation through orgasm, and even talking to my vagina.
During this process, I began to think of that annoying horniness differently. Kit Murray Maloney, founder of O'Actually, pointed out that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe I just want to have lots of sex, she said. Or maybe, it’s harder to bring my full energy to other areas of my life because there’s stuff there I don’t want to deal with. After all, it’s easier to go masturbate than it is to engage in genuine self-reflection.
Here are some ways I tried to harness my sexual energy for good — and what I learned from them.
1Talking To My Genitals
Sexological body worker and sex/relationship coach Kai Wu does an exercise with her clients where she guides them through a conversation with their genitals. They try to imagine what their genitals would tell them if they had the chance and then reply to them, and so on.
Wu tells me she’s had clients give better sales pitches and become more decisive because of the sexual healing she’s assisted. This is for a few reasons, she says: One is that when you own your body, you have an easier time taking ownership of everything you do. The other is that when you’re tuned into your physical sensations, you have more information about how you’re feeling. Maybe, for example, your vagina throbs when you’re excited about something, or your stomach sinks when something makes you uncomfortable. That’s valuable information.
So, I asked Wu to lead me through my own conversation with my genitals. Inspired by Betty Dodson's Bodysex workshop, I called my vulva Storm. During a video chat, Wu asked me what Storm had to say. She said:
"I am Storm and I just want to be free. Don't try to control me. I am bigger than you. I am the best. Everything that comes out of me is great so just believe me. I don't need anyone to speak for me or argue with me. You don't have to be scared that we will disagree cause I am on your side. We can work together instead of fighting. I don't fight back. She just pushes me down. Which is frustrating because I am working for her highest good."
Who knew my genitals had so many feelings?
These feelings weren't really from my genitals but from my whole body. It was asking me to treat it better in the wake of a recent health issue — to listen to what it was trying to tell me instead of viewing it as the enemy. I'm not sure if I tapped into my sexual energy, per say, but if my goal was to gain something non-sexual from my genitals, I'd say this activity succeeded.
2Manifesting Through Orgasms
One of the exercises that Maloney teaches during her Pleasure Pledge — where women pledge to have an orgasm a day every month — is to manifest something using their orgasms. This means visualizing something you want in the midst of orgasm on the theory that, because all your inhibitions are down, your mind has even more power to manifest than usual.
I tried this a few times: I began thinking about my biggest career goal — a book deal — during sex. But because I was having sex, my thoughts got kind of jumbled, and I also ended up imagining myself on an island with some of my favorite celebrities. There was a vague plotline where Lena Dunham was making my book into a movie, I think? Anyway, I don't have a book deal, but I do have an agent, so this one at the very least didn't hurt.
Looking to try this yourself? "One of the best ways to cultivate sexual energy is to be present with it — dropped into your body and the experience," Maloney tells Bustle. "This allows you to turn off the screens and press pause on the mental to-do list running through the mind. Practicing presence within your sex life is a powerful gift to you and your sex life. It also sets you up to being fully present throughout your days, which is a total game-changer for creativity and productivity in all areas."
Extended orgasm is similar to OM. Your partner kneels over you and strokes the upper left quadrant of your clitoris. You don't try to climax; you just focus on every sensation you're feeling in your body. This is known to elicit the "orgasm state," which is not the same as climax. Rather, it means your body goes into an involuntary state, with signs like flushing, chills, and vaginal contractions.
"The energy cultivated in an Extended Orgasm practice is sexual energy, but is also considered life force energy. Presence. Really getting off in an Extended Orgasm date leaves you awake, released, high, expansive. You can lead a class, talk to people, do creative writing, take care of kids, whatever your work is, after that," Alicia Davon, who teaches extended orgasm through Erwan Davon Teachings, tells Bustle. "Also, once you really get into Extended Orgasm, not climaxing leaves you energized, smoothed out, versus horny or wound up. It takes some training to really learn to release the energy, versus building it up in a tight way."
I went to a demo of extended orgasm by Alicia and her husband Erwan Devan, and then they taught my partner how to do it to me. After he started stroking my clitoris, I reacted in a way that I didn't suspect I was supposed to: I got the chills and then erupted in a giggle fit. I felt very little in my vagina, and definitely not anything that could be described as "orgasm" by its typical definition.
But what was really cool was what came afterward. I felt a sense of calmness, confidence, and connection to my intuition that I rarely did. I knew what I wanted for the next few hours, and I didn't doubt it. But it faded. And then I tried doing extended orgasm with my partner again, and I couldn't get it back. We still occasionally do it, but for some reason I just can't recover the feeling of that first time.
4OM, Take 2
Over the past two years, I've periodically given up on OM and taken it up again, and with mixed results. One time, I got into a state afterward that I'd never been in before and haven't since. When I was talking to my partner, it was like my mind was looking at everything he was saying through a microscope. I was probing everything he said with curiosity, and I took joy in that conversation. I wasn't thinking about anything else. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a vibrant smile on my face that I hadn't seen before. I'd been having a horrible day, and I summoned the power to turn it around more.
But again, I haven't been able to get it back. I've tried OMing again, and I can't figure out what it was about that OM in particular that brought that all out of me.
5Deliberate Embodied Orgasm
After all else had failed (or had limited success), I contacted sex educator Lucia Pavone, who teaches a practice called "deliberate embodied orgasm." It's from the same family as OM and extended orgasm, with the technique involving strokes on the upper left quadrant of the clitoris, but Pavone's approach is unique in that she teaches people to do this to themselves.
I took a week-long private course with Pavone, where she taught me how to stroke my clitoris to produce orgasm for 10, 15, and even 20 minutes! You might be wondering how that's possible, but essentially, it requires changing your definition of "orgasm" to include the high stage of excitement you're in before climax. That may sound like merely calling something by a different name, but thinking of it differently changes the experience. I used a super light stroke on my clitoris — barely touching it, in fact — to avoid climaxing. And instead of pressing down or going faster when I wanted more sensation, I just paused and paid close attention to what I was feeling.
After doing this exercise several times a day, I had the feeling I'd been looking for. I was bursting with energy, excited about life, and in touch with my desires. I began emailing my boyfriend about fantasies I didn't know I had. After the course, I tried to keep it up, but for some reason, it didn't feel as exciting. Without the "no climaxing" rule Pavone had put in place, I often ended up climaxing and losing the energy.
So, I may not have fully succeeded in channeling my sexual energy into my everyday life. But at least now I know it's possible. And now that I've done it, I'm hopeful that one day, I can do it again. In the meantime, I suppose there's nothing wrong with having sex just for sex's sake. It is good for your health, after all.