Sex without orgasm? You’re jokin’, right?
Recently, I had a returning female customer come into our boutique and giddily thank me for advising her and her husband to try preventing orgasm. I remembered the woman by sight because she and her spouse had struck me as a particularly handsome older couple who were deeply in love; but frankly, I didn’t remember giving them that specific advice. “Oh yeah,” she said, “at first my husband thought you were trying to be a smartass!” Then I remembered. He’d been having a difficult time maintaining an erection, and they’d come in to our establishment to see about purchasing pleasure aids he might use to focus on giving her orgasms when he wasn’t feeling up to the task.
At the time, I’d just finished re-reading Viktor Frankl’s classic account of surviving as a prisoner in various Nazi concentration camps entitled Man’s Search for Meaning¹. Towards the end of his autobiographical account, Frankl, a neuro-psychiatrist by profession, posits his theory of logotherapy and explains some of his techniques for working with various mental illnesses. One of the techniques he suggests involves “tricking” the brain into a sort of reverse psychology. Since I am not a mental health professional, I cannot subscribe or even explain how it works; nonetheless, I suggested this couple might try something of the sort.
I asked if they’d ever tried pleasure mapping [I’m a huge fan of the practice] and suggested that they “map” their erogenous zones together. “But,” I said, “neither of you are allowed to climax.” Her husband scoffed, “Sex without an orgasm? Where am I? You’re jokin’, right?” I explained that I thought his condition (erectile dysfunction) was perhaps exacerbated by the anxiety he was experiencing by trying so hard to make his wife orgasm via penetration. Of course, they had a lot of other options that they could explore, for example cunnilingus, arousal enhancers, adult toys, etc., that could bring both of them pleasure. I admitted that I’d be happy to sell them the latest and most expensive toys in our store; but I was curious to know whether or not they would benefit from just leisurely exploring one another’s bodies. Sometimes, when orgasm is seen as the end-all, be-all of sex, so many other pleasurable opportunities are missed.
When the woman came back to tell me how happy she had been with their pleasure mapping experiment, she said it was practically a miracle. “If it hadn’t been so passionate, it would have been funny. In fact, ____ and I laughed about it later, but he couldn’t keep from getting aroused!” I admitted that I couldn’t take credit and told her about an example from Frankl’s book wherein Frankl worked with a man who had been overwhelmed his entire life with a terrible stutter. The man was to speak publicly at a conference and sought the doctor’s help. Frankl suggested that during his speech, the man force himself to stutter throughout. The result was that the man actually couldn’t stutter.
I knew that it sounded too good to be true, but the woman assured me that she didn’t care about the “how” of it happening; she was just thrilled that she and her husband had been able to reconnect intimately and she promised she would be sharing the wonders of pleasure mapping with all of her friends.
For more on Pleasure Mapping, see my post on Searching for Your Buried Pleasure.
¹Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, 1946. [find a quick link in Resources]