• Karen O'Moore

What is an Orgasm?

This month we are going back to basic physiology. We are asking the question what is an orgasm?

A lot is said about the ability in Tantra to connect to, cultivate and generate sexual energy via orgasm. While at Tantra Awakenings we believe this is the beginning of the journey, for others a whole body orgasm is the pinnacle. Whatever your view, it is a fact that we have been asked many times what is an orgasm? What are we dealing with and what does it mean for those with penises to separate orgasm from ejaculation (and indeed this awareness of what an orgasm/ ejaculation cycle is very useful to know where premature ejaculation is an issue).

There are four stages of penile arousal: Lengthening, Swelling, Hardening and Heat. Physiologically speaking, the penile orgasm consists of the contraction and pulsating of the penis, prostate and pelvic region. These sensations are met by increased heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tensing, anal, sphincter and PC muscle contractions, and an increase in blood pressure, which then result in a sudden release of tension. Ejaculation however, is simply a reflex that occurs at the base of the spine, it simply an involuntary muscular spasm. The problem is that we have come to associate the ejaculatory spasm with the pleasure of the orgasm, when in fact they are two separate things. Energetically speaking sexual energy in generated during the orgasmic phase which is then released during the ejaculatory phase (the point of no return). There then occurs the recovery phase which can take minutes or hours.

The generalised vaginal orgasm parallels in many ways the Penile. Arousal draws blood into the pelvic area which causes swelling of the clitoris and vaginal lips. An excitement phase (plateau) occurs followed by the contractions of the PC and vaginal muscles during orgasm. Extremely pleasurable sensations radiate out from the pelvic region, breathing, heart rate and muscle tone increase and after orgasm arousal declines steadily with a sense of peace and relaxation occurring throughout the body.

Prolonging the plateau phase in both penile and vaginal orgasm, deepening the intensity and using techniques for cultivating and moving the energy all play their part in creating peak experiences, or becoming multi-orgasmic if you prefer: but essentially these are about increasing orgasmic potential. In penile orgasm, for example, the knowledge of the “point of no return” allows ejaculation to be delayed or avoided giving prolonged or enhanced or multiple orgasms (and hence generating more energy). A knowledge and awareness of your own body and what arouses you, what gives you pleasure, your ability to surrender to the goal orientation and move with the moment are perhaps even more important. There are many techniques and ideas for doing this that we facilitate at Tantra Awakenings, but the foundation is awareness: An understanding of your own sexual response and orgasm. An understanding of what turns you on and what turns you off and an understanding that physiology and sexual orgasm is only a small, but important, part of the Tantric Life path experience.

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