Most people assume that an orgasm is the finish line to sex. But that kind of thinking doesn’t always lead to pleasure. Sure, you might get a temporary release and relief, but not necessarily pleasure. Orgasming doesn’t necessarily make you feel happier or more fulfilled. That’s because orgasm isn’t the same as pleasure. We need to start thinking of sex less in terms of getting off and more in terms of getting pleasure. Sure, orgasms are great, but they’re just one amongst many different factors that contribute to a truly pleasurable experience.
Orgasms Aren’t Inherently Pleasurable
It’s also worth understanding that orgasms aren’t inherently good or pleasurable. You can also have bad orgasms, painful orgasms, or forced orgasms.
- Bad Orgasms: According to the Archives of Sexual Behavior, bad orgasms are orgasms that can also have a detrimental effect on your relationship and sexuality for various reasons.
- Painful Orgasms: Painful orgasms, also known as dysorgasmia, is a condition wherein you experience physical pain during orgasms.
- Forced Orgasms: The term “forced orgasms” is often used during consensual sex to refer to a dominant partner “forcing” a submissive partner to orgasm repeatedly. That’s not what we’re talking about here since that act comes with the submissive’s consent to the force. However, forced orgasms also refer to orgasms induced during a non-consensual sexual encounter or assault.
As all of these examples illustrate, orgasms aren’t inherently pleasurable. In clinical terms, an orgasm is merely a release of energy accompanied by certain muscular contractions in the genitals and an elevated heart rate. These bodily responses come together to give you a sense of immediate relief. But that feeling of relief only lasts one moment. In bad orgasms, the gratification is almost immediately overwhelmed by other negative emotions and feelings. Pleasure, meanwhile, is a more holistically fulfilling feeling that elevates your job, comfort, and self-image.
Mainstream Notions of Sex Are Problematic
It’s important to understand that mainstream notions of sexuality are extremely male-centric, sexist, and heteronormative. According to common understanding, sex begins when the penis enters the vagina and ends when it leaves the vagina after ejaculation. There’s no room within this definition for queer sex or female orgasm. It focuses entirely on male penetration of female genitalia and male orgasms. And since that’s the existing definition of sex, it’s understandable why most people assume an orgasm is the end goal.
However, as our previous points have highlighted, an orgasm isn’t necessarily linked to pleasure, nor should it be your end goal. Your primary goal with sex should be a pleasure — whatever pleasure means to you individually. Similarly, you should also focus on making your partner feel good and sexually fulfilled, not necessarily making them orgasm. Though, of course, please make them orgasm if that’s what they want. Taking the pressure off having to orgasm liberates all the sexual partners involved to seek pleasure on their own terms.
Reframe Your Thinking About Sex
You might want to argue, “but orgasms just feel good.” That’s a perfectly valid point, and you should definitely continue enjoying orgasms. The point of this article isn’t to make people stop orgasming, but to encourage you to reframe your mind. Orgasms are completely healthy, natural, and, under the right circumstances, they can be extremely pleasurable. For the clinical reasons highlighted earlier, orgasms certainly lead to immediate gratification.
However, there’s a difference between “wanting” to orgasm and “needing to orgasm.” There’s nothing wrong with wanting to orgasm. But the problem and pressure arise when an orgasm becomes the central focus of your sexual experience — a “need” entirely independent from the sexual experience itself. Some people focus so hard on orgasming that, counterintuitively, they can’t orgasm or enjoy sex at all. The pressure to orgasm affects your intimacy with your partner, connection, mental health, and even mutual respect.
Focusing on orgasm also leads to an imbalance in sexual pleasure. Partners often feel guilty if they can’t orgasm because it hurts their partner’s ego, who often see the lack of an orgasm as a personal failure. In actuality, some people have a harder time orgasming for reasons that have nothing to do with the sexual partner’s skill or attractiveness.
When orgasms are seen as the end goal or reward, one may feel like they’ve failed a test of virility, leading to intimacy issues, guilt, resentment, and other emotions that further impact your ability to seek sexual pleasure with your partner.
The Benefits of Sex Without Climax
Once you reframe your thinking, you can enjoy numerous benefits of sex without worrying about a climax or end-point. For starters, you can be more present and intimate with your sexual partner, focusing on making them feel good (emotionally and sexually) rather than simply orgasming. And, as we mentioned earlier, sexual pleasure is a holistic feeling that captures your emotional well-being — an orgasm is a temporary and fleeting release.
Engaging in sex without the expectation of orgasms also liberates you from considerable pleasure. In mainstream notions of sex, an orgasm isn’t just seen as the end-point for sex but also as evidence of one’s sexual virility. People who can’t orgasm often feel depressed and anxious because they see it as a personal failure and as something they’ve denied their partner. It puts you in the awkward position of nursing your own disappointment while also putting a salve on your partner’s bruised ego.
Freed from the expectation of orgasm, both partners can openly communicate what makes them feel good. And, in turn, you can have a better sexual experience, one in which your actual desires are fulfilled without additional baggage. Most importantly, since there’s no “end-point” anymore, you can extend your sexual experience as long as you want, making sex potentially infinite. And why not enjoy it with Obii?