Sex is often portrayed in the media as a very specific act, which is a linear process taking us from A to B, often ending with a crescendo. Many mainstream films show this progression, with sex scenes usually starting at kissing and deepening to what appears to be a mutual climax. Living in a society that has little education regarding the subtleties of sexual interaction, often we take our lessons from such portrayals of sex and lovemaking. Sometimes though, what we see on the screen does not result in the mutually orgasmic outcomes believed to be necessary for good sex. There are, however, many alternative ways in which people can explore sex, and creating a space for such an exploration within relationships could change the outcome somewhat.

One idea that has recently evolved is that of “devotional sex”. The premise of devotional sex is based in the Taoist philosophy which claims that men are able to access their orgasmic energy more readily if they don’t ejaculate every time they get aroused. More than that, men are able to orgasm without necessarily ejaculating. Very often in our society sex isn’t considered “proper” sex if the male has not ejaculated. I have even heard my clients’ claim that they did not lose their virginity the first time they had sex, as the male didn’t ejaculate. This shows how highly prized male ejaculation has become. So, what might sex be like if we dismissed this idea of ejaculation being a result of good sex?

One person who practices devotional sex claims that the need for PDE5 inhibitors (medications which increase the possibility of erection) would be greatly reduced if more people practiced devotional sex. If men and women simply let go of the notion that ejaculation was the ultimate goal during sex, they might begin to access a more pleasurable, satisfying and connected experience. And, in my opinion, the same may be said for women’s orgasms too. If the idea of orgasm was reduced during sexual interaction, women might be more able to explore different orgasmic energies within them. For instance, one woman I know allowed herself to let go of the idea of orgasm during sex and as a result not only discovered multiple orgasms, but full body orgasms which required little or no vaginal stimulation.

While it can be quite challenging to put aside the notions which we have used to make sense of our sex and sexuality, doing so could really expand our experience of sex. Sometimes it takes a small adjustment to one’s sexual repertoire to discover some very powerful aspects of their sexuality. Maybe setting aside an intentional time with you lover for the purpose of exploring the non-orgasmic spaces of your sexual interaction will illuminate some of the above. And, as with many things in life, if we reassess the internal rules we have created around our pleasure or satisfaction, perhaps we can expand how we experience both our lover and ourselves.