I am reading your wonderful book and feel compelled to reach out to you. I am 45 and just beginning the journey of healing from a past that is very similar to yours. I share so many of the same experiences as you – it’s interesting to hear my story in your story: early abuse by a neighbor, lack of boundaries, abortion, lack of sexual zeal, divorce, lack of emotional and physical feeling, being disconnected from orgasm, faking it, etc. I’m sure many other women share these experiences, too. Thank you for opening up and being so honest about what you experienced and how you healed. Because of your book I am now very inspired to fully commit to my own healing and am so excited to get on with it! I don’t really know my next steps – it would seem logical to try some of the things you did. If you have any advice, I would love to hear it. Thank you, dear one, for lighting the way.
You are not alone. We are not alone.
According to recent statistics, at least one in five women has either experienced sexual assault and/or is “orgasmically challenged” (as an article in The U.K. Sunday Times referred to me). At first, I rejected the “orgasmically challenged” label, but then I remembered, there is nothing wrong with us! We’ve just received a lot of misinformation about our bodies. The truth is, once I understood how my body worked, my orgasm flowed freely. The bigger issue was feeling safe enough in my body to allow myself to feel again. My body was not “orgasmically challenged”; my mind and thoughts were the obstacles. Once I committed to listening to my body, I also committed to learning everything I could about how I was wired. I spent plenty of years letting myself be wired for shame and depression. Now, I was choosing to understand how my body was wired for pleasure, and I was going to practice in the same way I committed to anything that really mattered. I found that it’s possible to heal yourself through orgasm when it’s practiced with love and intention, rather than the quick ‘getting off’ climaxes that last only a few seconds.
Another important shift in beliefs about orgasms is to remember that your orgasm begins with the first sensations you feel in your body. The sensations, your orgasm, is your sensual being sending you messages, asking you to pay attention. You will continue to orgasm as you listen to your body to find the places to touch, stroke and massage that expand your orgasm. Every touch is a chance to go further into – or away – from your orgasm. That’s why it’s important to practice so you become the expert on your body and your orgasm.
There is orgasm and there is climax. They are not the same. Sometimes, your orgasm will include climaxing. But it’s never about the climax. It’s about following the path of your orgasm so you stay present with yourself and only do the next touch or move that honors your orgasm. I wonder what would happen to women if we devoted the same amount of time trying to understand our bodies and serving our orgasm as we did to getting our nails done, or going to the gym or watching Netflix?
Our brain is designed to achieve states of ecstasy and bliss. We can get there through movement, like dance and Qoya classes (www.loveqoya.com); breathing and yoga; prayer and meditation; and through orgasm. All of these techniques feed our brains and have the potential to connect us with a higher state of consciousness. All of these tools put our bodies in balanced states of wellness for ultimate healing.
One woman wrote to me after reading my book to ask why I needed to have so much sex as I was healing my vagina. This is what I know: my commitment to healing had to be as big as the original damage and the years of ignoring myself. I couldn’t just take a class or swallow a pill or read a book and get better. I committed to feeling my orgasm, and my body and my life, in the same way an athlete commits to training for an event. And none of the early stuff I did felt very good, because feeling the tingling sensations in my body meant I also had to feel and remember the pain again (instead of just shutting it all out, like I had done for years). I also know that when I finally committed to feeling more of my orgasm – and the climaxes that came without trying – the rest of my life started feeling better, too. Now, I understand the science behind it, but at the time I thought it was just coincidence.
“Revealing the truths of our bodies creates a necessary path to breaking the cycle of silence and awakening the life force and powerful healer that resides in each of us – our orgasm.”
—Dr. Liz Orchard, Naturopathic Doctor (drlizorchard.com)
I actually did most of the research in private, by myself. In Autobiography of an Orgasm, I wrote about the courses I took and then how it went with men I dated, but the real healing happened as I got to know my body and fell in love with myself. Even after I published the book, I looked back on the final chapter with self-judgment for sleeping with the guy on the first date (especially because we didn’t continue to see each other more than a few dates). But then I remembered what was truly healing in that experience – being back in Indiana, lying in grass (as I had at the beginning of the book after I was abused) – and making my own choices. I was setting my own sensual path instead of letting someone else chart it for me.
In Autobiographies of Our Orgasms, I describe two rituals I recommend to connect you to the sensations of your body: the Water Blessing Massage Ritual and the Sacred Orgasm Ritual. Do these every day for thirty or forty days. Take a Qoya class or a dance class. Walk in nature. Take a writing class or sign up for Laura Davis’s free writing prompts at www.lauradavis.net. Be mindful of your daily habits, because our habits become our rituals. I invite you to look for more meaningful rituals that honor your body as sacred.
My friend Rochelle Schieck said, “Imagine if the way you move your body is how you talk to God.” In researching your body and your orgasm, I would add, “Imagine if how you choose to honor your body – and your orgasm – is how you talked to God.” Whatever God or Source you believe in, the fact is we were born with our bodies wired for pleasure, so why would we ignore that chance to have the conversation?
Choose your path. Follow your curiosity. Listen to your body.
We are our own best healers.