Orgasms: Becoming a Multi-Orgasmic Woman

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Becoming a Multi-Orgasmic Woman

WebMD Live Events Transcript

According to experts, as few as 30% of women achieve orgasm from intercourse. In her new book, The Multi-Orgasmic Woman, Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD, offers advice for achieving extended and multiple orgasms, combining the sexual wisdom of the East with the best of Western medical research. We talked about the techniques and exercises offered to increase "chi" or "life energy" that are supposed to help women learn how to reach intense, prolonged, whole-body orgasms when Abrams was our guest on July 5, 2005.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

MODERATOR:
Welcome to WebMD Live, Dr. Abrams. Thank you for joining us today.

ABRAMS:
I'm so happy to be here.

MODERATOR:
Can any woman become multi-orgasmic?

ABRAMS:
I believe that almost any woman can become multi-orgasmic. There are a few conditions that could prevent women from having orgasms and thankfully, these are rare. Some of them include injury to the pelvic area, severe and chronic medical illnesses, or prior surgery to the pelvic area. But these are certainly in the minority of women. The great majority of women have learned to have orgasm or have multiple orgasms given the right information and support.

MODERATOR:
What are the first steps a woman needs to make towards becoming multi-orgasmic, especially considering that as few as 30% of women achieve orgasm from intercourse?

ABRAMS:
At the beginning of The Multi-Orgasmic Woman , I give a quiz that asks about every aspect of a woman's life, including her health, her relationships, medications, sexual past experiences, and current partner and sexual experience. This helps women identify whatever areas of their life might be holding them back from their full sexual pleasure.

The majority of women who complain of sexual problems in the United States have trouble with decreased desire or decreased libido. I devote an entire chapter to this because it is so important. There are many things women can do to increase desire. Desire is important because it is desire, or sexual energy, that allows women to build up the desire they need to reach orgasm or multiple orgasms. In The Multi-Orgasmic Woman I give many exercises and also questions to women that help them find their own desires and increase it in their life and in their bodies to facilitate orgasm and multiple orgasms.

The second component that is necessary for orgasm or multiple orgasm is knowing your pleasure anatomy -- identifying your particular hot spots and exactly what it is that you need to do for yourself or ask for to have full pleasure.

"Some antidepressants, such as Wellbutrin, do not cause decreased sexual desire or orgasmic ability."

MODERATOR:
Can you give us some examples of things women can do to build desire?

ABRAMS:
One of the exercises that I recommend in the desire chapter is that women identify the most important components of what helped them feel desire in their last satisfying sexual encounter, whether it was the environment, being free from stress, having a particular partner, and whether any of these things can be incorporated into their current life more strongly.

It is also important to remove any roadblocks to desire, which could include medications, such as antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, or even birth control pills or patches.

MODERATOR:
If however, one needs these medications, what can be done?

ABRAMS:
Some antidepressants, such as Wellbutrin, do not cause decreased sexual desire or orgasmic ability. However, for a woman who is severely depressed, it is important to continue medication regardless of the effect on libido. Depression itself can dampen desire much more so than medication.

There are also alternatives to medications. There are high blood pressure medications that do not have sexual side effects, such as ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers.

For some women, oral contraceptives or the birth control patch decrease sexual desire, but this is not the case for all women, by any means. Using a lower-dose birth control pill will help with the side effect and certainly other birth control options can help with libido, though some of these are not as effective as the birth control or patch.

I find for women who have finished having children and who are in a monogamous relationship, the IUD is a good long-term option that does not cause hormonal side effect. Other options include condoms, the diaphragm or the cervical cap.

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MODERATOR:
What kind of emotional barriers can be present that block orgasm?

ABRAMS:
First of all, many women can't reach orgasm because of anxiety or fear. When you feel uncomfortable or anxious, your body increases adrenaline in your bloodstream which shifts the blood flow away from your sexual organs. This makes it impossible to increase arousal and/or have an orgasm. In The Multi-Orgasmic Woman I give many examples of relaxation techniques to help a woman feel her own desire within her body and concentrate on that. These include deep- breathing exercises and exercises that increase blood flow to the pelvis area. Doing the vaginal exercises that I teach, which are similar to Kegel exercises, can help improve blood flow to the pelvic area, and certainly help women achieve orgasm.

Other issues are fear due to previous sexual trauma. I am happy to say that it is absolutely possible for women who have experienced rape, incest or other sexual trauma to fully recover and have an active sexual life. This requires that she be willing to either do therapy or close work with someone she loves to deal with all the difficult feelings that arise. It is also the case, in my experience, that women who have experienced previous painful sexual experiences, or even genital trauma within the medical establishment, are more likely to have pain in the genital area during sex and other times, as well. The Daoist philosophy that I incorporate into The Multi-Orgasmic Woman teaches that experiences such as these actually live in the tissue as a block of the flow of energy, or chi. By doing the Daoist exercises I teach in the book, women can identify these areas of blocked energy and help heal them and keep the energy flowing.

By far the most common block that women have to full sexual pleasure from an emotional standpoint, is simply being too busy and exhausted to have time for desire and sex. Our overall level of energy and wellness dramatically influences our ability to feel sexual. It is vital that women take care of themselves and feed their own inner source of energy, or chi, by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising when possible, and generally taking time to have a good time. Most women have better sexual experiences on vacation because they're doing things that are fun for them, rather than simply taking care of everyone else in their lives. When we spend most of our time taking care of other people and other details, we give out our vital energy, or chi, to the world. If we don't then feed ourselves, so to speak, with experiences that give us pleasure, whether or not they're sexual, and with rest and good nutrition, it means our overall energy and our sexual energy are low. So one of the most important things women can do is to take even a brief amount of time, even 10 minutes, in the morning, to focus on what she wants to happen in her day and do some deep breathing and relaxation so that she can have a life that reflects her passion and not a life that steals her passion.

"The experience of orgasm is different for every woman. Many women will have an orgasmic experience that is not like one mountain peak, but more like a continual unfolding of pleasure, which looks more like a landscape."

MEMBER QUESTION:
What is an orgasm? I'm not sure if I've ever had one.

ABRAMS:
That's an excellent question. Orgasm is actually more diverse than most of us would imagine. Technically, it means that you feel arousal in your body and that arousal increases to a peak where you have pelvic contractions of the pubococcygeus muscle, or PC muscle, which surrounds the vagina and the rectum. These contractions are extremely pleasurable and feel like a release of tension. Most women also have an increased breathing rate and heart rate.

The experience of orgasm is different for every woman. Many women will have an orgasmic experience that is not like one mountain peak, but more like a continual unfolding of pleasure, which looks more like a landscape. That is, instead of one peak of pleasure, there might be a plateau of pleasure in undulating waves or small hills of pleasure among other peaks.

MEMBER QUESTION:
I have never had an orgasm during intercourse, but have had them in other ways. How can I have one during intercourse? Are they different depending on how you get there? My partner is willing, but I just don't get there.

ABRAMS:
It is very common not to be able to have an orgasm during intercourse because a woman's primary source of pleasure is the clitoris, which is not directly stimulated during intercourse. It would be like asking a man to have an orgasm without ever touching the head of his penis.

To have an orgasm during intercourse either you or your partner need to stimulate your clitoris during intercourse. You or your partner can do this with your fingers. There are also certain positions that make this easier, including a woman on top where she rubs her pubic bone against her male partner's pubic bone.

Orgasm during intercourse, if it is from clitoral stimulation, which is how 90% of women orgasm, is the same as an orgasm outside of intercourse. Some women, and these are the minority, are able to orgasm from vaginal stimulation alone. For women who have vaginal orgasms, they do feel somewhat different from clitoral orgasms, perhaps more diffuse and deeper and they require that a woman surrender physically and emotionally more intensely.

I certainly encourage you, if you're interested, to explore vaginal pleasure spots, which I discuss in detail in Chapter 5 of The Multi-Orgasmic Woman , but it is most important to stimulate the clitoris during intercourse to experience orgasm.

MEMBER QUESTION:
It takes me so long to climax. I always feel like I have to hurry up because he can reach climax so much faster than I do. So, I end up not quite getting to orgasm, and am left feeling rushed and frustrated. What can we do?

ABRAMS:
This is a problem for many couples. Women (in general) are slower to become aroused and to orgasm than men. However, women have greater sexual capacity for pleasure than men and can typically go much longer.

Having techniques for stimulation that work for you are extremely important in getting you hotter faster. I also find that women who have their first orgasm from oral sex are quicker to passion and that it is easier to have a subsequent orgasm. Do not minimize the importance of "foreplay" which is any sexual interaction prior to intercourse, and particularly clitoral stimulation, which, again, is the most important component of increasing a woman's desire and need to orgasm.

MEMBER QUESTION:
What is a "whole body" orgasm?

ABRAMS:
Whole body orgasm refers to an orgasm that is not just felt in the pelvis but reverberates throughout your body so your toes, fingers and nose are tingling as well.

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I teach women how to have this experience by feeling their desire or sexual energy in their bodies and being able to move it throughout their bodies in a simple cycle called the microcosmic orbit. This is an ancient Daoist energy pathway that runs up the spine and down the front of the body. Though it sounds strange, it is simple to learn. The benefits to your sexual pleasure and overall energy level are tremendous.

MEMBER QUESTION:
Once I have an orgasm, either orally or through intercourse -- I am done. I want more but it takes me time to regroup and get stimulated again. Why?

ABRAMS:
This is a common problem because you are having a single orgasm that is similar to a male orgasmic pattern. What I teach women in my book is how to keep their desire or sexual energy high after orgasm by becoming aware of that energy and circulating it in their bodies so that having another orgasm doesn't require that you "start all over." It is important to begin stimulation again soon after the first orgasm in whatever way appeals to you. And to use the simple techniques I use to teach to keep the sexual energy in your body high.

Other simple sexual techniques, such as "teasing" are helpful. This involves increasing stimulation and then backing off slightly and then increasing stimulation again so your body then expects that after reaching a peak of pleasure, a second peak will follow. After having one orgasm your body then expects, after a slight drop in desire, that a second will follow.

"For women who are menopausal, staying sexually active releases estrogen and testosterone which helps with hot flashes, maintains sex drive and vaginal lubrication."

MEMBER QUESTION:
After I have an orgasm, I can't stand to be touched -- I become hyper-sensitive.

ABRAMS:
Many women have that experience. Resume touch in an area that is not hypersensitive -- typically not the vaginal area. Arms, fingers, lips, any other area that are not hypersensitive are fine to stimulate and can keep your desire boiling. There are also simple breathing techniques that help with relaxation, such as belly breathing.

MODERATOR:
Can you explain the breathing techniques you recommend?

ABRAMS:
This involves taking a deep breath so your belly relaxes. This sets off a relaxation response in the body and helps women overcome the anxious feelings that arise during sexuality.

Other breathing and visualization techniques allow women to enhance the desire they feel in their body and as I described previously, move the energy up their spine and around their body so the desire is not simply concentrated in their sexual organs, but is distributed throughout their body. This both enhances pleasure and acts as a healing force to the body as a whole.

Both Western medicine and Daoism believe and have documented that sexuality is very healing to the body when done in a loving way. Much research has been done on sexuality showing that it burns many calories, boosts metabolism, improves immune functions, improves sleep, relieves menstrual cramps and relieves depression. In older adults, those who are sexually active -- when we control for other illnesses -- are much healthier and live longer. Some of this effect may be from the hormones that are released from sexual activity. For example, PEA is a hormone that is high in early romance and causes giddiness and excitement. It is low in people who are depressed. This hormone is released with orgasm, giving us a natural high. DHEA is known as the "antiaging" hormone and is known to protect the immune system and perhaps prevent chronic disease and it also peaks with orgasm. This will be no surprise to most women, but oxytocin, referred to as the "bonding" hormone, increases with genital stimulation, nipple stimulation and intercourse. It promotes touch and affectionate behavior, leading to that postsex cuddling behavior that most of us love. It also promotes relaxation and happiness. Unfortunately it decreases cognition and impairs memory, but at that point, who cares?

For women who are menopausal, staying sexually active releases estrogen and testosterone which helps with hot flashes, maintains sex drive and vaginal lubrication.

The Daoists believed that sexual energy was the most potent healing force in the body, and indeed, I have spoken with many advanced practitioners who not only feel well and seem to age very slowly, but have actually miraculously healed illnesses by circulating sexual energy to a particular part of their body.

MEMBER QUESTION:
What is Daoism?

ABRAMS:
Daoism is an ancient Chinese comprehensive physical and spiritual system that helps individuals reach their highest potential. It has been present for three to five thousand years in China and is most familiar to people in the West, as the medical tradition which includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs as well as the exercise and meditative practices Tai Chi and Chi Kung. It also includes a tradition of nutrition and massage. The sexual practice was simply considered another important aspect of one's health.

MEMBER QUESTION:
Do these techniques work if your sexual experiences are "solo" or do they work better with a partner willing to experiment? Or must you have a partner willing to experiment?

ABRAMS:
I am so glad you asked that question. The Multi-Orgasmic Woman is written so you can do every exercise in the book alone or with a partner. It works with a partner if your partner is willing to learn himself (or herself) or even if your partner is uninterested. It is a lot more fun to have a partner who is also doing the practice. We also have a book for men called The Multi-Orgasmic Man . But it is not necessary that your partner do this practice.

I usually recommend that women begin doing these exercises alone as it's easier to concentrate. Masturbation in the Taoist tradition is called self-cultivation and is considered an important part of maintaining one's health, libido, and general passion and enjoyment of life.

MEMBER QUESTION:
I am in a committed relationship with another woman. Do you have any special advice for us?

ABRAMS:
Have fun! These exercises are absolutely appropriate for lesbian couples and The Multi-Orgasmic Woman is written to embrace all women, no matter who their partner is. Most of the advice that applies to heterosexual couples is the same for lesbian couples.

One of the fun parts of working with lesbian couples is giving them new tools and exercises by which they can explore new vaginal hot spots. I often tell my heterosexual couples that although an erect penis is nice, it is not necessary for sexual fulfillment for women and in fact, most of the vaginal hot spots are more easily reached with fingers.

"When a woman learns how to be fulfilled sexually, it enhances her passion for living in a much deeper way."

MODERATOR:
Can you give more detail about vaginal hot spots?

ABRAMS:
The most famous vaginal pleasure zone is the G-spot, which is located approximately one to two knuckles inside the vagina on the front side of a woman's body, typically just at or just beyond her pubic bone. It can be difficult to feel this area unless you are very aroused. It is ideal to have already had an orgasm, typically from clitoral stimulation, which causes the G-spot to swell and become more prominent. Typically it is a bumpier feel than the rest of the vagina which is smooth. It is difficult to stimulate fully during intercourse and easiest to stimulate with fingers.

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Another important vaginal pleasure zone which some women are not aware of is the anterior fornix erotic zone, or AFE zone. It is also located on the front of the body, but is deep in the vagina, just on the front side of the cervix. This area can be stimulated with deep penetration with a dildo or penis and sometimes with fingers.

Both of these places have been well documented by sexologists, but the truth is that all women are different and the nerve supply to the pelvic organs varies from woman to woman. The best way to find the pleasurable areas is to experiment and explore. Some women find that at the level of the G-spot they are sensitive around the entire perimeter of the vagina, almost like a tube of pleasure rather than one spot. For some women the cervix itself is pleasurable, either with finger, penis or dildo stimulation. Typically the stimulation needs to be gentle as most women are familiar with the deep aching painful sensation of hitting the cervix hard.

MODERATOR:
There are very good anatomical drawings in Dr. Abram's book.

MODERATOR:
Dr. Abrams, we are almost out of time. Before we wrap things up for today, do you have any final comments for us?

ABRAMS:
It is really my belief that sexuality acts as a mirror for women for the rest of their lives. Just as your own physical and emotional well-being influences your sexual pleasure, your sexual pleasure can be an extremely rejuvenating and healing force for the rest of your life. When a woman learns how to be fulfilled sexually, it enhances her passion for living in a much deeper way.

My hope for all of you is that you find your own path of sexual pleasure and healing.

MODERATOR:
Our thanks to Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD, for joining us today. For more information, please read The Multi-Orgasmic Woman: Discover Your Full Desire, Pleasure, and Vitality.



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Reviewed on 7/13/2005 4:42:27 PM

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