My friend told me that you recommend one orgasm per week as sexual maintenance. I laughed–you make sex seem like changing the oil in your car or something….
So when someone is comfortable with their sexuality, is that it? Do they get an A+ on their report card? Do they get to pass GO? Can they just stop learning and continue in autopilot?
Nope, it doesn’t work that way. There are a couple of phrases which aptly apply to the topic of sexuality:
“Use it or lose it.”
This underlines the importance of regularly exercising your sexual body, by
- becoming aroused,
- tolerating comfortable sexual touch,
- becoming physically aroused with touch,
- and experiencing orgasms.
The human body will prioritize when it’s asked to, but if someone stops reminding the body how to experience sexual pleasure, the systems will slowly fade in responsiveness and vibrancy of experience. Rehabilitation from this faded state is possible in most cases, but it is far easier to maintain the equipment than it is to rehabilitate from disuse. This is why we talk about “maintenance orgasms” and routine “non-sexual” genital massage as ways to keep the systems up and available, should the person choose in the future to be sexual with themselves or others.
“Variety is the spice of … sex.”
This second phrase is really a mysterious trick, because so few people realize that if one does the same old things over and over again, the body and mind will become bored in the process. Sure, we can all eat dog kibble for every meal, but food is much more intriguing when we vary our meals and have little culinary surprises from time to time. Similarly, being sexual can be a routine event, but experiencing pleasure sexually is related to re-experiencing pleasure. Something that is pleasurable is “a source of delight or joy.” Can you see an element of … surprise or unexpectedness in that description?
Pleasure has an extended spectrum from subtle (pleasure) to extreme (pleasure) – notice that those descriptive words could also apply to the experience of orgasm.
The main focus here is that pleasure is, if anything, more important than sex. At AWT, we often explain:
“Sexual pleasure is pleasure first, and sexual second.”
Our capacity to experience pleasure is enhanced by regularity, variety and change.
So, just in the same way a car mechanic can revel in the fine workings of a well-oiled power machine, this is a matter of perspective. If you want to think of your body as a duddy old clunker, you’re making a choice to do that. Some of us would rather think of preventive sexual self-care as tuning our fine, well-lubed power machines.