Photo by Anello di Fumo
What makes the Big O so big? I ask this in all seriousness. There’s the ecstasy and release, of course. For most of us, orgasm is the most intense sensual thrill we will ever experience.
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It didn’t have to be quite so great: I’m sure humans would be flirting and mating even if orgasms felt only half as good.
So, yes, I acknowledge the utter pleasure they provide.
But orgasms are of very short duration. Five seconds? Ten? Including the very last throb, generously, thirty?
Isn’t it amazing that people will change their lives to be with the person who provides this brief pleasure?
You may argue that it’s not all that brief, because the kisses and caresses and so on that bring us to those moments should also count, so we’re not just talking about a few seconds, we’re talking about, hmmm, a few minutes? Half an hour?
But for now, I’m confining my discourse to the big O. And for many people, sex without orgasm is nice enough, but disappointing. We want to be excited and we want to be fulfilled. But why do we feel emotionally bonded to the one who sends us flying?
This is related to the puzzle of why sex is central to our lives. I have asked several people if they would rather have a mate who was a wonderful lover and loved to make love or with a mate who was a wonderful cook and loved to cook. They all wanted the great lover, which logically makes no sense. We eat three times a day, after all, and have sex much less often than that. The importance of sex, even after our reproductive years, even when it happens rarely, is surely irrational, but it is undeniable.
When I was maybe twenty-five, my mother told me that a friend of hers had never had an orgasm. She should not have told me this: I never looked at that friend the same way again. I felt so sorry for her. I seriously wondered why she’d want to go on living. Now I feel sorry for the younger self who felt that way.
Remember that old saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? No, the way to his heart, and to hers, is a little lower.
Why we become enthralled (in love!) with the person who gives us good orgasms is all the more puzzling because we can so easily give them to ourselves. We know all the right moves, we play all the right movies, and we can usually time it just right. After all, we have had a lot of practice. Over the course of a lifetime, we probably make love with ourselves more than with anybody, maybe everybody, else.
Yet we value the orgasms we have with others much more than those we have alone (no matter that the latter may be more reliable and intense). And this valuation has reason. Orgasm with another leads to tenderness and openness and closeness and further sensuality. It has consequence.
While the Big O with oneself merely leads to the Big Sleep.
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Thanks! I’m always aiming for fun … and originality … and truth.
I thought this post would generate some comments! I guess people are shy about sex.