Friday, May 16, 2014

Mailbag #3: Single Women/Meditation

Two of the letters about solo Tantra were from women, and both asked about vibrators.  I think I could have done a better, more complete job of answering them (sorry!), so I’ve rewritten and expanded on my answer for posting here:

I'm considered something of a radical pro-vibrator heretic in some circles because I refuse to condemn the use of vibrators during Tantric sex.  However, I do agree that it's a good idea for women to be cautious about using a vibrator during solo sex more than absolutely necessary, in part because a vibrator can get us used to reaching orgasm very quickly, a tempo that sex with a partner can't match.

Even if you have never managed to give yourself an orgasm manually, I urge you to give it a try and go as slowly as you can for as long as you can.  Your goal should be to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the arousal phase as long as possible.

In my last post, I talked about the importance of combining meditation and masturbation. Meditating before solo sex really can change things by reducing tension and getting the juices flowing mentally before you start physical stimulation. 

Trying to extend the masturbation session also takes the pressure off, mentally.  The frustration of trying to reach orgasm and stalling out can paradoxically make that goal harder to reach.  Taking that pressure off helps.  With both of those things going for you, you may surprise yourself and be able to finish without your trusty vibrator.

You may also find sometimes that an extremely prolonged arousal phase turns into a very pleasant, mellow experience in its own right, and that using a vibrator would feel like a harsh intrusion.  At that point, all you may want to do is to slow down a bit and enjoy the long afterglow as you gradually taper down to nothing.

Orgasms are wonderful, and I'm certainly not saying you should avoid them, but they aren't the point of this exercise and there are times when they just aren't worth pushing for, so you should feel free to enjoy any alternative ending that feels good to you.

Times when a vibrator helps
However, I expect that most women who practice solo will usually want to include at least one orgasm in the session.  If you have a very high orgasmic threshold, you may find that it is helpful to use the vibrator at the beginning instead of, or in addition to, using it at the end. If you normally use a vibrator whenever you fly solo and you find that you can't get even halfway "up the hill" without it, go ahead and start off with a mechanical assist.

If you begin that way, you have two choices.  You can use the vibrator to get yourself to a high level of arousal and then shift to manual stimulation to keep yourself there as long as you can.  Or you can go ahead and have one orgasm with the vibrator right at the start, and then use your fingers to keep your arousal level up.

But even if you use a vibrator at the start, I urge you to use it on the gentlest setting that works for you and to try and stretch out the arousal phase.  Also experiment with moving the vibrator around.  If you’re used to holding it right on your clit, try sliding it up and down and side to side, varying the pace and intensity.  Some women are surprised to find that they can get a nice glow going just from holding the vibrator on the perineum or the outside of the vulva and sliding it up and down, letting the vibrations go through the labia to the clit and the vaginal opening, and stimulating a much wider area.

For a different experience, stay seated at the end of your meditation, and lift up just enough to slide the vibrator under you.  If it’s too strong in that position, even on the lowest setting, put a folded towel or a thin pillow over it and sit down on that.  (This obviously works best with powerful ball-headed vibrators like the Magic Wand.) 

With some padding in place and the setting on low, some women can sustain their meditation for quite a while with the vibrator on.  If that’s the case for you, you can either increase the intensity when you’re finished meditating, or remove the padding, or simply lean forward so your hands are on the floor in front of you, which rolls your clit down into closer contact with the vibrations.  Then when you’ve either had a first orgasm or have gotten as close to that level as you want to get, you can just lean back, remove the vibrator, and continue with finger-power alone.

Yet another alternative is to get an egg or bullet vibrator that has an internal unit connected to an external power supply/controller.  The idea is to lube up the vibrator part and tuck it into your yoni (vagina) before you start meditating.  Put the external control where it won't get in the way while you sit, but so it is handy and you can switch it on at (or just before) the point where you would normally begin manual stimulation.

Most of these units are fairly low-powered, so experiment with the settings to find what works best.  One women who did this has told me she switches it to the lowest setting, which in her case is just barely perceptible, about halfway through her meditation, which helps her be aware of the area down there without actually getting her aroused.  Then she switches to the medium setting when she starts using her fingers.  On this setting the unit provides her with a nice steady background tingle.  And then she switches it to the high setting at the end to help her finish, although she says that's still so gentle it would never get her to a climax by itself.  (She says the settings should really be marked "ultra-low," "low-low," and "low," but that's fine for what she wanted in this case.)

Getting it right for you
In reality, the important thing is not the source of the stimulation but its strength.  You want to be able to get 80-90% of the way to an orgasm and then stay at that level as long as you can manage it.

The concern about vibrators, particularly powerful ones like the Magic Wand, is that they are quick and convenient, but they teach our bodies and brains to expect a very high level of stimulation and very rapid arousal, neither of which we can reasonably ask of even the most dexterous partner.

If your current vibrator is so strong that it can bring you to a quick climax even on low, you should try using it through a folded towel or a pillow, or some other insulator.  It's important not to get blasted into orbit too quickly!  :)

So experiment, and find the right combination for you.  Women’s bodies vary enormously.  My friend Georgie has an extraordinarily low orgasmic threshold; she’s had orgasms just from thinking about sex and from just five minutes of riding on a motorbike.  My friend Janet, on the other hand, has a very high threshold, takes a long time to peak even with a powerful vibrator, and had never had an orgasm from normal sex before learning Tantra.

Both ends of that range are completely normal, although Janet is much more typical of most women than Georgie is.  So don’t worry about whether you’re normal, just find out what works to get you up to that 80% mark, and then keep experimenting until you figure out how to do it as gently as possible.

Vibrators and multiples
A final use for vibes in solo sex is for helping you experiment with multiple orgasms.  A lot of women have told me that one reason they had never tried to have more than one orgasm on their own is that they lose their coordination and control during an orgasm, so they find it impossible, or nearly so, to keep going manually.  If you switch to a vibrator shortly before the first orgasm, it's a lot easier to just keep it in place for several more peaks, whether those are the quick peaks of a continuous orgasm or the more widely separated ones that come individually, one to five minutes apart.

Don't be surprised if it takes quite a few tries to figure out the knack of providing enough stimulation on demand.  This can be particularly true if your clit sends out a strong "don't touch" signal during an orgasmic peak.

If yours does, practice resuming the stimulation as soon as you can after each peak has passed.  Or, better still, when the orgasm starts, try moving the vibrator away from your clit and down toward the opening of the vagina or, even further, to the perineum or "taint," the small area between the vulva and the start of the butt crack.  Keeping the stimulation there, at the very bottom of the pelvis, can make the orgasm more intense while still giving your momentarily-overstimulated clit the break it needs.

Meditation expertise

Switching subjects a bit, this is from my response to a reader who asked about becoming an "expert" meditator:

As far as meditation is concerned, once you have mastered the basics it’s important not to pursue it in a goal-oriented way.  As soon as it becomes a competition, even with yourself, you introduce an element of effort and striving into something that should be free of both.

Also, although I do strongly recommend the experience of a multi-day meditation retreat, I tend to get concerned when people talk about meditating more than an hour a day every day for months at a time.  Meditation should be a constructive part of life, not an escape from it.

For partner meditation and meditation during sex with a partner, you obviously need to have a partner to be able to learn how to do it, so if you're single these things will have to wait.

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