Why Do Some of Us Feel Sad After an Orgasm?
Ever feel inexplicably sad after an orgasm? I don’t mean the abject horror of realizing your roommate has silently walked in and out of your room while you were getting to know yourself—really gunning for it, laptop open, pants off, socks on. That’s called embarrassment, and can subsequently make it very hard to look that person in the eye.
The sensation I’m talking about is subtle. It’s the fleeting despair that occasionally accompanies even the least noteworthy climax. Not everyone experiences it, but if you have you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Called post-coital tristesse (PCT) by people who know about such things, the melancholy one can feel after an orgasm is actually a very well documented phenomenon, with references dating back to the Roman Empire. Sometime around 150 AD, in fact, the prominent Greek physician Galen wrote, “Every animal is sad after coitus except the human female and the rooster.”
Mind you, as prominent as he was, Galen didn’t have it all figured out; both sexes are affected by PCT and the experience can differ radically from person to person. It’s also not to be confused with post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS), a rare condition that could be due to anything from a lack of progesterone to a semen allergy. The syndrome can cause sufferers to experience a wide range of symptoms, including apathy, itchy eyes, and weeping, for up to several days after an orgasm.
I Got My Pussy Stoned with Weed Lube
I’m not a big pot person. I can’t really find my “therapeutic window” when it comes to smoking weed. I know exactly how much cocaine or meth I can handle in one sitting and morphine doses will ebb and flow with the consistency of my usage, but when it comes to smoking weed, every single toke is one too many, and I end up getting so “in my head” that I want to jump through an open window. I sound like my dad now, but pot is c-r-a-z-y these days. It’s goddamn super-pot. Pot on speed. Pot enhanced with more pot and then thrown in a bouncy castle blender of THC and shaken up to be even stronger. I’ll do any drug in the world, but I usually shake my head “no” to a bong.
So, when I heard about Foria, the world’s first cannabis lube designed especially to enhance female sexual pleasure, I thought that this would be an excellent way to beat my pot fear. My head wouldn’t be doing the work, my vagina would, and I trust my vagina more than I trust my head.
Last week in Los Angeles, I met up with Matthew Gerson, Foria’s creator (or “Wellness Director” as he is referred to by his collective, The Aphrodite Group). After I emailed Foria asking for samples for my story, he was eager to hang out and talk about his creation.
Gerson has this theory about females, sexuality, and plants. I think I’m with him.
“I have some marijuana plants growing right now,” he explained. “And you spend time with this plant; it’s a fascinating weed. Marijuana is essentially a very horny female plant. It’s the female that is harvested and secretes the fluid, wants to be pollinated, and when it’s pollinated becomes stressed out and produces more and more. There’s this weird connection between the human female and the female plant. We have evolved with plants. We have a receptor that successfully absorbs THC. We have that capacity to absorb the pollen the plant secretes because our physiology co-evolved.”
A Bluetooth-Enabled Vibrator Made Me Reconsider Sexual Intimacy
My lover is a luddite. He says he doesn’t want to rely on technology because he doesn’t want to feel its absence if ever it were to be taken away. For example, last week Earth skimmed the boundaries of a solar storm, which could have seriously disabled the planet’s electricity grids. Matt would have likely been inconvenienced, whereas I would have likely killed myself before its repair.
As a blogger for a media website, I feel very integrated with technology. I often write about personal experiences and sometimes I’m given free products to advertise under the guise of narrative. The OhMiBod® blueMotion™ Bluetooth™ enabled vibrator sat quietly in a bed of pink packaging paper. The small box depicted a man on an armchair pointing his smartphone at a female who seemed to be dancing. The inner pamphlet said that the device was “perfect for couple’s play,” so I stowed it aside and waited for Matt to come home from work. I was sort of confused by the company’s marketing objectives, ultimately, but curious to test its wares.
When Matt came home we took turns ridiculing the product, which was probably just a result of our insecurity or nervousness.
“Why would anyone want this?” laughed Matt. “Why wouldn’t I just control you with my hands?”
Coming on Camera: Beautiful Agony’s Orgasmic Non-Nude Porn
Hundreds of people around the world have seen Kamee* come. They’ve watched her lie down on her stomach and stare straight into the camera as she rubs her clit, her red lips forming the shape of a rapturous O. They’ve heard her quietly pant and moan as she climaxes, with her big brown eyes clenched tight. Every so often her eyes flicker up to the camera and smirk, and for a brief moment it’s easy to forget who’s actually watching whom.
“It’s not like I just want people to watch me come or anything like that,” Kamee told me. “I did it because I wanted to support a project that is a safe space for people who wouldn’t video-tape themselves doing something like this.”
That project is Beautiful Agony—also called “Facettes de La Petite Mort.” It’s an Australia-based erotic website that posts daily videos of people masturbating until they orgasm. The twist is that the videos are only filmed from the shoulders up, so all you see is a succession of O-faces. The videos are basically webcam versions of Andy Warhol’s experimental “Blow Job” short film. Anyone from a DDD-cup porn star to your 95-year-old granddad can submit a video of themselves getting their rocks off. The videos range from one-man shows to group circle jerks, but you never see what’s going on down below. The name “Beautiful Agony” speaks to the almost painful tension you feel right before you come, followed by a zen-like state. The beauty lies in watching people of all walks of life momentarily lose control in the best way.
Orgasmic Meditation Will “Awaken Your Vagina”
Can you wank your way to inner peace? According to the OneTaste movement, you can. OneTaste is an organization dedicated to “the partnered practice of female orgasm,” which it calls orgasmic meditation (OM). This is much like any other form of meditation, only instead of focusing on deep breathing or repeated mantras, OM is all about having someone—anyone—stroke your clitoris for 15 minutes.
It works like this: after building a “nest” out of soft furnishings, the stroking partner lubes a gloved finger, sets a timer for exactly 15 minutes, and strokes the “upper left quadrant” of the woman’s clitoris with no goal but to “feel what is happening in the moment.” Before he (or she) gets down to business, the stroker examines and describes the vagina he’s about to stroke, discussing color, texture, shape, and any feelings he’s having while looking at it. This is a pretty uncomfortable thing to watch. At the end of the allotted time, both parties share a glimpse of their experience, using sentences like, “A white light extended from your pussy through to my finger.” (In OM, the vagina is always, always, a “pussy.”) Theoretically, the experience is equally intense for both participants—stroker and strokee.
OneTaste has grown quickly since it’s founder, Nicole Daedone, set up the first center in San Francisco in 2001. Thousands of flush-faced members now swear by it, while a few critics have gone so far as to describe it as a sex cult. One of Daedone’s most ardent followers is Justine Dawson, a former social worker who used to help homeless women and children but who now dedicates herself full-time to the pursuit of helping women come. I recently had a chat with her to find out why she was so into orgasms.
How to Fake It (for Girls)
I rarely fake orgasms because I don’t believe someone who is fucking you poorly deserves that kind of payoff. More importantly, faking an orgasm is the biggest dick move you can pull on another girl. A faked orgasm during shit sex only serves to perpetuate a guy’s misconception that he has “moves” when he doesn’t, which he’ll likely use on the next girl unlucky enough to fall into his bed. By faking an orgasm, you’re inflicting a disservice to sisters everywhere.
That said, there are occasions when it is essential to fake an orgasm like when a) love or intense “like” is involved (ew); or b) the guy is doing a seriously good job, and it’s your purely non-physical disposition that’s in the way of coital finality.
I should point out—because even grown men don’t yet seem to grasp this concept yet—the path to orgasm relies as much on mentality as it does on physical acts. So you can fuck all the right buttons, and hover just near or around climax for a bit, but unless your mind is completely present, it’s not going to happen. That doesn’t mean the sex isn’t lovely. It just means it’s been a long ass day and everything is distracting right now.
Here’s how to fake an orgasm when the penis in your vagina deserves it most, but you have that instinctive feeling that it’s just not going to happen tonight (or this morning, or this afternoon, or whenever you happen to be fucking)…
Baby, Arch Your Back
OK I got this one out of a Miguel song, but if you’re going to fake an orgasm you may as well make it as cinematic as possible. When you’re having a real orgasm you are so removed from the moment in your ecstasy that you might not concentrate on the inherent sexiness of your movements. Use this opportunity to inhabit those moves. Writhe around, push your hips up (or down if you’re on top), and be all lithe and serpentine, the way movies would have you believe people look during sex. BONUS: The dude fucking you will be so enraptured by your alluring posturing that he probably won’t even notice you’re faking. He’ll think he’s hit the jackpot, which he has, duh.
Lips are another part of your body that you can luxuriate in your deception. You’ve probably never seen your face mid-climax, but I’d bet good money it looks similar to the face you pull when you’re struggling to lift weights at the gym. Pout your lips, half close your eyes in that hooded, seductive bedroom way, and grab your own hair like a stripper mid-dance (where it would usually be matting into dreadlocks at the back by this point, flick it about like there’s a fan in front of you instead, but not too much, because you don’t want to look like you’re having a fit).
How to Have an Orgasm with Your Vagina
It has come to my attention that a lot of grown-ass women out there have yet to experience an orgasm, which makes me want to jump off a cliff onto a bed of sharpened dildos. Orgasms are important, and you need to be able to make yourself cum. I know it can be frustrating, but you have to keep trying because the entire world runs on orgasms.
I remember masturbating like it was my homework as a young teen because I knew that eventually I’d get the hang of it, and it would put me on par with the rest of the orgasm-experiencing world. That world, of course, includes 100 percent of adult males, which make up nearly 100 percent of presidents and the majority of CEOs and police officers and professors. I’m not really sure why that part’s important, except for the fact that it would make me really mad if everyone telling me what to do could magically blast cum out of their genitals and I couldn’t. My point is it was a conscious, effortful process for me but I persevered and succeeded.
I noticed that a lot of the “instructions” on how to masturbate were purely physical, but that’s clearly not the only ingredient in an orgasm casserole. As we all know (or should know) girls are mental basket cases, just like their mothers, and their mothers’ mothers, and centuries of some anthropological bullshit that I don’t understand, and sometimes that stuff can really get in the way of everything fun. Therefore, I am going to approach this orgasm problem from a meditative standpoint.
One day as I was driving down a busy street during rush hour, I suddenly realized that I was about to have an orgasm, because I was masturbating. That realization was amazing to me, since I could remember feeling uncomfortable about touching myself in my own bedroom, simply because it was inside my parents’ home. Women’s magazines will probably recommend that you find an isolated spot where you can feel comfortable being alone—like in the shower with the door locked, for instance. But I think you just have to confront what it is that makes you feel so shameful about masturbating.
I used to get worried that someone would see my fingers and notice cervical mucus residue, or see that my face was all flushed and post-orgasm-like. Then I realized: Fuck it. I am a disgusting, gross piece of shit, just like everybody else, and if I don’t have an orgasm today I’m going to end up killing someone.
No one will notice that you were masturbating. No one cares. Join the party.
VICE Meets Sue Johanson
In the third and final part of the Sue Johanson interview, she talks with Kara Crabb about important things like dick sizes, vagina sizes, and the female orgasm. She also teaches Kara a valuable lesson about safe sex: how to put on a condom with your mouth.
Can Any of These DIY Sex Toys Make Me Orgasm?
Sex toys are really great, but with our bank accounts still weeping from the sucky recession we’ve just stumbled out of, we need to get our priorities right. Which means spending our hard-earned/borrowed cash on boring necessities, like food, energy bills, and crank pipes. If it means I don’t have to compromise my hefty meth addiction, I’m always going to pick my brother’s dowdy old Rampant Rabbit over one of those bespoke sex toys that women like Barbara Walters probably own. In these days of hardship, we must make do. We aren’t all Walters.
A book I stole from a hospital waiting room the other day called Make Your Own Sex Toys: A Practical Guide to a Better Love Life instructs you on how to make the moist out of average household items like cucumbers, elastic, and curtain rings. Obviously, because the majority of people don’t tend to masturbate with these items, they describe you pleasuring yourself in ways you’d never thought possible. Well, you might have thought about it, but I’m willing to bet “thinking about it” didn’t result in you shoving it up your vagina.
The guidebook also has some boring stuff about the history of sex toys, which nearly killed my horn. In order to revive it, I decided to try out a few of my favorite ideas “For Her.”
1. THE “WILLY CANDLE”
Requires: Candle, knife, lube, condom, vagina/asshole. (Mouth?)
Step 1: Work up a rage at the tweeness of the phrase “Willy Candle.” Use anger to carve a candle into the shape of a penis. Use a knife and your own imagination/previous experience to fashion life-like ridges, veins, pee-hole, etc.
Step 2: Cover it with a condom and shit loads of lube and you’re ready to know what it feels like to fuck something at Madame Tussauds, if you don’t already. (Guilty.)
Result: This one really puts your creative skills to work. I opted for a life-like tip and a smooth shaft—minimal, yet effective. I also decided to leave the wick sticking out of the top for texture and heightened sensation. Use a thick candle and trim it down to size as you go. You can’t put back what you’ve already taken off!
As you can see, mine was a little thick but I was up for a challenge. Unfortunately, despite my efforts to personalize and personify the candle to make it seem more friendly, the wax was too hard and actually hurt me. I also completely over-estimated myself and forgot that I’m basically a virgin (don’t be jealz), so some last-minute trimming was needed.
If you think waiting for a guy to strap up kills the vibe, wait until you’ve picked up a knife and hacked centimeter-thick layers off a “penis.”