I’m home alone and it’s late, almost sixteen hours since my orgasm this morning, the one that tore through and up into me and brought me heaving, heavy, against the porcelain, into that cry-laughter that’s become the place I live.
After coming, I rushed to work, dove into projects and last-minute crises, then had a workshop to gather and prepare for; the day filled itself, and all through it, even when I was all Alexander-and-the-no-good-very-bad-day there around suppertime, I had this throb, this openness, this place of laughter in me. Something still speaking. Still singing, maybe. Still open-mouthed. Still hungry.
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I asked a friend what happens in her body when she comes — and where it happens, and how long it persists. Of course the answer varies, depending on the sort of orgasm, depending on the day. What happens in your body when you come? I was thinking, when I asked her, how the orgasms that push through me when I’m using a vibrator are different from the ones my fingers call forth, are different still from the sort of implosion that the water has been bringing me. But in all cases, now, what’s true for me is that the sensation fills my whole body — centers, sure, in cunt and belly and upper thighs and womb and lower back — but as it coalesces and then erupts, I get to feel it everywhere: head and toes, forearms, shoulders, face, lungs, calves, mouth, throat, and then beyond, too, into that space that my me-ness occupies that exists not exactly within the bounds of my skin.
And then there’s this radiating aftershock that lives in me as heat, that opens out slow and persistent, that comes along with me into my day; I both rush to get dressed and ready to go to work, and am moving slow and measured, unhurried, something in me languid and luxuriant. I grin into the morning concrete, the grey-pantsed people, the BART co-travellers. We are all so lucky, I think, to inhabit these bodies, to get to be with them all the time. Sometimes there are small, bright contractions, hard inside or fluttery within the body of my clit. Where do these come from? Something in me is still dancing.
This is entirely different from how I used to feel, back in college, when I masturbated to orgasm — both before I was out from under my stepfather’s control and after (he continued to abuse me until I was 21). My orgasms then — the ones I had alone; I’m just focusing on those now, though the ones I my stepfather demanded were similar, if more exposed — were always vibrator-and-fantasy-centered. I would be under the covers of my small bed, the lights off, the music loud, maybe I’d be half dressed. Maybe it would be afternoon, which was the sickest time of day for me to get off, because it always brought me into the frame of mind of after school, which was when my stepfather was often home and waiting for us.
I want to be able to explain this to you. The thing that I learned how to do, because of my stepfather’s actions, was a kind of kinesthetic calisthenics: while trying to come, I could disconnect my actual bodily sensation from the sex that was occurring in my fantasy — this is not strictly possible, but to the best of my ability, I brought the sensations that happened to or on my body up through me into the bodies of whomever I was fantasizing about, touching none of the rest of me as I did so.
How do our psyches learn/understand how to care for us in these ways?
I wanted as little of me involved in orgasm as possible. When I came, hard and sharp and fast, the orgasm was almost entirely localized in my cunt, in grabby contractions; then there would be the aftershock-y sort of waves, and these spread nausea through me. I got up fast, pulled up my underwear, shoved the vibrator back into sock drawer or bedside table, rid my visual space of all evidence of orgasm, and tried to relinquish from my muscles any sensation of coming. I had a feeling of accomplishment — I did it — but no persisting relief, and absolutely no joy. At that time, I felt both compelled to come and repelled by the experience. I hated coming and very much believed that I was supposed to do it.
So what to say about these intervening years, when–through my own need and longing, through the help of lovers, through the shared experience of friends, through therapy and time and so much writing–I have come to a place where orgasm can more fully ride through me, can ricochet open my throat, can pearl hard between my legs and shove me into surprise at its build, can bring me to breathlessness, to sobbing, to delighted laughter, even when I am alone with my hands on myself? What to say about that kind of healing? How to find a word bigger than heal to describe what feels like miracle, this sensation in/of body that I never would have considered possible to imagine? What to say about this wondering that percolates in me know: I wonder if this sensation could get bigger, if I could feel these orgasms more?
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This morning I was urgent, a little insistent, and my body asked me to wait — we had a couple of steps up today: build then plateau, build again then another steady plane of pleasure, then that sharp uplift. Today, there in the shower with Pandora serenading the steam and me and my hips rocking under the pulsing flow, my head was almost entirely void of fantasy — just the terror of just being in my own body, with its hungers, and how I got to be present with that ceremony. Twenty minutes, I think, or fewer — quick, maybe. Just right. What a thing it will be to go back through these posts at the end of the month, to look at the rise and fall of my mood and emotions, what has felt quick and what has felt endless, to trace the cycle of my month of desire.
Be easy with you in this dreamtime. I’ll see you again in the morning, should you choose to come.