"Something in the way she moves, attracts me like no other lover"
-George Harrison, for his wife Patti
I went walking with friends yesterday. It was a beautiful fall evening and we walked in our rural neighborhood until dark. When I first started the walk I noticed I felt a bit stiff. I had been writing and researching most of the day, stuck in my desk chair. Within minutes, I realized that if I swung my arms a bit more deliberately and put a swing in my hips, I might feel differently.
As I exaggerated my movements with purpose, my experience immediately shifted. I really got into it. Walking this way, my hips felt like they were lubricating themselves and I became more embodied and relaxed. I use the term 'lubricate' because a recent study showed how researchers could pick out orgasmic women by simply watching them walk. I was lubricating my pelvis!
Researchers from the University of the West of Scotland conducted a study on the correlation between the way women walk and whether or not they are vaginally orgasmic. After coming up with a set of criteria by which to judge, they set about filming 20 women walking. Half of the women were vaginally orgasmic (intercourse with no added, direct clitoral stimulation) and the other half self identified as not being vaginally orgasmic.
When the researchers asked the therapists previously trained with this set of criteria to identify the women whom they thought were vaginally orgasmic, they accurately identified 80 percent after watching them walk. The criteria involved how freely the women walked, their open, easy gait and the hip-to-leg rotation relationship of each woman. "This could reflect the free, unblocked energetic flow from the legs through the pelvis to the spine," the authors note. Basically, the more open, easy, freewheeling and swinging the woman's walk was, the more orgasmic potential she has, according to this study.
According to Stuart Brody, one of the authors of the study, "Blocked pelvic muscles, which might be associated with psychosexual impairments, could both impair vaginal orgasmic response and gait." Vaginally orgasmic women might also feel more confident about their sexuality, and their gait may reflect this feeling. Better mental health has been linked with vaginal orgasm in other current research. "Such confidence might also be related to the relationships that a woman has had, given the finding that specifically penile-vaginal orgasm is associated with indices of better relationship quality," say the authors.
Though many people in the professional sexuality societies I belong to professed the flaws in this study, I have to say I'm a true believer. Controversy is good. Nothing ever got discovered and brought to light without it. Though it isn't necessary to have vaginal orgasms for pleasure, it is a very good idea to have a healthy pelvis for many reasons.
There are at least four pathways to orgasm for women. The pudendal nerve supplies the clitoris but the pelvic, hypogastric and vagus nerves serve the pelvis region. The vagus nerve is unique because it is one of the twelve cranial nerves that descend from the base of the scull at the back of the head, and bypass the spinal column. This means that women who have had compromised spinal cords through injury still have access to deep, vaginal orgasm via this nerve pathway.
"Women with orgasmic dysfunction should be treated in a multi-disciplinary manner," says Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. "Although small, this study highlights the potential for multiple therapies such as expressive arts therapy incorporating movement and physical therapy focusing on the pelvic floor."
I dislike the term 'sexual dysfunction,' yet much more research of this kind needs to be done. We are increasingly becoming more inactive as a culture. Taking up dancing, yoga, ecstatic movement and wide, freely swinging walking can free a woman's pelvis - everyone's pelvis for that matter. Men have very small range of motion in their pelvises and this causes backache and inhibited response during intercourse and thrusting. Movement and dance promotes blood flow, confidence and joint flexibility that makes us feel and act more alive.
Take up salsa dancing or tango. There are classes everywhere. Get yourself a hula-hoop and practice the curvaceous moves or stand with your feet slightly apart, hands on hips and move your pelvis in a figure-eight shape. Start slowly at first but move into wider shapes once you know you're not going to hurt yourself. Stand up tall and swing those hips when you walk. A little attitude can make for a whole lot more 'lubrication' of all sorts!
If you'd like more information here's an article by Margot Anand entitled Body Armoring that further exemplifies these issues.
Suzie Heumann is the founder of Tantra.com. She studies, writes, has authored three books and makes films about conscious sex, Tantra and the Kama Sutra. Check out Tantra.com Premium for the most comprehensive tantra training available on the Internet!
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