09/28/2015 10:28 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Letting Go of the Quest for the Big O


Maybe it was because there was a big storm outside, and I really didn't want to go to the party we were invited to. Maybe it was because we recently took a class encouraging us to explore each other's bodies with curiosity. Whatever the reason, something very different happened that night when we began to have sex.

For added context, I'm not a big fan of foreplay. Sure, a little erotica or porn is great to get me in the mood. And sure, a little gentle or not so gentle caressing here or there is nice. But for me, the main event is primarily about building tension and eventually sweet release for us both.

But that night, whenever I started to try to ride the wave towards orgasm, I became aware that I was losing track of the sensations and it was annoying me. I probably could have gone ahead and proceeded to have an okay orgasm, but something in me wanted sensation over release. So I decided to let go of my quest for orgasm and just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Whoa Nelly. Isn't the big O what we are all striving for? It's certainly true that an orgasm can be a lovely outcome of the physical and emotional effort we put into courtship, flirting, seduction and sex. But something in the back of my mind that night was reminding me of the advice I'd heard over the years that letting go of expectation in a sexual encounter can be very liberating. I'd never really internalized the message, and certainly had never acted on it, but decided to heed the advice and see where it took me.

My fateful decision to be free from expectation seemed to drive heightened sensations across my skin... When my husband touched even simple things like my arm or my shoulder or the side of my torso, it was electrifying. Instead of the loss of sensation I had been experiencing moments earlier, I was suddenly and shockingly immersed in a world of bright light and felt an aching to stay in that moment forever.

I'm not kidding when I say that I had never had an experience quite like that before. I feel like this entry is turning into an erotic story rather than a blog post, but I found myself arching to follow his fingertips and wondering each time his hands lifted off my body when and where they would touch me again. And it all had NOTHING to do with an orgasm!

Ironically, our little party-skipping encounter did end with the most mind-blowing orgasm I'd had in a very long time, but I can truthfully say if that if I hadn't had an orgasm at all that night, it would still have been one of the most memorable sexual experiences in my life.

That night has brought to mind a lot of questions for me, so I leave them here with you now in the hopes that one of them will spark a similarly electric night for you and your chosen partner.

What would it be like to invite our lovers to sit back, enjoy our touch, and explicitly tell them there is no expectation of orgasm?

What would it feel like if we could marinate in a state of infinite pleasure through simple touch alone?

What would it look like if it didn't matter if a penis was hard or a vagina was wet, or if he came or she came?

In a world where sex is not defined by orgasm, when does sex begin and does it ever end?

"Wait, that's it?" Transformation takes time, so I'm intentionally sharing in bite-sized doses that reflect my experience over the last year. I'd love to hear your questions and thoughts, let's continue the conversation in the comments section below. Or visit my blog at