Grace, Gratitude & Orgasms
“They’re all inside you,” he whispered. “Hundreds of them—thousands, perhaps—just waiting to come out. We just need to go get them.”
Those were the wise words of the divine shaman lover I had attracted into my life at age 50. In an instant, he knew that what I’d been chasing my whole life—pleasure, fulfillment, release (in a word, orgasm)—was lodged deep within me. Up until then, I had just assumed I was incapable of true satisfaction, like I’d been born with a factory defect that I should just learn to live with. Of course I’d had orgasms before, but never regularly, and rarely with my caring and kind partners. And I certainly had never experienced anything like Meg Ryan’s timeless impersonation in When Harry Met Sally. “Is that for REAL?!” I wondered quietly to myself for years.
My whole adult life I’d chased the Holy Orgasm Grail, and kept looking to the outside to scratch that interminable itch. Playful romps, drunken escapades, steamy nightclub bathroom scenes—all in search of the wholeness and satisfaction I’d heard was possible. I figured I just needed to try harder, get out there more, make it happen. And while I became quite adept at pleasing whatever male flavor of the month I was with (OK, admittedly, not hard to do), I was always left wanting, wondering, and assuming there was just something wrong with me.
Overachiever that I am, I’d made heroic efforts to solve my problem in midlife. In fact, when I met Michael, I had just invested $18K in a real-life training program whose sole purpose was to teach women how to release the divine feminine energy that apparently was the magic key to our happiness, success, and power. All that would be great, but really, secretly, I just wanted to learn how to get off with a man in the room.
See, as a good little New England WASP with an Ivy League education and more schooling than I could fit on a business card, I had spent my life following “the rules.” I had built successful businesses, launched impactful community projects, and managed a high-functioning family with all the trimmings. I ran a marathon, drank protein shakes, and even volunteered on first-grade library days. I had masterminded a massive, cross-country family move and secured a gorgeous 5,000-square-foot classic Tudor home with a flowing stream in the backyard. I absolutely had it all. Money. Family. Business. Health. Friends. The Ultimate American Dream.
But orgasms—those wild, unruly pleasure pockets—were nowhere to be found.
Somehow, my proven, unconscious mantra of “Do more! Work harder!” didn’t quite translate in the bedroom or generate the multiple mind-blowing orgasms I’d heard about. What was a can-do girl to do?
When we first met, Michael didn’t buy my sexual façade for a second. He knew intuitively that hiding behind all that bravado and all that accomplishment was an undeveloped, untrusting, and unsatisfied little girl.
And so the messy process began.
Lest you think this was a path of roses, romance, and wild passionate release, think again.
Essentially, we began the sloppy job of turning not just my sexual life, but the whole enchilada, on its head. And I learned that it not only required time, but things even more precious: trust, vulnerability, communication, patience. None of which I even remotely knew how to do. YIKES. If that wasn’t enough to send me packing…
But I stayed. And learned. And opened up. And trusted. And I was rewarded with steamy scenes I swore existed only in Danielle Steele novels. Turns out that toe-curling, back-arching stuff is real, ladies.
Through that messy, intense, and seemingly dangerous process, I not only found the path and joy of orgasm—I also found a new way to live my life, which affects everything: business, parenting, health, money, partnership. The “Push! Push! Push!” approach is slowly being replaced by the “Relax…receive…attract…invite…revel” one. I now understand that I don’t have to make juicy things in life happen; I just have to allow them to.
The doer in me will never die, but she’s been joined by a calmer, wiser elder who understands that’s only half the equation. And now, if I find myself in a place where I just “don’t have time” to enjoy all my beautiful creations—my vibrant children, beautiful home, exceptional clients, or gorgeous hunk of a man—then it’s crystal clear that I’m living my life backwards.
I realized that underneath it all was a fundamental imbalance in my system. When I got right down to it, I realized I’d been living my life from the neck up—walking around as a disembodied, floating head. I needed to find balance, not between the PTA and the Chamber of Commerce, but between mind, body, soul, and spirit. To own my own shadow and embrace all the parts I’d denied. To make my mind work for me instead of hijacking my life. To honor my body temple. To bring my soul and spirit into bed with me. Only then could I experience those life-changing moments where time stops and everything melds with not only my partner, but with consciousness itself.
Grace provided me this life lesson by connecting me to my shaman lover on a random online dating site one lonely Saturday night, all alone in my well-appointed bedroom. And since that fateful introduction, I’m learning to not only accept joy and pleasure—I’m actually figuring out how to live without the persistent hunger that always pushed me further, faster, harder.
Quite frankly, I miss that girl sometimes, the one who only had one speed (GO!). Things were actually simpler back then. I’ve definitely lost my get-things done edge, the thing that pushed me forward in my younger days…but in its stead is a grounded, satisfied woman whose thirst—believe it or not—has finally, and undeniably, been quenched.