At the pinnacle of each sexual experience, where the tension and high excitement release into pleasure-filled waves of bliss is an experience called orgasm. It is so highly sought after that many do not consider a sexual experience complete unless an orgasm included.  Both the rapidly growing multi-billion-dollar pornography industry and the thriving sex-toy industry both depend upon the value people place on heightening their orgasmic experience.

    People need ecstasy and bliss.  The experience of orgasm is one way to obtain these positive feelings. The need for these is so strong that many will crave them, and settle for self-destructive activities which provide only a hint of these peak states.  An ecstatic experience is one in which our ordinary awareness gets a boost from something much larger and deeper within us.  People drink alcohol and take drugs to satisfy their need for ecstasy. A bliss is experienced when makingan exciting purchase while shopping, or when tasting food that is just divine,” or “out of this world. When winning at a sporting event, or winning on a bet while gambling, these provide a little bit of bliss. Most of the unhealthy dependencies people form, are done so out of the desire for the ecstasy and bliss. Ecstasy is also experienced in orgasm, but the orgasm itself is very healthy.

   During an orgasm, physiological changes occur that promote our health and well-being. Serotonin, an important brain chemical, increases in the brain. It causes us to feel good and healthy, while also reducing depression.  The levels of the hormone, oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, increase within our body resulting in feelings of love, calmness and relaxation, while simultaneously reducing stress.  Endorphins are released upon orgasm, increasing our tolerance of pain. Studies show that men who have regular orgasms have a lower risk of prostate cancer.  While also feeling really good, orgasms are good for our health.

    Obviously, orgasms are different in men and women.  In men, orgasm is almost always linked to ejaculation, an essential event for the reproduction of our species.  With women, an orgasm has no direct link to any reproductive benefit.  Another large difference between the genders regarding orgasm is that men do not learn to have an orgasm.  Instead they usually experience it spontaneously, during puberty in what is called a wet dream.  On the contrary, women have no such spontaneous event and must consciously learn to become orgasmic.  While most are capableof learning, sadly, many women never do so, and the lack of orgasm negatively affects their self-esteem and quality of their love relationships.

    Orgasm is among the healthy ways to include the ecstatic experience in your daily life. Thepotential for orgasm is built within you.

 Andrew Aaron, LICSW

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