On Being Deeply Nourished

slow sex

In her book Slow Sex:  The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm, Nicole Daedone describes how a woman can develop her capacity for sexual attention by a rather unusual technique:  simply focusing without distraction, for 15 minutes, while her partner strokes the upper left quadrant of her clitoris.   

It's a practice that has caused considerable controversy in sex therapy circles, for a variety of reasons.   But Daedone has attracted a devoted following of individuals and couples seeking to cross beyond the ordinary boundaries of erotic life.

The following is a continuation of our recent conversation in New York:

Nicole, when I first read in The New York Times about what you have people do –repetitive stroking of a woman’s clitoris – I thought, “Oh no, not that goal-oriented thing again that gets so many couples in trouble.” But in your book Slow Sex, you make it clear that it’s not that at all. It’s not intended to produce a sexual climax. Or even to get a person sexually excited, in the conventional sense.

Yeah, that confuses a lot of people.

Well, if you call a practice “Orgasmic Meditation,” people are going to assume it’s about having plain old fashioned orgasms. Why’d you name it that, if that’s not what’s going on?

I could have made up a new term, rather than used “orgasm.” But a lot of people in the field do that. They come up with some catchy new phrase. I wanted something deeper, darker, that would be big enough to describe the practice.

So you decided you’d claim the word “orgasm” and use it to mean something else?

I “reclaimed” it. I scooped out the old meaning, and then began putting in new meaning.
Climax is a fleeting moment. When I use the word “orgasm,” I mean something much bigger – the body’s total ability to receive and respond to pleasure.

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If we all learned to achieve such a state of pure pleasure, though, how would civilization carry on?

Well, it wouldn’t – not in the way we’ve been doing it. We’d be on a different path. Let’s face it, the path humanity’s been on is not going to work forever.

When you began in this practice, weren't you worried that if you succeeded you'd just lie around all day doing nothing else?

I did worry about that at first. Once you become able to receive and respond to that degree of pure pleasure, at first you’re in a state of “filling up.” For awhile, yes, you don’t want to do anything constructive.

But it’s a fallacy to think that if you go down the path of pleasure, you’ll just become selfish and useless. I spent many years filling up – getting stroked – getting deeply nourished. But then at some point the meter on the gas tank says “full.”

And then?

Then you go out and build a life based on what genuinely feels good. You agree to be used in service to the world.

Stephen Snyder, M.D. is a sex therapist, psychiatrist and author of the book, Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship, who helps committed, long-term couples regain passion, sexual intimacy and closeness in their relationships. Connect with Dr. Snyder at for more information and to get started on your journey of sexual fulfillment today.​

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