I have to admit: when a Girl Boner® listener wrote in about her tendency to orgasm during massages, I was a wee bit envious. (My last massage was more like being trampled on by apes…) I was also extremely grateful, because, like most Qs from listeners, Dalia’s raises important points about arousal and pleasure, while shedding light on common myths.
Sidenote: I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s wondered why “happy endings” are generally reserved for people with penises.
Here’s Dalia’s question:
I’m 28 and until recently, only had very small and fairly infrequent orgasms — always with a partner. And I was basically okay with that. Recently I’ve been getting massages for a sports injury, and am embarrassed to say that I’ve come during them. What is up with that? It’s usually when the very attractive, kind man with firm hands is rubbing my lower back or hips. They’re some of the best orgasms I’ve ever had, and I have to work hard to hide what’s happening, though honestly I think he knows now… I don’t want to tell my boyfriend, because awkward, but I also want to know how to get the same kind of pleasure with him. Also, I keep wanting more massage appointments, haha. Any suggestions?” — Dalia with back-gasms
And you deserve them, Dalia! Kudos for finding pleasure, even when you weren’t seeking it, and thanks so much for writing in. I promise you, there’s nothing shameful about what you’re experiencing.
If you’re reading along and relate to Dalia’s Q, here are a few things you should know about back-rub induced orgasms:
They’re not uncommon.
In a culture where orgasms are associated with sex, or even intercourse, alone, it can be easy to think you’re some sort of eroti-alien—but trust me, you’re not! Chances are you’re not shocking the masseuse, should they notice. People of all genders are known to experience orgasm during massage. Most massage therapists are well aware of this, and even learn about in their training.
They make total sense!
During a massage, virtually all conditions are in place for arousal, said our resident sex-pert, Dr. Megan Fleming—relaxation being the biggie.
“I don’t know about you, but where else are you more relaxed than on a massage table in the hands of a trusted expert?” she said. “So we have the relaxation, check. We also have that sense of safety, check. And you’re being attended to, which for most of us is part of receiving pleasure, check. In the moment, I think you’re letting your body and nervous system does—because you’re not overthinking it.”
While overthinking can disrupt arousal and pleasure, relaxing and letting your body act as it will can enhance both.
“The body and nervous system have what we call tipping points—trigger points for the inevitability of orgasm,” Megan added. “For a number of individuals, there are specific parts of the spine and lower back muscles, that when they get stimulated, there’s a release of energy as well as blood flow to the small intestines, the bladder and all of the sexual orgasms.”
They can invite more pleasure elsewhere.
The more we learn about our bodies and our Girl Boners, the more pleasurable we can potentially experience. As my recent guest, therapist and educator Dr. Shannon Chavez, pointed out, orgasms during massage are no exception.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to bring it to a partner and say, ‘I’m learning these new areas on my body that are erogenous or sensual play or sensual pleasure really helps me relax and get out of my head and into my body, and that’s what I need for our connection and for intimacy together,'” she said.
Because the skin is our biggest organ, the options for exploring are fairly limitless, she added. Skin-on-skin touching, without involving the genitals, allows you to focus on other areas that may be highly sensual.
They can be super delicious!
Sex and relationships expert Kait Scalisi, MPH, is a huge fan of having her back touched.
“My partner and I joke that I’m actually a cat because I squirm and wiggle and sometimes get off when he (or a masseuse or a physical therapist) rubs my back,” she said.
While she loves any and all touch on her back, she has two favorites: soft touch all over her back and deep, firm, circular motions through her lower back, sacrum and hips.
“Not only do the nerves to our pelvis run through our low back, but as women we tend to carry a lot of tension in the muscles in the hips and pelvis,” she said. “Simply releasing that helps us experience more pleasure and even orgasm.”
For more on back-gasms, plus common issues that come up in sex and relationship therapy—including body image issues and libido differences—check out my chat with Dr. Chavez on iTunes or here:
Have you climaxed during massage? Is your or your partner’s back particularly erogenous? What other question would like explored on Girl Boner® Radio? I so love hearing from you!