‘I swapped my coffee for this wild act’
I have to start by telling you, I love coffee.
I don't have many vices left in my life - I don't drink a lot, I don't eat sugar and I don't take drugs - but I start every day with a good coffee.
Then I follow up with another one or two during the day. It feels like a sweet treat, so it's basically an excuse to have multiple desserts each and every day.
Desserts that give me the pep I need to rip into my day and battle the persistent fatigue that has plagued me since I became a working mother.
But when a sex therapist I know recommended that starting my day with an orgasm instead of a coffee was a great idea, I have to admit I was curious. An orgasm is a better way to start your day, apparently, because it gives you a shot of oxytocin (the love hormone, as Bachelor Matt knows) - and it doesn't come with a side of anxiety like coffee can.
So I decided to try it for a week to see if orgasms are indeed a better morning option than coffee. I put my body on the line in the name of science - you're welcome.
I am instantly aware this experiment isn't going to be as easy as I thought. I work from home so I figured, if my partner isn't around, I can give myself a good seeing to whenever I like. What I hadn't factored in was that my children would be running all over the house, needing help to get ready for school, and I had to get myself ready for a meeting just after I dropped them off. Opportunity for orgasms: zero. Consolation coffee: one. Then another one later that morning.
I didn't get enough sleep last night and my immediate inclination is to make myself a flat white to perk myself up, but I resist. I have carved out some extra time this morning to sort myself out so I find time and opportunity. There is something workmanlike about the process because it just feels so scheduled but I'm pleased to say I get it done.
I go about my morning feeling pretty pleased with myself until a voice in my brain asks, "Why couldn't you have an orgasm AND a coffee?" That little girl from the hard and soft taco ads asking "Porque no los todos?" taunts me.
Later that morning I have a coffee meeting and I drink in that sweet bean like it's the nectar of life itself. I also realise that although I can replace my morning coffee at home with an orgasm, there are circumstances where replacing coffee with an orgasm is inappropriate - coffee meetings, at your desk at work, grabbing a takeaway on the train … also coffee shops would have a distinctly different vibe if we just had places we all congregated to flood our systems with oxytocin.
I hazily woke up and made myself a coffee on autopilot before my brain fully engaged. Halfway through drinking it I realised I should have been giving myself one instead. I shrugged and finished the coffee. It was delicious, so I had two more.
I realise at this point things aren't going as well as I thought they would. I assumed I'd be having all the morning sex and would be positively glowing by this stage, but instead I'm grumpy and conscious of what I'm missing rather than what I might be gaining. I get things done this morning and I skip my morning coffee but my heart isn't in it. If I was anyone else I'd be offended by my lack of attentiveness.
I decided to try a change of attitude - rather than thinking about what I was losing (that sweet, sweet bean), I thought about what I was gaining - a chance to take time out and prioritise pure pleasure for myself each and every day. For the first time, I felt excited and positive about the experiment. (This could also have something to do with the fact that my partner had arrived home from a work trip, so I had someone to play with - he did have a coffee afterwards, which I tried not to take as a personal affront).
I also had enough sleep the night before so I started the day feeling rested and full of all the happy. Day five = success!
DAYS SIX AND SEVEN
The final leg of the experiment was the weekend, which gave me more time and opportunity to make things happen. I took a leisurely approach and had a very nice time, thank you very much. I'd like to say I didn't miss coffee but I'd be lying. Having said that, by the end of the experiment I found that I was feeling great for the same reason you might feel good about meditating or exercising - I was taking time out each and every day to do something that would make me feel good.
Woke up, had coffee.
Okay so as great as a morning orgasm is - and there's no arguing against that - it can be tough to fit it in if you have a busy morning schedule. And I also can't see a reason why I have to choose one over the other.
I roped some friends in to try out this theory too (from the comfort of their own homes), and they were perhaps more into it than me.
Jen pointed out that the type of coffee one drinks might directly affect the type of orgasm you go for. She has a stove top coffee maker she purchased on a recent trip to Italy, which she said lends itself to a more thorough seeing to.
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"It needs careful preparation," she mused. "It starts off cold. Slowly warms up, starts to make a little noise. Starts steaming, gets a little louder.
"Gets really steamy, builds to a beautiful sounding crescendo and then falls silent. I then hold the cup close, yearningly drink it in, slowly enjoying the taste and smell and let it ooze through my whole body … I'm smiling and ready for my day. "I just wonder if people doing a Nescafé instant have the same experience."
Bianca tried it for a weekend and confirmed her mind felt "alive" on the Saturday but she couldn't get herself there on the Sunday. This is a problem you never have with coffee.
Amanda said her act of self love took the edge of the need for caffeine - and that her post-orgasm cup of tea felt "more relaxed than desperately needed".
And Emma, who also works from home, came out as a closet orgasm guru, admitting she's been replacing her coffee with orgasms for years.
"Sometimes I take my 'coffee break' in the midmorning or afternoon," she said. "So instead of having a coffee as a pick-me-up, I have an orgasm. That might be an afternoon delight with my partner or with the help of my very pretty purple vibrator. It definitely clears my head, calms me down from the blah of a work day, and gives me a little pep in my step to go back to work."
We could all be a little more like Emma. But maybe after one more coffee.
- Carloyn Tate is the Night Editor of whimn.com.au
- This story originally appeared on whimn.com.au and is reproduced with permission