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Welcome to the Sexual Vitality Summit. I’m your host, Susan Bratton, and I am delighted to introduce you to Janae Paulette. Janae is a sex and intimacy educator, coach, and author of a beautiful book called “Living an Orgasmic Life.” When you hear her story, you will see how she went from not living one to living one and why that moved her toward helping other people have the same fabulous orgasmic life of their own.
Janae, hello, my darling. How are you today? I am wonderful. Thank you so much for inviting me to this extraordinary summit.
I’m excited to talk to you today. I adore your work. Although you help your clients with their sexuality issues based on orgasmic life, your sweet spot is helping women understand how to find and live their orgasmic potential. Many women struggle with anorgasmia, which is an issue with having an orgasm. I’m happy to have you here because orgasm is a powerful part of who we are as humans. When someone, especially a woman, doesn’t have her orgasmic pleasure, I want to help close that gap as I know you do. And though I usually don’t start these sessions asking people to tell their stories, I want to get right into the meat of things. Your story is the meat of things. Start by sharing your story. Tell us a little about who you are and how you became a sex and intimacy educator and coach. Thank you.
You would not have thought I would be a sex and intimacy educator and coach. I’m a healthcare lawyer by training, and I lived in a sexless marriage for 26 years, which is a long time to live in a sexless marriage. And I, you know, during that period, I mean, I was just totally sexually shut down. For me, not only was I anorgasmic, I did not have orgasms. I did not have any pleasure during sex, but I also had very painful and uncomfortable sex. And that just caused me to say, when I was done having two children, I was very young at the time, like, “I’m just done,” which made a lot of sense then. But, you know, not only did my husband and I stop having sex, but, as you know, when you stopped having sex, we also stopped having any intimacy.
There was no kissing, no cuddling, and eventually, we slept in separate beds for more than 15 years, which is a long time not to be with your partner. Um, there was nobody I could talk to about it. It was nothing like this summit out there. I couldn’t talk to doctors about it because I was too embarrassed and ashamed. I couldn’t talk to my girlfriends because they had seemingly good sex. And I certainly couldn’t talk to my husband because we could not talk about something that can get so challenging for couples. So we just, I shut it off.
When I finally, when we finally left this marriage, and I was turning 50 at the time, I knew that I needed to take a look at this because I wanted to be in another relationship. But I also knew that I couldn’t be in a relationship without being able to be a sexual woman. And it was starting to stir inside me, like, “This is something I need to take a look at and deal with.”
“And, um, my answer came from a very surprising place. I was living in New York City and met a man on OkCupid who had experienced some tantra. He was also open. I could tell him, ‘Hey, sex is hard for me. I don’t know if you want to date me.’ And his response was, ‘You know, tantra might be something that would be great for you, Janae. So why don’t you try it?'”
“Can you just describe what tantra is?” “Absolutely! So, tantra is a very ancient spiritual practice, which means to weave. In a tantric practice, which dates back to the 12th century, we are weaving together our emotional body, our energetic body because we are all made of energy, and then our connection with our partner and any spiritual belief we have. I often say that tantra is about bringing spirit into the bedroom. It’s an opportunity to drop down with somebody. Several principles are important for orgasm, using breath and sound, and movement to move energy around our body. But many tantras are about slowing everything down, which is also important for those who struggle with orgasm because sex happens so quickly.”
“This was life-changing for me. It showed me a different way to interact with a sexual partner and made me realize I could be this sexual being. I could be able to slow things down, to be able to control what was happening, and have a partner who listened to me and kept on checking in to see if this felt good, if this something that I liked, not pushing, no pressure again, another big issue and an ability to have an orgasm is all the pressure. And so, it was life-changing for me in many different ways.”
“So that also made me realize, and I didn’t love being a lawyer that much, that there was an opportunity for me to take what I was experiencing myself and just take a deep dive into it. And it had me leave the West Coast, move and, sorry, leave New York, move to the West Coast because this is a very sex-positive area with lots of great training programs. And I got a Ph.D. in sex education by being certified in five different types of programs, including holistic pelvic care for women, which is a vital thing that women need to have, sexological bodywork, which allows us to work with the body, and help people experience more sensation and pleasure in their body as well as work through wounding.”
“I’m a tantra educator now and a certified sex and intimacy coach, and then I’m also becoming certified as a somatic experiencing trauma practitioner because there’s so much trauma associated with issues around sex. It’s been a fascinating journey, and you know, if only somebody like me and you were around when I was 28 years old, right? My life would have been so much different. And so, I want to give back and let other people know, like, you don’t have to feel broken, you don’t have to feel like you can’t have an orgasm, that sex is painful, but there are many solutions. Yeah, super passionate.”
“We have a healer, Issa Herrera, who will be talking about the pelvic pain issues, and we have several speakers who are talking about vaginal rejuvenation and oh shots, orgasm shots, and some of these new things that can help with painful sex, vaginal dryness, incontinence, scars from cesareans, and other issues, damage from horseback riding. So, we’ve got the physical piece well covered. And one of the things that I’m looking forward to in this conversation is giving women an understanding of what needs to be put in place, how to ask for what you need, to get into that slow and comfortable state to allow orgasms to come out of you like they want to, rather than you trying to force them out like perhaps you may have been doing.”
“And I respect how you do things as a brilliant woman with all the credentials you’ve stacked up. That is a lot of commitment, devotion, study hours, and hands-on work. So, as you’re listening to Janae, I want you to know what a scholar she is, and you’ll see why having all of those credentials makes such a big difference from the kinds of advice that you may have gotten in the past from Cosmo or what have you.”
“Janae, please hold up your book, ‘Living an Orgasmic Life’? Here it is, ‘Living an Orgasmic Life.’ This is a beautiful book. It comes from Janae’s heart, experience, and clinical practice, where she is a hands-on healer and emotional support. Janae mentioned the somatic experience technique. That’s the Peter Levine formula and a five-part video series I did with somatic sexual therapist Arielle Giaretto, whom you might know too. She’s my teacher. She’s amazing.”
“There you go. Um, where we talked about sexual trauma from the perspective of how you move through sexual trauma and go on to have a normal sex life? And how, as the partner of someone who’s been traumatized, can you support the healing of that trauma? Because for many couples, it is the partner that is the person who helps that person get through the trauma. It’s not something that you necessarily have to do alone. But if you are alone, some people like Janae and Arielle and others do a body-based release of emotional upset that could prevent you from trauma. So, I want you to know that this modality is available if you have been traumatized.”
“I mean, one of the things we talk about is how even sometimes a gynecological exam can traumatize a woman, depending on how it was done and how sensitive you are and how you feel about being looked down there. So, there’s a lot of additional information about the sexual healing piece that we’ll put in a parking lot so that we won’t spend as much time with that in this conversation. We’ll say, ‘Okay, we’ve got that foundation covered here already. How do we move into what you can do to open yourself to your orgasm potential? What’s the anatomy situation? What are the other factors that go into it? So let’s dive into that.'”
Janae, let’s talk about the obstacles to orgasm besides the trauma piece because that’s too much to do in this conversation. What are the other obstacles, and what are the actions for removing those obstacles?
The number one obstacle for women in orgasm is the pressure we put ourselves under to perform. There’s a lot of performance pressure for women and their male partners. When we’re worried about orgasm, we’re in our heads, thinking about it, and it takes us out of the experience. It becomes almost impossible to be present in our bodies and fully experience the sensations that lead to arousal and orgasm. So, the pressure we put on ourselves is a significant barrier.
Another obstacle is the need for high arousal and high relaxation to experience orgasm. At the apex of these two states is where orgasm happens. However, many women struggle to reach that level of relaxation because they are either in their heads or tend to contract their bodies when they’re close to the edge. This contraction and holding of breath trap the sexual energy within the pelvic area, making it difficult for the orgasmic release to occur. So, relaxation is a key factor.
Additionally, not getting the type of touch we desire can be an obstacle. Often, partners assume that the way they like to be touched is the same as their female partners. However, the clitoris, which has the most nerve endings and is crucial for clitoral orgasms, can become oversensitive if there’s too much pressure or a woman is not sufficiently aroused. Many women who struggle with orgasms find that they haven’t had enough arousal before clitoral stimulation. Foreplay for a few minutes is typically not enough for relaxation to kick in, creating another challenge.
One approach to address the obstacles is breathing into the genitals and bringing the breath down. This practice opens the body instead of clamping down, allowing for a more pleasurable experience. It’s essential to focus on blood flow as well. Women have as much erectile tissue inside their bodies as men have in their penises, and it’s crucial to be fully engorged or have the erectile tissue filled with blood to feel the sensations properly. Educating partners about the preferred touch and the need for sufficient arousal becomes essential, as they often lack proper training.
In today’s modern age, sex educators use terms like “yoni” and “vulva” to refer to a woman’s genitals, considering the anatomy and areas of pleasure beyond just the vaginal canal. It’s vital to understand that blood flow plays a significant role for women, just as it does for men. Therefore, communication and training become key factors in enhancing the sexual experience for both partners.
Although our discussion has focused on male-female relationships, we acknowledge and respect diverse relationship dynamics and orientations.
“So, if we say ‘man’ and ‘woman,’ you could also just, in your mind, think ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine,’ and that would be fine. It makes it simple to say the man-woman dynamic because that’s the most common. But we fully embrace everyone across the gender spectrum in this conversation. We’re talking about having enough blood flow, allowing yourself.
To be an orgasmic woman, you must stand for her. You must be her advocate. She needs that part of you, your goddess self, your orgasmic god of self. She needs you to protect her from rushing, stress, and being mauled and manhandled. She needs you to stand up for her and use your words. Say, ‘Go lighter, go slower, go lighter, go even lighter, go even slower. Now, slow down. Go half as fast.’
They need direction, and when you can make it simple for them, it helps them understand. How light and how delicate that you will ultimately be able to have an orgasm from the stroking that is so light; it’s almost like when you take your finger and put it on your eyeball to get an eyelash off. That gentle touch will give you orgasms. That’s your orgasmic potential.
Someday, when you follow the path we’re laying out for you, you can think about having an orgasm and experience one in your body. Your body is an open channel to orgasm. Right now, you have the body wisdom to be a multi-orgasmic woman. But it does require you to say what you need.
And because you are different every day and every moment, because you’re a hormonally cyclical being, you have to tell your guy who’s much more straightforward. He gets a bit more testosterone in the morning, but he’s in a pretty steady state. He doesn’t understand how today your body feels different from yesterday’s. At this moment, it feels different now that you’re more aroused than it did when you were less aroused. But over time, you’ll tell your lovers what you need to have many great orgasms.
So, Janae, this is a good time to talk about anatomy. Will you please get your vulva pillow out? Did you give her a name? I haven’t given her a name, but this is my vulva. This is my vulva puppet. Take us through your vulva puppet and all her beautiful parts. And I’m so glad you added crura on. Tell us more about that too.
Okay, great. So, this is the entire vulva. It’s rather large. But on a woman, the outside is the outer labia, right? The outer lips. And I want to say, and I know you agree, that every woman’s vulva looks different. And sometimes the lips are longer. Sometimes they’re shorter. But it’s all normal. We come in a lot of different variations.
These are the inner labia or the inner lips. And this is the hood of the clitoris. Now, the clitoris, as Susan just said, has as many nerve endings in it. The clitoris is right here. You can see it here as a man’s penis, which is pretty amazing. That’s a lot of nerve endings, like around close to 8,000. And most of the clitoris is internal. This is a huge misconception. Most of it is internal.
90% of the clitoris is internal. So, you don’t see this part. And then, what were you saying? It goes down and around. It goes down and around. Two legs called the crura to go down and around the vaginal opening. So, these would be the crura. Yeah, like that. And the clitoris also has wings. They’re also called vestibular bulbs, and they go right here. You can’t see them. But these bulbs get erect during arousal and help make your vaginal canal—the opening to your vaginal canal, so this part is right here.
And then, this is your urethra. Your urethra is where you pee out, and then this is the vaginal opening. This is where, when you have intercourse, a penis will enter your body. And then, this is the anus, and this is the perineum. So, you’ve got a lot of good stuff going on down here. And I want to say, like, I love my vulva. I think it’s beautiful, and I think all women should love their vulva.”
“Once I got, for me, once I got orgasmically confident, and I knew that my body knew what to do and knew the neural pathways to orgasm, I started just going completely silent and completely relaxed, allowing my husband to give me genital massages and stimulate me. And he would give me a half-hour genital massage before we ever made love because I needed all that engorgement to get myself to the point where I started getting turned on.
And then, over time, I noticed that my body would want to move, I would want to stretch, and I would do these kinds of cat moves. And I would do, you know, my pelvis would move, and I would almost undulate like a snake. The Kundalini serpent energy of turn-on and arousal starts to flow through you.
And as Janae has said, there’s a resonance, there’s a vibration, there’s a harmonic movement, there’s a tuning fork technique as well where he gets turned on, and you get turned on, and then that turns him on, and then that turns you on, and you’re playing off each other. So, there’s a lot of this kind of vibration. And you’ll find sometimes you feel like a little dolphin, sometimes like a snake, sometimes like a kitty, and sometimes like a lion. That animal in you naturally emerges as you take the pressure off yourself and get the stimulation and engorgement you need.
So, that’s a start. But then, somewhere along the line, when you start to trust, let that go, and it’ll naturally start to occur. And you’ll say, ‘Oh my God, it’s doing it without me. This is awesome.’ That’s a big one, too, for sure.
Also, having your partner tell you what they see as you become aroused allows them to look at your genitals and say, ‘Oh, I can see it’s getting fluffy. Oh, I can see your clitoris is starting to pop out from under the hood. Oh, your little inner labia went from peach and kind of dusky rose to a dark purple all along the edges, and that’s all; it’s like twice the size now, and it looks so beautiful.
I can see your G-spot peeking out.’ Oh my God, there she is. All those kinds of things are good, yes, because they nurture you and they call you and encourage you. Women need a lot of verbal encouragement, and men are men with few words, so you have to teach them the kinds of things that you want them to say to you, and then you have to ask them to say them.
What does it look like? Can you describe her to me? Can you tell me what my yoni looks like now? Does my Yoni look pretty? Do you like the way it smells? Do you like the way it tastes? Can you tell me? Can you tell me what you love about me? Can you hold me? You’ve got to teach him these things because he doesn’t know, but that’s not his fault. So, you’re learning together. You’re in this together. You’re a team. And when you bring that spirit into the bedroom, where he gets to learn, he’ll go from ham-handed, clumsy, rough, and scratchy, over time, just having all that oil on his hands and all that time touching you, he’s going to have the most wonderful, sensitive, loving, intuitive touch, and you’re going to be so proud of him.
He’s going to become so good at it. You’ll be amazed at the level of skill that he develops with just practice.”