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"Thinking-Off" (The Thought Induced Orgasm)
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Since the 1970s, the connection between thought and orgasms has been a hot topic (Masters & Johnson)...Mental orgasms, Energy Orgasms, Thinking Off, Thought-gasms, Thought-induced orgasms. I am sure many of you have seen the show “Strange Sex” on TLC, specifically the episode about Thinking Off, but has anyone really thought about it? In this article I highlight my own experiences with thought-gasms, that they are in fact real, and what exactly you might want to know about them.

  The Definition and Terminology

So thinking-off has a number of different terms used to reference it and somewhat person-centered definitions. As mentioned in the preview for this article, Mental orgasms, Energy Orgasms, Thinking Off, Thought-gasms, mental ejaculation and Thought-induced orgasms are just a few of the ways people have chosen to refer to this phenomenon. I say person-centered because the way in which someone arrives at this type of orgasm may vary. The one thing everyone has in common however is that there is no help from toys, partners, or fingers in the strict sense.

With that said, Barbara Carrellas, the woman who was featured in Strange Sex, participated in the Rutgers study. She runs her own practice for teaching people how to bring themselves to an orgasm. Ms. Carrellas does not like the term “thinking-off.” In her words, it is too “limiting.” She prefers the term Energy Orgasm and details that she believes people rarely use thought alone to bring themselves to orgasm. She describes that she teaches people in her workshop to achieve these kinds of orgasms via a “combination of breath, imagining (either by visualization or sensory feelings), sound, and squeezing the muscles of the pelvic floor.”

Essentially, Ms. Carrellas is pointing to the fact that we do not have to be limited to believing that it is only our brains doing the work, but I would at the same time highlight that our brains can be solely responsible. The imagination component can be most essential in itself for some people. As I posit this, the first thing I think about are wet dreams. However, I believe some people might counteract that as we become aroused, our breathing changes automatically and therefore, breath cannot be removed from the picture...especially in dreams.

  18-year old Me Supports These Claims: The Anecdotal How-to

So taking the abridged definitions I provided in conjunction with my own experiences, I was finally able to teach myself to orgasm without having to touch my body (which is extremely handy for college). I did not know that research was being done about this until my senior year of undergrad when I first saw the Strange Sex special. Once I did, it became clearer to me what I had been doing. By then, at age 20 I knew the various fantasies I could create to help me, I knew the times when I needed none at all, the positions I found it best to lay in, and the degree of control I could have over the process. I can certainly say that pelvic muscles are helpful and might be essential for some people in achieving this. For those of us who do kegel exercises, you can probably attest to this too.

For me, breathing was a sure-fire way of achieving a very powerful orgasm, probably akin to the one that Ms. Carrellas tries to teach to those who attend her workshop. I do not know her technique so I will not say that it is the same, but in my own practice and before finding out about Ms. Carrellas, I found my breath to be a lovely orgasmic weapon. At the time that I discovered the use of my breath, I had taken up study of mindfulness in courses in my undergraduate study in hopes of dealing with my painful migraines. As I became more practiced in different kinds of meditation activities (breathing, body-scans, concentration, walking and eating meditation), I read more about the Kama Sutra and techniques for tantric sex. Mind you, I was still struggling with my convictions and so it was important for me to find a way to satisfy myself without feeling guilty. I am sure the critical reader would realize that that the only way to achieve that would be to do nothing, but I have long since fought that war.

Digression aside, I discovered that on the “in-breath” (inhaling) as we say in meditation, if I closed my eyes and pictured sending the breath to the core of my vagina and filling it, I could feel a very pleasurable sensation on the “out-breath” (exhaling). As I moved on with experimenting with my breaths, I found that if I took short in-breaths and out-breaths, I could increase the intensity of the feeling. Finally, if I held my breath, the building of an orgasm would begin to subside, which I believe is useful information for those who forget to breathe during intercourse. I later found that the best way to reach an orgasm doing this was lying down on my back or side (but it will not be the same for everyone). I later added use of my pelvic muscles, which would hasten the coming of my climax, but the orgasms were not always as powerful. All-in-all, if I added a fantasy to start with in combination with one of the aforementioned techniques, then the result would be a pretty nice ride with very little mess.

  Section 4: So What?

When I majored in Philosophy, my bully of an Irish professor (who taught me many of my best lessons in logic through trial tribulation) always said, “Great argument, but so what?” If in writing a paper he was not at all convinced that the so what question had been answered or at least had been attempted to be addressed, he would rip up your paper or tell you to rip up your paper and start over. So essentially you have seen that I have alluded humorously to how this could be useful and even think you might give it a go if you have not already, but I have not quite answered the question. what?

The Medical Standpoint
Dr. Barry Komisaruk, whom I name-dropped earlier, started his research on the female orgasm after his wife painfully lost her battle with breast cancer. Why the female orgasm? As a Neuroscientist and professor of Psychology, he discovered that orgasms produce pain-blocking peptides, yet also activate the part of the brain that registers pain. If you are interested, you can look up the technicalities, which I do understand but will not address here. At any rate, in trying to figure out this puzzling phenomenon Dr. Komisaruk stumbled across a participant who said she could “think-off.” It led him to ask some philosophical questions about the difference between pleasure and pain as well as thoughts about the nature of consciousness. From a more practical standpoint, Dr. Komisaruk began to do research with women who suffered some medical problem such as spinal cord injuries, and found that they were still able to orgasm by bypassing certain neuronal pathways. He has hypothesized that thinking-off functions in a similar manner as well. Imagine the implications for one who has some medical concern that not only affects his/her sex-life, but specifically one’s ability to orgasm! I would go so far as to make conjectures about women who have been the victims of female circumcision or men who have prostate troubles. Remember, although I am a woman, and Dr. Komisaruk himself is studying women, men are fully capable of the thinking-off as well in my opinion. I suppose some of the implications may be far greater for women, but anyone can debate me on that point. I currently will stay off that road and just shed light on the facts.

The Clinical (as in Psychology) Standpoint
As I mentioned, Dr. Komisaruk is also a psychologist who practices as a couple’s psychotherapist. I will briefly say that he has not specifically mentioned implications for his practice. Many couples come in with difficulties surrounding their romance life which often manifests as other problems, so I would wonder how as the more we find out the more we might be able to help couples struggling in this way. Based on my own experiences, Dr. Komisaruk’s, and Ms. Carrellas’, there is a lot to offer that does not have to be limited. If people struggle with their visual imagination, maybe they can seek out concrete visual representations as a couple or on their on. If they have a vivid imagination but high anxiety, perhaps their breathing can be helped.

In all things, we can continue to push the recesses of the human mind which is vast and unused in many locations, holding more connections than some galaxies. Imagine if you can, all the ways in which we can enrich our sexual experiences, ease our pain, and soothe our fantasies. The implications are just as fantastic as the power of our minds and it is now up to you what to do about it.


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Contributor: Hummingbird

As a woman now almost 60's I find the big O difficult to reach with out a toy of some sort. Even oral with a partner and well trusted one has become difficult. My mind used to be so much more active and now I see as a result of this article it still can be. The possibilities are now open and limitless to what I can accomplish. Thank you!

Contributor: Ayumi

Hummingbird, I am happy to hear you found this helpful.

Contributor: MrWill

Wow. Long, very well thought out article! Great job!

Contributor: KissTheSkyBaby

Wonderful article Ayumi, nicely written. I am very intrigued by this as well as all other forms of meditation and breath play in sex. Hopefully we will get a chance to touch on this topic.

Contributor: toy review man

Thanks for the article. Very interesting!

Contributor: ID42

What seems to be particularly interesting to me about this article is what you said about your breathing.

"Finally, if I held my breath, the building of an orgasm would begin to subside, which I believe is useful information for those who forget to breathe during intercourse."

For me, this is completely the opposite. I tend to hold my breath as I start to climb over the top of climax. For me, it builds the pressure that helps shove me over the peak.

Contributor: Ayumi

DixieDarling, thanks for the commentary.
This is why I tried to be careful to say that a lot of this depends on the person and figuring out how their body works. For instance, it was already a long enough article in itself, but if I take what you say one step further, and apply it to people who become aroused under oxygen deprivation what you say certainly makes sense.
On the other hand, I am partly throwing out this idea for women who say they cannot achieve an orgasm via vaginal stimulation. Again, everyone's bodies are different and this particular woman might benefit from clitoral stimulation, but perhaps some women who experience difficulty and also find that they don't breathe much may be helped by this.

I appreciate you bringing this up. It is a lot to tease apart and certainly though I tried to touch upon everything, I was hoping for feedback that would help to expand on things I didn't flesh out as much.

Contributor: Ayumi

Oh! And one last thing, perhaps DixieDarling, you are touching upon a different kind of orgasm entirely. I would argue that what I am talking about moves more along the lines of an Energy Orgasm, Ms. Carrellas' version, but there are different things to be achieved with the body. Hence, my mention of imagining all the ways we can enrich our sexual experiences. Knowing myself, I do not do well under deprivation, as a matter of fact it goes back to what I said about first taking up mindfulness exercises to help with my migraines. My migraines themselves have significantly decreased, when they come I can handle them, and I am not put out of commission as often or for as long.

Contributor: Chefbriapink

Omg this was such a great article. A sure pass-along!

Contributor: Ayumi

Thanks so much!

Contributor: doowop

Ayumi, the connection with migraines has me fascinated. I've had migraines last up to two weeks before so I'm definitely open to trying anything. Thanks for highlighting that.

I'm definitely going to bookmark this article. It's fantastic all around.

Contributor: eroticmutt

This is an excellent article. I remember reading about thought-generated orgasms before and while I had forgotten about it I am very excited to look into this more, with your article serving as a reminder.

I used to be completely unable to orgasm and roughly a year and a half ago I began to have the first tentative (and weak!) steps toward feeling what I believe is one of the ultimate pleasures. Only when my partner began to encourage me to fantasize and suggest that I work on it did this ability begin to emerge.

Now I find that most of the time I have difficulty really immersing myself in my inner thoughts even though I have come a long way from where I was and while I always want to work on that more, I find that I am rather impatient and goal-oriented so I tend to just speed things along with my hands rather than really putting a lot more effort into enriching my fantasy life.

This has given me a great way to practice where I cannot 'cheat' and just ignore the fact that I am not getting myself quite turned on enough to reach the peaks of pleasure which I know I am capable of from those happy coincidences where it just worked out for me.

Thank you for writing this and sharing it with us all here on EdenFantasys!

Contributor: Ayumi

Thank you both for reading and sharing your own experiences (doowop & EroticMutt).

Contributor: iliketoys121

Thank you so much Ayumi for this amazing article i have learned a lot from reading it this is very useful 5/5 good job

Contributor: Genderfree

Thank you so much on the review. I am trying very hard to learn how to have an orgasm. I will do some more reading on the subject. My girlfriend has issues, too. I'll just keep reminding her to keep breathing, long as slow. She actually gets light headed.



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