Why is orgasmic birth so hard to believe? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-06-2009, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If so many women have orgasmic dreams during pregnancy, why are so many people skeptical of the idea that birth itself can be pleasant, if not orgasmic?

I'm talking about the mainstream that you always see as "Man on the street" interviews about birth in the birth films out right now and in the 20/20 type shows (and web comments about the shows) that do segments on birth and birth films...
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:03 AM
 
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I think most people misinterpret the idea of orgasmic birth and are therefore disgusted by it. They think it means you get aroused by your baby, that you are actively seeking sexual pleasure by pushing your baby out. Sex in general is so shrouded by shame in this culture. Many people refuse to acknowledge the sexual energy that is present in all things and activities. If you can give yourself over to it, you can indeed experience orgasmic feelings through almost anything. It doesn't mean you're some sexual deviant looking for any possible way to get off. It means you're completely surrendering yourself to the energy and letting it carry you to a climax.

Also, birth in our culture is portrayed as such a horrible, painful event that you have to heavily drug yourself just to make it through, so anyone who would actually find it pleasurable must be some hippy-dippy looney toon!
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:39 AM
 
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Also, pain-free labor/delivery is not thought of as being possible. Pushing something the size of a watermelon out of the opening a size of a lemon hurts. For me, knowing that pain-free labor is possible, orgasmic birth is not hard to believe at all. I only told my husband that I enjoyed my delivery, I would not think to use the word "orgasmic" but I could see how some one would settle on that word to describe the intensity of the experience.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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I think it may be possible, but for me personally, it was far from it. So I guess I'd have to say I believe in it, but I don't believe in the possibility that it could happen to me.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by barefootpoetry View Post
Also, birth in our culture is portrayed as such a horrible, painful event that you have to heavily drug yourself just to make it through, so anyone who would actually find it pleasurable must be some hippy-dippy looney toon!
laughup
Exactly!!! The idea of deliberatly avoiding pain medication during labor is, in itself, seen as so nutty in our culture! Birth is painful & awful - of course we should take drugs! Why deprive ourselves? Natural birth makes as much sense as natural dentistry, right?

But Barefootpoetry makes a good point as well on the sexuality issue. I hadn't thought of that point.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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laughup
Exactly!!! The idea of deliberatly avoiding pain medication during labor is, in itself, seen as so nutty in our culture! Birth is painful & awful - of course we should take drugs! Why deprive ourselves? Natural birth makes as much sense as natural dentistry, right?

But Barefootpoetry makes a good point as well on the sexuality issue. I hadn't thought of that point.
I think the other issue arises that people who do experience pain free labors sometimes expect all women should(or women who have pain in labor somehow feel like they were doing it wrong and get defensive). Labor has a huge variation of normal, and I wish we would be more accepting of that.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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I think another issue is misunderstanding what causes sexual pleasure to a woman. A lot of people think that it is the action of penetration which causes pleasure, so if something really huge passing through there feels pleasurable, the woman must be some kind of masochist, which is deemed "weird" and "gross" because masochism is, truly, unhealthy. They don't understand that the pleasurable feelings don't come from the stretching of the vagina (duh) but from the pressure of the contractions pushing the weight of the baby over the same nerve areas that connect to the clitoris and the g-spot, and of course also from the waves of hormones which are released and which are capable of blocking any sensations of pain from the stretching.

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Old 02-06-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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Just a thought... it seems a lot of women have trouble achieving orgasm thru sex, which should be pleasurable. It probably leaves them baffled that a person might experience an orgasm while having a baby - the opposite of pleasurable in many minds! Orgasms for me can be hit or miss... and I certainly never dreamed of having one while giving birth! (I do believe in orgasmic birth, however, but I sort of doubt I'd ever be able to let myself go like that in front of an audience. I tend to be controlling, focused, and aware during birth, amost to my detriment!)

Stacy - mom to Lily 5-20-06 , Angel, stillborn @ 25 wks 12-17-07 , and Cami 4-21-09.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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(I do believe in orgasmic birth, however, but I sort of doubt I'd ever be able to let myself go like that in front of an audience. I tend to be controlling, focused, and aware during birth, amost to my detriment!)
I think it is important to understand that birth IS sexual whether we want it to be, or not. Just like with intercourse-- it is sexual whether you orgasm or not-- same with birth.

It is important to understand ourselves sexually so that we can understand ourselves as birthers. Someone who has trouble orgasming during sex will have a harder time birthing. The same issues come into play. Understanding what helps you to orgasm during sex, what kind of emotional and physical environment you need, will help you to give birth easily and comfortably if not pleasurably.

This is why I WILL NOT birth with several strangers around, unless it were absolutely necessary. And I believe, this is why birthing with strangers around can feel violating to many women-- and why birth trauma is so frequently compared to rape.

Birth IS sexual.

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Old 02-06-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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I've experienced comfortable/painfree birth, but not orgasmic birth. That's ok. My first birth was very painful so I learned different skills (Hypnobabies) and made different choices (home birth) for my later births.

I think probably birth can be made more comfortable without drugs for more women than would go on to experience orgasmic birth....

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Old 02-06-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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Perhaps because for most women, due to a variety of reasons, birth hurts like ____ and it's hard to imagine having a sexually pleasureable experienced in the midst of all that pain.

For those not feeling any pain but still having a hospital birth, it's pretty hard to imagine having a sexual experience like that during such a public/observed event.

I think orgasmic birth is rare and always will be, because it's an unusual combination factors that produce it - sort of a "hole in one" or lucky strike type of situation. I don't think it's a giant fraud or anything - people who say that have unfortunately closed their minds to the possibility, which is silly because physiologically it makes sense as a possibility.

I don't think orgasmic birth will ever be a common experience. I would love to experience it one day and can totally see how that would work. Unfortunately, I have not had enjoyable births (at all!).
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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Probably because giving birth was the most horrific pain that I have ever experience in my life.

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Old 02-06-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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Because birth hurts like hell, as nearly every woman on earth (a few MDC mamas excepted) will be happy to tell you.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
I think it is important to understand that birth IS sexual whether we want it to be, or not. Just like with intercourse-- it is sexual whether you orgasm or not-- same with birth.

It is important to understand ourselves sexually so that we can understand ourselves as birthers. Someone who has trouble orgasming during sex will have a harder time birthing. The same issues come into play. Understanding what helps you to orgasm during sex, what kind of emotional and physical environment you need, will help you to give birth easily and comfortably if not pleasurably.

This is why I WILL NOT birth with several strangers around, unless it were absolutely necessary. And I believe, this is why birthing with strangers around can feel violating to many women-- and why birth trauma is so frequently compared to rape.

Birth IS sexual.
Absolutely. Birth and sex are the most intimate things we can do as human beings. Have sex in a bright, sterile, ugly hospital room surrounded by strangers and I bet it will not be very pleasurable. Same goes for birth.

My birth wasn't exactly orgasmic, but because I put myself in a safe, loving environment in my home, complete with dim lights and music playing (we forgot to get out the candles and incense! ), I was able to just let myself go and feel completely comfortable with the sensations surging through me. Yes, they hurt like hell. But I was able to be okay with that because my psyche wasn't on the defensive in a strange, hostile environment.

I guess it all boils down to how very few women HB in this country. Most HBers would readily acknowledge that birth can be orgasmic even if they didn't have an orgasmic birth themselves. But 99% of women birth in the hospital, so it's no surprise they do not see birth as an intimate, gentle, sexual event.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:06 PM
 
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My contractions were mild. I laughed and joked in between rushes all the way up to the push the baby out time. However, that part where the babies head or shoulders comes out was terribly tough... "ring of fire" type stuff. So, while I do talk about my births with a smile on my face... it was not pleasurable, like sex is.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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I should add that if people think that my views are skewed by having painless births-- they weren't. My first birth was 31 hours long-- most of it mind-destroying, insane-making, worst pain I've ever felt in my whole life. Seriously. And I went into that birth experience being prepared for a natural birth and open to the idea that it might even be pleasurable (hah!) Totally traumatic. I finally transferred to a hospital and gave in to the epidural but that didn't work well and wore off quickly. I think I screamed through most of the four hours of pushing.

My second birth was much easier and less traumatic, quick, not mind-destroyingly painful but definitely still painful. Definitely not orgasmic.

So I am not in any way disillusioned as to the fact that labor can hurt like hell.

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Old 02-06-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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Probably because giving birth was the most horrific pain that I have ever experience in my life.
Took the words right out of my mouth. I don't doubt that it is possible, but for me, I've never experienced anything as excrutiating as birth. If I wasn't fairly open minded, I'd think the idea of orgasmic birth was complete BS, because I can't even capture in my mind how something so painful for me could be pleasurable for anyone.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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I have very, very fast, very intense births (dd1 was 1 hour 48 minutes from 1st cx to birth, dd2 was 1 hour and 8 minutes from the very first cx I felt (no Bh or anything, both times I got to 100% and 4 cms without feeling anything), so for me, there's no time for my body to stretch normally, to build up in intensity - I basically labor as if in transition the whole time. Thankfully, it's very short!

Anyway, for me, birth has been very far away from orgasmic or even pleasant or pain free, so I'm not sure its possible for me, though I have a close friend who truly LOVES laboring and delivery because she is close to painfree, it's pleasant, and yes, orgasmic for her. Even in a hospital.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
I think it is important to understand that birth IS sexual whether we want it to be, or not. Just like with intercourse-- it is sexual whether you orgasm or not-- same with birth.

It is important to understand ourselves sexually so that we can understand ourselves as birthers. Someone who has trouble orgasming during sex will have a harder time birthing. The same issues come into play. Understanding what helps you to orgasm during sex, what kind of emotional and physical environment you need, will help you to give birth easily and comfortably if not pleasurably.

This is why I WILL NOT birth with several strangers around, unless it were absolutely necessary. And I believe, this is why birthing with strangers around can feel violating to many women-- and why birth trauma is so frequently compared to rape.

Birth IS sexual.
I'm a little confused by your post... did you think I was saying birth ISN'T sexual? Because, if it comes out my hooha, there's a sexual aspect to it. No I mean, I understand what you're saying. Which is why I say, heck, I have a hard time o'ing during SEX sometimes, so I can't imagine getting a release like that during birth. Not for me, anyway. Sure, anything is possible, but even in a dimly lit room with just DH and my MW in attendance, um... I wasn't going there. Nor the second time, alone with my DH in the hospital bathroom and just one nurse.

Stacy - mom to Lily 5-20-06 , Angel, stillborn @ 25 wks 12-17-07 , and Cami 4-21-09.
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