Alicia Davon was studying psychology and female sexuality when she met Erwan, a man who was teaching workshops about the “extended orgasm.” She’s since become a relationship coach who teaches others all about this practice. Learn much more in this week’s Girl Boner Radio episode!
Stream it on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify or below, or read on for a lightly edited transcript:
“Extended Orgasms and Finding Love with Alicia Davon”
a lightly edited Girl Boner Radio transcript
[Upbeat intro music…]
Nearly two decades ago, relationship coach Alicia Davon stepped into a workshop that would end up setting the stage for the rest of her life. She was in her early 20s and in graduate school, at the time, studying to become a therapist. Meanwhile –
I was finding myself getting really, really interested in female sexuality and as it related to psychology, so I would be holed up in the library trying to find like books about sexuality and everything was outdated.
And then a friend of mine who was also in my program was like, “Hey! I just heard about this guy, and his name is Erwan. And he teaches this course called the Pleasure Course and like teaches this thing called extended orgasm, and you’re always trying to read about sex. Like you should meet this guy.”
Extended orgasm? Of course she wanted to meet him. So the friend brought Alicia to Erwan’s home in San Francisco, where he was leading group communication games in his living room. “Communication games” sounds like something you’d do at a formal business conference. This…was not that.
I remember walking into the room and feeling like I was coming on to Ecstasy or something. Everybody in the room was turned on and talking to each other and looking at each other in the eye. And I was like, Okay, I found my home. This is great.
Alicia wasn’t just taken by the course and the turned-on energy in the room, but by the instructor, Erwan. She spotted him sitting on the couch in his living room, before 30 or more students.
I loved how he was dressed. He was wearing these like Judah yoga pants and these Uggs and he had this cute scruff on his face. I’m like, God! I just, this guy... Plus he was the leader in the room. I thought he was so hot.
Alicia was in a relationship at the time, though. It was going downhill, but still, she wasn’t single. So she focused on the content she was so intrigued by.
Extended orgasm is a term Erwan uses to describe what can happen through slow, methodical genital stroking. It’s not an orgasm by its conventional definition, but some folks find it even more pleasurable.
I’ll start by talking about a traditional orgasm. So this is what most of us know orgasm as, which is you’re kind of going along – let’s just use the example of being with a partner.
You’re making out and you’re getting more and more turned on. There’s more and more sensation rising, usually centered in the genital area, and then at a certain point, it levels off, plateau.
And then at a certain point, maybe through tension or going faster or just because it does, the sensation increases rapidly. And then you pop over that edge, your genitals involuntarily contract—boom, boom, boom, boom, boom—you go over that hard edge.
Aah, there’s that pleasurable release and that just god experience, you know? [laughs] That’s an orgasm, right, that most people know of as orgasm.
She pointed out that Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson, a team of sex researchers, studied what happens during orgasm back in the 60s. They also came up with stages of sexual response that some clinicians still use today:
Excitement, when the clitoris and penis swell with blood and some people with a vulva start producing natural lube, aka “wetness,” and sexual tension builds, bringing a flush to the skin and perhaps hardness to the nipples
Then there’s the plateau stage, when the stimulation continues and tissues get more sensitive
That leads into orgasm, which involves a series of intense muscle contractions that feel yes-yes-yes amazing.
And resolution, which is like a cooldown and everything gets more relaxed.
Erwan and a community of people who were studying orgasm themselves had found that you can extend the arousal and orgasm signs: and they called it “extended orgasm.”
As Alicia described extended orgasm, I was reminded of edging, also known as orgasm control, or just really taking your time with arousal, if even just at the start of sex. If you’ve tried either, you may have experienced the full-body arousal it can lead to.
So it’s not like having an orgasm that lasts maybe 10 seconds or something, if you’re lucky a little bit longer and it’s often gotten to by tensing, but it’s more that your body, when relaxed and to a certain level of arousal, those two ingredients allow our body to just release into this state of orgasms. So it’s no longer one occurrence of orgasm but your body is in a state of orgasm and all of our bodies are capable of it.
Journalist Suzannah Weiss took one of the extended orgasm classes with her boyfriend in 2017 and wrote about it for Bustle. While she didn’t feel a release in her genitals, the kind she associates with orgasm, she described an emotional release that she said felt even better. “I let my body do what it pleased,” she wrote, “and it felt fantastic.”
Alicia experienced something similar the first time she experienced extended orgasm. It happened once her relationship with Erwan became romantic.
Months after that first communication course she stepped into, the one in his living, she ran into Erwan at a weekend workshop they were both attending. Now single, she flirted with him throughout the entire two days. But when he approached her at the end, asking her if she’d like to get together –
I looked at him like he was crazy and blew him off. I said, “Well, I don’t know. Maybe I want to get together.” Because I was scared. He was like right there, totally responsive to me, and I was scared so I blew him off. And how he handled that is why I fell in love with him.
I said, “Whatever, maybe.” And he said, “All right. Well, call me when you’re ready.” And he handed me his number, and he disappeared.
She was stunned by that. She was used to guys continuing to vye for her attention, as though she were playing “hard to get” without realizing it. Instead, this guy respected her needs and her boundaries.
And I was like Okay, he’s paying attention. Like I didn’t want him right there. He went away.
After a few months of moving toward him, resisting, moving toward him and resisting, she felt ready to really be with him. And she knew that sex with him would be far different from anything she had experienced before.
The guy that I was with right before Erwan was really into, and I liked it, too, of course, the multiple orgasms, which is like those traditional peak orgasms I was describing. It’s like having a bunch of those where you go up, down. Up, down.
I just want to say those are great. Any kind of orgasm is great. I’m not here to say, “Those are wrong! Extended orgasm’s the way!” No. But I was into like, Clench! Clench! Let’s see if I can get five! [laughs] And that was great. I had a good enough sex life. It was fine.
But now she was seeing Erwan.
[sultry music begins…]
I still remember the first time I went to his apartment, and I walked in, and I was really nervous and really turned on because I knew I’m like, Ooh, I’m going to experience something cool, today.
After they hung out for a while –
And I lay down on his bed. He sat up by my side, he was fully clothed. I spread my legs. And the first thing that Erwan did was started to talk to me about what my genitals looked like and what my pussy looked like. He’s like, “Wow! Like the lips of your pussy, they’re getting thicker, I can see, and they’re turning this beautiful peachy pink color.”
And I’m like, Whoa! No one’s really looked at my vagina in the light, first of all. [laughs] It was such a turn on.
And then when he did start stroking my clitoris, he stroked so slowly. I mean, there was a rhythm but it was slow, and he was talking to me the whole time and encouraging and it was just amazing.
My whole genital area started involuntarily contracting when he was doing that. So that was my first experience of it.
[sultry music fades out]
So that first time I didn’t have the climactic arc kind of traditional peak orgasm. And when people are learning extended orgasm, there’s often this period where they’re like, “Wait. This doesn’t feel the same or maybe as intense as the orgasm I’m used to,” and that’s totally normal.
And for me it was like that. I was just like Wow! This is intense and like all – It was all I could do to kind of stay present and feel his finger and he was like, “Okay, feel this stroke.” So I had a few involuntary contractions. And that was it. And it was extremely pleasurable. It wasn’t the climax orgasm I was used to.
You may experience something similar if you give this practice ago, or you may end up with a more traditional climax. Either way, it seems like a powerful way to relax into pleasure. And that’s important, because relaxation is the foundation of arousal.
And I am with Alicia: all orgasms are great. Whether you prefer multiple Big Os quickly or taking your time for part or all of sex, have at it and enjoy. At the same time, relaxation can be important for most of us, leading up to sex or orgasm. That piece is one of the biggest lessons Alicia has learned in her own study of extended orgasm, which she has continued to learn about and teach with Erwan since.
We can relax. It’s natural to our bodies to feel pleasure and to be able to let go and experience that much release.
Our bodies are capable of a lot of pleasure if we just let ourselves relax and, as much as we can, let go of the pressure to have it look a certain way or be a certain way. Inherently, there’s pleasure there.
When I really started to get that, all sex acts became even more pleasurable. I felt comfortable in my own skin. I wasn’t competing or trying to get somewhere. It was like, What I want is here.
If you would like to give extended orgasm a try—let’s say on your own first, which may be easiest—Alicia said you can start really simply.
The basic technique involves very gently stroking the clitoris, while resting your thumb resting near your vaginal opening, or by stroking the penis gently, focusing on the underside of the head.
What I recommend is first of all getting really comfortable, like laying down if you want to prop your legs up on pillows and just have your whole genital area accessible, really easy. Use lubricant.
And start stroking.
You can start kind of maybe the way you usually get yourself going, sometimes we like envision a fantasy or we might stroke a little quicker or something just to get our bodies rolling. That’s fine. And then slow down the stroke. Use a rhythm but see if you can pay attention to where your finger is meeting your clitoris and just feel that and feel each stroke and notice it and you could, if you want, take a little mirror and look at your genitals and notice what they look like and have it be very exploratory. That is the very beginning of it.
You know, there’s other things. Like I will include, sometimes, when we’re stroking ourselves or we’re with a partner, we tense our genitals, right? That’s kind of our like we walk around like we’re kind of tight asses, and we walk around and we squeeze and, you know, none of that’s wrong but if you do the opposite, push your genitals out like you’re bearing down or you’re having a baby.
Doesn’t have to be hard to push out but sending the energy that way as you’re stroking. That’s also something you can just notice like, Oh joy. How does that feel?
If that process feels a bit stressful or you start feeling anxious, you’re not alone. It may happen, Alicia said, and it’s okay if it does.
Have a lot of space for that you feel anxious or it’s difficult to slow down because it’s not a matter of right or wrong. But at the same time there’s a lot of pleasure, a lot of sensation available by slowing down.
And sometimes, psychologically, it’s difficult because then if we’re with a partner and we’re slow then we kind of face like woooh. We might feel awkward or there’s intimacy issues there, right? Like we might feel awkward or scared or not sure. So just have space for the feelings that arise.
[single guitar strum]
If you plan to play with a partner and want to slow things down, and at least one of you has a penis, consider using Promescent’s Climax Control Spray. It’s safe, gentle and FDA-compliant, and can help an erection last longer, whether you struggle with premature ejaculation or not.
You can also bring one of their fantastic water or aloe based lubes into your extended orgasm play, and relax into play of any kind with their awesome massage oil. To save 15% on your first Promescent order, head to delayspray.com and enter the code [mentioned in the episode] or save directly here.
[single guitar strum]
So going back to Alicia’s journey, I love that her psychology training is such a huge part of the sexuality work she does today. As Oprah might say, it seems like a “full circle moment.”
It’s really like that. I just think there’s no separation between well, psychology and anything. [laughs] Really. I mean, we’re just so fascinating as human beings and our psychology and our unconscious conditioning, it affects every single thing. So there’s really no separation.
But then one thing I learned when I met Erwan and started hanging out around his courses is that this type of growth can also be fun, you know, because psychology and growth it’s good but it can also kind of be heavy [chuckles] and serious. And so I liked that he—and now we—bring the fun and the sexy into the growth so there’s no separation for me.
[acoustic chord riff]
If you’d like to learn more from Alicia Davon and her husband Erwan (yes, they’re married now), she’s offering a free Love Life Consultation call. To give it a try, send a text to (415) 308-9580 [or head here].
Alicia and Erwan are also offering an Extended Orgasm class online on October 23rd, which includes a video of a demonstration so you can really see how it works. Learn more and sign up [here].
To hear about Alicia’s early journey, including the mixed messages she learned early on, an amusing tampon story and one gift her parents gave her that helped her in her sexual self-discovery journey, join my community at patreon.com/girlboner. You’ll also get access to all of the bonus clips I’ve shared so far, Ask Me Anything chances and more.
And if you’re enjoying Girl Boner Radio, I would so appreciate a rating and review on Apple Podcasts or iTunes. A rating literally takes about two seconds. Simply go to the app, find the review section and click on the stars. Thanks so much for listening and have a beautiful, Girl Boner-embracing week.
[outro music that makes you wanna dance!]