Candice Holdorf is an erotic writer + performer, as well as a teacher of sexuality + orgasm. She is a regular contributor to Elephant Journal and The Good Men Project and maintains her own blog, The Orgasmic Life. She is passionate about helping people delve into the taboo places in their lives, whether it be though her coaching or her art. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a co-founder of NYC's award-winning, Flux Theatre Ensemble. She received her sexuality coaching training at OneTaste and now teaches the practice of Orgasmic Meditation. She is a recovering anorexic and former yoga teacher. She currently resides in San Francisco with her beloved husband and their two snakes.
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you” ~ Jesus Christ
I remember the exact moment when I took the red pill – the one marked “anorexia.” It was one of those face-melting July summer nights in New York City – the kind that relentlessly spans three contiguous months until one capricious October day when the city instantly transforms from Equatorial swamp to Arctic tundra.
A recent graduate from a “prestigious” arts school, I found myself “prestigiously” doing what anyone with a “prestigious” Bachelor’s of Fine Arts would do: bartending. After a twelve-hour shift, I stumbled out of the East Village, through Washington Square Park and towards West 4th Street, where I would catch the Brooklyn-bound C train that would take me home.
However, before I could reach my underground destination, one of those ubiquitous NYC diners called my name. It was late. I was hungry. And they had air conditioning.
Before I knew it, I found myself swimming in a mountain of French toast, topped with butter, strawberries, whipped cream and maple syrup. It was a carb-fat-sugar laden olio of ooey-gooey goodness—and a dieter’s worst nightmare.
As I looked down at the soggy mess on my plate, I felt a wave of guilt as I shoved each sticky glob into my salivating mouth.
“How the hell did I let myself get like this?” I thought to myself.
And that’s when it happened: as my fork hung in the air, the bitter red pill slipped down my throat along with that last bite of “disgusting” food that I would swallow for a very, very long time.
My 4am vow lasted for seven long years. Years that I would spend counting and measuring and weighing and running and fasting and hating, hating, hating every pinch and dimple of my scrawny body. I felt at odds with my hunger: ashamed for having it and compulsively needing to destroy it.
At this point you may be wondering what the hell orgasm has to do with an eating disorder. In a word: everything. Our ability to experience pleasure, whether it be through food or sex, is intricately linked to our appetite.
When we are in approval of our appetite, our natural orgasmic expression flows like vital waters. But when we choke down our hunger, we cut ourselves off from the source of our soul’s nourishment.
I demanded treadmills when my body wanted chocolate, celery when my mouth wanted cock, and security when heart wanted the unbridled adventure found in the orgasmic unknown.
You may have guessed by now that when I speak of “orgasm” I’m not merely referring to a 10-30 second period of sexual climax, but a living, breathing force of life that births every moment.
Orgasm extends far beyond the quaking of climax.
She is the teacher of surrender and vulnerability. Unfortunately, these are not qualities we are taught to revere but revile. To be vulnerable is to be weak and to surrender is to be a loser. Through these twisted social values, we’ve come to believe that the feminine only leads to subservience, impotence and failure.
That moment in the diner was the tipping point for me. I was not weak. I was not subservient. And I would prove wrong every goddamned person who’d ever doubted me. My anger and resentment clouded my capacity to love. But I didn’t care. I would cut off my nose (and ass and belly and voice) to spite my own face.
However, this was only a temporary respite from the terror I actually felt when confronted with the magnitude of my desire.
“What if I hurt someone?”
“What if start eating (or fucking) and couldn’t stop?”
“What if I went completely out of control?”
“What if people thought I was ugly?”
“What if my whole life had been one huge mistake?”
“What if I failed?”
All these questions clamored in my head, like a middle school orchestra: discordant and badly out of tune, yet still creating some semblance of music I’d heard several times before.
Rather than face my repetitive fears, I simply balled them up, chained them to an unlit corner of my pussy and anesthetized them. It was a death sentence – not only in the sense that anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder, but also because I went through my days as a living corpse: numb and lifeless.
Until the day arrived, seven years later, when I could no longer play dead.
I’d spent several months secretly crying. I was exhausted. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. My marriage had ended. My career was non-existent. My finances were a mess. And I was homeless.
I thought I was going to die.
But the truth was I was coming back to life.
My orgasm would no more withstand the capital punishment I’d forced upon her and the harder I tried to hold her down, the louder she would cry. She would not stop until every lie I’d built around me collapsed into a burning pyre at my feet and there was nothing left but…me. Vulnerable. Surrendered.
But in my charred nakedness, I discovered that the things I’d been taught to fear were the very things that had set me free.
I no longer had to turn my guts inside out in order to live within the walls of my imprisonment. I no longer donned the “good girl” mask just to make it though the day.
It was time to come to know myself as a woman – turned-on, powerful and very, very alive.
As the months went by and the walls of shame melted from my heart and my clit, I saw that my hunger was not a beast to be feared, but a force for my liberation. I found that beyond the terror was my deepest desire – and that this was the path I must follow to bring my gifts to the world.
I stopped doing the stupid shit I thought I was supposed to do and started doing what gave me joy.
I quit teaching yoga. I began writing more. I fucked men. A lot of men. And women. I only chose acting gigs that felt in alliance with my soul’s integrity. I started a daily orgasm practice. I moved across the country, not knowing where, how or why. I dared to clean out my closets and make an embarrassing mess so that I could find out who I really was.
As I fed myself with food and pleasure, my sex flowered. And as my sex flowered, so did my faith. I began to trust the quiet voice within rather than the scripted version of life I’d created years before.
I didn’t need the “Top 10 Positions to Make Her Cum” or the “12 Best Foods to Burn Fat.”
All I needed was to simply feel the wisdom vibrating through my body and give myself permission to be all of myself—not just the sweet and beautiful parts, but the wild, raw, tender, ashamed, angry, snotty pieces that we so often reject out of fear that they will make us unlovable.
In the end, orgasm didn’t just save my life – she is life itself.
She is every sweet, beautiful, wild, raw, tender, ashamed, angry, snotty tendril of life cascading over our bare shoulders. She is the source of the milk from our breasts and the honey from between our thighs. She yearns to be well used, aches for us to devour her and is happiest when we are at our most ravenous.
Candice is currently crowdfunding for her upcoming book “From 6 to 9 and Beyond: Widening the Lens of Feminine Eroticism.” Support this unique writer HERE