What are states of absorption and what do they have to do with female orgasm? Well, a lot. Let me explain. “States of Absorption are altered mental states characterized by an intense attentional focus on sensory and/or imaginary experiences which leads to changes in the perception of self, space and time (Tellegen& Atkinson, 1974, as cited in Costa, 2016).

What this means is that when a women is so in tune with what she is feeling and/or fantasizing about she alters her mental state and is absorbed in what she is experiencing. To that end, she is NOT thinking. Period. She is not thinking about whether she will orgasm or not, whether he/she likes her body, how long it will take for her to orgasm, if he/she will get bored, whether she is making too much noise and her children will hear her or wake up, whether he will wear a condom or if she might be get pregnant. None of that.

She is in a state of absorption. And it turns out that WOMEN need to be in a state of absorption more than men to experience pleasure and orgasm. What do you know! Here is a link to a study titled, Altered states of consciousness are related to Higher Sexual Responsiveness, that discusses why this is so in more detail.

If you do not have time to read it in detail, below are a few excerpts from the study:

  • Given that sexual arousal is enhanced by focusing attention on sensory and imaginary sexual stimuli (Brody & Weiss, 2010; Smith & Over, 1987 as cited in Costa, 2016), absorption likely plays an important role in sexual responsiveness.
  • Satisfaction, desire, and arousal were especially associated with less time awareness
    in women (Costa, 2016).
  • Both vividness of imagination and hypnotic suggestibility are characteristics of persons predisposed to absorption (Tellegen & Atkinson, 1974 as cited in Costa, 2016).
  • Absorbed states seem to be more strongly related to the female orgasm (Costa, 2016).
  • Correlations of body awareness with desire and arousal were significantly larger in women than in men (Costa, 2016).

Citation: Costa, R. M., Pestana, J., Costa, D., & Wittmann, M. (2016). Altered states of consciousness are related to higher sexual responsiveness. Consciousness and Cognition, 42, 135-141. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2016.03.013