How do I stop hyperventilating during masturbation?
February 22, 2011 10:18 AM   Subscribe

Help me figure out how to orgasm without hyperventilating!

So thanks to perusing some earlier questions about problems with female orgasm, I've finally figured out that when I attempt to orgasm via manual masturbation, I hyperventilate big time.

A little bit of background that may be helpful:
I was unable to orgasm at all until I turned 18 and bought myself a vibrator. I bought a Hitachi Magic Wand because I was so frustrated and wanted to just go for the nuclear option rather than messing around on something that would have less powerful vibrations. It worked fantastically, and I have been having awesome orgasms ever since! I have never had a problem with hyperventilating when using this or any other vibrator (although I rarely use other vibrators and then only for clitoral stimulation).

I didn't figure out how to orgasm manually until 2 years after that when I was on a trip and didn't have access to a vibrator. (Turns out reading about how to stimulate myself on the net was all wrong for me, and I needed to have had an orgasm another way before I could figure out what it was all supposed to feel like.) I noticed that the orgasm was a lot less intense and I felt lightheaded, but I didn't make much of it at the time. I was thrilled I was able to get there without the vibrator, but I didn't see a reason to do only that when the vibrator was so awesome.

Fast forward to today. I rarely even go for the manual approach, but occasionally I like to try it out to be more discreet and because it's a little fun and different! Yesterday I came after clitoral stimulation and penetration with a toy (which I usually don't prefer since I find it distracting), and my orgasm was a lot more intense than my hands-only orgasms usually are. Yay! I rested for a minute and felt a little light-headed but thought I was ok when I got up. Well, I partially grayed out, got nauseous, and almost took a header onto the floor. It took about 5-7 minutes before I felt normal again.

I checked some previous AskMefi questions and determined that this is not that uncommon, and I am probably hyperventilating. I was definitely breathing really fast and there were, er, vigorous hand motions going on. So here's the problem: I would really like to be able to orgasm manually but without the hyperventilation. The thing is, I'm wondering if the actual hyperventilation is part of what's making it possible for me to orgasm this way. This article ( seems to agree with my theory to some extent.

So, there's a guy I'm really interested in and contemplating a new relationship has made me realize that I'd love to be able to manually stimulate myself to orgasm with a partner but without the hyperventilation part. I've never come with (or even near) a partner because the vibrators were too loud, obtrusive, and I was really self-conscious. (I know the self-consciousness thing is something I need to work on, and I am.) If this has ever happened to you or a loved one, what helped make the hyperventilation stop? What should I be doing to stop hyperventilating so that the next time I'm with a guy I can manually stimulate myself to orgasm without feeling so ill afterward? If this is a matter of practice makes perfect, I'm happy to try but I really hate the nauseated feeling I get (makes the sexy time feel very un-sexy!)

I appreciate your help and advice!

(Oops, almost forgot to add that I am 27 and in great health. I have never hyperventilated outside of these particular circumstances.)
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Work on your cardio, in particular interval training; even if you're already in great shape, your body will 'learn' more about how much oxygen you need in high-intensity situations and you will regulate your breathing better. Obviously there are significant benefits to being in improved cardio shape beyond your bedtime frolicking.
posted by felix at 10:54 AM on February 22, 2011

It might help to do some research on hyperventilation - if I recall correctly the problem is with too much oxygen in the blood and too little CO2. So if you can try to breathe through your nose as much as possible to reduce the airflow, that might do it.
posted by ldthomps at 11:07 AM on February 22, 2011

Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. This is just from personal experience.

I got really sick a few months ago and my respiration got all messed up. Laughing, talking too much, and sex made me extremely light-headed.

Basically, your carbon dioxide levels are a bit low in general, and breathing faster or deeper makes you lose too much carbon dioxide from your lungs. This does funky stuff to your metabolism, vasodilation, and oxygen release from your bloodstream, hence the lightheadedness. (The lightheadedness is totally safe, by the way, except for the potential for fainting and hurting yourself part.)

Here's what I'm doing. There's an ebook called the Asthma Cure Manual which you can download here:

It's not just for people with asthma. Basically, you retrain your body to tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide over days or months using gentle breathing exercises. (Clinical studies show that this actually does something to you, i.e. improves asthma symptoms in people have it. It's not a placebo.) This changes the rate and depth of your breathing gently over time.

I've been doing them for about a month now, and I'm no longer insanely lightheaded after talking, laughing, or fucking. My breathing in general has definitely changed--I don't think it's a coincidence.

I am getting some of the side effects they mention (bad taste in my mouth and some other stuff), but it's been totally worth it.
posted by zeek321 at 11:49 AM on February 22, 2011

Note though, I seem to be lasting much longer during sex. This has been lots of fun as a guy, but it might not be what you want, if orgasms are finicky. Or there may be some transient orgasm issues while your body adapts. But maybe not!!

Breathing exercises = breathing less = increases parasympathetic activity = enhanced arousal.

Breathing fast = increases sympathetic activity = easier to go over the edge and orgasm.

I think.
posted by zeek321 at 11:55 AM on February 22, 2011

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