The Orgasm Outside of Sex

Finding intimacy in life where we don't normally look

by George M. Johnson

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blissI hated my life. To the outside world, I was a twenty-eight-year-old mover and shaker. I was a young black man, with two degrees and a managerial job in the finance department of a top 20 college that made my grandmother’s heart proud, and yet I was broken down and depressed. Silently, going to work every day with a smile on my face, making all the brunches and events, full of hugs and air kisses as I went through my normal day to day wearing “the mask” to hide my pain. Although this should have been what I wanted, deep down I knew it was for show.

Then one day, I sat down and I had a talk with myself to find out what brought me the most pleasure in life. Sex was the resounding answer in my head. Sex was where I got the most pleasure, that orgasmic euphoric feeling that made me feel good about who I was and erased the pain away if only for a moment. I then thought to myself, “What is my orgasm outside of sex?” That’s when it hit me, that I had never found out what happiness, joy, and euphoria was outside of my bedroom.

This thought process caused me to analyze every facet of my life and take an in-depth look at what my purpose was on this earth and whether I was fulfilling it. By this time, I had taken up writing and had a few published pieces, but never thought about it seriously enough to pursue as a career. I had also begun unbeknownst to me the first steps of walking into Black LGBTQ and HIV activism as my voice began growing louder in media with the follows, likes and retweets increasing. I was at a crossroads and I knew that only a walk on faith would provide. I started looking for clips on inspiration and landed on who else but Steve Harvey talking about “taking the jump.” As I watched the video I teared up, because I knew what it felt like to want to do something that I had passion for, but being too afraid to jump. I had watched family members for years with the idea and notion of doing the same but never willing to “let go and let God.” For me, things would be different. I could no longer take the pain, the misery, or any of it and I wanted to find my orgasm. That feeling that when I got to work every day I could smile and just be happy to just be.

So I did it. It was January of 2015 and I applied to a position in the field of HIV to do community work and increase my activism around my community. This move was not only a test of faith, but one of my pockets. I took a (deep breath) $18,000 pay cut to follow my passion and pursue a love of life and work like none I had ever felt before. I was scared at first because I didn’t know if I could make it with that much of a financial change. That is when I learned the beauty of finding that intimacy with work and aligning it with passion to create the orgasm outside of the bedroom. My life completely changed when I tested positive in 2010, and I never thought I would see the silver lining in that situation. I learned what strength was past the diagnosis. I learned that this virus was only a part of my life, and would be the motivating force to help others while also helping myself.

I sat my ass down and began to write and pitch and write and pitch. I knew that I was going to need to supplement my income and taking that leap of faith forced me to learn what intimacy, passion, and building a relationship with work looked like in direct correlation with how I built sexual relationships. I began to date my work. Learned what I liked to write about and what I didn’t. I wrote about HIV, health, testing and treatment, black LGBTQ issues, education, and anything I wanted to talk about. Each published article giving me another sexual encounter with every comment, share, like, follow, and retweet serving as another orgasm with the work I had begun doing. Within months the pay cut had become null and void as I was making more money than I had before and for the first time found happiness outside of my bedroom.

Now two years into this career, fiftyplus published articles later, I still get that rush of joy and euphoria each time a pitch is accepted or an editor sends me the “it’s posted” link. I felt the need to tell this story, because I watch so many others live in silence. We always discuss whose head game was good, or whose sex was on point, but many are not able to take that type of experience and apply it to any other area of their life that they may find lacking. In telling my truth, I can only hope that others will read this and take the time to sit down and ask, “What is my orgasm outside of sex?” Trust me, once you find it, it’ll change your life.


George M. Johnson is an HIV advocate who works for Us Helping Us, People into Living. Inc., located in Washington, D.C. He has written for Pride.com, Musedmagonline.com, Blavity.com, Rolereboot.org, and Ebony.com. Follow him on Twitter @IamGMJohnson.