How Antidepressants Impact Orgasmic Response

by Caroline Muir

Prozac_pillsDifficulty reaching satisfying orgasmic response for people taking SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, aka antidepressants) used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and some personality disorders has become a much-discussed complaint as a side-effect of these drugs.

The list reads something like this: Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, Sertraline, Citalopram, Escitalopram, Dapoxetine, Seproxetine, Zimelidine, Mesembrine.

I recently received an email from a friend and client who worked with me extensively on her years of struggle resulting from a powerful kundalini awakening. Many have reported kundalini awakenings as massive electrical “shocks” to their nervous system. Some awakenings are referred to as “spiritual emergencies.” Some are activated by menopause, hormonal shifts of an extreme nature, intense yoga classes, forced pranayama or breathing exercises, falling on your tailbone or sexual activity that forces too much energy to flood the system of someone not ready to run so much energy.

Sometimes in such cases, doctors prescribe an antidepressant. In my experience, antidepressants do bring relief from being on the edge of falling into the pit of depression. I, myself, have been at this edge or in that pit enough times that I have become dependent on Prozac now for over twenty years.

As a teacher and practitioner of Tantra Yoga and the techniques of increasing sexual pleasure… during which time I also was in a marriage relationship that was highly charged sexually… orgasms were as common to my day as the air I breathed! They were fun, easy and abundant… until six months to a year after I began taking Prozac.

Jumping ahead to the years since that time, I can assure you that easy-to-feel orgasms do return even when you are on a daily dose of antidepressants. Believing they won’t return is the biggest problem of all. There have been hills and valleys for me over these years, when my sexual energy and orgasmic response felt like they were behind a veil. I would get even more depressed, anxious, and even angry, until my lovers encouraged me to relax, breath more deeply, and enjoy the love and pleasure that was available to me… that orgasms were not their agenda… loving me and pleasuring me was their only goal.

Tantra is a great teacher of letting go of goal orientation. We humans all want our goodies as a result of the time we put into something like sex! The giver of pleasure loves and wants to feel and see the result of their giving! The receiver is often very attached to their performance and their agenda for the Big O. When we seemingly “fail” in this regard, sex becomes a letdown rather than an opportunity to share love and intimacy.

As I now expand my Tantra teachings to include the Yoga of Intimacy, there is infinite room for pleasure, love, and intimacy without the pressure of achieving a goal. Sure, you may want those orgasms! But I invite you to look at how they are really serving you.

Once I relaxed and let go of what I thought I wanted as a result of receiving sensual/sexual pleasure, my whole world opened to the love so essential to my happiness. Orgasms are wonderful, but much less important than connection, intimacy, and loving touch.

Do you have experience with antidepressants and orgasm? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “How Antidepressants Impact Orgasmic Response”

  1. Hi Caroline thank you for sharing…its good to know that someone with your amazing history of sexual pleasure (having just read the Tantra Goddess) that orgasm was/is still possible after 20 years on Prozac. I am curious of your word “dependant”, this spoke to me as I have been “dependent” on a anti-anxiety med for 9 years but feel it to be more of a physiologically/body dependence than necessary for anxiety and I am curious if your “dependence” is about needing it for depression or physically dependent, is it a choice to stay on it or a need I guess and do you desire to be off them and tried to release them in the past and what the setbacks were. i still worry that even though i am quite orgasmic that i am numbing parts of my life that i may not even be aware of because i have just been on it so long but what if there is so much more pleasure in every area of life without it???? PS really looking forward to your sessions in the Pleasure Tribe!

  2. Caroline, I was just asking this in the Pleasure Tribe with Kristin today….They didn’t get to my question about it but I have been on Zoloft on and off but mostly on for over 20 years. It has not helped my sex life with my second husband of whom I am divorced and now with a woman who I am living with either. I feel like I just don’t have any libido anymore at all. I have had these problems over the years and orgasms never came easy to me anyway. Thanks so much for the article I will read it again and if you have more insight or articles on the subject please let me know. I am 59 years old. Thank you very much Caroline.

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