Hola mi gente,
This one takes a convoluted course… LOL
Recently, I came across a study that explored the questions: how do women know for sure if they are climaxing? What if the sensation they have associated with climax is actually one of the lower stages of arousal? And how does a woman know when if she has had an orgasm? Which led me to a company, OneTaste, that offers workshops on Orgasmic Meditation.
That first question, the science of how women know for sure they are climaxing, is one I would like to explore in the next sex blog post. For now, I want to simply present this Orgasmic Meditation practice. Let me just state from the start that I’m a little skeptical about all this. In the 1970s, when I first became acquainted with his teachings, the Tibetan master, Chogyam Trunpa, warned of the problem of ego sabotaging anything — “even spirituality” — to its own use. Some of what he predicated back then (e.g., brand name mediation cushions, prosperity spirituality, etc.) has come true, unfortunately.
From the admittedly little I know about it, Orgasmic Meditation (OM) seems to me like a Silicon Valley attempt to co-opt tantric practices. Or rather, it’s a stripped down version of it. In any case, I haven’t attended any workshops and have only read or watched videos about it online. Therefore, I have to suspend judgment. On the other hand, there seems to be something worthy about this project. For one, it’s part of the slow sex movement. Slow sex is about bringing an awareness or consciousness to love-making. It is similar to the slow food (versus fast food) model. It’s about being mindful and intentional about sexing.
So! What is OM?
According to OneTaste, OM is a 15-minute, partnered consciousness practice where a “stroker” stimulates the clitoris of a “strokee” for 15 minutes with no goal other than to feel sensation.
The people at OneTaste make an important distinction between climax and the orgasm state. Climax, they say, is a few seconds of physical experience, whereas the state of orgasm is continuous — presumably allowing OMers to access an optimal state of consciousness brought about from the activation of the sexual impulse.
Proponents of OM believe that when harnessed consciously, orgasm can enrich us as human beings. And there is some evidence in the emerging study of orgasm that orgasm can predispose people towards empathy, connection, and generosity. In my personal experience, orgasm magnifies and intensifies everyday experience not by altering it, but by revealing its true nature. Therefore the implications of conscious lovemaking for our health, happiness, and relationships holds potential.
The following are some personal impressions after watching OneTaste’s Intro to Orgasmic Meditation video and reading about it online. There is one particular video, a recorded talk by OneTaste founder Nicole Daedone, called The Changing Role of Men in Sex that I watched that somewhat resonated with my experience as a single man in New York for most of the previous 15 years. Especially the feelings of frustration, the avoidance, the aloofness, and the lack of any genuine talk about sex.
- The first thing I became aware of is the attempt to a better understanding of a woman’s body and how it works. Sure, pointing this out might get me awarded the Captain Obvious Prize of the Week, but it is an important consideration. Many men simply do not know what the fuck we’re doing. We live in a culture that shrouds the female anatomy in such mystery that male sexual education mostly comes from porn (and not good porn at that) and a few very patient lovers. OM practice allows a man (or woman) to sit at a woman’s side while she opens, revealing her genitals, and focus all their attention on what is happening at the point of contact between finger and clit for the next 15 minutes. It’s such a sensitive part of the body that everything is amplified. A “stroker” gets to experience immediate feedback from the woman’s body when a stroke is more resonant or less resonant, and that kind of attunement to a woman’s body has to have an impact.
- Developing the awareness of and increasing the capacity to hold sensation in one’s body. The OM practice is deeply intimate. Imagine the experience: asking for a partner, making sure one is properly prepared, getting into position for the first time. The vulnerability of the practice can help some to feel and hold a tremendous amount of sensation in their body for longer than previously accustomed. This kind of regulation can help in sex, in relationships, and even in having difficult conversations in our personal and professional lives. In any case, becoming more comfortable in being present with sensations, allowing that tension to build, and not needing to get rid of it right away, can lead to experiences that can yield new insights and feelings.
- Not feeling the pressure to “perform” or freedom from performance anxiety is definitely a benefit that can be derived from this practice. Many men will not admit it, but performance anxiety is a big problem for men. I mean, your dick has to get hard on demand regardless of the situation and “fast sex” is all about sexual acrobatics. Sometimes this can be overwhelming. And no, Viagra is not the solution. Your dick might get hard, but the psychological anxiety can still remain. Regardless, so much goes into meeting a woman and getting to a place where there might be the possibility of sex that, in the end, this pressure backfires. Intimacy, or sexing, should be an enjoyable experience free of competition and sexual agendas.
- But there are some drawbacks that I noticed. Most prominently, the language and practice is heteronormative and I think that’s problematic, especially considering the issue of power that will always come up in a sexual context.
- Also, I think the practice exposes women to a very vulnerable situation. I mean, who wants to lay spread-eagled as a stranger diddles her clitoris in a roomful of other strangers? I’m not sure how workshop facilitators address this issue because I’ve never attended one, but I think most women would feel very exposed. Handled correctly, this could be a powerful practice, but I have no clue how this is handled in an actual workshop.
- Finally, does Orgasmic Meditation really do what it claims to do? I’m not sure.
Still, I can see this as a powerful exercise with a willing partner or those of us who want to navigate sexual innovative practices in a safe manner. I think that it can be beneficial for both men and women and gender non-conforming people to explore their bodies and perhaps travel through sexual territories normally closed to us. Perhaps this can be one way to answer the questions of how do women know for sure if they are climaxing. What if the sensation they have associated with climax is actually one of the lower reaches of arousal? And how does a woman know when if she has had an orgasm?
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…