A few months ago, I was invited to try an orgasmic meditation class.
I didn't really know what to expect. I was only told: I'd learn more about the practice, there would be demo, and an optional practical session. When I arrived, the room was buzzing with about forty people: a female entrepreneur, twenty-something couples, fifty-year old hippies, and plenty of straight-laced business men.
What did we all have in common?
Other than a desire to learn more about orgasm.
The experience was surprising. Unnerving. Intense. But incredible. I'm not going to go into LOADS of detail because everyone has a very unique reaction to the course - but for me, it was so powerful that it felt like something has been permanently unlocked. Something I didn't even know was there.
In the morning we learnt about the practice of OM - essentially, someone precisely strokes a woman's clitoris for 15 minutes (specifics, here). We learnt a bit about the biology - particularly the difference between the rational side of your brain v the emotional, limbic side. We learnt about how to live from your desire, how to understand female pleasure, how to become more sensual.
Then came the demo.
I tried SO hard to engage with what I was seeing. I could witness the pleasure but I couldn't get out of my head - all I could do was think how weird it was to watch someone stroke another person's clit in front of 40 people.
After the demo, we were invited to 'share a frame' (basically, reflecting on how the demo made us feel). Some people said it made them feel uncomfortable or aroused. But that's not really how you feel. It's how you think you feel. The group then started to get the idea. People started to say "I feel hot", "My legs feel tingly", "I'm short of breath", "my penis is stiffening"..
I started to put my hand up to say "I didn't feel anything at all" when all of a sudden I was overwhelmed with emotion - panic, fear, embarrassment, joy, hysteria, excitement. I felt everything at once. I instinctively put my hand down. But they saw me, and asked me to share my frame. I thought I could suppress it, control my emotions, I have done all my life, but out of nowhere, I exploded into tears.
Everyone looked shocked, but the staff knew exactly what to do. One came over and simply put her hand on my shoulder. She wanted to reassure me that she was simply... there. I was safe. I could cry. I could share my emotions. Even if I was in a room with a bunch of strangers.
After much incoherent, confused, sobbing it was soon explained to me that I was trying to analyse what I was seeing. I was suppressing the emotional connection my brain was trying to make by rationalising it all. But as soon as I went to speak (and I wasn't concentrating on logically assessing everything), the emotion bubbled up and exploded out my face.
You might think that is terrifying. Embarrassing. Horrifying. But it was liberating.
Because it helped me to realise: that's exactly what us women do during sex - we THINK. Does he like this? Is this any good? Can he see my cellulite? Fuck I forgot to buy kidney beans.
And ever since then, I've just felt switched on the entire time. I live through desire. And not sexual desire. I just want to touch everything. That textured wallpaper, that guy's beard, that dog's tail. I'm like a child discovering everything anew. Even as I write this and relive that moment my body feels fizzy. LITERALLY FIZZY, GUYS.
The impact this has had on me is insane. And I encourage you all to experience OM at least once in your life.
You might hate it, you might love it - regardless, you will feel something.