I Can Face a Woman’s AngerBY BEN PHILLIPS
My wife and I had a typical story. When we first got together, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. The sex was fantastic. I’d never found anyone with whom I was so physically compatible, and she felt the same way. Then, as everyone had warned me it would, things started petering off. Our passion was already diminishing by the time she got pregnant with our son, but after he was born, it was as if her desire had vanished completely.
It was uncomfortable in ways I didn’t expect, and I started freaking out. Sex had been so important for both of us, and it still was for me – but she was completely uninterested. There was no sign her libido would return. She felt guilty, and also wondered if something might be wrong with her. I was panicked because I wasn’t getting the intimacy and affirmation I relied on. I turned to books, looking for answers, and fortunately, in one of them, I found a description of Orgasmic Meditation. The second I read about OM, I was riveted. It resonated with me instantly. I had studied a lot of sexual techniques, but OM was clearly so much more than that. It was a different way of thinking about sex and the self and the world.
The day after I started reading that book, I got laid off. It seemed like a sign of some sort. I sat down at my computer and started doing more research about OM online. Soon, I discovered that I could become a teacher of OM. Mind you, I’d never even seen an OM live, much less done one, and now I was thinking I could become a teacher! My wife thought I was out of my mind, but it just seemed to make so much sense. It was almost this sense that this is what I was born to do.
In retrospect, starting this work with my wife was not the best idea. We learned the technique by watching videos together, and it was clear from the start that she was just going along because I wanted it so badly. She ended up giving me her blessing to explore OM on my own, with other partners, though a few years down the road, she did take a months-long course related to OM on her own and develop a deeper relationship with the practice.
My first OM with someone other than my wife was nearly a decade ago, and I remember it as if it were yesterday. I remember trembling with desire, but not just lust – I was so eager to see what was here for me in this practice. This new partner was kind and reassuring, and she gave me clear and comprehensible adjustments. I remember the heat coming out of her body and warming my finger, and as my finger grew warmer, I began to feel heat in my chest and my stomach. When it was over, we smiled at each other, and I felt this extraordinary sense of approval. It was a level of affirmation I’d never felt before. I’d been so ready for something to go wrong, and nothing had – quite the opposite.
OM has ended up giving me gifts that go so far beyond sex, and I’d like to share two of them:
I’ve always been fearful of women’s anger. It makes me want to hide, or dive deep beneath the surface. I didn’t start OMing to deal with this fear I had. Yet, OM has completely transformed how I deal with other human beings in states of rage.
A couple of years ago, I was doing dishes at the house where I live with a bunch of other folks; it’s a communal situation and a lot of fun. It was late morning, and I was blasting metal music as I worked, and others who walked through seemed to dig it. Quiet hours were over. Suddenly, this woman walks into the kitchen. She can’t take the music one second more, and she starts screaming at me at the top of her lungs. I can feel the hairs on my neck blowing backwards from the intensity of her rage. She goes on and on about this and that and how I should know better. It went on for several minutes, and I just stood there and let myself feel the sensations in my body. I didn’t apologize, as I wasn’t in the wrong. I didn’t run away, and I didn’t try to soothe her. I just stayed there, looked her in the eye and took it. Finally, she was done, and she turned on her heel and walked out of the kitchen.
A few hours later, that same woman came up to me. She didn’t come to apologize. She came to thank me for staying present with her the whole time she was raging. She conceded she’d been having a bad morning, but she remarked that most people were scared of her anger, even when it was obvious that it wasn’t about them. “Thank you for just standing there and being strong enough to hold all of that.” I almost laughed, and I almost told her how absurd it was for a guy like me to be able to withstand all of that. Instead, I just smiled and told her she was very welcome.
Just as I had an issue with anger, I had a real problem with saying no, especially to women. I had the worst people-pleasing habit. One day, this woman asked me to OM with her. She was a beautiful woman I’d long admired; she was as charismatic and smart as she was lovely. We knew each other slightly but had never OMed together. For whatever reason, I didn’t want to OM with her. I got a clear sense from somewhere inside that this wasn’t a good idea, and it wasn’t what I wanted. So, before I knew what I was saying, I calmly told her, “No, thank you.” She was stunned. This was not the sort of woman who heard “no” very often. She yelled at me. I didn’t change my mind or lose my temper. I just repeated that I wasn’t interested at the moment, but I might feel differently another day. I wasn’t playing a game with her, it was how I felt – and for the first time, could say exactly what it was I was feeling. We stared at each other for a minute, and then she smiled. “I can really, really respect that,” she said. “No one ever says no to me, and I probably need to hear it.” I nodded at her, and we both laughed. It felt so good to say “no” and have that “no” be respected.
Now, thanks to OM, when I say yes to something, the people in my life know that I mean it. OM isn’t about a better sex life, though it may lead you to one. It’s about getting to be a more truthful version of yourself.