Connection Based on Mutuality, Not CommerceBY MARIE
I had lots of anger outbursts as a teenager. I was bullied in school, so I was always lashing out, usually at the people closest to me, like my mom or boyfriend. I would yell and break things or throw things and not be in control or aware of boundaries.
When I was 14, I started going to a Pentecostal church with my boyfriend. I felt called toward something bigger and believed my life purpose was to be in the ministry. I prayed in my spare time and went to bible college, which I loved, and I stayed in for four years. Then, my boyfriend and I broke up, and I started questioning my life trajectory. I realized that, despite what it had given me, I did not feel completely accepted in the church. My anger and my sexuality, for example, didn’t feel safe to express. I wanted to go out and explore the world and experiment, so I left.
After about three years of feeling purposeless and empty and lonely, I started looking for the sense of community I had in church and bible college. That’s when I found Orgasmic Meditation online and went to an event about it. The people I met there who practiced OM had a strange quality to them. They always made intense eye contact, as if they were peering into my soul. I wanted whatever it was they had, so I learned to OM myself.
During OMs, lots of emotions would rise to the surface, and I learned to stay with them. Sometimes, they would even make me physically uncomfortable, but I came to understand that they would pass, and it would be okay. If I stayed with my anger, I’d usually find a tenderness underneath. Now, I can access that tenderness during tense moments with other people in my life. Recently, my boyfriend was raising his voice at me, and instead of yelling back (like I used to), I told him what was bothering me and let myself cry.
It was also healing to have my anger, and other uncomfortable emotions, accepted. Because I could make requests during OMs, I became comfortable taking up space.
Recently, a few of my friends who OM were talking about what a great time they have OMing. I was feeling angry and irritated and being silent, and I was okay with that. I didn’t have to make myself seem a certain way to appease anyone else. This confidence in my right to feel whatever I’m feeling has carried over into my social life. I used to put on a happy face whenever I visited my boyfriend’s family, but now, I just show up as myself.
Asking for OMs also helped me manage my emotions because they taught me to take rejection less personally. I learned that a “no” is not a rejection of me as a person; it’s just a “no” to that particular experience. I stopped making it into the deep-seated rejection that I feared.
OMing was very different from what I was used to. I was used to my sexual interactions feeling transactional. When I first started OMing, I often found myself thinking “they don’t deserve me.” I treated my other relationships this way, too. I avoided getting too attached to friends and focused on what I could get out of them. OM taught me the value of a connection that was based on mutuality, not commerce. As I practiced approving of myself and my OM partners, letting both myself and them feel whatever we felt, I gained greater acceptance of others and greater self-acceptance.
Now that I’m able to accept all of my feelings, I can actually feel more. There were always lots of emotions in me, but I’m no longer afraid to let myself feel them. I can be with my truth, whatever it is. And as I’ve cultivated love for myself, I’ve become more loving in the world.