More Connection With My New BodyBY MAXENCE DEFAIS
As a 36-year-old trans man living in France, a freelance barista and graphic designer, I believe that OM has helped me to feel what the truth is for me—and has inspired me to look for it in other people.
The first time I heard about OM was a long time ago, when I was in America. It was just before my transition. I saw something about it on social media and visited the website out of curiosity. It was about the female orgasm and seemed fun and interesting. But I was soon moving to England, so I forgot about it for a while.
A few years went by and I started my transition at age 31. As I went through that, I realized that I’d been half-happy, half-depressed for most of my life because I was not really doing anything for myself. I was just living. After my transition, I started to realize what it feels like to be living for real. I started changing jobs and doing a lot of different things that I hadn’t done before. That was already a big shift.
I was about a year and a half into my transition when I met an OM teacher by chance, at a coffee shop where I used to work. This was in London and I was married—though we were separated and still living together as friends. I knew that I was not going to stay in London much longer. I thought, well, let's do something different. I signed up for a class.
What I remember from my first OM, in the stroker position, was that it felt simple and natural. I felt very connected afterwards, yet free and without attachment. I left feeling relaxed and peaceful.
Whenever I practiced OM, I felt accepted and heard. It was about making space for yourself, having a voice, and not being afraid of that. This was big for me, because I’d been struggling to do that.
It was great to be able to say, I am grateful for the body that I have. With OM, I could accept my body as a whole. That was another big shift for me. I could also see other people struggling in different ways and sharing what they felt, being vulnerable and open.
Yet there was playfulness as well, almost like being a kid again when you’re allowed to just play. Things don’t have to be so serious all the time. And even if things are serious, you can approach them in a playful way.
One exercise we did in another OM class I took that really stayed with me was practicing asking for an OM. The first step, when we asked each other, was to say “no.” And we’d feel how that felt. The second step was to answer “yes.” I could feel the change in my body when the answer was yes. The last step was to really decide within yourself whether it's a yes or a no. It was a way to get in touch with how you felt and understand what was going on within your body.
That’s something I carry with me now—a simple way of asking a question and listening to my body. It’s about knowing that the answer is in the body, not the head.
OM has given me more confidence within myself and within my body. It has let me become more myself and have fun with it at the same time. I really have a connection now with my new body, my new self, even though it's not new—it was inside of me already. But I’m able to bring it out more.
Within my personal relationships, I’m more able to say and do what I really want, and to be fully present with that. I don’t have as many barriers or judgments. I just do what I feel.
I’m in a new relationship now, and this way of being has been great. It’s very powerful. We haven’t OMed together yet, though we’ve talked about it.
It’s interesting that my physical transition happened alongside my emotional transition. OM arrived for me at the right time in that journey. I’m more vocal now, and I’m not afraid of what other people are going to think. I can be the true me. I can take off the mask.
I think everybody can relate to that—it’s not just the transition, and it’s not just about being seen as a man. It’s being more me, in general and with everything. That's what I'm looking for in others. I hope I'm able to give them the space to do that as well. I just wish for everybody to be able to be more like themselves, and to enjoy it.