From Digital Isolation to Taking Risks in LifeBY NATHANAEL HORTON
I like to say that my life started at age 30. You’ll see why.
I come from a unique background. My mother is from the highlands of Guatemala, and my father is half German, half Welsh, and Jewish. His father escaped the Holocaust, and my dad was born in Canada and grew up in New Jersey. My mother is very religious, and my father, who is a doctor, is an atheist with a very scientific, materialist kind of worldview. I tend towards self-discovery, spirituality and shamanism.
I suffered from familial abuse from my sister, who was autistic. She was very violent as she got older, physically attacking members of the family. Often the police would show up. She’d scream endlessly and bite me and spit on me. One time, she threw hot coffee in my face. The crescendo for me came in my mid-20s, when she went to my room and trashed all my computer equipment. On top of being repeatedly traumatized by my sister, my father was also occasionally physically abusive and emotionally distant.
Growing up, I felt neglected and abandoned. By the time I was in my twenties, I had PTSD. My autonomic nervous system was out of whack, and I had fibromyalgia and neuropathy. I experienced difficulty breathing; it was hard to get my right arm to move, hard to walk, hard to balance and sit up. I experienced negative, intrusive thoughts and had very bad nightmares, along with depression and hypomania. It was rough.
Not surprisingly, I abused marijuana and alcohol and was a loner. I stayed alone in my room playing computer games for over a decade. That was my life—a virtual life. Obviously, that meant I wasn't dating and had no regular friends. It was hard to even imagine going from that to sharing intimacy with a woman in real life. It was easier viewing erotic media online, even though I was ashamed. I knew that it was negatively affecting my emotional state and my outlook on dating, what women want, and what I should want from courtship. I was basically mated to my computer.
Yet, I had just turned 30, and I wanted to do something radical and different. A friend at work recommended the practice of Orgasmic Meditation, and I looked it up online. I was challenged watching a few YouTube videos and excited. OM seemed to be just the ticket.
My first OM was with an older woman. I was nervous and very tense. I emphasized that it was my first time. It became a running joke between us that she took my “OM virginity.” We were very playful about it. I don't remember too many particulars of that first time other than sitting in the nest with her and stroking. But whenever I saw her again after that, we always had very good rapport.
After that first time, I made a commitment that I would OM with anyone I asked, or with anyone who asked me. I didn't place any limits on it, and I found it was a very valuable approach. It gave me access to a large range of experiences. There were women I had a crush on and women that were not attractive to me. There were women who were obese and others who were not. I OMed with women who were suffering similar mental problems as me, facing similar challenges.
Every time was different. Sometimes there was a sense of communion. Sometimes an OM felt like foreplay. Other times, it felt like I was being nourished by being allowed to give pleasure. There were times where I was so out of it and disassociated from my body that I struggled to find any words to describe what I felt afterwards. There were other times of strong, easy connection. Then there were these OMs I called “Very Hot OMs” because they were like experiencing fireworks inside my body, very hot and very visceral. They were all very amazing experiences, and I cherish them.
I met my wife at an OM event. I got thrown into an exercise, and she and I paired up. We were told to tell each other a desire. For example, “I want to make a cup of tea,” or “I want to touch your earlobe,” anything. I remember I told her, “I want to stroke your hair. And I want to tell you how beautiful you are!” At that point, she interrupted and said, “Oh, those aren't the rules. You're supposed to do this.” And I said, “Shut up.” We’ve been dancing together ever since.
OM totally helped us discover our compatibility early on in the relationship. It was incredibly important that we had the ability to talk about our individual needs and desires and our desires for the relationship. We got married in February.
Aside from the great relationship with my wife, I am really grateful to OM for many other things. To this day, I'm still learning about the value of the container. I can see how valuable it is for people to feel safe and to have boundaries so that they are able to open up and experience receiving. Learning about a woman’s anatomy along with knowing what works and what doesn't was an obviously valuable asset to acquire. The noticing steps, the verbal communication, and the check-in afterwards all proved so valuable to me.
I developed a mantra for myself that has its origin in my experiences with Orgasmic Meditation. In no particular order, it’s just three basic things.
Slow down. Lean into fear. Ask for what you want.
Pretty great advice if you ask me.