Removing the Shame Garbage

BY OKSANA

I used to be completely wild and accepting of my sexuality. I could have had sex even if there were priests in the room next door having lunch. But then I started thinking that my desire was getting me into trouble. I got raped and I thought it was because I was too sexual.

I was a rebellious child born in the USSR with a very reserved, religious mother. Pain was part of my upbringing. As a kid, I always wanted to touch my friends’ clothes just to see how it’d feel. I’d touch their hair or even touch their leg and say things like, “Oh! Your skin is so smooth!” But this was seen as out of the norm, and I was always punished for it. 

When I was older, I had sex for the first time, and the whole village talked about what a slut I was—even though he was my boyfriend. I was strong and thought it didn’t affect me at the time, but now I think that subconsciously it did. By the time I was raped, I thought that maybe the people in the village had been right. Maybe I was raped because of how inappropriately I behaved.

That’s what killed my confidence and made me stop trusting myself. I numbed myself from then on, so nobody would see me as sexual. I numbed any desires that might have put me in a position where I couldn’t protect myself. I told myself I had to be ladylike. I wouldn’t hold hands or even touch people. 

Since I couldn’t get the kind of sexual pleasure or even connection I wanted, I turned to food. But I realized that numbing with food was not the way to protect myself. I didn’t want to live my life that way. That’s when I found Orgasmic Meditation. It seemed so edgy, but after what I’d been through, edgy seemed good. 

The first person I asked to OM was almost legally blind. That’s how uncomfortable I was with being seen. But as repressed as I was, I felt enough sensation in that first OM to reignite my desire for pleasure. As I continued the practice, my sexual appetite, my desire, my whole being started to shine again, regardless of whether people saw it as acceptable or not. 

The safety of the container allowed me to express myself, no matter how I sounded or what I wanted. I knew I wouldn’t get hurt, which allowed me to ask myself, ‘What else is there that I want? What other sounds could I make? What else is in me that hasn’t yet come out?’ I knew I could go as wild as I wanted. I could be as inappropriate as I wanted. 

OM helped me get to know my body, to allow it to express itself, no matter how I thought someone else might respond. For example, in a few of my last OMs, I felt like I wanted to go a lot slower. I didn’t want hard and fast strokes. But it got to the point that no matter how slow the stroke seemed to the stroker, I still wanted it even slower. 

The stroker got frustrated with me and said, “I can’t feel anything.” I said, “If you go any faster or put more pressure it hurts me.” Because I was able to trust myself, I didn’t care if all the other women he stroked liked it fast. I liked it slow!

Over time, I came to realize that I’m the one with the power in an OM. Even if the stroker is stroking me in a way that I don’t necessarily like, if I decide to enjoy the stroke anyway, I can. But if I adjust him perfectly to the speed, pressure, and location that I want, and I decide I still don’t want to enjoy it, I won’t. I’ve experimented with it. If I don’t want to enjoy it, there’s just nothing he can do. 

That realization has had me see how much power and responsibility I have in the rest of my life. For example, I’ve never wanted to get married, so subconsciously I’ve always chosen men who I thought would be noncommittal. But then they’d all still end up wanting to marry me eventually, so I’d sabotage the relationship in order to feel safe. 

Before OM, I would have never admitted that’s what I was doing. I’d always put the blame on the other person. Now, I’ve begun to take more responsibility for the dynamics that play out in my relationships. 

I’ve also gotten to the point where I can do sex in a way where I can let go and still be responsible for my experience. I had an experience with someone recently where I found myself worrying about whether he really liked me. I started going along with whatever he wanted in bed, just so he would like me more. And then I thought of who I am when I OM and brought myself back into the experience, brought my own desires and needs back into the conversation between our bodies.

OM has been one of the fastest ways to get closer to myself, to know myself, and to remove a lot of the garbage I’ve picked up. I guess if there’s one thing I’d want to leave people with, it’d be to just try the practice!