People Relax Around Me Because I’ve Learned To Accept My Own FeelingsBY CHANCE
My first experience with OM was with my ex-wife. We hadn’t contacted anyone for coaching - we just had a book with a rather vague two-page description of the practice. That was all she was willing to try. It didn’t save our marriage or teach us much as a couple, but it helped show me what I wanted most.
What had once been a wonderful and passionate marriage had grown stale. We were married for 15 years, and while the first 12 had been wonderful, the last three had been increasingly difficult. It had become a sexless marriage – and though sex was far from our only issue, I thought if we could jumpstart that part of our relationship, other things would fall into place. After our brief experiment trying to follow the book, I asked my wife to sign up for a course. She adamantly refused and told me she didn’t want me to go on my own either. My ex-wife was typically the least judgmental person you could hope to meet. She’s incredibly accepting. OM was a no-go for her. When she found out that I went to a lunch talk about OM without her, she went ballistic. Her reaction shed a lot of light on the truth about our relationship, and it helped clarify that we needed to move forward separately. Even before I’d OMed once, the practice had already shifted something enormous in my life.
In my first OM I had a very difficult time staying present. I was very worried about doing it right. Was I following the protocols? Was she going to think I was a creep or a pervert? Could I maintain boundaries? I had so much sexual desperation coming out of the marriage – I was scared the woman I was stroking would pick up on that and be repulsed. My heart was pounding the whole time.
As I stayed with the practice, my own fears began to fade. I began to think about how sometimes it’s better to lead; other times it’s better to respond. Is my job as a stroker simply to follow verbal direction? To what extent can I be playful and try new things? Obviously, I’m not going to keep doing something someone doesn’t want – but there’s this delicious tension between being a director and a follower. It took me a while to realize that this was a distillation of life itself – OMing is just life in miniature, compressed into 15 minutes.
When I first thought about the phrase orgasmic meditation, I was focused pretty heavily on the orgasm part. That was what held my interest, and I am sure I’m not alone in that. But the meditative aspect of stroking has grown more and more important to me. I was stroking a partner recently and listening to her direction. I was implementing her desires, yet I had control over just how light my touch was on her body. Even in trying to do as exactly as I’m told, there’s so much room for me to be an individual and bring myself to the practice.
I came to OM anxious for better relationships with women. What I didn’t expect was that OM would transform my relationships with men. I tended to see men as buddies or rivals. It was so hard to get close to them. Friendships with men who OM are so different. There’s a depth, a connectedness, and a willingness to get close that I’ve never found with any other group of guys. No one jockeys for the alpha position; no one plays the tough guy or refuses to get serious. When you come into that group after OMing, you’ve got all that oxytocin flowing through your body and all your walls are down. You can be intimate and push each other to grow. All that competitive stuff that infests so many other all-male spaces doesn’t exist so much with these men, and that’s rare and precious.
OM has changed my life outside the practice too. I had a good reminder of how much OM has shifted things for me recently at work. My regular manager was out, and this new guy was in. I had an instant, visceral negative reaction to him. My body told me, “I don’t like this guy.” Normally, I would try to force myself to like him. Instead, I just accepted it. I didn’t let it ruin my day. If I do think of a good way to help him to make himself less objectionable, I’ll act on it. If I can’t, that’s fine too.
The exact same process happens around sexual attraction for me now. If I meet a woman and there’s no mutual sexual interest, I note that – but I don’t let that block me from connecting with her in another way. Some of the best OM experiences, for example, happen where there is no attraction. OM is not sex, after all. On the other hand, if you are attracted to someone in OM, you can take note of that feeling without being run by it. Sometimes, I experience intense desire while OMing with someone. That’s fine, just as the absence of that feeling is equally fine. It’s just what it is. Once you accept your feelings as perfectly okay whatever they are, be they feelings of attraction or repulsion or neutrality, you take a lot of the weirdness out of interacting with other people. If you accept your own reactions, other people will feel it too, and be able to relax. And man, that’s really a better way to walk around in this world.