I wouldn’t say I was super happy. I was more passing time instead of enjoying my life. I was waiting for life to happen to me—with my relationships, my friendships, my job. I really didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t have much passion or desire. I definitely felt pretty lost. I was working at a job in marketing for a construction company that I got from temping. I wasn’t excited about it.
I was super shy and only had a few friends. I was very private. I would never share about sexuality, yet I had a lot of sexual desire and wanted to explore. I was really focused on finding 'the one'. I’d go on dates and rule the guy out. Or I’d date him for a while, then decide it wasn’t going to work out. His career wasn’t right; he wasn’t good enough in bed; he was too dreamy. I thought someone would just appear and be the one.
Sex was determined by the guy I was with. The dreamer who lived on a sailboat and drank a lot, we’d have reckless sex. The Type-A banker, we would have well-put-together sex. I remember thinking I had to find the right guy who’d bring the right kind of sex. It was his sex we were having, not mine.
A friend heard about Orgasmic Meditation classes and invited me to go. He knew I had felt at the mercy of all of those guys. Basically, I ended up sleeping with many of my male friends. I came from a religious background and felt a lot of shame. I was having a lot of sex, but felt disconnected from it and like a bad person. I just wanted to find the right guy, get married, and it would all be fine.
When I started my OM practice 10 months later, I was confronted by how much I felt, but wasn’t interested in connecting with my partners. I’d OM and leave. Eventually, I noticed a similarity to my past. I still thought my OM experience was tied to the person I OMed with, like, ‘This person is sexy and daring. I want to OM with him, because the OM will be that way.’
A lot of my early practice was reworking that link of the type of person determining the OM experience. I turned down a lot of strokers. One time, I really wanted to OM and someone way outside my preferences asked me. I was 27. He was in his 80s. I said yes, but had terrible judgments, like, ‘He’s old and won’t even know where the clit is.’ I was really confronted by that OM. It turned out to be super sensational.
What I thought would happen didn’t link up with what actually happened. I looked at where else I did that in my life. I saw that I really limited my interactions and I had a lot of preconceived judgments about how they would go. That awareness came from the OM practice.
My sex is my own now, too, and no longer about the guy’s desire. That’s a big one. I determine the kind of sexual experience I have and respond with receptivity and openness.
With my husband, I definitely pursued him. I would have waited for him to express interest in the past. I knew what I wanted and trusted my intuition. My body could feel what was true, despite what he was saying. I could tell he was attracted to me and focused on that. I calibrated along the way.
Since OMing, I’m able to track sensations in my body and use it as a guide. If I need to make a decision or know whether something is true, I’ll have a certain feeling in my chest. I’ll feel hot if I need to be vulnerable in my relationship. If I have too much resentment, I get irritated and crampy. I can feel in my body when something’s off and I need to address it. I know the specific feeling of having to admit something or to adjust someone. I use my body as a barometer. I know what my body feels like in a resting state. When something is different, it’s a signal to pay attention. I definitely didn’t have that ability five years ago before OMing.
For two of those years, it felt like glass shards in my clit when I was being stroked. It was really intense. I almost stopped OMing. I tried to figure it out, like, let me see your gloved finger. Or, there must be something in the lube. I ruled things out until I saw I had something to learn about retracting and tightness. I was trying to avoid the feeling, instead of opening to it and letting it soften.
Finally, I put all of my attention on it. Around this time, I had a bunch of mosquito bites and realized, ‘If you keep scratching, the itch feels pretty sharp. But there’s also a warm pleasurable feeling.’ I thought, ‘Let me see whether there is anything in the OM aside from pain.’ There was—warmth and softness. I put my attention on that and felt an opening. That was a turning point for me. I noticed acceptance, curiosity and softness in my body as a result of all of that and it helped me learn to listen to my body as a guide.
OMs are also an indicator of things happening in my life. I OM a lot with my husband, and if I’m not being truthful about something we won’t have much sensation or connection in our OMs. It’s up to both of us to open up around whatever’s happening. When we do, sensation returns to our OMs. I can use that as a barometer to realize, ‘Oh, there’s something I don’t want to say or be honest about.’ Or, ‘I have a fear about something in the relationship.’ Even though I know something’s off, it can still take me awhile to be honest or move through it. That’s a process too.
Having practiced for five years, I’ve learned to feel into my own body and sense other people. There’s a real connection that happens between me and them. I’ve learned that our bodies are connected, even if we’re not touching. My body’s become porous and sensitive. When I’m putting attention on my own genitals, I can feel what other people are feeling too. It’s a cool super power.
Rachel is a married American woman in her 30s, who’s involved in operations for OneTaste worldwide and resides in Northern California.