Lit Up Like ChristmasBY JACOB FOX
In my twenties, I loved being an actor. I loved being in front of a live group of people, connecting to an audience in the immediacy of the moment. I left theater to start a business, and although I enjoyed the creativity of organizing and problem-solving, my life lacked connection. I had no social life outside the company, I had very little sex, and I fought a lot with my best friend, a woman who was also my business partner.
I felt proud and good to be building a business that I believed in, but was also lonely, craving sex and intimacy with a woman. My employees must have sensed I wasn't that happy, since I would get easily frustrated and angry about mistakes they made. I was obsessive about stuff being perfect. Also they knew I wasn't dating.
One of the guys who worked for me told me about OM. Probably he just thought I needed to get laid and mistakenly thought OM would provide me that. He had never actually tried OM, and I didn't feel he had a respectful attitude toward women, so I said, “Absolutely not.” But over the next year, thoughts about it kept coming back to me. I looked it up on the Internet. I did really want to have more connection with women in my life, even if it was through something like OM instead of sex.
My first several OMs did not go well. Each time, either I was nervous, or I had trouble finding the woman's clitoris. The stroking felt mechanical, and I didn't feel connected. But people who were already into OM encouraged me to keep trying.
I was about ready to give up when another woman invited me to OM, and I decided to give it another try. The minute I touched her clitoris, it was like plugging my finger into a light socket. I lit up like Christmas, with trembling in my body and pops of electricity all through my system. I felt giddy and happy. The electricity in her body communicated straight to me.
That woman became my OM partner for a while. Sometimes our sessions were like that first one, electric and popping. Sometimes they were thick and slow and deep, like a lava flow. It was interesting to be with the same woman over and over. I got to experience the feedback loop of energy between both partners, as opposed to either of the two people being in charge.
I loved how OM energized me. When I first started OMing, my hands would shake for twenty minutes afterwards. I had to walk for a mile to bring myself back to the ground. I was high, and I couldn't stop smiling. Over time, OM expanded my capacity to hold that amount of electricity. The practice also honed my ability to focus attention and allowed me to feel things deeply. I could even feel other people as I was talking to them.
Then something unexpected happened. Various women in my life started asking me to have sex. I had started talking to women without any goal and in a way where I was giving them really quality attention. I was trying to find out who a woman was, rather than trying to get in her pants. And that made women want to have sex with me. It was so ironic because I started OMing because I wanted more sex in my life. Then once I started OMing, I didn't care about the sex anymore so much. I just wanted to OM. I started having more sex, and my OM practice continued to flourish.
It's important to distinguish OM from sex because it's easy to get confused and conflate the two. For me, OM is a meditation practice. It's about refining attention and being in a shared experience where I don’t need to give or get anything. I can just be with my partner and the sensation as it is.
My own experience of sex changed dramatically from OMing. I used to have sex specifically for pleasure, to see what I could get. It was easy to get stuck in reciprocity. You did this for me, so I'll do that for you. OM helps get me out of my head and into my body and my feelings. Because I'm able to stay present, I find sex has gotten exponentially better since I started OMing.
My work life changed too. I started fighting less with my business partner. I learned how to hold space for her and be with whatever sensations were coming up. We had always fought about money, and after OM, I found myself more willing to say yes to her suggestions. I noticed that whenever I said yes to her, her whole body would relax, and she would smile, and she'd become more creative and productive. And when I said no to her, she would withdraw and shut down.
At one point, she wanted the company to buy a $15,000 machine to brew high-quality tea for our customers. I thought it was ridiculous. We could get loose leaf tea and not have to spend 15 grand. But I said yes. I thought, I'll just surrender here. And in fact, it made the best tea you've ever had. The machine did not end up recouping its cost. I still don't think it was a smart investment for the business. But the tea was delicious, and it was delightful to play with the machine. It could do a lot of things, so I ended up making new products with it. A lot of play and creativity came out of it.
I don't think at the time I was specifically valuing creativity over finances, although in retrospect, I think my priorities were changing. Before OM, I would have dug my heels in and torn the company to the ground before I would have bought that machine. Instead, I had a more joyful experience, and I maintained the friendship and connection with my business partner.
In general, I just enjoy life more now. I feel so much love and openness with people in my life. I have become more appreciative of who they are and less critical of their mistakes. I ask people about their lives and have meaningful conversations with them. I have developed a sense of my own value. I don’t need sexual conquests to show my worth. I can just be myself.