Lifting the Wall of Shame


I grew up in west Michigan in a pretty conservative Christian community. The culture’s underlying message around sexuality was one of repression and shame. Among the guys, attitudes about sex sunk to the level of rude comments; in public, attitudes rose to a cautious, overly polite reticence about the topic. In my family, a repressive vibe simmered beneath the surface, largely unspoken. As an adolescent, whenever I watched a movie with a friend or sibling, my mother had this uncanny way of coming into the room during the film’s only, one-minute sex scene. She’d say something like, “Oh my gosh, what are you guys watching? That is so unnecessary!” If my dad was there, he might turn the channel until the sex scene was over. In these moments, this horrible sense of cringe would come over me. I felt clenched, shut down, made small.  

As a consequence, well into my adulthood, my body felt closed off and numbed. I couldn’t feel much from the diaphragm down—the groin area was completely locked and sealed. It might as well have been in a cement box.

Sometimes, the very thing that we’ve closeted is the one that turns into our circus parade. That’s what happened when I embarked on a career as a dating coach. My own struggles led me to this career. While I was in college, I lost a girl that I wanted to marry and was heartbroken. So, I ended up joining forces with a guy in Los Angeles and became the head coach of his program. I was coaching men at that time—mostly men from California, where the culture is much more open—and we spoke about dating and sex without censorship. This felt like open season to me after the repressiveness of my childhood. It was almost an overcompensation of what I’d been lacking before.

Eventually, I moved out West, and that’s where I discovered Orgasmic Meditation. Until then, I hadn’t really experienced the female viewpoint on erotic intimacy. OM was not just female-friendly, but it even skewed toward female-dominant. Having women and the feminine in the conversation was a massive shift for me. OM challenges all the biases that men harbor, and the experience was like night and day to what I had encountered before.

While becoming a dating coach helped lift the walls of shame around me, OM took that ten steps further. It shattered all my misconceptions about intimacy and helped me find and eradicate my blind spots. 

Perhaps the most eye-opening part of it was meeting women who—through practicing OM regularly over a long period of time—were able to achieve a kind of mastery. With one of these women, I had an intimate experience that would literally change my life. What’s curious about it was that at first, I wasn’t attracted to her. She was what you might describe as “outside my usual preferences.” So, when she invited me to be intimate, I almost said no—but then I thought, why not? That’s the crazy part—that I almost passed up what turned out to be the most transformative experience of my life. 

In previous interludes with women, I had always felt that there was something I was supposed to do to bring the experience to a certain level. But this time, with a woman who had achieved what I’d call sovereignty, there was nothing that I needed to do. She took 100 percent responsibility for her own pleasure. And as a result, every stroke, every move, every kiss, felt flawless. I could not make a wrong move. It was as if the gates of heaven had opened, and I entered what I can only describe as a God space. 

The epiphany that I had afterwards, which felt mind-blowing, was that I wasn’t responsible for how other people experienced me. I was perfect just as I was, and there was nothing I needed to do. I felt freed of anxiety, worry, and shame around my performance or anything else that was outside of my power. I learned that when I can embrace life as it is, I can find perfection everywhere.

I had to ask myself, Were there other times when someone had offered me the keys to paradise, but I had said no because I was stuck inside my head? What else was I missing or denying myself? 

The experience I’ve had with OM has given me a depth of sensitivity that I can use in just about every moment. It lets me ask, How can I be more sensitive to the thing that’s going to reveal the most beauty, or the most love or spirituality? I see it in every decision I make, big or small. Should I go to the woods today, or stay here and work? Do I meet a friend for dinner, or do I call him on the phone instead? It has taught me to constantly check myself so I can follow the electricity of the moment—and drop into what is real.

It was through OM, and experiences and epiphanies like these, that I was able to blast away the last, microscopic bits of shame that were holding me back. Now, I know how to create a container for more life-affirming opportunities to unfold. If I’m facing a problem or challenge, I can tune into what’s real and feel the direction I need to go. I have an internal compass that guides me toward what feels good, awake, and alive in my life.