Learning to Listen to WomenBY PETER
I’d been seeing this woman, Sophia. We’d been dating three months when she went away on a business trip, and the day before she got back, I received a letter from her. This was ten years ago, but already, sending things via snail mail seemed so unusual. It got my attention. In the letter, Sophia told me about this book she’d read. It was a book about sex, and she said it talked about this practice called Orgasmic Meditation. Sophia was eager to discover what it was like, and she added, You’re the one I want to try this with, Peter.
I still have that letter somewhere. And yes, when a woman you’re dating writes to you and says she’d like to try something like this with you, you don’t turn her down. I wasn’t sure about OM for myself, but it didn’t seem like a bad thing to try. What have I got to lose? I concluded. There might be real potential here. Sophia and I had had a great sex life up to that point, but she had made it clear she wasn’t orgasmic. I suppose I’d just accepted that, especially when she’d reassured me that it wasn’t because of anything I was or wasn’t doing.
The first several times we OMed together were a bit of a mess. Literally. We were using coconut oil as lubricant, as we didn’t know any better. We’d only done short training, and it hadn’t been very detailed! The oil was slippery and sticky, and I couldn’t keep my finger in place very well. We should have figured it out after the first time, but we persevered until Sophia finally contacted someone from OM and we went to a second training. We got the correct lubricant, and of course, everything shifted. I could keep my finger where it needed to be, and we both started to feel the connection everyone had been talking about.
OMing with a girlfriend was difficult. The nest we set up was right next to Sophia’s bed, so it was incredibly challenging not to stop in the middle of the OM and roll into that bed. For me, at least at first, it just seemed like exquisite foreplay. Most of the time, we were able to resist the temptation. We both knew that this was more than something to turn us both on so we could have sex. This was a practice that paid bigger dividends, as it were.
It hit me after a few weeks that I had never listened to women as well as I was meant to. I had always thought of myself as a considerate lover but processing adjustments in the nest made me realize how often I hadn’t really heard what my partners were trying to say to me. Gradually, the more we OMed, the more Sophia’s voice resonated in my chest as well as my ears, and both connected instantly to my finger. Both with Sophia, and later in OMs with other women, this sense of connection and response to adjustments made me feel very powerful. Not in the sense that I had power over the woman I was with – but rather that we were, together, participating in something that could release extraordinary energy. I was both witness and participant, like a violinist in a quartet who can also hear the cellist playing the same tune.
I had always struggled with jealousy before OM. Eventually, Sophia and I decided we would also OM with other people. The first time where that was going to happen, I started to get very agitated. The thought of another man’s finger on her clitoris was making it difficult for me to breathe. Sophia and I sat in my car outside, and we talked for a while.
She took my hand. “You know, no matter what, I’m going home with you and only you tonight.”
I remember those words were immensely comforting. Just remembering her voice saying that to me makes me feel warm, even now. I still felt a little anxious and jealous, so we talked a little more about what was going to happen, and how we both felt about it. Finally, she told me that we could drive home if I liked, and she wouldn’t be angry. “We don’t have to do this, Peter, really we don’t.” She took my hand as she said this.
I looked at her, and then looked out the window of my car. Then I made a joke that broke the tension; we laughed. And of course she did come home with me that night, and everything turned out just fine. A few months later, Sophia and I broke up – but we parted as friends.
One of the things I learned from OM that applied to my sex life was that my own orgasm wasn’t essential to enjoying sex. I realized I could have intense pleasure without ejaculation, and if I stopped worrying about whether it was time for me to climax or not, I could be so much more present. I still had orgasms, just fewer of them – and not every time I was sexual with a woman. Even the most sensitive and attuned men still make their own orgasms the center of attention. It’s difficult for men not to center it, given the way most of us in the Western world are raised to think about sex.
Just as I had learned that I needed to hear with my whole body and not just my ears, I learned that sex can have a beginning, a middle, and an end without my ejaculation. That was a powerful revelation, and it impacted more than just my intimate life. In so many other places in my life, I’ve become less goal-oriented, less linear, and more connected. That connectedness shows up in every area of my life. That’s perhaps the most amazing thing about OM; it starts with shifting just one thing, and soon, your entire world is subtly transformed.