Being In Approval Of Men’s DesireBY ELISE GRANGER
Of all the ways that Orgasmic Meditation has opened me up—unleashing blocked creativity, overcoming money scarcity and a feeling of deprivation, going from living a small life to living larger and more confidently—perhaps the biggest shift has been a letting go of my suspicion and high vigilance around men.
I’m a coach and a bodyworker in my mid-20s, and I discovered OM when I was in college, before I’d had many experiences with the opposite sex. I had recently gone through a period where I felt asexual, having lost my period for a year and sensing my desire wane. So, when I heard about OM from a friend—an adventurous person who dived into unusual experiences—I knew intuitively that it would be relevant to me. I knew I had stuff to uncover there.
My friend described OM as a playground for super-spiritual discoveries, which intrigued me because I knew it was a practice of clitoral stroking. It wasn’t until I met more women who OMed—at Burning Man, at a farm in upstate New York, through bodywork—that I decided to try the practice myself. These people were all different but what they had in common was a heart-centered expressiveness and a sense of being in their full power. I was magnetized by them.
My first OM was in my apartment with a man who was an experienced stroker. On a few occasions, we’d had a chance to talk and get to know each other beforehand. So even though I was nervous, this helped me feel more at ease. We started to OM, and partway through, I had a strange experience: my genitals went numb. I panicked because I couldn’t feel anything at all, and I even asked him to stop stroking and hold still so I could try to get my feeling back. I’d never had that experience of numbness before, and I never had it again after. But perhaps it was a signal that I had work to do around holding sensation in my body.
After OMing, I had plans to attend a spiritual gathering. I was practicing an Afro-Brazilian tradition called Umbanda, which involves mediumship and channeling spirits. I often had a hard time connecting to the community there and feeling included and at home. But this time was different. I felt brighter. Lit up. When I worked with a partner who was channeling for me, she said—in the voice of the spirit—“You have discovered something very valuable for you.” My partner had no idea that I’d just OMed. But the spirit knew—and sensed that it would change my life.
I started OMing once a week. Even though I trusted my partner and felt safe, in those early days of practicing, I had a strange feeling of violation. When I would notice sensations, a part of my brain would say, How dare they cause what I’m feeling in my body! As I continued OMing that went away—because I was able to realize and accept that the sensation in my body was mine.
This sounds like a subtle epiphany, but the effect it had on my life was big. Before, I used to internally contract around men, particularly if I didn’t know them. When I was out walking in my city neighborhood, I had a high sense of vigilance around men who looked at me or said typical things aimed at young women, like “You’re beautiful,” “Bless you,” or even just “Hello.” I would avert my gaze, curl into myself, and feel a need to tighten my muscles. I hid my body with my clothes. I’d dread the energy that was coming my way, thinking, How dare they!
Realizing that the sensations in my body were mine gave me a sense of freedom. I came to understand that if I felt tense in my body, that was due to my own patterns and conditioning. Slowly, as I expanded my capacity to hold sensation through OMing, I grew more relaxed in situations around unknown men. Eventually, I didn’t care anymore when I crossed paths with them. I realized that I could play and even flirt during such interactions. One day, with my earphones on, I even danced in a sports field with people walking in sight—something I would have been too inhibited to do before.
This newfound awareness of sensation and ownership of my body has transformed the way I work as a coach and bodyworker, too. People often come to me with very charged topics, such as violence or depressive thoughts, and I can sit with them instead of going into fight-or-flight mode. I have the confidence and the presence to handle whatever comes to me.
Once, a new client that I had just met said something critical about my intake process. In the past, such a comment might have shaken my confidence or triggered negative thinking. But since I’d been OMing, I knew how to sit with it. I could hold space for that client, stay non-reactive, and offer empathy. I was even grateful for their comment, because it gave me useful information about their mindset. We went on to have an amazing session and continued working together for a long time afterwards.
OM has helped me develop the capacity to experience intensity in my body without going into thinking—and that’s a tool I use every day. It helps me doubt myself less so I can be more effective at what I do. In the face of that, the usual worries, judgments, and self-criticisms begin to pale and fade away. Then, I can be aware of what’s going on within and feel my reality. I can be myself—only more so.