Offering Myself and My AttentionBY ETHAN
I started the practice of Orgasmic Meditation after a six-year relationship with my girlfriend ended. I had gone on a kind of spiritual quest to try and make sense of things after the breakup, and I found myself in Thailand. At one point I ended up getting drunk with some friends and went home with a woman. And I just wasn’t interested. Here I was with this naked woman in front of me and I wasn't aroused at all. More than anything, what I wanted to do was connect with her. I wanted to know who she was as a person. And that clued me in to the realization that actually feeling connected with a woman was more important than sex. So, I took a vow of celibacy until I figured out what was going on inside me.
I grew up in a post-feminist culture, very aware of rape culture and the amount of sexual violence that takes place—which left me in this ambiguous place of “Okay, what do I do with my sexuality?” Because it seems like everything that I've seen is harmful. My mom was big into the feminist movement in the 70s and my dad was pretty much a pushover, very spiritual and New Age.
I became an extreme people pleaser. Basically, my wellbeing completely depended on the mood of my woman. I was constantly running around cleaning the house to her preferences, making sure all the grocery shopping was done and all the food was prepared, running myself ragged always trying to make sure everything was perfect for her. When it came to being in a relationship, I didn't really know where my spine was or how to stand up for myself. Whatever my girlfriend’s goals were, I would just follow those. I really had no idea what things were important to me aside from just deepening my spiritual practice.
When it came to sex, I didn't know how to ask for it or stand my ground in it. I was taught that I should never talk to a woman about sex, because if I did I was automatically objectifying her and reducing her to just her gender. Psychologically I never felt safe. Before I could engage my girlfriend sexually there was always this checklist. I had to make sure that I had finished everything so there was no place that I could be attacked. Basically, I was trying to create this defensive boundary around myself. The sex itself wasn’t good. It was impossible for me to actually stay present with her and feel her. Even though I wanted it, I couldn’t wait to just get it over with.
While I was still in Thailand, my dad flew over to meet me. And of all things, he brought me several books about conscious sexuality. One of the books was on Orgasmic Meditation, and even though he had never OMed, he recommended it to me.
My first OM was very high sensation and I was trying to keep track of where my finger was and what the steps were, thinking, “Am I in the right spot? I’m definitely not doing this right. Is this what's supposed to be happening?”
I remember one of my early OMs was with a woman who gave really clear adjustments. And I hit this deep place. I didn't have to control the practice. I didn't have to know what I was supposed to be doing and didn’t have the pressure of responsibility. I could actually surrender and trust in her guidance. I remember being very present, feeling my buttocks on the pillow, thinking, “Oh my god, I'm here. Oh, this is what it’s supposed to be!”
During OMs I started experiencing reciprocal sensations in my body. I remember stroking in one OM and feeling my partner’s sensation and suddenly had the same burst of sensations rising up through my own body. And I'd never connected to that part of my body before. Through stroking that part of my own body awakened.
After a while the practice became a little bit too intense and I pulled away from it. A year later I was dating a woman and when I told her about OM she got really curious about it. So we brought the practice into our relationship and it created a deeper intimacy between us. We started getting into this heart space with each other. In the middle of lovemaking, we would start crying.
OM has given me a much deeper sense of what it means to feel my own confidence and to be able to stand up for myself. It has taught me not to shy away from obstacles. For example, even if my girlfriend disagrees with me, I can still love her through it. She might be angry at me and I can still feel her heart. I can feel through the anger as opposed to feeling like I need to defend myself and fight. OM has given me the intuitive guidance of how to be present and how to be receptive to feedback. I actually look forward to it. It has released my masculinity. I’ve learned I don’t have to retract, that my masculinity is a gift and can be used to serve others.
There is no longer any need to get away from difficult situations. I don't have to perform in any areas of my life. I can just be present and connect with people and let go of the posturing and having to look a certain way and do things a certain way. I have permission to be myself.
There's something really profound and beautiful about being able to offer myself and my attention—and not just to my girlfriend. I hold space for other people as well. For me just opening my heart feels amazing. I recently met up with a woman I used to be in a long-term relationship with. We were having a conversation over coffee, and she mentioned that she was dating someone new. I could tell she felt ashamed about it, like she was afraid she would hurt me by telling me. And I could feel her heart. I could feel how in love she was with him. And instead of getting all jealous about it and never wanting to talk to her again, all I felt was to tell her, “I'm so happy for you. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It's bringing more meaning into my life. Please go and be happy and pursue this and never feel ashamed. Just delight yourself in that love.”
That was a huge turnaround for me.
On the surface, stroking a woman’s clitoris would seem like the most male objectified thing you can do, but in the process, deep meaning is found in it—a level of intimacy and connection. It reveals that there's something beyond a person’s physical appearance, even though it's expressed physically. By being more present in this world, in this physical reality, I actually have a deeper sense of spiritual truth than I ever would have if I just sat alone on a cushion all the time.
OM allowed me to meet God in the flesh.