Thursday, September 1, 2016

My Day at the Orgasmic Meditation Class

Results may vary
I was lying on the floor, naked below the waist with my knees apart, next to a stranger with two fingers full of lube. The stranger was planning to stroke my clitoris for 15 minutes, no more, no less. I was in a room full of other women, similarly splayed open like Thanksgiving turkeys next to their lubed-up, fully-dressed partners

Strangely, this was not my most uncomfortable moment last weekend at the One Taste's How to OM class in Los Angeles. 

That would be earlier in the day when our teachers Maya and Eli bounded into the room as Bon Jovi was cranked. They were dancing, doing that thing were you point to the ceiling, signifying that the song, indeed, rocks. We were to stand up and do the same thing, including the pointing part. I was mortified. Not only am I petrified of public dancing and forced group merriment (“I can't heeeear you...!”) but... Bon Jovi. I stood stiffly, not able to bring myself to point, not even just a little. It was a really long song.

So to sum up my personal boundaries thus far, Bon Jovi = no, clit stroking by stranger= totally onboard. You might see the situation differently.

Sometimes a lifetime of societal conditioning can fall away in a matter of hours. It happened to me that day at the OM class. And not in a I-drank-the-Kool-Aid way, but in the kind of way where your ideas are flipped but at the same time enhanced, it blows your fucking mind and you emerge better for it.

OMing, or Orgasmic Meditation, is a practice taught at OneTaste, a company founded by Nicole Daedone, author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm. OM is a practice in which clarity, mindfulness, and general in-touchedness with the universe is reached through extremely focused touch. Specifically, the touch of a partner's hand slowly and rhythmically stroking a woman's clitoris in a particular way. Sessions last 15 minutes and the goal is not orgasm, but rather heightened sexual awareness. And, as it turns out, having someone lavish attention on this particular body part for 15 minutes is extremely effective at heightening sexual awareness.  OM practitioners supposedly develop a heightened sensuality that extends into the rest of their lives, and can experience intense, deeper, fuckier fucks.

That sounded pretty good. I was in.

The class was filled with a balance of men and women, most from late 20 to 40s, I'd guess. The practice was all about experiencing sensation, whatever it turned out to be, explained preternaturally upbeat instructors Maya and Eli. Instead of the goal-oriented, orgasm-chasing sexual experience that we generally go for, we were to focus on the ride, letting things go wherever they were going to go. It was about surrender to the experience. According to the OneTaste philosophy, making focused contact with the incredibly nerve-rich clitoris can generate all kinds of electric sexual energy that can take both parties to amazing places. Additionally, the female gets to feel safe, accepted and non-pressured enough to dive into the depths of wherever her desire's gonna take her. The male gets to explore and enjoy the more (traditionally) “feminine” sexuality of goalless sensuality, plus, quite frankly, he can learn his way around a woman's genitalia.

There are rules. The practice is to be distinct from sex. Practitioners set up a “nest,” with pillows, a soft cushion and towels. The stroking can't go on longer than 15 minutes, even if one or more parties are begging for more. There is to be no exchanging of favors, i.e. “I stroked you, now you finish me off.” An OM is not something a man does to a woman, but something they do together. Gloves are worn. Lube is a must. Orgasm is not defined as the few seconds of contractions that we generally think of as orgasm, but rather the entire experience, starting with the first feelings of desire. The contraction part we generally refer to as an orgasm is called climax and may or may not happen.

By mid-morning we were ready to see a live demonstration. A table was wheeled out and a woman named Rachelle hopped up, lifted her dress and spread her legs. As Marcus, a serious looking computer guy-type with large black framed glasses, put his fingers to her pussy (that's what they call it there-- pussy.), my classmates craned their bodies to see. I looked at Rachelle's completely hairless nether regions and regretted my morning grooming decision to go with a landing strip.

In some sort of weirdly personal hierarchy of discomfort, I didn't mind that there was a half-naked woman groaning evocatively as Marcus (apparently quite masterfully!) stroked her through what seemed to be three climaxes. My problem again was with the whole group participation aspect. As a class, we were to participate by calling out the physical--not emotional--sensations we were having as we watched the OM. “I feel a heat in my face,” someone called out. “I feel a heaviness in my arm,” said another. “I feel wetness in my pussy,” several women said. “I feel completely icked out by the rest of you,” I would have said, especially as someone notified us of how their anus was responding, but I wasn't sure how to describe it as a "physical sensation."

At this point, we were sent to lunch after which we would try the practice ourselves. Because we all knew this and most of us had not come with a partner, there was a strange pick-up bar vibe to the day. Instead of just talking with your seatmate, you'd be assessing them, wondering if they should be the one who'd be touching you. For me, there was also a tremendous anxiety. What if it was like that one 7th grade dance in Atlanta, Georgia, 1977, where all my friends got asked to dance and I didn't? Would I have to get one of the teachers have to OM with me? Would I just sit in my chair trying to act like it was ok while everyone got down to business?

It was all too much for me and when I got back from lunch, instead of mingling, I studied the commerce tables the OneTasters had set up. There were lots of higher level classes, semi-Scientology-style, that people could sign up for. One was a week-long intensive with Daedone. It was $36,000. Holy fuck. There was also a t-shirt that said “Powered by Pussy.” Even among this group, I couldn't imagine that being a big seller.

Finally I went up to Eli, hoping he might let me OM with a teacher. I was wishing that it could it be Marcus, because that dude really looked like he knew what he was doing. He looked like a master playing a rare instrument as he strummed Rachelle. But to my horror, when Eli nixed my idea about OMing with a teacher, I burst into tears.

“Just go ask that guy,” he said pointing to some guy, after comforting my sorry-ass unresolved-issues self. So I asked him. Oddly, the idea of doing so intimate with a complete stranger was way more okay than I thought it would be. When you OM with someone, it doesn't mean you are dating or that you will see them again or that you are even attracted to them. It just exists in this “container” as they call it and is nothing beyond the OM itself. Eli described a woman he had OMed with in Colorado. She was a super-butch, biker-chick lesbian, not someone he was attracted to at all or vice versa, but the electricity they generated together was, well, electric. “It's insane--I go blind from it!” he enthused.  I found this idea to be incredibly freeing.

Thus I found myself pantless and splayed open next to the lubed-up Peter*. I knew his name was Peter because his name tag said so. I found it somewhat amusing that we were like this and wearing name tags, but I didn't say anything.

Peter was to make a C shape with his left hand, lifting the hood of my clitoris with his thumb while stroking the upper left hand quadrant with his index finger. His right-hand thumb was to rest on my introitus, the opening to the vagina. (You can watch a how-to video at the OneTaste web site.) As we got down to it, Peter wasn't actually that close to where he was supposed to be, but instructors came around the room and guided his hand to the proper spots. I felt happy that, if nothing else, Peter was getting an education in finding a woman's clit.

As he rubbed, I could feel myself begin to throb and contract. It wasn't a orgasmic, I mean, climax-reaching kind of thing, but more an aliveness. It felt like maybe Peter's finger wasn't moving over my body, but rather that I was moving his finger. “Behold the glory of the pussy!” I thought to myself, thinking that Peter was—possibly for the first time—seeing the subtlety and great beauty of a woman's body when it is alive, open and free. I felt a bit beneficent about it, if you must know. Like I was schooling him on something really Big and Important.

However about midpoint, I started feeling a shooting pain in my left butt cheek. Sciatica. Crap! I shifted my legs and re-shifted, but every way still hurt. I finished out the session experiencing the sensation of “Ow.”

When it's all over, you're supposed to give each other a “frame,” that is, describe one moment of physical sensation that you had experienced. I was expecting to Peter to say something about how he had been schooled on pussy power but he said, “I didn't think anything was happening for you until the end part when you started moving your legs around.”

So. Yeah.

However, we both experienced something big, I think. It turned out it wasn't the same thing the other had felt, but maybe that doesn't even really matter. It seemed like Peter and I had ended up with a connection, of sorts, and I felt kindly toward him afterward. After, when he was told he had to pay $15 for the lube a OneTaste teacher had handed him, I felt kind of bad I didn't have any cash to pitch in.

In the end, I'm glad I went. It's heartening that there are so many people who want to connect on a deeper level sexually and were willing to explore. And, oddly, I feel empowered that I let a stranger stroke me and that it meant nothing beyond that.

As I drove through the hideous LA evening traffic on the way home, instead of blaring the radio and getting angry as is my usual way, I sat in silence, feeling chill and enjoying the quiet. And I didn't feel like crying anyone.

xoxo
jill

*Not his real name. Which was Ben.

An edited version of this first appeared on Alternet and Salon. I like this one a little better, but maybe I'm like a home seller with the purple walls who refuses to paint over them for the Open House. 

Photo: Rudolf Koppitz

8 comments:

Janet said...

That was an act of bravery. You should be proud of yourself for doing that, Jill:)

in bed with married women said...

thanks Janet! by the time i was able to run this here, it's already been whored about a bit, but... if anyone wants to share, like, etc... this particular version, it helps the blog. which i know is pretty much your top priority.

ValdVin said...

but... Bon Jovi

You are brave for doing this and moreso for writing about it under your own name.

And I feel for you. I'm not kidding. However, that is why you will never be a professional. And, no, neither will I: I remember taking ballroom dancing classes and just retching (inside) at the choice of music to which I was supposed to learn to swing or foxtrot. (Respectively, soooo big band favorites, anything by Sinatra arranged by Nelson Riddle.)

That is a strange comparison, but: I simply didn't feel like doing what I wanted to do, what I was supposed to do, with that music playing.

ValdVin said...

[Ugh. What I wanted to say was "Respectively, I wanted to learn to swing dance to any of a million big band recordings, and foxtrot to anything by Sinatra arranged by Nelson Riddle. But the studio came up with some modern pop records which technically may have been in the rhythm of swing and foxtrot, but which I didn't like".]

jill Hamilton said...

ValdVin, a professional what...?

ValdVin said...

A professional performer? I guess.

I just had a stream-of-conscious moment about anything like singing and dancing: Fun for an avocation, but genuine work as a vocation, with people watching you.

And I'm way too much the introvert too having all those strangers do a play-by-play watching me.

aferretcalledwilson said...

I've heard about this "upper lefthand quadrant" of the clitoris bit before. That sounds like such nonsense. Why the hell would a clitoris be fundamentally asymmetric?

I first heard about it in "EMO - Extended Massive Orgasm" which seems to be the same technique, only performed over an hour instead of over 15minutes. It just gives me the willies (not the fun kind).

That said, I do like the idea of 15 minutes of goalless unreciprocated sex. I'm gonna try that with some dick in my face.

jill Hamilton said...

ferret, that is so interesting. wtf would it be asymmetric???? but it seems kinda...true at the same time. Feh! Women!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...