ColumnLast week I introduced you to Orgasmic Meditation, colloquially known as OM. Then over the weekend I got more intimate with the practice – which, I must admit, wasn’t something I jumped into with wild abandon.
I’ve thought about trying it since 2009, so hasty I was not. I’m a skeptic by nature, thus the lag time between my conceptual intrigue with OM’ing and the practical application of said knowledge.
Despite what lots of people have written about OM and OneTaste, I’m just going to say it – I’m believer now. I’ve always been something of an orgasm evangelist, but OM brings a suite of fringe benefits that your good old Big O may not offer you. I declare: aim to orgasm early and often by any means necessary, but do try OM at least once in your life – it’s worth it.
OneTaste offers classes in major cities across the country, but for the first time this past weekend, they offered their introductory course online, via livestream. This made all the difference for me, because I had some serious reticence about getting my OM on in front of a group. Aside from a few tech hiccups like buffering and Time Warner failing mid-workshop, it was all good, as they say. We got things running again just as the live demo began – and saw an OM demonstration in progress before plunging in. It is humbling and amazing to witness a real woman in real orgasm given the ubiquity of porn.
When I began practicing yoga more than ten years ago, I was most turned on by the transformative way it took me deeper into my body by teaching me to go beyond my body. I learned profound lessons about body image when I realized that my body was merely a vessel. Chanting and meditation helped me along this path, of course. In the context of a Western yoga practice, one can get easily caught up in goals – lithe limbs, strength, power, the overall coolness of one’s yoga attire – but the essence is you and your mat and your connection, through your breath, to something more universal. Oneness, if you will.
In 2014 we all live more and more outside of our bodies, as if we are mere extensions of our iPhone, ones that have taken iPads as our consorts. We need to practice mindfulness now more than ever. Silicon Alley, ironically, the people who bring us the toys that disconnect us from our bodies, have caught on to how powerful meditation can be. They tend to call it “hacking the brain” and see it as a great adjunct to capitalism. I have a different agenda, but hey – it’s cool if we use the same (orgasm) technology.
Here’s the thing – of all the meditation, yoga, and pranayama I’ve tried, just one OM session kind of trumps it all. It has something to do with the way the mind shuts off during orgasm, I’m sure. Dr. Poojah Lakshmin, a Stanford-trained physician (and a research scientist at Rutgers University) calls the OM experience, “meditation on speed.” Oh, yes – that’s it, right there.
Dr. Lakshmin explains that in the Western world, we tend to overuse our neo-cortex and underuse our limbic system. The limbic system rules our emotions – it’s where we experience emotional connection, intuition, and awareness of our bodies — sensation. Not worries about the body – awareness of what your nipples, your genitalia, your lips and toes or the small of your back feels like. The neo-cortex is our brain’s Woody Allen – it’s the bit that makes us neurotic and judgmental.
Lakshmin’s subjects are placed in MRI machines while they either self-stimulate to orgasm or are stimulated, OM-style, by a stroker. The research is still unfolding, but seems to point to a profoundly deepened and expanded experience during partnered orgasm.
Side note: heteronormativity is an issue that often comes up in stories about OM and OneTaste, but it’s hard for me to comment on the crowd at the workshop as I attended from my own living room. However, OneTaste has assured me that they are queer-friendly and actively supporting queer partners. They’ve also recently added a few queer women to their staff. Given that most strokers tend to be men, “What’s in it for the dude?” comes up a lot. I have but one purely anecdotal post-OM dude review to share: “Sophisticated & arousing.”
That OM forces us to deal with body shame, both cultural and self-imposed, is but one reason I hope it spreads far and wide. That it opens up channels of intuition and intimacy, cementing our connections with others in our deeply disconnected world — also hugely important. But most of all, for me at least, the power of OM is that it puts women’s pleasure, something that has been relegated to the back-burner of our collective to-do list for thousands of years, first. This singular factor is revolutionary. And the sensation of being aglow with tiny filaments of light beneath my skin for 24-hours straight? That was pretty good too.
Keep in touch with Stefanie on Twitter: @ecosexuality
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