Philadelphia Sex Diaries: I Practice Orgasmic Meditation

It’s sort of like yoga. Without pants. And with lots of stroking.

Collage by Kevin Burzynski

Collage by Kevin Burzynski

I came to the practice of Orgasmic Meditation nine years ago via a circuitous 20-year route of other practices: yoga, seated meditation, bodywork. I haven’t found a more powerful catalyst for really effecting change in my life than OM.

Orgasm, the way I know it, is indirect, unpredictable, expansive, inclusive. It’s a state rather than an event. What the rest of the world calls “orgasm,” we call “climax”: part of orgasm, but far from the whole story. If the climax is the cymbal crash in a symphony, we’re looking at the whole symphony. We learn to up our attention to the more subtle stuff; the low oboe line is just as interesting and relevant.

OM is a 15-minute partnered practice in which a stroker strokes the upper-left quadrant of a woman’s clitoris with no goal except to feel what arises. The stroker is fully clothed, and the strokee is undressed from the waist down. It’s a strict 15 minutes — we set a timer. Part of the beauty of the practice is that it’s so self-contained; I know exactly what’s going to happen in those 15 minutes. The protocol of the practice is quite rigid. This isn’t a professional service, like getting a haircut or a massage. Rather, it’s a community of folks who practice, meaning they’re co-creating an experience. The whole notion of giver and receiver falls away. It’s more like jazz. The bassist isn’t giving Miles Davis a bass line. Rather, they’re both just responding in pitch-perfect resonance to the thing that’s between them.

Both stroker and strokee train in this practice — private training is three sessions to get started. (My intro package is $450, for about three to four hours of instruction.) After training, all practice sessions are free. Once you’re trained, you’re added to a private community page or forum, and that’s where you find partners for your practice. There are probably about 500 or so folks who have learned to OM in Philly. It’s not like a dating app, either. I OM with people I would never date, and I’ve had amazing experiences with partners I don’t know socially. All genders train and practice — of course, you need a minimum of one clitoris to practice. Usually it’s done in somebody’s home; just like you’d have a friend over for tea, you have a friend over for an OM.

We look at orgasm as a flow state, something bigger that overtakes you. It’s so different from other sexuality practices out there. It’s not “15 tricks to blow her mind tonight!” It’s more similar to the Slow Food movement, which took all the crap out of our food so that we can learn to truly taste how, say, an apple tastes. This is learning to feel again.

I expected OM to change my romantic relationship, and it did — it improved our communication, and we became more honest with each other. But I was blown away by the impact it had on my other relationships. The range of people I enjoy has expanded infinitely. I have more empathy and better boundaries, and I’ve learned to ask for and receive what I want more fully. Practicing that, day in and day out, with the most sensitive part of my body has made it so much more available when my pants go on and I’m out in the world. I’m nine years into this practice, and the only things I know for sure are that I’ve never had the same experience twice in an OM, and I’ll never feel all of my orgasm. And that’s the beauty of it: This terrain is infinite.

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