Opening Up My Preferences

by Elan Hickler

When I was growing up, following the teachings of Reverend Moon and the Unification Church, I was striving to be obedient and pure. My religion prohibited dating before marriage, never mind sex before marriage. Nowadays, the rules have become more lenient, as people have realized how messed up it is to be thrown into a marriage with no experience of a relationship. 

Arranged Marriage

At the age of 20, I married a young woman from our faith, chosen with the help of my parents. At first, I was infatuated with my wife. The experience of being with a woman was so new and exciting I probably would have felt the same way with almost anybody. But a few years down the line, I started feeling I wasn't attracted to this person, and maybe I would have preferred someone else.

Marital Struggles and Contemplating Divorce

Still, I kept going, trying to be empathetic and understanding. I tended to stay in the house because I didn't like to go out and be social. I was stressed out with work, and I often worked when I should have been spending time with my wife. As time went on, I grew moodier and passive-aggressive. We had lots of fights.

Every two years, I would get fed up and decide I wanted a divorce, even though it meant breaking the blessing of being married in the sight of the church. Divorce in our community was considered really bad. Once, I called up my parents and told them I would rather die than stay in this marriage. After that phone call, my wife and I got in the car and drove around, not talking to each other until I calmed down. Another time, my parents and her mother came over, and we had a big conversation about what it would take for me to stay in the marriage. Each time I was about to leave, something made me stay.

Post-Divorce Reflection and Experimenting with Dating

After eight years, I finally broke it off. Right after the divorce, I was so relieved. I'm sure it was hard for my wife, but I couldn't do it anymore. I was told that in return for staying pure until marriage, I would get the reward of a life with a fantastic woman, but after all, she was just a woman. She's a good person, but I didn't feel fulfilled. 

At that point, I thought, Forget about purity. It didn't work. I tried Tinder, but after two dates, I realized it wasn't for me. I wasn't ready for a relationship, and intimacy without connection wasn't for me.

Discovering Orgasmic Meditation (OM)

Six months after the divorce, when I had given up on Tinder, I came across information about Orgasmic Meditation. The practice made sense to me, especially the idea of making a connection through energy. After practicing OM, I'm still not sure the right word to describe the intensity of the energy that makes the connection with the other person.

The OM Experience

When I had my first OM, I was excited about embarking on something new. The sense of arousal was an antidepressant. I'd call it a motivator, an invigorator. It was an adventure that nourished me in a way that I wasn't getting nourished anywhere else. At the same time, I was nervous about doing everything right, following the rules, and making sure the strokee had a good experience. 

Gaining Confidence

After a few OMs, I let go of the nervousness and started to follow the flow. The container is helpful because it keeps the options limited. You can concentrate on stroking and how your body feels and not have to worry about anything else. Although it still felt like a risky endeavor because it was such an unusual and intimate situation, I became confident that I could trust myself to handle the responsibility.

Expanding Preferences

Orgasmic Meditation taught me to open up my preferences but in a more positive way. OMing with people of all different kinds and ages was a tremendous learning experience. I was determined to say yes to any OM, but there were moments that still challenged me. I might say yes to an OM externally, but I still had to prepare myself to say yes internally and be open to her. The OMs were great, and I was glad to experience the world beyond my preferences. I felt good doing something I thought I'd never do.

Emotional Growth

Another new experience I've had is saying, “I love you,” to a male friend. I wouldn't have said that before OMing. I learned that a person is a human being, not male or female, old or young, ugly or beautiful. I want to be there for them in whatever capacity I can. I want to be fully loving myself to exercise my highest potential in any relationship.

A New Philosophy of Life

Orgasmic Meditation came along at a time when I had let go of everything I held to be holy and important. I didn't have any more beliefs. During the pandemic, in isolation, I've had a lot of time to think about how I want to live. I hit a low point, feeling I don't know what to do with myself. I've become empty, and I'm trying to figure out what to put there. It's becoming clear that what I enjoy in life is making people happy. I enjoy the ability to make someone else feel good, whether it's through acts of service or acts of kindness. Connecting with people and seeing them happy has become the bottom line for me. If I can't figure out anything else that's important in life, that is at least something I can strive for.

After all this rethinking, I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When the pandemic is over, and I can be social outside of the house again, I'm looking forward to seeing where all these new experiences will take me. 

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