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Blog Post


Published June, 2024

Protest and Specialness

Protest often comes when specialness cannot take root and often occurs as a cold front of contrarianism. The strokee has decided to use the OM as a method of complaint, categorically dismissing every stroke as inferior—either verbally with a never-ending train of adjustments or nonverbally with her loudly withdrawn attention. Though she may be adding performance on top of the withdrawal, her contribution to the OM is absent at the level of sensation. If we feel inept as a stroker then we can know she has not fully surrendered into her body. This is not to say we, as a stroker, are not responsible for ensuring the quality of our attention is strong, stable, and connected; our technical skill does contribute to the potential of her surrendering to her body. However, the humbling truth is that only she can make the choice to drop in. It can seem from her inner-wrestle—expressing as frustration, irritation, or disgust—that there is something for us to do.

Stroker's Skill

The lesson here is that our skill as a stroker is dependent on our capacity to be with the experience, without feeling compelled to do anything other than continue to stroke the clitoris. Part of her protest may be the withdrawal of sensation altogether. In that case, we stroke for what it feels like to stroke with no sensation between our finger and the clitoris. We have one other option, and this is to stop stroking. We can simply say, “I’m not feeling a lot here. I’m going to stop the OM now. Let me know if you want to try this later.” The challenge is not to punish but also not to appease. We will want to do both, and the way through is to simply focus on the sensation between ourselves and the strokee.

Reinforcing Behavior

But if we appease or punish, we reinforce the behavior, and if we ignore, withdraw, or block, we also reinforce the behavior. This may seem like a no-win situation, when in fact there is the opportunity for a big win. The big win occurs when we build steady attention in the face of protest. As a result, we develop an unconditional kindness which cannot be taken from us. This is not a performative version of kindness, but a real version.

Power and Attention

The only way to build steady attention in the face of protest is to stay firmly rooted in power. Power is located in the neutral location of sensation between finger and clitoris. We keep that spot open with our attention and relate to the spot, not to the person. We cannot afford to relate to the individual without the mediator of the in-between sensation, or else we fall into the personal, which appears as doubt in ourselves. Having lost our center, we will get lost in attempts to prove to her we are right or expressing anger at her anger, which ultimately leads us to punishing her. But when our attention stays on the sensation, we stay informed in real time of what is happening, which gives us the power to respond consciously.

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