I learned as a child how to make everything look great on the surface. As a little girl, smiling in photos, you can see that my hair was always done just right. My dresses were clean and if not completely fashionable, pretty and modest. My mother insisted on keeping everything spotless, and I internalized her rules, even as I longed to rebel against them. Above all, I learned to be one hell of a people-pleaser.
As I grew up, it got harder and harder to say what it was I wanted. I got better and better at making other people happy, and more and more cut off from my own feelings and desires. I was good at flattery and accommodation, but it often made me feel manipulative at first, and then taken advantage of later on. I felt as if people should know what I needed without my having to ask. When they couldn’t figure it out, I felt unwanted and rejected. This pattern continued even after I became a mom; I had a martyr complex, to be honest. Over and over, I’d say the same thing: “Poor me. Here I go again, having to do everything for myself, no one cares.” And so on.
Once my kids were grown and I was a single empty-nester, I felt as if I had completely given up. I felt isolated from everyone, and completely cut off from my sexuality. I would sometimes treat myself to a massage, because I figured the only way I could get touch. I thought about another relationship, and I tried some of the dating sites, but I could never find anyone with whom I connected. They seemed to dismiss me too quickly, or they just lacked the depth I was craving.
I live on a farm, and I sometimes have visitors. One spring weekend, two old friends came to visit. I hadn’t seen Charles and Michelle in years, and when they came to stay with me on the farm, I was struck by how happy and vibrant they both seemed. One night at dinner, I told Michelle she looked absolutely amazing: “You’re glowing!” I blurted out.
She laughed, and elbowed Charles. “Tell her why, honey,” she told him with a snicker. And Charles laughed and told me that they were both doing this practice called Orgasmic Meditation. I was so shocked, I knocked over my glass of wine. When Charles said the word “clitoris,” I blushed and couldn’t meet his gaze.
I acted like a total prude – but a seed had been planted. It bothered me that I had no language for my sexual needs, or my craving for intimacy. Watching Charles and Michelle together, and seeing how at ease and joyful they were together, made me feel crippled. I felt a lot of shame, and a little jealousy, and just a little bit of hope. Maybe, just maybe, I could try this Orgasmic Meditation thing too.
It was Michelle’s glow that got me to walk into the building where the OM demonstration was held. At first, I wanted to leave – I didn’t see any men to whom I was immediately attracted, which I suppose had been my fantasy. When I understood I would have to ask someone to OM with me if I wanted to try the practice for myself, I nearly walked out. And yet, again, I found the will to stay.
I OMed three times in a row with the same man. The first time, I didn’t feel very much. I couldn’t get out of my head; I felt amazed that I had the guts to go through with this. I had blushed so fiercely when Charles had said the word “clitoris,” and here I was with my pants off, letting a stranger touch my genitals. It almost didn’t matter that I didn’t feel much the first time; I was so proud of myself just for getting to this point!
It was in my third OM with this same man that I was able to verbalize an adjustment. “A little firmer and to the left,” I said – and he did exactly as I asked. Instantly, it started to feel good. I felt this whole sense of well-being rushing through me. When it was over, I felt so wonderfully connected to this man. I wasn’t confusing it with romance, either. I just knew we had shared this beautiful experience, and I had found the ability to trust him enough to ask for what I wanted. It is so very liberating to be able to trust men at last!
After that third OM, it hit me how much in my life I’d missed out on for so long because I couldn’t articulate my needs and wants. For a very short time, I threw myself a pity party, but I got over it quickly. There were too many new things to experience!
My favorite part of OM quickly became what happened at the end. People didn’t just get up and walk away or say a hasty and awkward goodbye. We shared what we’d experienced, and that sharing didn’t just seal the connection, it really became the most important part of the connection for me.
My relationships with women have also improved since I came to the practice. I don’t see them as rivals anymore, and I don’t compare myself to them constantly. I know that there’s no such thing as competition, because what is meant to come to me will come if I keep doing my work. And if I don’t find that relationship, that’s okay too. I’m done with these lukewarm connections that are just exchanges of needs. I’m not going to settle for someone because I feel lonely. I have stayed in relationships that were really just commerce. Now I’m here for the cream, and I’m willing to hold out for it. I’m worth it. I’d never have believed that before, but I believe it in my core now.