My philosophy of life is all about growing, and I've been on a journey of wanting to dig deep. I’ve done Vipassana retreats and meditation and Five Rhythms Dance and yoga. And then there’s my art. I’ve always had the ability to consider alternative ways of reflecting and looking at life.
What attracted me to OM was my hunger for connection. I was in graduate school, carrying a really heavy workload, and not really having any social life. I was looking for an intimate connection with a woman—not necessarily a relationship with someone and not a one-night stand type thing either. I wanted to know if there was a space of connection that was intimate and sensual that didn’t fall into these two categories. I was looking for something new, something that was mutually empowering for both parties.
I was doing Meetup groups and going on hikes and stuff like that. And I saw a Meetup about OM. I think it was an orientation or introduction. At that meeting I remember we all did an exercise where we each tasted a strawberry and closed our eyes and then described the taste. It was surprisingly intimate, and all this stuff came up for me—the fear, “Oh, am I doing this right?” and that sort of thing. There was a dialogue afterwards where we could talk about what we were feeling. And I was amazed at how this question of manhood came up and how much fear there is around it.
The OM practice itself was interesting. There was so much fear around learning about women’s genitals. I didn't know what I didn't know until I realized I didn't know it. There was so much fear around even touching a clitoris, and that really unconsciously affected me. Before OM I was someone who wasn't connected to my sexual energy. I had a two-dimensional level of presence in intimacy and had to face some really big-time insecurities before I could dive deeper and learn about the different layers of a woman’s genitals, the lips and the clitoral hood and what it all really looked like. It was so different from sex. There was real connection.
OM also taught me how to accept rejection, how to not take things so personally. (I think that’s probably still a challenge for me!) But it opened me up to being okay with someone saying “No, thank you.” And having my partner directing me on how to do the stroking, telling me what to do… as I reflect on it now in the light of gender dynamics, a woman telling me what to do was challenging, particularly in the beginning.
OM is such a metaphor for so many things in life, especially male sexual expectations. The woman should be having a large orgasm and making lots of noise. If she doesn't, I’m going to judge her because she's not performing like she should. Either that or I’m going to worry that I must be doing something wrong. There’s all this attachment to having an outcome. OM brought up so many of my issues, my hang ups and insecurities. And it gave me a safe place to expose these things. Because there are clear guidelines for both partners, I felt the safety and the clarity, and that felt really good.
In the beginning I thought the person getting stroked is the person who gets the pleasure. But I’ve seen that it goes both ways. I haven't gotten to that point yet for the entire practice, but I can feel a lot of pleasure practicing OM. There are moments, maybe a couple minutes, of bliss. But then there’s another ten minutes to go!
Today I use what I’ve learned with OM all the time. I use it without even really realizing it. For example, when my life partner or just some stranger gives me an adjustment, I am appreciative. Something as simple as, “Oh, can you move that over there?” Or “Can you clean the dishes this way?” Or “Can you hang the bathroom rug up afterwards?” I can appreciate it now. Honestly, we live in such a patriarchal society, even tiny adjustments like this can be seen as critical and emasculating. It’s crazy. Before OM, as a man I didn't realize that a woman doesn't even know that she can speak up.
There's so much lack of clarity and lack of communication and insecurity in the world. There's so much baggage. But there’s something about the OM nest that just eliminates all that. It gets you past expectations and a lot of the stuff you’re so afraid of. It’s showed me what women are like in their power. And that’s a very beautiful thing.
OM has been an entryway for my life partner and me to be intimate. I’ve found it to be a great tool to connect us when we're wondering “How could we even be intimate and loving with each other right now?” We’ve developed this routine where we OM every day, or even twice a day, for a 30 Day Challenge. We read the book Slow Sex together. And even though sometimes it’s hard, it breaks down the walls between us.