Orgasmic Meditation

A Love Story in the Field of Orgasm

 Me post-OM

Me post-OM

Originally posted November 25, 2012

 

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing

there is a field. I will meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

doesn’t make any sense.

~Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks

 

I met him in a field. The field of Orgasm. And, miraculously, he met me there.

We spoke very little. The words: a momentary verbal stroke guiding us back to that place beyond language.

Many of us ask, “Where is this place and how to I get there?”

The answer is deceptively simple.

The Place: here and now.

The How: Two words.

Attention.

Approval.

That’s it.

Simple? Yes.

Easy? Hardly.

But that’s why we practice. To invite our vulnerable sex out to play. To coax out our impacted erotic voice. Stumble and fall. Stumble and fall. Blame. Project. Hide. Reach. Touch. Soar. Drop. Down, down, down. Humility. Grace.

Rise up.

Repeat.

Ad nauseum.

Until a day comes when the moments of surrender outweigh the moments of struggle. The moments of judgment. The moments of taking it personally. The moments of ‘not loud enough or hot enough or good enough’.

The day you enter the field. The field of Orgasm. The field beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing.

I lay down in a nest of pillows, naked from the waist down. He sat to my right. We came together, as we had many times before, to practice Orgasmic Mediation.

I noticed his curious and unwavering attention. Total focus and approval of my body no matter where he roamed. Gentle fingers gliding over smooth skin. A few firm kneads into the meat of my thighs. Grounding. Deep. The knuckles of his fingers slipping over the coarse hair at the juncture of my hip and pussy.

He then slipped his left index finger lightly into the pocket of my clit. An immediate, electric zing coursed through my torso, down my legs and into his hand. My soul surrendered to the grass. All my defenses, masks and fears dissolved.

As he began stroking I could feel the heat building in my pussy. My left leg. My bottoms of my feet. Riding the edge of ecstatic unbearableness.

And then, in an instant, I popped out above our cloud. I lost connection to the sensation. And it’s oftentimes here, when we’ve scaled heights beyond our homeostatic range, that one can get lost in a judgmental mind-fuck.

“He’s not doing it right.”

“Oh, no, I lost attention and fucked it all up.”

“I’m not a turned-on, orgasmic woman.”

“I don’t want to ask for what I want because it will hurt his feelings.”

“I don’t want to ‘kill the moment’ with my trivial requests.”

“This sucks.”

“I’m bored.”

“My vibrator can pleasure me better than this.”

One might even, in the twisted logic of sexual anorexia (laced with puritanical fear), be grateful to have disconnected from such naked intimacy. After all, this man is not my fiancé. He is, in fact, not even a lover. How could I possible give over all my Orgasm, all my pleasure, all my treasures to someone I casually know? What if he expects something in return? How dare he try to take more than his fair share! No one violates me!

But none of that enters the field. Years of practice have now bypassed the ‘ego preservation’ response.

First: Attention. Pure, clean attention. I noticed the sensation in my genitals has decreased.

Second: Approval. My clit feels numb. And that’s OK.

No drama. No self-lacerating. No debating with Orgasm on how it ‘should’ feel.

And the moment I admitted those four little words, “My clit feels numb,” a rush of fire flooded the left side of my genitals and tiny, sharp clit-teeth dug into his stroking finger.

Attention plus Approval begets Orgasm.

Later on, another moment arose. This time, the sensation dropped, though it was not from numbness. Orgasm had moved and requested attention elsewhere.

I listened to her. I acknowledged her request. And in return, my desire rang clear.

I spoke.

“A little lower. Less pressure, please. Slightly to the left.”

Cool, fresh air expanded over us and icicles prickled the skin on my arms.

At the end of our OM, he shared that there was no screen to our venture.

“Yes,” I agreed.

Almost too much to acknowledge the truth in our shared experience. My “yes” was a confession. A giving up of my game. Checkmate. I had been seen.

Raw and unfiltered. No pretense, veneer, artifice, seduction, romance, manipulation, drama or gilding the lily. Simply me. Him. And the field.

And with that level of surrender came the greatest range of Orgasm I have yet known.

I’m not talking about Orgasm as climax. As a 30-second exhausting crash at the end of a rollercoaster you’ve been chasing with all your fury.

I’m talking about Orgasm. That breathing, pulsing force of life that births every moment and catapults you into the unknown. Knocks you on your involuntary ass and demands the immediate relinquishment of your emotional arsenal. That burns and twists and grinds and fucks you open in depths of your shadow.

And Orgasm. That sweet, downy caress that bathes your face in fresh milk and purrs mildly in your ear. That sings you softly awake in the purest of light.

And Orgasm. Unattached. Unexpectant. Unconditional. Love.

He got up. Washed his hands. I twisted my skirt back on. A warm hug.

“Happy Thanksgiving,” he said.

“Safe travels,” I replied.

The door closed.

The dance ended.

I met him in a field. The field of Orgasm. And, thankfully, he met me there. 

Top 20 Hard-Knock Life Lessons from Orgasmic Meditation

Originally posted April 14, 2012

Article also featured on elephantjournal.com

View just the Top 20 List Here

In Defense of Orgasm

This past Monday night, I attended the launch party of The Best Sex Writing 2012, published by Cleis Press and edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, in San Francisco. Many of the most prolific and controversial American sex writers attended and read from their essays, which are featured in the anthology. The pieces ran the gamut, from atheistic sex to the difference between sex trafficking and sex workers to political ‘sexting’ and polyamory.

However, the moment Tracy Clark-Flory took to the mike to read her article, The Worship of Female Pleasure (which was posted on Salon.com), I knew I had to brace myself. I remember the piece well, in which she speaks about her experience at viewing an impromptu demonstration of Orgasmic Meditation (also known as OM) at a women’s weekend retreat she recently attended.

Full disclosure: I teach the practice of Orgasmic Meditation and learned it through the ‘slow sex’ coaching program’ she derides—mainly because of the cost and the “good old-fashioned capitalism” displayed in offering such a program (side note: most yoga teacher and life coach training programs cost anywhere from $3000-$20,000, so the price for the Slow Sex Program is well within the limits of financial reason). Though I am finished with my training and now have my own private practice and business, I am deeply grateful for the coaching program and for what Orgasmic Meditation has taught me.

So imagine my chagrin Monday night as people are snickering and rolling their eyes when she describes the reverie that the stroker of the OM demonstration was feeling, saying that her “throaty exhalation…sounds as if it belongs in a Lamaze class.” She notes that two members of the retreat are “overcome by the intensity of the performance and are silently crying” (insert more snide laughs here) and says that one has to dig beneath the “freaky OMing exterior” to find some semblance of a relatable message. Even the slightly snarky title, The Worship of Female Pleasure, suggests that to foster a deep relationship with our genitals (an area continuously shrouded in shame and secrecy, especially for women) is borderline religious, woo-woo weirdness.

Now, let me say that I genuinely respect Ms. Clark-Flory’s experience and her process. Her opinion is entirely hers and her perspective 100% valid. She doesn’t paint a completely negative picture of OM. She says that it’s a “refreshing counterpoint to the porny mainstream” and she touches upon the aspects of OM that are based in intuitiveness, mindfulness and countering our negative conditioning around sex. And I can also understand how she was caught off guard, since the women’s weekend advertised that there would be “no sexual activity.”

But to write off Orgasmic Meditation (or laugh it off, in the case of Monday night’s audience) without even having tried the practice seems completely closed-minded. I mean, there I am, frozen with shock in the middle of Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco (the Mecca of sexual adventure), at a freaking sex book party, for Chrissakes, and I am the black sheep of the sexual family. Rape fantasies, transgender prostitutes, penis gagging—all of that is welcome—even celebrated (as it should be!). But putting clean attention on a woman’s pussy for 15 minutes (while the other partner is clothed, no less!)—well that’s just too freaky.

Granted, a part of me can see why “not even most coast-dwelling liberals are ready to be intimately stroked in a roomful of strangers,” as Ms. Clark-Flory concludes. Shining a light on a woman’s orgasm and stripping it down to its barest essence (with no fancy toys or ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ to cover it up) can be extremely confronting. I can also understand that directly addressing the nature of female desire is still highly taboo in our culture. Hugo Schwyzer touches upon this in this essay, “I Want You to Want Me” (also featured in The Best Sex Writing 2012). He notes that while men are hungry to be physically looked upon and admired, the cultural gaze continues to stay fixated on women:

Teaching women that their bodies have great power over men creates a huge problem for women. By putting the focus on managing male desire, women are taught to ignore or suppress their own desires. It’s a loss for women and it’s a loss for men.

Finally, there’s my own personal orgasmic path, which hasn’t been all succulent delights and shrieks of ecstasy. Oh, make no mistake—I have had my share of sexual escapades. Tied up in rope for hours, gagged, spanked, flogged in public, anally penetrated, anally penetrated others, public sex, play parties, threesomes, foursomes, fivesomes—and of course, the good, old-fashioned American jackhammer fuck. I always considered myself a ‘good lay’ and achieving climax was never a problem. Perhaps you could call this my “Girls Gone Wild” phase after my divorce (my marriage being a time when I was so terrified of sex, I would just lay on my back while he ‘got it over with’). I thought it was my sexual duty as a self-proclaimed free woman to say ‘yes’ to any offer that came along and I even had a game going where I wanted to sleep with one man for each sign on the Zodiac (yes, I won).

Mind you, don’t get the idea that I am writing off these experiences as shallow and lacking in value. Many of them cracked me open in ways in which I am profoundly grateful. And I don’t want to give the impression that the only meaningful sex comes from hours of eye-gazing and ‘tantric’ breathing. The distinction for me comes not in what I was exploring, but how I was exploring. At times I felt like I was playing sexual ‘Truth or Dare,’ rather than asking for what I really wanted in the moment (oftentimes because I couldn’t even identify exactly what it was that I wanted).

Through the “Girls Gone Wild” phase, I was OMing—and tapping into massive amounts of sexual energy. Sometimes it looked like stretches of thick, hot pleasure, but oftentimes it was intense bouts of crying as layers of shame and fear melted off my clit. But through it all, I held onto the ‘knowledge’ that I was a good fuck and that my sex was being liberated. My adventurous escapades were the evidence I needed to prove that I was, once-and-for-all, a woman open in her sexuality.

However, in the past few months, there has been a sharp and noticeable shift in my orgasm, and therefore, my sexual identity has come under the microscope. Whereas before I was ready to ride anything that came along, I find myself wanting to spend more time alone or with just one other partner. My orgasm on the physical level feels much lighter and softer. I notice that I feel more sensation when my lover lightly breaths on my nipples than when he is pounding my pussy. What once was loud and brash and fiery is now more like a cool whisper. And peeking out from behind these new sensations is an innocent, barely-ripe ingénue who simply loves for love’s sake and has no battle-weary sexual résumé to back up her scars of knowledge. In fact, she really knows very little at all.

While there is an excitement in exploring these new flavors, there is also a tremendous amount of terror that I have somehow lost my electricity. I am afraid I am ‘less of a woman’ (an experience I had during my years of anorexia when I wasn’t menstruating). Connecting physically to my partner is easy in the light caresses, but somehow that thread gets broken once we explore higher levels of energy. I have an intense fear that no one can feel me here or find me in this place.

My identity is breaking into pieces. Who am I now, if I am not an insanely erotic beast ready to burst at every man’s touch? Who am I if I can not satisfy my lover on all levels? Am I really the monogamous type (cuz my pride tells me there’s no fuckin’ way I’m getting caught in the vanilla marriage trap again)? What right do I have to teach Orgasmic Meditation if I have no clue who my own erotic self is?

It’s as if I’m standing on this very tiny, unstable lilypad—and everywhere I turn, white smoke spans out beyond me as far as I can see. I don’t know which way is north. I don’t know if there is solid ground beyond where I am standing. I can’t seem to feel or hear anyone. Loneliness, blindness and grief sit smack in the middle of my sex. Indeed, I am crying as I write this and I wonder, “Will I ever have the kind of timeless connection with another human being for which I have been hungering for all my life?” I’m not talking about schlocky, romance, happily-ever-after, til-death-do-us-part bullshit.  I am talking about soul-to-soul, naked in all our beauty and madness and filled up with so much orgasm that we just burst into another realm of existence. I have had glimpses beyond the veil, but I have no idea what those glimpses mean or how to get back.

My faith began to waver. “Fuck you, Orgasmic Meditation,” I cried out, “and your fucking false advertising.”

And then, a few nights ago, I saw a women experience OM for the first time. Afterwards, she looked at her partner with such love, tears filling her eyes. “I want to cry,” she said. “No one has ever put that kind of attention on me.”

Her orgasm reached across the room and warmed my whole body. Tingles ran over the backs of my hands and along my neck. My heart swelled in gratitude. “Yes,” I thought to myself, “this is why I teach this practice.”

She was a reminder of all that OM has taught me and was a testament to the power of the practice. One of my dear friends (and fellow coaches) noted that perhaps this soft part of me that is emerging was being ‘held hostage’ by the fact that I was a ‘hot lay.’

And so, without further ado, here is my list of the Top 20 Hard-Knock Life Lessons from Orgasmic Meditation:

1. Life is so much richer when you aren’t grasping for climax. This way you are open to feeling all the nuances of what is here now, as opposed to clamping down on how you think it should be.

2. Sometimes all you need is a good, clean downstroke to carry you to the bottom, help you peel off an old layer, and bounce back up again.

3. Know when you are full and express your gratitude. It will help you expand your capacity to receive.

4. Every experience begins with desire. It’s your choice whether or not you express it, but if you hold back, there will be static between you and the other person that will make intimacy that much more difficult.

5. Don’t overstroke. When the peak has ended, be courageous enough to change.

6. Before there’s “get off,” you must first put simple attention on what is, approve of it and engage it 100%.

7. Stroke for your pleasure. The moment you start doing something to produce a result, you are setting yourself up for resentment.

8. You’ve already done it “right.” All you have to do is show up and get into position.

9. Focus on sensation. It’s the purest language between you and your partner. Let go of the story you have around who that person is and who you think you are.

10. Life, like an OM, is an experience unto itself, not collateral for a future transaction. You don’t owe anyone anything for participating.

11. Push out through your genitals. The world is hungry to feel your orgasm. It’s the fuel that drives you and the energy that magnetizes that which you desire into your life.

12. Sometime we go up, sometimes we go down. The practice is in riding the waves, rather than drowning in them.

13. Breathe and surrender. The rest will be taken care of.

14. Be willing to ask for the exact stroke you want. Set yourself up so that the people around you can win.

15. “No” is not a rejection of you, but of the offer. Don’t take anything personally.

16. Sometimes you are the stroker and sometimes you are the strokee. Know your role in the moment and play it fully.

17. Oftentimes, it is the lightest stroke that draws out the deepest desire.

18. Slow down. Feel. Include. Expand.

19. Orgasm is big enough to include everything and volatile enough to burn away what is false.

20. The ride alone is the reward.

And so, Ms. Clark-Flory (and various other SF audience members), I can understand why you might snicker and scoff at the ‘bizarre’ and ‘freaky’ practice of Orgasmic Meditation. It does look weird. On the surface, it’s not as glamorous (and therefore not as easy to sell) as other sexual exploits. And, no doubt, it knocks on the doors guarding your pride and intimacy, as it does mine.

But OM is my foundation. I know this not because I have practicing it for over two years, but because my desire keeps bringing me back here (oftentimes against my will). As much as I want to escape into the known world of externally-validated sexuality, my body feels hollow and hungry the moment I turn my back on my practice.

Granted, OM may not be the path for everyone. One’s sexuality is a very personal exploration, as varied as there are people in the world. But I would appreciate a little care, open-mindedness and inclusivity for what resonates with me, just as I extend the same egalitarian attitude towards what works for you.

Or not. Because even if the whole world writes me off as some wacky crackpot, I will continue to do the thing that is most authentic and nourishing to my erotic self. For in the end, she answers to no one but her own desire.

Orgasmic Living: Sharing Frames

 The ocean next to Sutro Baths, SF

The ocean next to Sutro Baths, SF

Originally posted January 24, 2012

"There was a period lasting about a minute where I knew if I "clamped down" I could climax...yet I just relaxed more and rode the razor edge of the sparkly, shimmery, cool, thick high...I wasn't moving a muscle...I didn't dare want anything "extra" on top of that sensation."--Frame from my OM on January 24, 2012

In OMing, a frame is a snapshot of moment of sensation (temperature, texture, location, vibration) when you felt something in your body. We do this at the end of the OM for many reasons:

1. It puts language to an otherwise inexpressible experience, which helps integrate the feeling and thinking brains.

2. It creates a personalized Orgasmic Map, so that once you discover a secret chamber within you, you have a route back to that place.

3. It transmits the sensation of the experience and heightens the intimacy between you and your partner. If you simply say, "that was good," your partner doesn't really know what your "good" feels like compared to his/hers. But if you say, "there was a moment I felt heat in my chest," your partner can viscerally relate to that.

4. It helps the stroker and strokee ground their energy and move back into everyday life after sitting in an intense field of sensation. This way, they can easily move back into their "normal" lives without feeling spacey and high.

5. It's an opportunity to practice the Slow Sex tenet of "simplicity"--feeling and expressing the simple truth of the experience, without creating a back story or attaching a meaning.

6. It keeps your attention out, rather than in your racing brain. Knowing that sharing a frame is a key step in the OM, you must stay present and consistently conscious. Otherwise you will have completely missed the ride and have nothing to say at the end!

Top 20 Things OM Has Taught Me

 Muir Beach

Muir Beach

Originally posted January 19, 2012

1. Life is so much richer when you aren’t grasping for climax. This way you are open to feeling all the nuances of what is here now, as opposed to clamping down on how you think it should be.

2. Sometimes all you need is a good, clean downstroke to carry you to the bottom, help you peel off an old layer, and bounce back up again.

3. Know when you are full and express your gratitude. It will help you expand your capacity to receive.

4. Every experience begins with desire. It’s your choice whether or not you express it, but if you hold back, there will be static between you and the other person that will make intimacy that much more difficult.

5. Don’t overstroke. When the peak has ended, be courageous enough to change.

6. Before there’s “get off,” you must first put simple attention on what is, approve of it and engage it 100%.

7. Stroke for your pleasure. The moment you start doing something to produce a result, you are setting yourself up for resentment.

8. You’ve already done it “right.” All you have to do is show up and get into position.

9. Focus on sensation. It’s the purest language between you and your partner. Let go of the story you have around who that person is and who you think you are.

10. Life, like an OM, is an experience unto itself, not collateral for a future transaction. You don’t owe anyone anything for participating.

11. Push out through your genitals. The world is hungry to feel your orgasm. It’s the fuel that drives you and the energy that magnetizes that which you desire into your life.

12. Sometime we go up, sometimes we go down. The practice is in riding the waves, rather than drowning in them.

13. Breathe and surrender. The rest will be taken care of.

14. Be willing to ask for the exact stroke you want. Set yourself up so that the people around you can win.

15. “No” is not a rejection of you, but of the offer. Don’t take anything personally.

16. Sometimes you are the stroker and sometimes you are the strokee. Know your role in the moment and play it fully.

17. Oftentimes, it is the lightest stroke that draws out the deepest desire.

18. Slow down. Feel. Include. Expand.

19. Orgasm is big enough to include everything and volatile enough to burn away what is false.

20. The ride alone is the reward.

Take Responsibility for Your Orgasm (for Women Who are “Too Much”)

Red Sea

Originally published June 8, 2011

…and really, what woman isn’t too much? Even the mousy, little librarian types at some point in their lives got the message that they were “too much” and to manage that, they squashed their orgasmic energy down into this tiny little thimble that they try to tuck away in the back folds of their skirts.

Ladies, the cat’s out of the bag. I see you. You have a volcano of raw, potent power just aching to be expressed, no matter how many times you try to sweetly deny it, act out in anger or run for the box doughnuts. Not only do I know you are powerful, it is in fact your sacred RESPONSIBILITY to cultivate that power and use it in service of evolving the planet.

So, go ahead, do us all a favor and add ‘orgasm’ to the top of your very busy to-do list (no, not after picking Billy up from soccer and making dinner…to the top).

Because when you don’t come from nourishing fullness, deep desire and pleasure, you are running on empty. Dry. Drained. Irritated. And it’s painful to watch. And because you are trying to hide the mountain of orgasm that you do possess, your energy leaks out in some very unhealthy (and often addictive) ways. Some more socially acceptable than others, but none in the best interest of your creative potential.

Maybe you constantly seek out relationships in order to quiet that nagging hunger you feel when you are alone and use seduction as a tool for the attention you crave. Maybe you try to stuff it down with binge eating or numb it out with the latest reality TV show. Maybe you use self-deprecating humor to deflect from the pain of your void. Maybe you lash out and blame everyone around you who you perceive as trying to ‘hold you back’ or ‘violate your rights’. Maybe your passive aggressiveness seeps out the sides like a sticky tar that keeps you frozen in fear and fury. Maybe you starve your orgasm to get the ultimate prize—weighing under 100 pounds (yeah, that one almost cost me my life).

The list goes on. Ladies, the time is now to recognize our power and take responsibility for it. It’s as if we women are the size of the Atlantic Ocean and we’ve been trying all our lives to fit intoLake Michigan. We dam up our waters, keeping them tightly reined in, but eventually we spill over and all the people we love get washed away. So we feel guilty and try to suck it in even more. Or we tell off those motherfuckers who just couldn’t handle us.

But now (thankfully) you know the truth. You are an ecosystem, teeming with vitality! Expand your container. Create the space to hold your bigness. Flow out to the edges of your known world so you can discover the life that is meant for you. And from your vast fullness, you can now carry sailors to new shores. Be part of the cycle that will nourish life on the planet. Provide a home for the myriad of sea-dwelling creatures. Your feminine energy is the planet’s greatest untapped natural resource.

You might be going “But HOW do I do this???” Great question. Start with slowing down and making a gentle inquiry as to where you are in life. Are you living a life of pleasure or just hoping to make it through the day? Where are you out of your integrity? What are the little ways you cheat yourself of the fullness of your life? Where do you cast blame on others for your problems? Do you wake up in the mornings excited about your life, or dreading it? Is your sex life fulfilling or empty (or non-existent!). Stay curious and compassionate as you ask yourself these questions, as they can bring up a lot of feelings of anger, shame, fear and guilt.

Other tools you can use are creating gratitude lists, practice speaking your truth (I recommend responsibly enrolling people you trust in that game), closing open cycles, doing anonymous acts of service, taking time for self-care and letting go of toxic relationships. But the biggest piece of advice I can give any woman is to OM. Setting aside 15 minutes per day to surrender in a safe container that is created purely for the exploration of orgasm is nothing short of miraculous. You will alchemize your energy into pure gold.

It may seem selfish and weird and awkward and you may fumble on your journey towards grace and power. And that too is part of your beauty. The hiccups. The slips, trips, falls and imperfections are what make you so unique and devastatingly irresistible to all who come into your sphere.

So laugh. A lot. And have courage. Trust in who you are and what you know. The world awaits you…

"You teach...WHAT!?"

Originally posted May 20, 2011

I was at an audition the other day and they were asking me questions about who I was: my volunteer work, yoga teaching, what types of theatre/film I enjoy doing, etc. Eventually we got around to the question, “Do you do anything other than acting?” So, I took a deep breath and with a slight smile said, “Well, yes. I am also a Slow Sex coach and Orgasmic Meditation teacher.” It was like a thickness came into the room. No one dared to breathe. The auditors (3 women and one guy) stared at me as if I were this fascinating and terrifying mutant that about to unleash its power. I relaxed into the moment. Finally the guy said, “Ok, and, um, do you plan to continue teaching yoga?” In that moment, the thickness exploded into effervescent bubbles, like champagne uncorking, and the three women went, “Wait, wait, wait!!! What is that??!!” I just had to laugh and say, “Wow, that’s interesting how he just slid right over that one, didn’t he?!”

Later, I was outside the audition room and the woman monitoring the audition saw me with Nicole Daedone’s book, Slow Sex. She had this little hesitation, then asked, “Um, is that fiction or non-fiction?” When I told her that the author was my teacher, she was so eager to hear what I had to say. A few moments later, the audition door re-opened and one of the female auditors looked at me and said, “Oh good, you’re still here! We have more questions,” and pulled me back into the room.

The bottom line? People are HUNGRY for a deep, intimate, pleasurable experience. They want MORE, they just don’t know what “more” means or have been taught that sex is wrong, bad, only to be shared with “the one”, has to come with romance, expectations, blah, blah, blah. It’s like we’ve got this exquisite set of sterling silver flatware chucked in a box in the corner of our locked, flooded, roach-infested basements and we are scared to death to go down and get it.

In Slow Sex, Nicole talks about she’s at dinner parties and at the table, she will mention that she is a sex teacher. People will drop their spoons, politely wave it off, or say, “Oh that sounds nice for my friend, but me? Everything’s great!” But afterwards, on her way to the bathroom, people will flag her down and tell her their innermost secrets, hoping for some sort of answer. And that’s where we’ve relegated the topic of sex—the hurried whispers near the bathroom rather than in the frank openness of intelligent discourse.

I mean, we can’t deny that we have a cultural obsession with sex. Every song the radio is about trying to sleep with someone, getting angry at someone who slept with someone else, feeling sad because aren’t sleeping with the person we used to sleep with. Commercials and billboards display scantily-clad, pre-pubescent women (and men). And porn is a whopping $14 billion industry in the US alone. But when I ask someone to speak a simple desire, everything from deflecting, shame and giggling to feigned nonchalance and anger arises. It is one of the biggest shadows we have as a society. Only when we can cultivate a deep relationship and reclaim our OWN sexuality can we begin a healing process to integrate all of ourselves and live the life we so desperately desire.

So really, let’s bust down the basement door and start cleaning. Get out the Raid, grab a water bucket and some silver polish and reclaim our birthright to pleasure. A magnificent feast awaits, if we only dare to re-discover the tools to enjoy it.

Then maybe in the future, my auditor can freely and openly say, “Wow, a Slow Sex coach and Orgasmic Meditation teacher? Fascinating. Tell me more…”

What Do You REALLY Want: Desire vs. Craving

Odalisque Bleue ou L'Esclave Blanche, Matisse

Originally posted May 15, 2011

I often get strange looks when I say that usher people into their orgasm and desire.  Some are fearful. Some are wary. Some are really excited, then get embarrassed after their effusive expression. Others have this painful look that says, “I wish I could live that life, but ____ won’t let me have it.” And then there is the inevitable righteous NO: Desires are bad. We should all aspire to be desire-less. Giving into desire is weak, drains you of energy and make you lose focus. There is no spirituality in the realm of desire.

However, I believe most of these people are confusing desire with craving. I agree that desire is a powerful force that brings up a lot of stored emotions, including fear, anger, jealousy and other emotions that we label “negative.” But this is just the debris that sits upon our power. Craving is a “quick fix” that keeps us from doing the dirty, hard work of digging through that debris to find the desire-treasure at the bottom.  

Below you will find my “Top 10” list comparing the characteristics of desire and craving. This is by no means all-inclusive, so feel free to add your thoughts!

1. Desire generates more of your energy, whereas craving steals it.

2. Desire brings you closer to your authentic self, whereas craving disconnects or numbs you to him/her.

3. Desire is internally motivated (i.e. comes from the need to express a personal value within), whereas craving is externally motivated (I have to have this thing so people will think I am a good person or won’t see my vulnerabilities).

4. Desire leaves you nourished and gratified, whereas craving leaves you bloated and hungry (the gourmet meal vs. Chinese take-out comparison).

5. Desire is motivated by courage and faith, whereas craving is motivated by fear.

6. Desire reveals itself as your life purpose, whereas craving reveals itself as addiction.

7. Desire encompasses the full spectrum of possibilities whereas craving looks like a rat hitting the same lever for the same food pellet.

8. Desire feels alive and organic, whereas craving feels frozen and static.

9. Desire is the bridegroom of orgasm (your infinite power source), whereas craving is in a co-dependent relationship with resistance.

10. Desire brings you to a state of empowerment, whereas craving has you feel like life is yanking you around on its leash.

How do we learn to discern the voice of desire from the voice of craving? The best way is to start to listen to your body. Your body has no judgments or shame about what it feels. It simply wants what it wants. Listen to the little hungers and notice what emotions come up for you when they speak to you. Another great way to tap into your desire is through OM, a 15-minute sexuality practice based on stroking genitals and simply feeling the pleasurable sensations in the body, without the goal of going somewhere or acquiring anything. Getting a coach that can help you unearth some of your lost dreams and discover what has value in your life is another powerful step.

Be grateful for your desire. It’s your ally, your friend, your one true north on this sacred journey. Do it now.

So…what’s one thing you are going to do for your desire tonight?

Which Donkey Should I Take?

                                                        The Donkeys of Petra, Jordan

Originally posted May 9, 2011

Stroking for 15 minutes vs. tantric sex for hours? Which is “better?”

In a recent FB post, Laurie Handlers, respected teacher and Butterfly Workshop leader, wrote “OneTaste is not really the forefront of the slow sex movement. It's nice to say that and position themselves as that, but really, come on now....stroking for 15 minutes is not the same as Tantric sex for hours and hours now is it?”

First, I absolutely adore Laurie, have taken her workshops (which have done a lot for me) and will continue to recommend them to people for whom they are a good fit. And I love that she tells it like she sees it. I admire someone who is not afraid to speak her mind.

So here I am, a OneTaste-certified coach going “Hmmm…?” I mean, I can see her point: tantra has been around for millennia and yes, feeling good for hours does sound like a better offer than for just 15 minutes. But when I looked closer I could see something deeper within her words. She presents two arguments—One: OneTaste is not really the forefront of the Slow Sex movement and Two: stroking for 15 minutes is not the same as tantric sex for hours.

I want to look at part two first. She’s right: stroking for 15 minutes is NOT the same as tantric sex for hours. Both are two completely different kinds of experiences. But to imply that one is “better” than the other seems limiting. It’s like asking, “Which is better: a breathing meditation or a hatha yoga class?” They both serve a purpose, get you in touch with your body and help to root you in the present moment. What’s so lovely about the 15-minute stroking practice (OM) is that it is a manageable, bite-sized chunk of time for most of us to build up, stroke by stroke, to the place where we can experience the kind of sex we want. Most of us in this culture push for some outrageous goal, i.e. sex for hours, get frustrated when our expectations are not met, cast blame and walk away. OR, we have a mind-blowing experience, freak out about how much we’ve opened and then run away in embarrassment. OM is a simple, sustainable practice that will translate to a deeper, richer sexual experience. So rather than pitting the two experiences against each other, why not expand and include? Do we not do a breathing meditation within the experience of a hatha yoga class? Why not have OM AND tantric sex (or whatever kind of sex you want)?

Which brings me to the first point she makes: OneTaste is not really the forefront of the Slow Sex movement. Yes, OM (and all its incarnations) have been practiced long before OneTaste and tantra has certainly been around to teach us about mindful sexuality for some time. What makes OneTaste unique for me is that it is consciously reaching out to people who have never even considered that an orgasm could last for more than a few seconds as well as puts the idea of female pleasure front and center of sexual/spiritual awakening. For those in the sacred sexual community, this may seem like old news, but to most people living in non-urban locales, this idea is rather revolutionary and can be very confronting. To introduce a practice in a safe, clean, well-lit environment that you can do in your own home with your own partner is a new approach expanding sexuality. The fact that OM and OneTaste were featured in a NY Times bestseller (Tim Ferriss' "The 4-Hour Body") is extraordinary. To return to my yoga analogy: yes, yoga existed for many years, but it wasn’t until Krishnamacharya (and his students, Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois and Desikachar, to name a few) brought the practice outside of its birthplace did we see a world-wide explosion of yoga. A small change within the DNA of one individual is mutation. A small change within the DNA of many is evolution.

True, OneTaste may not be the path for some. Then again, tantra may not be the path for some. My advice: Research. Experiment. Play. Test it out. Draw a hypothesis and then scrap it and try it out again. Remember: there are many donkeys that will take you to the top of the mountain, but the view looks exactly the same no matter how you got there.