OM

One of the Scariest Decisions of my Life...

Originally posted October 31, 2014

One of the things I've learned over the years as an Orgasmic Life Coach is how to spot desire. When I hear the tremble in a client's voice or the strain of resistance or the ho-humness of "that really doesn't matter," I know I am getting closer to what s/he truly wants.

I've learned all the tricks in the book...because I was a master myself. I could rationalize my way through any decision--hiding my desire in the safety of "socially acceptable behavior"--until finally the dam gave way and the messiness of my pulsing orgasm came gushing forth.

I've gotten a lot better at honoring what I want, but there are definitely still times when it takes every ounce of courage to own my desire.

Today feels like one of those days.

But here goes anyway...

As of November 1, I will no longer be taking on any long-term coaching clients. I am freeing my time and shifting my focus on writing, performing and public speaking.

Of course I will continue to work with my current clients for as long as is necessary.

I am committed to redefining orgasm and bringing the erotic out of the shadows of the bedroom and into the shame-free sunlight of everyday life. In fact, I see this as my life's mission. And while this career shift is quite scary on many levels, in my heart I know it is absolutely the next right step.

I've always been a storyteller and I believe it is through artistic expression that I can have the most impact. My writing continues to be a source of joy (and my book is nearing completion!). I feel most alive performing and giving interviews on the changing nature of orgasm, eros and femininity.

I am profoundly grateful for the many people who have chosen to work with me and share their journeys over these past 4+ years. It is through their vulnerability that I have been able to come to accept mine.

For now, I am still available for my signature 2-hour Deep-Dive sessions (both coaching and OM) but by referral only. 

I feel very excited for the next phase of my life as an integrated artist/healer and although I am not really sure how it's all going to look, I can honestly say that orgasm has never let me down thus far--so why would she now?

Thank you for being my orgasmic community and for being such an open and supportive reflection for me in this life.

In faith and service,
Candice

Expanding Your Pleasure Container

Originally posted April 5, 2013

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with abundance.

We talk about how we want more: more money, more time, more love, more creativity, more intimacy, more sex.

But when the moment comes to receive ‘more,’ most of us are quick to hit the eject button.

We may give in to sabotaging voices:

I’m too old/ugly/poor/fat/uneducated

I don’t deserve it

I don’t have enough time

I have too much responsibility

I don’t want to look greedy

Or we may go on ‘energetic shopping sprees,’ quick to ‘spend’ our abundance on ‘empty-calorie’ treats that prevent us from feeling our power: shopping, sugar, drama, hard & fast sex, television, alcohol or any other number of addictions.

Or we may numb out, restricting our ability to feel pleasure.

Or we simply run away and shut ourselves off from even recognizing that the universe is, right now, offering us abundance beyond our wildest dreams.

I know. I was one of those women.

As an anorexic for seven years, I know the torture and guilt that come with trying to do things ‘the right way.’ The way that wouldn’t make me look ugly or selfish or (god forbid) hurt someone’s feelings.

I had traded my sex and hunger for a life of ‘safety.’

And not without reason.

The fact is, a woman in her power is an awesome (and frightening) force! A hungry woman is often shunned and called a bitch. A full woman is often feared, called a whore or (in more brutal times) burned at the stake. 

So we women live in this constant state of ‘crazy’: knowing we are hungry, but not knowing for what and living in terror of admitting just how bottomless our desire is.

We’ve never been taught how to stand on our own and walk beside men in life. We only know how to trail behind or crush them with our angry stilettos.

It wasn’t until I released the fear of my hunger and befriended her that I found that she was the one leading me to my desire, a.k.a. soul nourishment.

I came to know, accept and take responsibility for my sensual pleasure. I began to see men as friends (not saviors or enemies). I discovered myself in relationship to my highest self—not in relationship to what would win me awards, attention or praise.

Cultivating orgasm was key to this transformation—and I don’t mean orgasm as that crashing thirty seconds you hope will make an appearance in your sex every once in a while. I mean orgasm as the breathing, pulsing life force that births every moment. Orgasm that fills me up and fuels me to my highest purpose.

Imagine you are thirsty, but you go to a lake with only a thimble. That’s not a vessel big enough to slake your thirst. You need to get a bigger container to carry the water!

The same is true of anything you want more of in your life. We need to create bigger containers within ourselves to hold our abundance and that starts with pleasure—learning to expand our capacity for orgasm.

One of my favorite ways that I practice receiving is Orgasmic Meditation. Another is to keep a desire/pleasure journal. You can also volunteer for an organization that touches your heart (this is known as ‘being of service’). Or make a gratitude list every day of ten things for which you are thankful.

A deeper inquiry is to notice the places you are stopping yourself from feeling pleasure—if someone compliments you, do you immediately take it down a peg (“oh, I’m not really that great”), or do you simply receive it and say “thank you.”

Any sort of sabotaging voices, martyrdom or self-punishment is also a one-way ticket to Thimble-ville.

So put pleasure on the top of your to-do list and CELEBRATE your life Your gifts. Your body. Your sensuality. Your desire. Your hunger. Everything.

They are all a part of your magnificence—and are vital tools on the journey to the abundance you deserve. 

Want Orgasm? Let the Love in.

Meg Ryan in  When Harry Met Sally

Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally

Originally posted October 27, 2012

I get a lot of emails from men and women wanting the elusive answer to the never-ending question: How can I (or how can I get her to) have an orgasm?

First piece of advice: Stop Trying. No. Really. Take the pressure off of yourself or your partner to ‘make something happen.’ The more we clamp down and ‘effort’ ourselves into an experience that we think we should be having, the more we distance ourselves from the rich world of sensation that exists right here in the present.

Second: Redefine ‘Orgasm.’ Many people have a very limited view of what we consider to be orgasm, thanks to a lack of sound erotic education and the prevalence of porn and soap operas as our dubious teachers on sex and relating. Most of us believe that orgasm is this fleeting, 30-second event where you buildup a lot of energy until you can’t hold it anymore, go over a sharp edge and have some sort of crashing release.

While this experience (which I call ‘climax’) may be a part of orgasm, it is only a tiny hiccup on the spectrum of possibility. To me, orgasm is the pulsing breath of life that births every moment. Orgasm is the chilly tickle on the edge of my skin as my lover draws his tongue from the edge of my ear to the tip of my nipple. It’s the warm flush in my face and genitals when I reveal a taboo desire.  It is the fire of my hunger and the blazing force that opens me to pleasure.

Which takes me to my third piece of advice: Receive. Let the love in. Our ability to experience orgasm is directly proportionate to our ability to receive pleasure. Very often, we have a lot of ideas that sit on top of and stifle our pleasure:

I don’t deserve to feel this good.

If I let this in, what do I have to give up in return?

I don’t want to tell him what I want because it will hurt his feelings.

If I ask for what I want, I will look like a bitch.

Everyone can have this except me.

I can’t do this with someone unless I know we are getting married.

I should just go along with this because I don’t want to look like I’m frigid.

I don’t want him to think I’m a kinky nympho.

However, when you admit the truth about your desire, love yourself enough to ask for it and stay connected to the sensation along the way, a world of orgasmic pleasure opens up to you—and rather than orgasm being this nebulous pinball that sometimes pings in the jackpot every once in a while, it becomes an infinite banquet that fills the hungry void that we often stuff with sugar, shopping or junk-food sex.

So what exactly does ‘let the love in’ mean? Well, first, it means slowing down enough to be present with what is. It also means being humble and gracious enough to honor the miracle of your very existence right now. It means acknowledging your own desire. Perhaps you are having sex with someone with whom you don’t really want to be having sex. Can you love yourself (and the other person) enough to tell the truth? Or perhaps your partner is offering exquisite attention on your navel and your brain is freaking out about how you have to reciprocate? Can you love yourself and your partner enough, to breathe, relax and feel (and maybe even whisper the words ‘Thank You”).

Orgasm has very little to do with technique and LOT to do with state of mind. First of all, orgasm is our own responsibility. No one can ‘do it’ for us or ‘give it to us.’ Yes, other people may facilitate the opening (and we dearly, dearly thank them for it), but our orgasm depends on our own ability to stay relaxed, receptive and present with what is. Also, if a woman doesn’t feel safe in any way, she will not enter a state of orgasm. This is why conscious explorations of erotic pleasure and practices of surrender (like Orgasmic Mediation) are powerful tools on your sexual journey.

For example, the other day I was having sex and while he was inside me, I could hear a cacophony of voices wondering if he was having a good time and if I was ‘doing it right.’ Instead of staying caught in my mind, I chose to breathe, slow down and simply feel the sensation of our sex. I noticed the tiny sparks on the lower walls of my pussy. I noticed the pulsation around my lips. I noticed how deeply he was feeling me and riding our edge. I noticed the variety of strokes he made—from long and languorous to soft and still to powerful and rough.

I surrendered to the pleasure of our experience and allowed the orgasm to overflow.  I thought to myself, “I feel so fully loved right now, by my self, by life, by this man, by my body, that I am going to pour love onto this man through his cock.” And from there, I simply let orgasm take the reins.

When you answer the questions “What is my desire?” and “Am I staying connected to the sensation?” you invite an honest inquiry into the inner landscape of your sex. You begin to see orgasm as a curious friend, rather than an ephemeral foe. Orgasm becomes a lifelong journey, a state of being and a passage to grace. It’s often a fiery and clunky ride, but if you can remember to let the love in (and to share in your abundance), you’ll find yourself deepening your intimacy, feeling so much more in your body and having a hell of a lot of fun.

The Biggest Secret for Great Sex

Originally posted August 7, 2012

View this article on elephantjournal.com

(Hint: Forget the Flowers, Toys & Eye-Gazing)

I was OMing (Orgasmic Meditation) a few days ago. During the OM, it felt as if there were an inch of waxy paraffin between his finger and my clit. An irritating voice arose:

Why the hell can’t he find me?

Why does my spot keep moving?

Why don’t my OMs feel like they used to?

Am I being annoying asking for all these adjustments?

What do I want?

What do I WANT?!

WHAT DO I WANT?!?!?!

The OM ended, I over-politely shared a frame (lest my angry, ravenous beast come out and bite off this poor guy’s head) and I asked for another OM. It started off the same way: we felt incredibly far away from each other. I couldn’t quite name it, but I knew there was something I wasn’t quite admitting to myself—like there was some pulsing, hungry truth locked up in a ballerina music box with pink ribbons and smiley faces.

Then I asked for him to move his finger a little lower and to tuck into the lower pocket of my clit. And that’s when it hit me: Fucking. I wanted fucking. But not just any kind of fucking. I wanted seedy, sleazy, $20-whore-in-a-cheap-motel-who-gets-used-then-left-in-a-pile-by-a-Wall-Street-creep-who-cums-with-his-tie-on kind of fucking.

Oh. Well that’s a little confronting.

I mean, I’ve had some hard sex in my life, but this was a little difficult to admit. Aren’t I a free-thinking woman who believes in equality of the sexes? Aren’t I soooooo advanced in my OM practice by now that I should be beyond the hunger for quick climax and heavy pressure? Shouldn’t I be working towards feeing the expanded subtlety of the lightest strokes?

But the evidence was clear. I couldn’t feel a thing until I acknowledged my desire: I wanted some nasty sex. In that moment, my pussy swelled with wet heat and I sucked him deeper into me, little electric hooks gripping onto each ridge of his finger.

We as a culture are so shamefully hungry to the point of secretly obsessing about sex. We surreptitiously Google search for the sexual holy grail: the perfect pill or the perfect position or the perfect toy to make her curl her toes or have him beg for more. But none of that will make a difference if you don’t have the courage to do the one thing that will light you up like nothing else:

Tell The Truth.

You know the feeling. Let’s say someone you have a crush on is sitting right next to you. Connect with your body in that moment. Can you feel your heart beat faster and your palms sweat? Does the thought of telling this person that you want to kiss him/her make you feel like you are going to fly out of your body?

Or perhaps you’re in a relationship and you’ve had some fantasies of bringing home the secretary. Imagine sharing that desire with your partner. Can you feel the nervous, carbonated tickle of the hairs on your neck?

Or imagine that you are angry at someone and you are finally letting out all your unfiltered rage. Can you feel the heat in your face, the hammering in your chest and the swelling in your throat?

All of that heightened sensation is orgasm that can be used in any turned-on way you choose. Every time you admit the truth to yourself, you peel away another layer that is blocking intimacy.

Conversely, every time you withhold your desires or feelings, you are piling another layer of crap on top of your orgasm. Over time, each caked-on layer gets thicker and thicker and you have to work harder and harder to maintain the lie that the mask of crap is your truth. Eventually, you may even start to blame the people in your life for all that shit weighing you down.

This is at the heart of why relationships fail. It’s not that the sex gets bad and then the relationship goes down the tubes. It’s actually the other way around. The relationship starts failing when we stop telling the truth, either out of laziness or fear of losing the person. When that happens, the first thing we run from is the exposed and highly volatile arena of sex. We make up excuses about why we can’t have it: too tired, too busy, not in the mood, it’s not that important, we have different schedules, the kids exhaust us—we’ve heard them all (and have probably even used a few at some point).

It’s not until the years go by and we find ourselves on the brink of a desperate starvation that we then grasp on to anything to save the relationship. You can pile on as many romantic getaways, kinky toys and love-making classes you want. But unless you have the courage to speak your truth, you’ll just end up in a candle-lit beach bungalow, handcuffed to the bed and gazing into the eyes of someone you’ve been loathing for the past ten years. Nothing fundamental will actually change.

We have to learn to strip sex down to its barest essentials: me, the sensation in my body and my desire. That’s it. Once you’ve tapped into that, share it with someone. If that person doesn’t want to meet you there, let them go. They are not for you. If they are willing to play, treat them well—and continue to stay honest about your desire.

This is why whenever I am feeling disconnected sexually, I don’t rush to fix a ‘problem’ or assign blame for why someone else is a crappy lover. I slow down and ask myself the questions: What am I running from? Where am I lying? What am I not admitting? As in the case with my OM, I wasn’t admitting the part of me that likes being a tacky, climax-driven, trashy whore. The moment I gave her permission to exist, my body flushed with orgasm.

The turn-on lies in the admission itself—in the moment of expressing desire. What happens afterwards is simply choice.  I could go out and pay some douchebag for a lay (perhaps not the wisest option). I could enroll a willing partner to play out the scene with me (fun!). Or I could let the acknowledged desire sit in my body and carry it around as my happy little secret to brighten the day.

Once you admit your truth, sex becomes about abundance and exploration, rather than fear and hiding. Maybe you want to experiment with wielding a flogger—or perhaps you want to take a sexual breathwork class—or maybe you’ve been dying to have sex with that one Michael Bolton song playing on the stereo. Either way, you have chosen to express yourself from a place of erotic authenticity.

So go on. Admit it. Remember, the truth will not only set you free—it also makes for great sex.

I'm a Crazy Fucking Mess: Orgasmic Tuning & PMS

Photo by SimplyAbbey

Photo by SimplyAbbey

View this article on elephantjournal.com

Originally posted August 7, 2012


You don’t want to be around me right now.

My body feels heavy, full and thick. I’m exhausted. Every nerve is raw and exposed. I’m prone to burst into tears at any moment and if you question what I do in any way (even if it’s just the way I make coffee), I might be tempted to throw a French Press at your head.

Another typical day in the world of a pre-menstrual woman, right?

Well, not quite. It’s another typical day in the world of a woman whose orgasm is out of alignment (to clarify, when I say ‘orgasm’, I don’t mean ‘sexual climax’, but the electrical driving force that is always coursing through your body). What we call ‘PMS’ is actually the result of stuck orgasmic energy building in the uterus—the seat of sexual expression, unconscious desire and creativity (a.k.a Second Chakra). Acupuncturists call this chi stagnation. In orgasmic terms, we call this tumescence.

The basic definition of tumescence is ‘swelling’ and to be tumesced is to experience this kind of energetic swelling. It’s a neutral state—neither good nor bad—and anyone can experience it, though it is significantly prominent in women just before their periods. In the case of PMS, the swelling of orgasm will continue to accumulate and most women will experience symptoms of heaviness, discomfort and lethargy unless a) the orgasm is expelled or b) the container (your body) that is holding the orgasm itself expands.

Most of us are pros at Option A. We cry, we get angry, we cram our faces with sugar, we go impulse shopping or we have lots of hard fucking—thereby alleviating the pressure in the moment, but failing to address the underlying issue. These methods tend to decrease your ability to feel rather than increase it. We become masters of energetic anaesthetization and lose the opportunity to utilize the extra orgasm.

Then there’s Option B. In connecting to my orgasm through Orgasmic Meditation (a.k.a. OM, a simple, two-person sexuality practice where one person strokes the genitals of another and focuses at the point of connection), I put my full attention on the sensations in my body, learn to approve of what arises and ultimately create space for that energy, which can then be used as fuel for my desire.

Let’s say you’re a guitar player, your body is the instrument and the strings are your orgasm. The guitar is out of tune. What do you do? You don’t yell at the strings (anger), blame yourself (crying), avoid the strings (shopping/eating) or bang them really loud and hard (fucking). You slow down, pluck each one, listen to the vibration and turn the peg until the sound created is in alignment with the desired note.

If it’s that simple, why do we run away from tuning our orgasm?

One of the biggest reasons is shame. Our genitals, one of the most sensitive and highly electrical parts of the body, are laden with social conditioning, fear and unexpressed desire, which trap orgasm inside us. This orgasm eventually rots and putrefies into what we call ‘shame.’ To desire is selfish. To be hungry is weak. To feast is morally unclean. So we pack all that energy into numbed-out, but highly explosive, pockets on our clit. It’s no wonder we shy away from sharing a sexual landscape riddled with landmines to anther person.

Also, our patriarchal society is notorious for culturally gaslighting women into thinking that emotional fluctuations and sensitivity are symptoms of mental instability (or at the very least, fodder for mockery), thereby adding another layer of embarrassment and shame. This can be seen in TV shows where the hapless dope has to run into the drug store to buy tampons for his insane, hormonal girlfriend. Many men won’t talk about (much less have sex with) women on their periods because it’s ‘disgusting.’ In the workplace, women (or men with more feminine natures) are not given as much credence because their ‘emotionality’ and ‘sensitivity’ are evidence that they don’t have the ‘balls’ to handle high-level positions of power. Finally, we are in the midst of an all-out, political war on women and reproductive rights. If both sexes continue to treat each other as enemies, how are we ever going to feel safe enough to take off our pants and ask to have our genitals stroked?

In addition to shame, there is also simple ignorance; we’ve never been taught how to manage energy. If we don’t know what we want, how can we ask for it? PMS is considered a ‘normal’ affliction in our society. How many times have you told your friends “It’s that time of the month,” and their response is something like “Yuck, I’m so sorry.” You never hear anyone say, “Awesome! How are you going to use all that extra energy?!” or “Sounds like you could use an all-downstroke OM.” The social prescription includes popping a Midol (or twelve), grabbing a carton of Ben & Jerry’s and burrowing in a cave for a week.

Finally, I see women (and men) avoiding direct interaction with orgasm in the name of being a ‘good, spiritual person.’ What that means is people go to yoga or meditate or say affirmations or cling to non-violent communication or ‘send heart vibes’ or utilize any method to avoid confronting ‘darker’ energies. Anger, hate, jealousy, terror, fear—all of these are part of the human experience. I see so many people try to ‘rise above the negative’ and therefore sacrifice connection to all of who they are. They get caught in their own spiritual vanity (yes, I’ve done it too). This is not to say that yoga, meditation, etc. don’t do anything to help in energy management. To the contrary: they are integral pieces of the whole. However, to return to the guitar metaphor, you can buy the highest quality instrument, clean her to a shine and study musical theory—but eventually, you have to leave music school, get out in the real world and play the damn thing.

But if you practice connecting to orgasm, expanding your capacity to receive, learning to ask for what you want and including the whole experience—even with its judgments, messiness, pain and tears—you will find a terrain rich with desire and raw power. And this power, converted from tumescence to turn-on (which is essentially tumescence plus approval), can be a most delicious experience.

Case-in-point: yesterday, I was a total nut job. Crying, depressed, pissed off and completely indecisive. Then I had an OM. I felt my orgasm drop down from my belly, through my pussy and to my legs. The air around me was dense and crackly. My body felt light and spacious. Later on, while I was having sex, I noticed there was much more openness in my pelvis. The blood that was once trapped had room to flow down into the undernourished pockets of my genitals. Instead of heavy, dull ache, I felt thick, lush wetness dripping out of me. Painful cramping transformed to a velvety, electric undulation that pulled my partner deeper into me. This was not hard fucking to run away from sensation—this was sex that had me grateful for all the sensation available.

Good sex is just one way to utilize the energy made available through alchemizing orgasm. Maybe you want to write a book. Or start a family. Or run for president. The choice is yours. My hope is that you will choose something that is in alignment with your deepest desire.

Or at the very least, I hope you find a little more space for the crazy, fucking mess of a woman that you are. She’s gotta a lot of love to give—she just needs a little orgasmic tuning.

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.

Energy Accounting: How Giving Up the Credit Card for Lent Improved my Orgasm

Jack in the Pulpit No. IV , Georgia O'Keefe

Jack in the Pulpit No. IV, Georgia O'Keefe

Originally posted April 9, 2012

See this article featured on elephantjournal.com 

I’ve never been into the ‘Lent’ thing. Raised a semi-faking-it Episcopalian in a sea of Southern Baptists, I was never really forced to adhere to a lot of religious dogma and ritual (thank God). Plus, that black, ashy cross on the forehead was more a Catholic thing, anyway. 

One year I told the youth minister at my church that I was giving up ‘boys’ for Lent. I was about fourteen years old and had only ever had one boyfriend (which lasted about a month) when I was thirteen. Plus I was too interested in making straight A’s and playing soccer to even care about the boys in my school (none of whom I was particularly drawn to anyway). It was a non-issue for me. 

Over the years, I saw how letting go of something for a period of time might work for other people, but I never saw myself as having any tangible addictions. Yeah I could give up alcohol—but really, the few glasses of wine I have a week? Will that really teach me a lesson? I rarely smoked, so that was off the table. And food? Well, I tried to give that up for seven years straight, but that’s another story.

Honestly, I saw trying to find something to give up for Lent about as useful as abstaining from dressing up Chihuahuas in fuzzy sweaters (the former I do not own and the latter I vehemently abhor).

But this year, something felt different. I’ve been digging deep lately into the way that I manage my energy. Exploring which circumstances leave me feeling energized and which ones leave me feeling drained. Where do I put my focus and where I ‘check out’ on life. How I busy myself with a bunch of little crap instead of concentrating on what will move me forward in my career. How I make up a bunch of excuses as to why I am not ‘successful’ yet, as opposed to feeling my desire and moving from her wisdom. How I will say ‘Yes’ to things I don’t really want to do because I am afraid ‘No’ will make me look selfish or will help me accrue credit with another person that I can cash in on a later date.

Enter my financial situation. It’s my belief that the way we do one thing is the way we do everything, and money is simply one expression of the way I cultivate and utilize the energy within and around me. And for the past three years, I have been living on borrowed energy. Oh sure, I started off with a hefty little supply of cash. But over time, I have been spending, spending, spending (with the best of intentions) and have done very little to deposit, deposit, deposit. Granted, it hasn’t been all whores and crack (joke, Mom), but when I finally came face to face with a 5-figure AmEx bill, something inside me went, “Um, Candice…this might be a problem.”

I do have some savings in an emergency fund. A little bit of cash in investments. And a Roth IRA. But over six weeks ago, I estimated that I had only about three more months of savings until I dug myself into serious hole. And this hole was fucking up a lot of my best-laid plans. “I gotta buy that MacBook Pro and that iPhone and that Red Prius and get my ass to LA so I can be in the movies and bring Orgasmic Meditation to Hollywood.”

But the truth is, if I want to even have a chance at accomplishing any of that, I have got to get my energy accounting in order. Financial, personal, relationship, career…you name it. I like to spend, but am not so good receiving.

This is where the power of Orgasmic Meditation comes in to play. I know, many of you are thinking, “What the hell does making money have to do with my orgasms?” But stay with me for a moment. I am going to expand the definition of orgasm and I invite you to do the same (but only if you want to…you can always pick up the old definition on the way out the door. No obligations. No questions asked.)

Most of us equate ‘orgasm’ with ‘climax’: you work yourself up to a boiling point, discharge a large amount of energy and crash over a sharp edge. That’s cool and all…AND that is only one landmark on an entire map of orgasm. The way I define orgasm is that it is the creative life force that births each moment. Yogis refer to it as ‘prana.’ Acupuncturists call it ‘chi’. Whatever floats your boat.

Sometimes this orgasm is low and soft and sweet. Other times it is sharp and scratchy and acrid. There are infinite expressions of orgasm in the world—from the sunshine dancing off the warm, green buds of spring, to the muddy, sticky floor-beds of a swamp. Everything has its own orgasmic, erotic, creative expression.

And through the practice of Orgasmic Meditation, we learn (stroke by stroke) how to tap into the orgasm, feel each nuance inside and relax and expand our ability to hold more of that energy, while still maintaining consciousness in that expansion. Because the way we often operate is once we reach a certain level of energy in the body, we will go unconscious, move into habitual autopilot and do everything in our power to get rid of it. We drink it away. We fuck it away. We Facebook it away. We eat it away. We starve it away. Or we push it down until it sits in our bodies and festers into bitterness and resentment (this is how misers operate—alone in their mansions with no friends or meaningful expressions of their life).

And this was the trouble with my finances. Occasionally I would do the clamp-and-horde dance, but 99% of the time, I would reach a certain level of ‘havingness’ and then I would spend my money…money I often didn’t have. I didn’t know how to hold it. My excuses were valid: Holding that much is greedy; I’m not responsible enough to hold that much; If I hold that much, then how can I play the poor little starving artist girl to get the attention that I want? You get the idea. And the way I rationalized spending the money was just to put those big purchases on the credit card. The phone bill. The plane tickets. The retreats. Let it just sit there.

But the thing with credit is that you build interest, and the same applies with your energy. If you spend $10 worth of energy that you don’t have, you not only have to pay off the $10, but you have to pay off a little bit more to just turn direction from spending to depositing. It’s a game of diminishing returns, which, if you play every once in a while, can be alright…but if you make it a habit, it becomes unsustainable.

And so, I found myself looking at my credit card statement about a week after Lent began and noticed that the last purchase was on Fat Tuesday. “Bingo!” cried Desire. This is exactly what you are meant to confront: 40 days of only spending energy if I had the immediate funds to sustain such a purchase. OK, I admit, there were a few times I had to use the card within the 40 days. There was an iTunes purchase that automatically charged my card. There was a day I was out with a friend and, due to a miscalculation in my checking account (my mistake), I had to use the card to cover lunch. And yes, there was that one (just one!) time I had to buy a $3 cappuccino. But I was cold. And it was Sightglass Coffee. And I reeeeeeeaaaaaaaallllyyyy wanted it.

However, over the 40 days, I managed to put only $61.42 on the card (not including the $68.71 in interest). It felt like some sort of breakthrough for me! But the point of the experience was less about could I manage to get through Lent without using the card and more about bringing a certain level of consciousness to how I spend. Like I discovered that travel means more to me than new clothes. I learned that I often play innocent when it comes to big purchases and just hope that ‘someday’ I’ll be able to pay it off (I call this the ‘Rose-Colored Glasses Syndrome’—like that energy-draining, co-dependent relationship with the drug addict who can’t admit his/her problem, and if you wait around long enough, maybe someday he/she will come around and get the help they need). And that I spend about a quarter of my food budget on Kombucha alone (Yeah. I know. Leave me alone).

And with this new level consciousness, I am now free to make an informed choice about how and when I spend my money. I learned more about what I value in my life and can now make purchases that are in alignment with my personal integrity, rather than out of trying to run away from feeling the hungers within me. And with this level of clarity, I am now sitting in position of empowerment, rather than ignorance. I know what I want in my life and I am willing to do what it takes to have it. And if that means dropping into the murky, dark shadows of my orgasm to drop off what no longer serves me, then so be it (even if that includes Sightglass coffee and a few Hippie Festivals).

PS: Of course, I couldn’t write an article with the word ‘Orgasm’ in the title and not mention sex; so for those of you wondering if this kind of accounting helps your sex life, the short answer is yes. However, it helps not by teaching you some technique or fancy way of stroking, but by bringing your attention to the present moment, cultivating sensitivity in your body and learning to trust the deeper desires that arise. Great sex/orgasm/climax is simply the by-product of this level of attention and capacity to hold energy. It’s like those people who step into a yoga class for ‘a great body.’ Yes, you will get ripped doing yoga, but that is the by-product of learning to slow down, feel and honor the subtle wisdom your body has to offer. The same is true in Orgasmic Mediation. We take the ‘goal’ of climax off the table and create a space where you simply get to know the landscape of your orgasm. It takes a bit more time and requires a lot of patience, but in the end, it is the most sustainable way for you to bring that level of aliveness and turn-on into the bedroom and into your everyday life.

Happy OM-iversary: The Terrible Twos

La Vague Violette , Georges Lacom be

La Vague Violette, Georges Lacombe

Originally published February 11, 2012

I feel like I am going out of my mind right now. Truly bonkers. Climbing out of my skin, bloodying my nails, ready to scream and looking for anything, anything, to deaden the intensity of this sensation: food, cock, wine, Facebook, TV, picking a fight, obsessive cyber-stalking, inert-your-checkout-vice-here.

On the verge of tears. Can’t make a decision. My feelings get hurt at every turn (even though I try to play it off like I am so caring and understanding). And here comes the entitlement. The anger. The bitchiness. And a splashy cameo by the Princess (or is she really front and center?).

Two years to the day. Two goddammed years doing this crazy stroking practice and I feel like it's only just now that I have begun to lean against the membrane that surrounds my hunger…and everything catches my attention and whets my appetite like the smell of freshly baking bread (or is that sizzling raw meat?).

What. The Fuck. Is Going On?

I ask for what I want. I get it. I get angry. I deserved more, asshole—didn’t you know?

I ask for what I want. I don’t get it. I get angry. Fuck you.

I feel your resentment (or is it mine?). I get angry. Go away from me.

I want. A lot. And I want that to be ok. Why is it not ok? Don’t warn me against greed or consumption or that I am setting myself up for samsaric suffering (please, spare me the self-righteous bullshit, thank you very much. Your greed to collect income in the spiritual bank is just as comparable to my carnal hunger).

Who is this person I am fighting with? Of course, the obvious answer is myself. Yes, yes, yes…like a good little coach I “inquire” and “take responsibility.” I see all the faults and fears and scarcity in others and project all my shit all over that. Where am I saying YES when I mean NO? Where I am giving in to unspoken requests, when deep in my heart they are not in alignment with my integrity? Where I am acquiescing as opposed to surrendering?

But as a real live human woman, I just want. So very much. And the most pressing question in my mind is “What do I want?”

I was originally thinking of calling this post “The Sex I Want,” because I was feeling confused and hurt and angry about my sexual hunger. Was I craving sex to fill a void, which will ultimately leave me undernourished and depleted? Or was there really a desire to intimately connect and express. I think it’s a little of both. And there was this overwhelming shame that came with wanting more. More than 2 OMs a day. More than sex twice a week. And once that faucet started to turn on, a whole flood of other desires started to flow. Beyond the sex (which was just the catalyst). Into the shoes I want. The clothes I want. The acting roles I want. The money I want. The job I want. The car I want. The travel I want. The writing I want. The awards I want. The glamour I want. The beauty I want. The people I want. The freedom I want. The life I want.

So…this is the process of “turning on.” I get flooded with energy (orgasm). My system comes alive. And what no longer serves me comes to the surface like salt in a wound. All the ways I played small so as not to acknowledge that very dangerous appetite. And then comes all the anger I feel for playing that game. Oh God…I don’t want to see that. And then, my poor little body (which isn’t used to this much activation) tries to do anything to expel this energy.

Growing pains. It hurts to expand out. To break through the old armor and feel the raw, exposed nerves and tender flesh of something so well-hidden that I feel too humiliated to share it. Not knowing anything anymore. Not knowing what’s right. Having really no clue what the future holds for me. Just sitting here with an unbearable ache and no way to find relief.

Just sit. Just sit. Just. Sit.

I could search around for the some lame piece of self-help advice. Some momentary aphorism that may inspire me for the moment. Post it on Facebook. Secretly hope all my friends like it and think what a cool person I am.

Or I can just be here and listen to the quiet little voice in me that has one simple message: Live your life.

Huh? That’s not very comforting. But on some level, it’s the only true thing that exists right now. There is nothing to figure out or fix. No map or plan or prediction that is going to make it easier. It’s only through simply living my life and cultivating a relationship with all that arises—the fear, the confusion, the pain, the joy, the love, the heartbreak, the rejection, the surprise, the anger, the hunger, the magic—that I will come any closer to knowing what I want. If that even matters anymore. What if trying to “know” anything is in and of itself an attempt at triggering the pressure release valve?

Just live my life. It feels so simple. A moment-by-moment fumbling in the hot, blind, wet cave of my wanting. And in that one stroke, I suddenly feel just how very sexy this place is. This void. This empty hole. This cavern wanting very, very skilled penetration—to cut through the briars of my NO into the aching warmth of my YES.

My heart is racing. My genitals pulse. My belly is swollen. My breath is slow and deep. I feel the cool wood of the floor against my tingling feet. I feel…alive.

OK, Orgasm. You win. Gratitude washes over me and I suddenly know that I am capable—more than capable—of holding this and so much more.

This is the process. The alchemy. Orgasm in. The fire burns. The pain. The fighting. The acceptance. The surrender. The insight. The gratitude. The expansion. The love. The pouring out. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Two years—a lesson in unbearable patience. I’ve been hungry for so long that the moment I see something that remotely resembles nourishment, I clamp down on it and I want it all for me right now. A vicious cycle of feast or famine. Now the work for me is to simply sit. Sit in the hunger, trust that she is loved and will be fed and that with the passing storms, the next right thing will appear in time.

And breathe. Always remember to breathe.  

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!

Turned-On Woman: An Interview with Polina Smith

Polina Smith

Polina Smith

Originally posted January 20, 2012

"It will be turned-on women, and those who dare to stroke us, who actually change the world by feeding this desire for connection that we all have."--Nicole Daedone, from her TEDx talk

I had the recent pleasure to be part of a panel of OneTaste women who spoke on Polina Smith's radio show, Wholebody Talk. We discussed what it means to be a turned-on woman, how orgasm is a referent for our lives and new ways of relating to men.