If you’ve ever wondered if you could be having better sex, or dream of a polysexual utopia, this is a story for you. The story is about a practice called Orgasmic Meditation [OM] that besides providing key words for some top-grade clickbait, has the answers to all of your questions.
OK, not all of them. A basic description of OM, which was invented by a woman called Nicole Daedone in the States ten years ago—a clear, deliberate, repeatable practice of exactly 15 minutes in length, involving two people, one with an index finger, fully clothed, and one with a clit, undressed from the waist down—tells you almost nothing and that’s kind of the magic of it.
“It’s a question of approaching her body with curiosity, rather than a need to impress or get what you want.”
Yet in London, a city of people either amazed to be having regular sex, or convinced they will never get laid again, a community of exploratory beings from the ages of 23 to 77 are claiming to be having their minds blown in different venues across the capital once, twice, even four times a week.
These consenting crusaders overcome 150 years of Victorian sexual repression by meeting as strangers, asking each other if they would like to OM together, and getting straight to it.
The result is a spectrum of sensations described as ranging from “expansive to ethereal, elevated to earthy” and on more than one occasion in my research, “life-changing.”
“You’re not trying to get somewhere, you’re just curious about what’s there,” says Justine Dawson, the founder of the London community who works for the US based organisation that runs OM workshops, emphasising that the practice is strictly non-goal orientated.
“A man who is really, really looking at your genitals and awake and present with you, is unusual and it’s just so touching – and so hot.”
Further enquiries yield more detailed explanations.
After first applying “grounding pressure” to the strokee’s legs, and describing the strokee’s vagina using non-value, no-judgement terms, the stroker places their right index finger at the opening of the vagina (the million-hit video on Deepak Chopra’s wellness channel becomes slightly vague at this point) and another at eight o’clock. The strokee is encouraged to give feedback on position and pressure. This continues until minute 13 when the Ommers finish and thank each other to complete.
Mayan Patel, a regular of four years, who originally learned in San Francisco, says that it’s awkward at first. But if you keep doing it, “you realise that there is no right way to do it. It’s a question of approaching her body with curiosity, rather than a need to impress or get what you want.”
Other things I’ve heard from regulars:
That orgasm is a journey, not a destination, and can manifest in an infinite range of sensations that don’t include climax, but include “gentle waves of sexual energy across my body” and “at last, feeling totally accepted.”
That the sight of a man in service to a woman,“is hot,” as Ruby May, a sexological bodyworker from Berlin tells it. “A man who is really, really looking at your genitals and awake and present with you, is unusual and it’s just so touching.” But that with practice, strokers, be they men or women, report feeling more sensitivity themselves to what is happening in their own bodies—a kind of magical empathy—that only grows stronger with time. It suggests that when you take away “giving and getting,” the possibilities are endless.
“You realise that there is no right way to do it. It’s a question of approaching her body with curiosity, rather than a need to impress or get what you want.”
I’ve also heard that a practice that focuses on sex does not lead to a smaller experience, but a much, much bigger one by enabling both parties to take their minds off performance and relax.
That we often use distraction as a way to hide ourselves in sex – my personal theory is that this explains at least 60 percent of all blow jobs. That a gentle practice where there is nowhere to hide, is somewhere to… not hide.
That once you’ve reconciled yourself to your own sexuality, then you have more capacity for other intense situations too, because “you are working with a very potent energy, one of the ones we have the least amount of facility with. This intense force that we’re quite unconscious about,” says Justine.
And in a development that will bring solace to both genders, it turns out that there is almost no correlation between objective physical attractiveness and sexual energy. “It’s not so much, does this person tick the boxes – but how do I feel around them?” says Mayan. “I don’t have to only like one thing, or only the things I thought I would like.”
“Everyone I spoke to talked about how sexuality has become a state of being for them, instead of a performance.”
Does it sound too good to be true? When the internet discovered OM a few years ago, it mostly gave it a thumbs up. Yet a scan of Reddit will reveal as many critics as fans, who don’t like the nakedly profit-hungry hard-sell of One Taste; the concept of female empowerment through orgasm relying on a partner; and that despite claiming that all you need is an index finger and a clit – most often that index finger belongs to a man and the clit belongs to someone who identifies as female.
Maybe the polysexual utopia some of us are dreaming about isn’t quite here yet. But it’s closer. Everyone I spoke to has talked about how regular practice made them feel more sexual, and that sexuality has become a state of being for them, instead of a performance. It’s nice to think that together with another person, some patience and a lot of focus, you can learn more about what brings you pleasure than you thought you ever would.