Orgasms may not be the path to enlightenment, but they're pretty damn divine as far as bodily sensations go. We spoke to an Orgasmic Meditation expert about syncing brains with your partner, staying present with your clitoris and getting in touch with your desire.
OneTaste's "Orgasmic Meditation" queendom has been accused of being cultish and pricey, but the core of the business - a 15 minute mindfulness ritual for the female orgasm - does sound super intriguing and is available online for free. We’ll take whatever helps us get out of our heads and into our clits!
The practice of Orgasmic Meditation (OM) follows a protocol that goes something like this:
Undressed from the waist down, she, the “strokee” lies down with her legs spread open. The stroker, fully clothed, sits next to her. “I’m gonna describe your pussy to you right now, is that alright with you?” the stroker describers what unfolds in front of his/her eyes. Positioning the thumb on the opening of the vagina and a lubed index finger on the upper left corner of her clitoris, the stroker, applying the same pressure one would when touching an eyelid, strokes the clitoris gently up and down for 15 minutes.
The woman behind this concept and the founder of OneTaste, Nicole Daedone, was first introduced to the practice at a party by a Buddhist monk (One wonders, what kind of a Buddhism was that?), and she is now spreading “OMing” to the world through courses, online tutorials, and Ted talks.
Orgasms might not lead to nirvana in the buddhist sense of the word, but it's definitely one of the earthly pleasures we want more of. We spoke to Michele Lynn Wellington, an OM expert in the Bay area who has been practicing OMing for over two years, to find out more about the feels.
Michele Lynn Wellington, photographed by Moritz Kerkmann
Sluttish: The biggest challenge for women in sex is the mind. How does this practice take you out of your head?
Michele: Well, as the strokee, you have nothing to do except to lay back, receive and notice what everything feels like … Do you have a meditation practice?
M: So, imagine sitting meditation. You notice thoughts and you don’t get attached to them. When you’re OMing you’re noticing everything that is happening to you. You’re getting in touch with what stroke you desire in the moment, is it a longer stroke or a lighter stroke? And a part of the OM process is that you can voice those desires and make requests. In that you’re totally connected to your body … and what is also amazing - we’ve been doing this science study where we’ve watched what happens in the brain of the stroker and strokee -- their brain activity match up.
S: So what is happening in me, is happening in you?
M: Exactly, so what we’ve been talking about, we have the science to back it up. The stroker is focusing on the sensation at the tip of their finger, the strokee is focusing on the sensation in the clit...and if you do have a thought or something that is distracting you, you bring it back to the point of contact which is the sensation you’re having in your finger or clitoris. That’s how i think OMing helps women get out of their heads, or have a tool to practice getting more into their body.
S. You think it’s more a meditation practice, than a sexual practice?
M: Oh, absolutely! It’s a practice that is bringing consciousness to sexuality. In what I call a container that has protocols and steps. You use the same steps every time but your experience is different every time.
"We make a distinction between the climax and the state which you get to go into when you’re OMing--the orgasm state, that connected empathetic feeling"
S: When you focus on the result you have in mind, your goal--I mean, you want to come--that makes it impossible to be fully present. How would you describe the experience of OMing? As I’ve understood, the whole experience is considered an orgasm?
M: We make a distinction between the climax and the state which you get to go into when you’re OMing--the orgasm state, that connected empathetic feeling. The climax is just the peak experience...that is just one point in the whole. The way we often think about sex is being like oh we’re going up this hill, up this hill, there’s a peak and then the fast come down. But this new way of experiencing sex is more like there are hills and valleys. We’re going up, and we have a climax and come down a little, but we’re going back up and it goes all around - its not linear, there is no goal and the only thing you’re doing in OM, and also what you can bring into sex and your life in general, is this wholesness. You are fully present in the moment and allowing for all the sensations to arise and to be deeper connected to all locations in that state. Rather than all roads lead to climax.
S: But so, are you doing OM meditation during sex?
M: No, definitely not. We love OM and we love sex but they’re not the same. OM is that fifteen minute practice where you have certain steps, and when you finish with the OM, you put the materials away. If you want to have sex after -- great! But you don’t want to be mixing them together.
S: How do you use the practice in sex?
M: A lot of women use OM in order to strengthen skills they might use in sex. For example, in OM you can make requests. You can get connected to what your body wants right now and ask for the exact stroke you’re desiring and THAT can translate to sex. “I’d like you to go down on me for five minutes,” or “I’d like a fuller thrusting,” whatever it is. You’re building that muscle during meditation and you’re getting connected to your desire so you can ask for and have the sex you really want.
S:. There is a big difference in masturbating and doing OM with a partner.
M: Sure with masturbating its one person, right, haha.
S: Yeah, haha, that’s the obvious difference.
M: Yeah, it’s two people together having this experience. This goal is connected experience where their brains are syncing up -- they’re actually doing the same thing. It’s incredible. Yeah, actually I have a long history of self pleasure, and you know, I really knew my body when I came to OM...but when I first came to OM, I had no idea how to feel what I felt alone together with another person.
"We were both OMing for the first time, so it was awkward and there was lube everywhere..."
S: Yes! I think that applies to many women.
M: So this is a tool where you can actually take what you know about your body and be connected to another person, feel the sensations you’ve felt and then some with another human being. That makes OM something you can’t experience by yourself.
S: Did you experience it the first time you tried OMing?
M: No, I did not. We were both OMing for the first time, so it was awkward and there was lube everywhere, and I was like “oh my gosh, how do i look?”, all these normal things that happens. It was this new thing i was trying out. It’s a practice, like yoga. The first time you try it, the positions are awkward, but you keep going, and the more attention you put on it, the more you get out of it. So first time i tried it was super awkward, but i had the sense that there is something here for me. I had done meditation before and knew what could happen when you take on a practice and stick to it.
Illustration by Goldfish Bellarian
Michele Lynn Wellington is a certified coach and Orgasmic Meditation trainer coaching individuals, couples and groups as well as organizing events and workshops on OMing.