I’ve always been attracted to things that push the envelope. I like to take on challenges that scare off other people. In the past, some of that was ego, but more of it was just this deep curiosity about what humans can do and become.
I found OM living in an intentional community in San Francisco more than a decade ago.
During my first OM, I couldn’t get over how much energy was generated by the contact between the tip of my finger and the upper-left quadrant of a woman’s clitoris. There was all of this feeling of presence and connection, and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. There was so much trust, and so little possessiveness.
I came out of that OM bursting with energy. It was like fire erupting from my insides. I biked up a steep hill and all over the city. I came home, and did 100 pushups and took a cold shower and still felt as if my whole body was buzzing.
I should say that a few days before that first OM, my grandfather had died. His burial was the day after, and I fell asleep that night thinking both of my OM experience and of him. (He had lived in Europe, and I couldn’t make the funeral.) That night, my grandfather came to me in my dream, and it was the most amazingly lucid and powerful dream I’d ever had. We hugged and said goodbye to each other. I woke up in tears, filled with emotion I could not have tapped into without that OM experience. It had opened something in me.
Fast forward a decade, and I’m still practicing OM. I have a partner now, Stephanie. We OM together, and we OM with others, and the practice shapes and heals and deepens our relationship. Every couple comes to a relationship with their core traumas, and they either work through those traumas with their partners or they don’t. My core trauma goes back to my mother, who could be emotionally and physically abusive. Mom could shift from being kind and gentle to raging and violent in a matter of seconds, with no apparent warning. That experience left a deep mark on me, and it made me very fearful of women’s anger. Stephanie's trauma is rooted in abandonment. She had all these overwhelming feelings and experiences when she was young, and there was no one there to hold her or comfort her.
You can talk your way through some traumas, and you can, to put it bluntly, try to sex your way through others. The thing about trauma is that it’s often deeper than the power of words to reach. Going to bed together or talking all night can only resolve so much. Sometimes, Stephanie braces herself for the feeling of being abandoned again; I can feel the temptation to brace myself for rage. And instead of slipping back into those ancient patterns, we take it to OM, where she feels safe and adored. She can sense that I am with her without being afraid of her strong emotions.
OM is the central growth and connection exercise of our relationship. Together, we heal in this safe and creative space.