Rethinking Societal Messages & Expectations
by Annabelle Buckley

I have always been a seeker. Before I knew about Orgasmic Meditation, I was searching for something, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. I’d had success on the traditional path: graduating college with honors, getting a good job, checking all the boxes of things my culture said would make me happy. But I didn’t feel fulfilled or satisfied. 

I tried all sorts of hobbies to fill this void, but it only seemed to grow and make me hungrier. I was so out of touch with my feelings that I didn’t even realize I wasn’t happy. It’s just the way things were.

I’d recently gotten divorced and was in the process of rediscovering myself when I heard a TED Talk about OM. It was about how so many women are constantly trying to fill a void, whether it’s through food, shopping, dieting, or something else. I was like, “This is me and every woman I know.” 

My boyfriend and I discovered OM together and thought it sounded like a fun thing to try. We got trained and started practicing. At first, I just found it fascinating and edgy. But soon, it was changing my life in unexpected ways. 

As my practice developed, I was able to pay closer attention to what I was feeling during OMs. I woke up to the sensations in my body and uncovered a whole world there. I learned how to surrender and found incredible power in that. I discovered that vulnerability leads to more connection and makes me feel more alive.

But the seismic shifts happened when I began using the tools of OM in life outside the nest, as well as in it. Being present during OMs taught me how to feel the sensations in my body and use them to understand myself and connect with other people. Requesting adjustments taught me how to ask for what I wanted. I grew when I started taking these insights into the rest of my life and my relationships with others. 

OM taught me to be fully present and find pleasure in whatever I’m present for: the lighter strokes as well as the harder ones, literally and figuratively. I can stay present when my body feels irritated or when my partner seems like they’re falling asleep. And that helps me stay present with people outside of OM—like my son when he’s getting anxious, or family members when they’re angry with me. 

The practice has also prompted me to rethink many societal messages and expectations that are false or that don’t serve me. I have come to understand my own beliefs and desires independently of the messages my culture taught me: that I was a bad woman if I wanted "too much," that women lose desire as a relationship progresses, that a couple’s intimate life always declines over time, that vulnerability is a weakness. I came to question all of these assumptions, and ultimately, to redefine them for myself. 

In the past, my intimate life in relationships had declined over time because we weren’t able to ask for what we wanted. Learning how to communicate during OMs taught me how to make adjustments so that this didn’t happen. I could ask for what I wanted in a loving, open way and have my partner feel successful.

Within myself, I learned to embrace my desires instead of hiding them. I became more flirtatious and playful and wanted to share that with the world. Life was much more pleasurable in that state.

OM helped me see intimacy and relationships as separate things, and I could choose how I wanted to put them together, not just operate based on the subconscious beliefs about them that my culture had given me. I developed a confidence that my desires are right and an ability to be fully me and fully expressed in all areas of my life. I know what I want, how to ask for it, and how to receive it—from people and from God and the universe. 

By practicing presence, I’ve learned to ride the ups and downs of life. I know now how to be myself in joy, play, and happy times as well as in grief, sadness, disappointment, or anger. I’ve found approval not just for myself but for life. 

My connection to my spirituality has grown to the point that I don’t feel empty. I don’t feel the need to fill a void anymore because instead of following my culture’s formula for happiness, I can feel what actually makes me happy. I used to feel like I was climbing a mountain of achievements, but now, I’m just enjoying the journey.