Social anxiety was something I dealt with since childhood, until I was around 32, but I didn’t face it. Even calling someone to order food on the phone was stressful. I knew there was something blocking me and that I thought I was too introverted and had this social anxiety that prevented me from experiencing life. I wanted to meet more women and I thought being shy wasn’t going to make that happen. I felt so limited. I knew I had to be willing to put myself out there and that it could be paralyzing if I didn’t try to change.
I looked at online tutorials and self-help ideas like giving someone a compliment or saying just one thing to someone, and it just felt tiring, so I quit doing it. I had tried making myself go do things like go to bars, and people would support me because I was making an effort. It was around 2007 when I faced myself and realized things just weren’t right. I couldn’t accept things the way they were anymore. I went on a personal journey, in a clumsy, horrible way! It wasn’t pretty, trying to be something you are not.
I had made a friend who was super extroverted, and he was always planning parties and going to things and taking risks. We would go and do stuff, and just see what happened. It was his idea to go to an Orgasmic Meditation workshop. I thought it was really interesting, not the stuff I would normally do. I had decided to watch and learn from his life. He was a good example to me of someone who enjoyed trying new things.
I actually started practicing Orgasmic Meditation and the experiences of it surprised me. It felt liberating to have that much connection with another human without the difficulty and complexity that I'd found in dating or hooking up. We could share a really powerful experience and then just head home. I'd spent so long strategizing and avoiding connection thinking I needed to be something else, but in OM I could have connection just simply as I am. In the practice of OM I learned that I didn't have to walk around thinking about what might make someone want to connect me. I learned that connection was available to me as simply and as vulnerably as asking for it.
I reflected on how in this practice you don't owe the person you practice with anything. You can just walk away, so the experience doesn’t have any strings attached or baggage or hang-ups. Later, when I was alone, I would really be struck by that powerful acceptance, how simple it was. Something about having realized I can be intimate in that way, I felt this beautiful sadness that made life worth living. It is hard to put words to the vulnerability I felt. I would walk around before pretending to be a tough guy, thinking women wanted to see me as macho. I'm so relieved to feel like I don’t have to prove anything. My OM practice has made me calmer, kinder, and more accepting.