If I think about why I went looking for something like OM, it all had to do with this tremendous desire to connect with women. Growing up, I had a really hard time talking to women, and yet I had this incredible longing to be close to them. It wasn’t just lust. I was entranced by the feminine, yet I had no way to draw near to it.
I don’t want to blame my parents, but their divorce when I was 11 did have a huge impact on me. There is always some emotional and psychological damage for a child of divorce, even if the split-up is reasonably amicable. My parents didn’t marry for love or passion. They married for success and status. As a consequence, I didn’t grow up seeing what love looked like between a man and a woman. I was intensely curious to discover what I’d never been allowed to see. It was difficult. I often felt like I’d been absent the day at school where all of this stuff had been explained, and I was forever playing catch up.
I’d heard OM mentioned several times before I actually was willing to check it out. I had started dating this woman I really liked, and a female friend of mine told us that we’d really benefit. This friend had been practicing for a while, and she said it had changed her life. She knew my hunger for connection, and she knew I wanted to be able to take this new relationship to the next level. “You’ve got to try this,” she said. She promised that it would build both intimacy and vulnerability with the woman in my life. I could see the growth in my friend’s life and relationships, and I wanted that for myself. Even more, I wanted it for my girlfriend and I as a couple. I wanted to go deeper than I’d ever been before, with anyone.
My first OM was with my girlfriend. We did the whole introduction class experience together as well. As prepared as I thought I was, and despite the fact that I was with my partner, I was nervous and confused during that first OM. I didn’t know what I was doing, and maybe even more importantly, didn’t understand what I was doing. I went through the motions to the best of my ability, trying to do what I thought was right. I half-expected my partner to stop me halfway through and say it wasn’t working, but she didn’t. When we shared afterwards, I realized she hadn’t hated it after all. Quite the opposite: she was glowing. I decided that maybe I could stick it out, and in time, I began to understand and connect more and more. My girlfriend and I both decided that it was okay for us to OM with other people too.
What I began to experience was the very connection I’d been looking for since I was young. I’d start to get tingles in my hand or my chest as I stroked a woman. For me, at least, it isn’t just the physical sensation that is so incredible, it’s the feeling of total synchronicity with another human being. Something happens in an OM that can’t happen anywhere else, at least as far as I know. All of a sudden, strokee and stroker are flowing together, bonded and connected, all because the tip of my finger is on her clitoris. From those few millimeters of skin contact, you can open up a whole new world with another person.
During an OM, there’s a trust present in the giving and receiving that is unique. For me, it heals that part of me that felt shut out from the feminine and bewildered by it. OM allows me to respectfully touch the most feminine place there is, and to do it without agenda. I can be trusted and know that I am trustworthy. Growing up, I could always sense a woman’s vigilance around me, and I didn’t know how to break through to connect with her. I’m not talking about deceiving her or playing a game; I just wanted to be close. In the nest, I am invited into the space I longed to be in for so long, and I can be myself there. It’s like being invited to sit beside the pool of the feminine. As a result, women are a tiny bit less of a mystery to me now.
The connection I get in OM doesn’t just stay in the nest. It’s changed how I communicate. Directness and explicitness are key to the practice, and the more time you spend in OM, the easier it is to be direct with other people in a way that benefits everyone. I still catch myself on this often: this past Saturday morning, I told my partner that I was really hungry. She nodded, and said, “Okay.” She just looked at me. And I laughed. I phrased it the way I’ve learned: “I’d like to go get breakfast. I’m going to leave in 10 minutes. Would you like to come, or do you want me to bring something back for you?” The old me would have hinted and hinted and gotten “hangrier” by the minute. The courage to name what I want and the courage to hear someone else’s desire are such important tools. My partner and I are very specific together, so much so that it might seem odd to other people – but it means we don’t often run into problems of unmet expectations.
I’m an IT professional, and I bring the lessons I've learned from OM into my work. In my business, one of the fatal mistakes that people make is to get attached to one particular way of doing things: "If it worked before, it will keep working!" But that attitude is dangerous in the tech business. It means you’re always falling behind. In OM, what often happens is that the woman you’re stroking will ask you to change it up. Without using so many words, she’s saying, What you were doing a moment ago isn’t working anymore. What you did the last time we OMed isn’t working anymore. Don’t stop stroking, just stroke me differently.
Before I came to OM, I would have heard that as a rebuke or rejection. It’s not a rejection, it’s an opportunity. Now I hear it as a chance to grow and get closer. I bring that openness and flexibility and attention to detail to my work life. It’s made me much more successful, and it’s kept me a lot less anxious. It’s not just about getting back into the groove; it’s about finding new grooves. There’s always so much more to discover.