Like so many girls growing up Catholic, I heard my mom say that sex was bad—a lot—especially if you’re a girl who likes girls. As a result, it was really hard for me to come to terms with my sexuality and not feel guilty or shameful about it. When it came to talking about sex, my mom handed me a little booklet from Planned Parenthood, and that was that. After I went to Bible college it was totally cemented into my head that it was wrong to like girls and it was wrong having sex before marriage.
I felt very ashamed and embarrassed when I lost my virginity at 17 to a close male friend. And yet I was also very curious, and went on to try new things with partners who were all good boyfriends that I never felt a real connection with. It was just casual fun. And then a boyfriend sexually assaulted me, and I shut down. I simply couldn't compute what happened. So I put up this wall where sex became meaningless. I would go through the motions, but I wouldn't really feel anything.
I discovered Orgasmic Meditation after I had just gone through a second break up in two years. I had actually thought being with Tom, the most recent ex, held a future for me. So, when he cheated on me, I was very angry and deeply wounded and had no way to healthily channel that energy. I had been rejected twice in a row, and it was a pretty dark period for me. I didn't know how to process it and put a lot of the blame on myself. The job I was in was crummy and I felt I was too fat. Even though I wasn't into being around people, I continued dating. I was in self-destruct mode, cutting myself and gorging myself with food and alcohol as my life unraveled. “My mind is the worst place to be,” I would tell people, “because I am self-critical and my own biggest enemy.” Looking back, I don't know how I made it through.
Needless to say, when a friend mentioned OMing, I thought “Absolutely not!” But after being around some people who did the practice, I was impressed seeing how happy, outgoing and grounded everybody was. It was very uplifting, and I decided to try it.
I was scared at first—very scared that someone was going to see all my lady parts. I was worried about how I looked and smelled. I was more nervous my first OM than I would have been having sex with someone new. But it felt safe to me because it was a controlled situation. It was comforting, talking through the steps. And being in the nest I felt like I had control—which I hadn't felt for a very long time. At the same time, it felt like I could let go of some of that control as well.
It took me a few OMs to actually fully relax. Having my lady parts described was unnerving at first. But I knew that I wasn't being judged. It was just my partner telling me what he saw. After a while it was kind of empowering thinking “I own this beautiful piece of flesh!” And being able to direct the stroking and make little corrections, moving left, moving right, moving up, moving down, I felt like the control that was stolen from me during my sexual assault was coming back to me. And that gave me power I hadn't felt in years.
With OM there were no expectations. I just had to be there in the moment, just feeling the light touch, the tickles, the little mini roller coaster sensations. And when my mind would start to drift off, the other person was there as the anchor to pull me back in, helping me focus on the sensations.
I think it was the noticing, the being present, the listening that started unwrapping the layers of shame and guilt and anger. It really brightened up my senses, so I was more self-aware. I remember after an OM going outside to get lunch. Sitting outside, I was aware of my surroundings like never before, hearing fire trucks for what seemed like the first time. The sun was brighter and there were people walking around, and everything felt like I had been reborn, brand new.
Before I started OMing, self-care was not even an option because, being a people pleaser, I always cared only about other people. OM really woke me up to being in tune with myself. I realized I needed to work on my anxiety and my depression and start taking myself more seriously. I started seeing a therapist to get the ball rolling toward becoming a more genuine, authentic person. I wasn't happy at my job, so I gave my notice. Somehow OM made me more open and trusting of the universe. I just knew something better was going to line up for me because I was starting to take the negative things out of my life. I was speaking up and speaking my desires. It was really impressive. I got more confident and my self-esteem went through the roof.
People around me were curious, commenting on how much more chill I was. I’d always been so high strung and angry and just so bottled up. People noticed when I was able to let that go. I stopped cutting. With OM I’d found there was a better way to redirect my energy. I started to meditate, to sit and breathe and clear my mind of all the voices and all the negative self-talk. I stopped believing all those horrible lies that my brain liked to create.
For the first time in my life, I started to feel like myself … authentic, like a queen on her throne.