Refining My Ability to Observe Details
by Chris Howard

I've always been drawn to a wide range of spiritual practices, starting with the Baptist religion of my Midwestern family. I loved learning about other cultures and had a curiosity about Native American traditions, which I had a chance to investigate when I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, many years ago. I’ve studied Tantra and other practices surrounding human sexuality. In one of those groups, a friend told me about Orgasmic Meditation. I liked my first OM session because it fit in with other teachings I'd been studying. 

In my first few OMs, I was focused on wanting to do things right, so I was thinking a lot about the mechanics. It wasn't until later that I could let go enough to enjoy the process and feel how it fit within my body. A recurring theme in my OM practice has been the focus on details, especially in how the strokee asks for adjustments and the stroker offers to make changes in how he's stroking. That communication improved my verbal skills and helped me connect with my body and the strokee's body. Also, the step of sharing frames at the end, where we each share a sensation we felt in the OM, taught me to notice and verbalize what was happening in my body. Sometimes the communication was not through words but through feeling and sensing, through attention. All of these give me information about how my strokes are affecting the strokee.

It was amazing how much I was getting out of the practice as simple as it is. There is the opportunity for me to relax into a meditative state by focusing on the repetitive stroking. My mind goes into a state of just being present. 

After a couple of years, I developed the ability to focus on more subtle changes. One day I saw the strokee's inner labia become erect. It stood straight up in the air. I was in awe. It inspired me to keep observing closely. To my surprise, when I OMed several times with the same woman, it didn't happen again. OM has certainly given me a better understanding of one of the principles - feel over formula. In the body, the strokers and even mine, doing the same thing does not produce the same results every time. 

Within the fifteen-minute time limit of the OM, I can see how women's bodies go through cycles. The stroking may lead to a peak in the strokee's connection with her body, and then the energy might decline. Maybe I shifted my finger position or changed the stroke length or speed, and the sensation shifted. I don't have to try to push for it to go back to high energy or a specific state, because in an OM, we're not going for the traditional orgasm. So, we can both settle down and just go on the ride, wherever it is heading next. 

By refining my ability to observe the details of what's going in an OM, the practice also sensitized me to how people relate to other kinds of social interactions. In a conversation, I've discovered there are different levels of feeling in a person that I can detect through subtle signals such as the tone of voice and the micro-expressions on a person's face. I used to either not notice them or brush them off as unimportant. But now I can see how subtle and changeable people's states can be, from moment to moment. It isn't a constant ratcheting up; there's more of an ebb and flow. With this awareness, I get more enjoyment out of the simplest conversations. Knowing that I can see into different emotional states, I can be satisfied with that level of connection with anybody.