I started drinking at 14 to cope with the disillusionment and pain. I grew up Catholic, and I never believed in what I learned in church – except maybe that sex was bad, and that I was bad for wanting it and being curious about it. I drank over the sexual shame too. I drank for twenty-five years, from fourteen to thirty-nine, with intermittent periods of sobriety in 12-Step programs. I spent those twenty-five years convinced I’d never fit in no matter where I went, and I’d never be able to have a real relationship with a woman. I was sure I didn’t want to get married – the examples of marriage I’d seen growing up were enough to turn me off from it forever. I did want sex and romance, but I had no idea what the healthy versions of those looked like.
When I finally got well and truly sober, I was nearly forty. I had no clue how to function without drinking. Sobriety took away my entire modus operandi for communicating with women. Alcohol relaxed me enough to help the woman relax, and so forth. You take the booze away, and I was a scared, jumpy, antsy guy. I realized quickly that I was either going to relapse, or I was going to need to figure out a completely new way to connect to women. I started reading, taking classes, researching online -- looking for techniques that could help me start over, as it were, and build a healthy structure for relating to women and to myself. That led me to OM.
The first time I came to an OM seminar, my impression was how safe it felt. It felt light. It felt loving. It felt feminine, soft and welcoming of everyone, including me.
The first time I OMed, I felt really comfortable. I couldn’t quite figure out the best position for me in the nest, but that physical awkwardness was nothing compared to this incredible sense of being at home. My fears about being incompetent evaporated. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel a little unsure about what I was doing – I did. What was so good was that the adjustments and the process built up my confidence. I could feel it growing with each stroke.
It wasn’t my first OM, but still an early one, when I felt the woman I was OMing with slip away. She wasn’t recoiling from me at all. She was inviting me to go with her, and we floated away together into this ethereal plane. She was having an out-of-body experience, and I went with her. What began with one fingertip on one quadrant of the clitoris elevated us higher and higher until we were connected to the universe above and around us. That perhaps sounds woo-woo, but it felt so real and expansive and safe. I came out of that experience with this wonderful sense of well-being.
After nine years in OM, though, I’ve OMed with hundreds of women. Most of these have been these friendly, warm connections that nonetheless sparked nothing outside of the nest. In these past nine years, though, I have had four girlfriends I met through the practice. In each of those relationships, and especially in two of them, I found that love and comfort and connection I’d been looking for all my life. I’m fifty years old, and I was in my forties before I started to understand what romance could be. I don’t have women on a pedestal anymore, but I’m a much better friend and partner because I don’t worship them or fear them any longer.
In 12-Step programs, they always say, “Don’t quit before the miracle happens.” In OM, the miracle keeps revealing itself to me, and I hope I never stop being surprised by what I find.