My journey with Orgasmic Meditation in my 20s helped me get clearer about what I really wanted—and helped me learn to express my desires in a more precise and powerful way.
It’s not that I was a meek person before. I have always been strong and gone after what I wanted. But there was a part of me that was withheld in relationships, and around men in particular. I prioritized others, and that had the effect of muddling my own desires and needs. I was really impacted by my dad leaving the family when I was six. In the years that followed, two messages I learned from watching my mother were that 1) men can’t be relied on and, 2) put others’ needs first.
My mom never dated. Her reasoning was that she didn’t want me to get attached to someone that I would eventually have to say goodbye to. She prioritized my perceived needs above her own happiness because she thought it was the right thing to do. I grew up thinking that I should act that way, too.
I grew up in Colorado and spent the early part of my adulthood in a small mountain town. One spring, I visited a friend on the West Coast, and she had started a journey of self-discovery. She was hesitant to let me in on it, but I was very curious. I kept on poking at it to find out more. She was the one who introduced me to OM.
Through her, I had a few OM experiences and met several people who practiced regularly. In those early OMs, I remember feeling a warm, tingly sensation. I also felt very safe, and I had never felt that way with a man before.
What drew me most to OM were the people—they felt so honest in the way they communicated and related to each other. The conversations I had with them were genuinely different from the ones I’d been having in Colorado.
Back home, I went through a bad breakup that left me pretty heartbroken. Although I had local friends who helped me out, I didn’t feel fully able to express and communicate what I was going through. When I reached out to my OM friends, those conversations felt the most nourishing. I knew I wanted more of that deep friendship and intimacy with others.
Eventually, I moved to San Francisco and started practicing OM regularly. The people I was hanging around with sensed that I wasn’t being true to what I wanted. They asked me, “What are you doing here? What are your desires for your life?” They were not shy about calling me out on my stuff and encouraging me to explore it.
While OMing, I was challenged to better understand my own desire and my capacity for sensation. I struggled to give adjustments to my strokers when something felt off. They would say, “How would you like the stroke?” and I would say, “I don’t know.” It almost got to the point where I was exhausted and wanting to give up.
Those experiences were frustrating, but they taught me to probe deeper into what I really wanted. I started to get into conversation with my desire. I needed to be specific about my needs in OM; that translated into other parts of my life, including my relationships.
Before OM, I would keep my own needs inside as long as I could—and then they’d inevitably brim over and blow up.
For example, my former boyfriend had told me that he wanted to go to a huge, weeklong event without me. I was hurt, but I tried to accept it. Days later I asked again if I could go with him, and he said no. I was holding a bowl of fresh salad that I had just made for him—like a metaphor for the beautiful life I had worked hard to create for us—and I threw it on the floor. He didn't even say anything when it shattered. He just looked at me and started cleaning up the mess.
In the relationships that I formed post-OM, I became more skilled at expressing my needs—whether it was about clarifying the boundaries of a relationship, or simply giving my boyfriend a list of ingredients to get at the store.
My current boyfriend is not from the U.S., so I’ve had some funny miscommunications with him about grocery shopping. I once asked him to get a squash—meaning zucchini—and he came back with a whole pumpkin. I think it’s a great metaphor for why I have to stay focused on being clear and precise in the way I express my desires.
At 30 years old, I still struggle with this. But when I’m aware of it and there's an opportunity to identify the behavior and change it. I’m in constant conversation with myself about my needs, and I know it helps my ability to communicate with others. In recent relationships, men have been surprised about how clear I am. They’re not used to meeting women with skills like that and they find it really cool.
Learning how to understand and express my desire has led to a greater sense of approval of myself. Before, there were parts of myself that I didn’t approve of—and now I can give those parts a ton of love. Even the part of me that doesn’t always understand my own desire, or feels that my desire is crazy or selfish, deserves love.
I’ve experienced enormous transformation through OM, and I know I wouldn’t have achieved it without the help of some really beautiful people I met along the way. Those connections were essential, and I am very grateful for them.