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Pleasure Seekers
  • March 13, 2014 : 15:03
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“We’re going to move mindfully and thoughtfully, and very soon there are going to be fingers on clits,” says Ken Blackman. We’re downstairs in the Sutter Room, a large basement-level space at the Regency Center in San Francisco’s Nob Hill district. This is day one of OMX 2013, the first-ever Orgasmic Meditation Xperience. It is hosted by OneTaste, the organization for which Blackman works as lead orgasmic-meditation instructor. More than 1,000 people are packed into the room, all of them having traveled from around the globe to attend this three-day pussy-stroking session. Total cost: $395 a person (not including airfare or hotel accommodations, of course).

The room has a wide stage on the side nearest the door and includes the Sutter Annex off to the left. The blond wood floors are covered with clusters of yoga mats, buckwheat pillows and white terry cloth hand towels arranged in what OM experts refer to as “nests.” The nests are plotted in rows and distinguishable by numbered placards handwritten on lined paper and placed at the top of each mat. Pairs of men and women enter the room and mill about until they have located their assigned nest; some have come together as partners, others have met for the first time this morning. Those who have been trained in the art of orgasmic meditation and have OMed before wear green wristbands, while first-timers wear red. There are red pairs, green pairs and red-green pairs.

At their nests, the women strip from the waist down and lie on their backs, while the men wait in a line that starts in the middle of the room for their turn at a communal hand-washing station set up onstage. After they’ve washed their hands, the men—the “strokers,” in OM lingo—return to their nests, where they pull on white or blue latex gloves like a line of doctors prepping for surgery. Then the pairs arrange themselves in the nesting position: the woman on her back with her legs butterflied open, the man seated on a pillow at her right side, his left leg bridged over her core, the other straight out underneath her right leg. His right hand slips under her butt so that his thumb rests softly at her introitus (the opening used for penetrative sex), and he places his left hand on her pubic mound, thumb gently pulling back the clitoral hood, the pad of his bent index finger hovering just above the upper-left-hand quadrant of her clit (the one-o’clock spot).

Small glass pots of OneTaste-branded lubricant are available for purchase onstage and in an upstairs gift shop stocked with merchandise including T-shirts (THE PUSSY KNOWS, POWERED BY ORGASM, etc.), a set of small clit-themed stickers designed specifically for an iPhone’s small round “home” button, a collection of silver jewelry and a powdered green-algae-type water supplement. The lube, OneStroke, is oil-based and made with ingredients you might find in artisanal lip balm: olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, grapeseed oil.

Rachel Cherwitz, an OM coach who splits her time between New York and San Francisco, crosses the room to a couple settling into a nest and cups her hand beside the woman’s mouth. The woman spits out her gum, and Cherwitz rolls it into a stiff white ball between her fingers before tossing it into the garbage.

“I’m like a Jewish mother,” she says by way of explanation.

Onstage, Blackman announces, “We’ve closed the doors. This group is going to be the first to have an OM at the OMX.” The crowd claps and cheers.

Some of the men have already begun kneading the fleshy part of their partner’s thigh; this is called the“initial grounding.”

“This is the largest OM group yet,” says Yia Vang, another orgasmic-meditation teacher here to facilitate the weekend and this, the world’s largest finger bang. “You are history in the making.”

They cheer once more, then the talking stops. A staff member starts a 15-minute timer on her iPhone, and the largest-ever group orgasm begins.

OneTaste Inc. was founded by Nicole Daedone in 2004. She is part CEO, part guru. Tall, blonde and lean, Daedone, a vital and vibrant 46-year-old, is a former Buddhist nun-in-training and the author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm. She was raised in tony Los Gatos, California, an affluent town in Silicon Valley and home to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Pet Rock inventor Gary Dahl. Prior to OneTaste, Daedone taught gender communications at San Francisco State University, specializing in semantics, and owned an art gallery called 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco’s SoMa district.

Daedone experienced her first OM at a party. “I was showing off all my Buddhist intelligence, and a guy said, ‘Oh really? I want to show you this Buddhist practice.’?” That technique, she explains, involved taking off her pants and letting him stroke her pussy for 15 minutes. “I can’t believe I said yes. Something deeper, I think, pulled me,” she says. “The practice was so mind-altering, it shifted me.”

A month later the man called Daedone and asked whether she was interested in watching an OM demonstration with a woman deeply experienced in the art. She hesitated, unsure about watching another woman orgasm, but went. The demonstration further changed Daedone. “I got switched on. It was like a light went on inside me. And then everything I had wanted from Buddhism, which was this notion of all of us being connected, looked possible after having that experience.” Daedone was getting a lavender facial when she decided to open the first orgasmic-meditation center. She named the company OneTaste after a Buddhist expression: Just as the great oceans have but one taste, the taste of salt, so do all the teachings of the Buddha have but one taste, the taste of liberation.

By necessity, orgasmic meditation follows a strict format. There is always the nest itself and the nesting position. Then there is grounding pressure—firm yet pleasurable touching—such as kneading the woman’s thigh, which is an opportunity for the pair to get into harmony. OneTaste advisors are quick to point out that OM is not foreplay, nor is it meant to be romantic. OM is a meditative partner practice that just happens to involve female-genital stimulation. As the literature explains, “OMing gives partners a stronger, more nuanced experience of orgasmic sensation.”

Blackman, the lead orgasmic-meditation instructor, is a former software engineer, a short man, maybe five-foot-one. He speaks confidently into a microphone that coils around his ear. “Look at your partner’s pussy and describe it,” he says. “The color, texture, sheen.”

This is called “noticing,” another standard OM component. Afterward, the men ask their female partners for permission to place their fingers on the woman’s vagina (in OM parlance this is known as “safeporting”). Then, for the next 14 minutes, the men use a bent left index finger to stroke the upper-left-hand quadrant of their partner’s clit, with very light, fluttering movements, the way you might gently itch a mosquito-bitten eyelid.

Moans of pleasure start slowly and then build inside the Regency Center. One woman whinnies like a horse. Others giggle, hysterical. Some make deep, guttural grunts. There are oooohs and aahhhhhs and OoOOooOHHHs. Women shriek, and some buck in fits of ecstasy. Someone shouts, “Oh God!”

As per custom, a two-minute warning is issued at minute 13, and the men administer slightly firmer, “meatier” strokes to bring their partner down. Then they cup the palm of their hand against their partner’s mons, applying pressure to ground her once more, and finish by pressing a terry cloth towel to wipe up any fluid and lubricant.

It is standard practice, and a key part of the OM routine, for the man and woman to each share a “frame,” a snapshot of a feeling that stood out for them from any part of the 15-minute OM. A microphone is passed around so that participants can share their frames with the entire conference.

“I felt the energy of the entire room in my finger and cheeks,” says one man. “It’s still there. I can feel everyone.”

“There was a moment when my pussy felt like warm, buttery, liquid caramel,” shares a woman with a woozy voice.

“I felt waves of energy from my pussy up to my heart chakra and spreading around us like a lotus flower,” says another. Then it’s time for lunch.

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read more: Sex and Dating, sex, magazine, issue march 2014

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