Meditation can help with a lot of different things. Most of us know it can slow down a racing mind, help connect you to your breath, and even boost your mood. However, some of us might not realize that meditation can also help you to connect with your body on an intimate, and rather pleasurable, level. Yes, we’re talking about sex. And thanks to practices like orgasmic meditation and tantra, “feeling yourself” is just as achievable in the meditation room as it is in the bedroom. If you’re looking for a meditation practice that awakens your mind, soul, and nether regions, you might consider adding some sacred sex into your spiritual routine.
“Sacred sex education is the new black,” said Amina Peterson, an intimacy coach and self-proclaimed tantric goddess. “There are a ton of workshops, classes, and experts available across the U.S. and abroad right now, and for professionals like myself, we are excited for the change.”
OM is a trademarked meditation technique from wellness company OneTaste that’s been making waves for a few years. It’s as much a form of meditation as it is a “body hack” innovation where your body is treated as a gateway to happiness (and not just because there’s orgasm involved).
“It’s a practice that combines the power of meditation with the experience of orgasm,” said Anjuli Ayer, CEO of OM’s founding company. “It is a modern and innovative concept that has been shown to help people improve connections, increase empathy and generosity, and forge deeper connections with others.”
OM is practiced between two consenting adults who are at least 18 years of age or older: It involves a woman lying on her back and having her clitoris gently stroked for 15 minutes in a non-sexual way by a partner wearing a latex glove with lube. The stroker is fully clothed, while the strokee is naked from the waist down.
According to Ayer, the ritual is based on time, position, communication, sequence, and sanitation. The length of time—15 minutes—is deliberate; it’s long enough for the mind and body to relax into an orgasmic state while being short enough to practice on a regular basis.
This orgasm state is known as Orgasm 2.0 in the OM community. Orgasm 1.0 is the traditional climax, while Orgasm 2.0 is the state that you reach when you practice OM, experts said.
Ayer added that OM is a goalless practice, meaning women who OM can become more engaged in the moment and less tied down to goal-directed and effortful thinking and, well, just enjoy. You don’t need to “achieve” anything. For some, OMing will mean increased arousal, while for others it’s more of a meditative state.
However, Ayer made it clear that OM is “not for sexual gratification or any other purpose than to develop an individual’s personal well-being by improving connections between mind and body.”
It’s important to note here that OneTaste has faced a great deal of controversy since it was founded in 2004 by Nicole Daedone and into the recent past. Just this past June, Bloomberg Businessweek published a report quoting several OneTaste staffers and community members who claimed the company resembled a type of prostitution ring or cult, bleeding clients of their money and exploiting staff; in some cases staffers were said to be forced to engage in sex with customers. While the company denies the claims, and referred to itself to an “edgy lifestyle” before becoming a legit business in 2016, Bloomberg Businessweek says that the company settled a 2015 out-of-court-settlement to a former employee who said she was sexually harassed and assaulted while on the job. In 2016 the company changed its policies, including banning hosting group OM circles as well as stopping students from OMing in classes or staff OMing in the office.
The practice has clearly offered benefits to some of its practitioners, though, and if it appeals to you, you can certainly practice it in the comfort and safety of your own home without ever getting involved with OneTaste.
While OM offers events and classes through its newsletter and Instagram, intimacy coach Peterson said it’s not necessary for couples, or even singletons, to shell out big bucks to reach orgasmic nirvana.
“Orgasmic Meditation is an amazing practice, and when I first learned of OM’ing, as it’s called, I couldn’t wait to join a class and get certified,” said Peterson. “I was already offering sacred sex healing work and OM was right in line with my practice and learning.”
However, there weren’t any OM classes, workshops, or trainings available where Peterson was located, so she learned what she could from YouTube videos and blog posts. Soon, Peterson began a sort of solo OM practice, which, she said, allowed her to reconnect with her body.
“I didn’t realize how much of a disconnect I had created while masturbating mostly with toys,” she said. “OM taught me a lot about slowing down in my masturbation practice without ever attending a single class.”
Peterson pointed out that while a lot of sacred sex education is still inaccessible to many of us, since it can be expensive or offered only in certain areas, “That absolutely doesn’t mean that you are any less deserving of pleasure, or that you have any less access to it.”
Can’t drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on a workshop? Peterson recommended searching for information in local libraries or online, and said that hashtags are your friend—#sacredsex and #tantricsex can sometimes point you to free or low-cost classes (like her $25 workshops) in your area.
If you’re curious to get started on a sacred sex routine at home, Peterson said it’s pretty simple to do: just start touching yourself:
“Establish a daily practice of self-pleasure and meditation. Connect with your body, and offer yourself pleasure before you offer it to anyone else. You don’t have to work towards a goal, in fact, I suggest that you don’t focus on orgasm at all. Let your goal be pleasure. Remind yourself pleasure is yours, that love, openness, sensuality, divinity, it’s all yours.”
If OM or tantra is something you’re curious about, by all means check them out. However, if it’s not your thing, that’s cool too. It’s important to explore mindfulness, meditation, and your body in ways that feel safe and comfortable to you. If you’re having trouble connecting with your partner sexually or have questions about your body or sexuality, contacting a medical professional is always a good idea.
This article has been updated to include details on the controversy surrounding OneTaste and its founder, Nicole Daedone.