The upper-left quadrant is the sweet spot. No, we’re not talking about switching off in maths lessons about dividing circles. This is very much about switching on with Orgasmic Meditation - the latest wellness trend to work its way across the Atlantic; by locating that clitoral hot spot, it’s super-easy to turn OM into O-M-G, and find a new way to get in touch with yourself, so to speak.
Stroking speed, location and intensity are all – orgasms optional. And there’s the rub (forgive the pun). With OM, the aim isn’t to get her off but simply to take her to a heightened sense of awareness and pleasure, bringing myriad benefits such as increased energy and less stress. The woman feels no imperative to climax and the man feels no pressure to perform: sounds ideal, right?
"By locating that clitoral hot spot, it’s super-easy to turn OM into O-M-G"
But it’s important to understand that OM is not some free-for-all orgy scenario: 300,000 people have been trained worldwide since it began in California in 2003 to allow people to ‘recover from disconnection’. In the UK, it’s very much a community-based practice, closer to meditation than sex.
There are non-negotiable rules: a step-by-step session is always 15 minutes; stroker remains fully clothed, wearing gloves and using lube, strokee undresses from the waist down (no, no, it’s nothing like a smear test); nothing extra is allowed in the cocooning ‘nest’ where OM takes place.
Simple offers (“Would you like a firmer/lighter/faster/slower stroke?”) help the stroker to tune into the spot, creating maximum sensation and connection. Equally, a strokee may ask him to move the stroke a little to the left or right, go more slowly, lightly… Aneka Theolade, one of the lead OM trainers in the London community, says, “Each woman is different – their genitals are different, the stroke and pressure they want is different. The upper-left quadrant isn’t always in the same place; some women have large clitorises, others don’t. We talk about feel over formula.”
Afterwards, stroker and strokee discuss physical sensations during the OM. Intuition, emotion, and desire all live in the body, so ‘turning on’ your body heightens these things. Comments on whyiom.com bear this out, ranging from ‘renewed energy and vitality’ and ‘a deeper level of honesty’ to poignant comments such as ‘moving from emotional starvation to nourishing love’. One man simply says, “I learned to feel.”
It’s powerful, meditative renewal, and an opportunity for self-growth. But for many men, it’s also the chance to learn more about female pleasure. Chris Cooper, a middle-aged CEO of a tech company, told me that “OM has taught me so much more about a woman’s body. Some like firm touch; others need just the heat of your finger to feel sensation – without contact – as if there was a strong force… almost magnetic.”
“Sometimes people ask, ‘But what’s in it for the guy?’ noting that men never undress or get touched in any way. I have to laugh – there is so much I’ve got out of it, in pleasure, relaxation, connection, awareness, friendships, discovery, emotional calm… as well as huge respect for women, and an understanding of the power of the pussy.”
Aneka agrees. “It’s about your ability to give and receive pleasure. For men who can’t climax or men with ED, the pressure they feel with sex is gone, and the road map to turning a woman on gives a sense of approval…it’s a journey of discovery.”
So, how do people reach these heights of rapture? Before you indulge popular sexual fantasies of sex with a stranger in a public place within minutes of meeting – sweaty, intense, up-against-the-wall stuff – Aneka explains: “A man, woman or couple attends a meeting with communication games that offer a peek into the feelings of connection generated during OM. If it’s for them, they have three OM training sessions covering the 12 steps to OM – including a walk-through with clothes on to show sitting/lying positions. Singles and couples join our secret FB group to find someone to OM with – we recommend they meet beforehand as community is at the core of everything we do.”
Benefits of OM extend far beyond the genitals. Community member Evelyne Brink, 42, works as a coach to high-performing creatives, and is a video trainer for entrepreneurs. She uses OM for personal growth and pleasure, practising with multiple partners.
“The first time I did OM, I was surprised at how good it felt: so light, so enjoyable and so different from how I knew being touched ‘down there’– a spiritual initiation into something much more musical. It is a great, healthy practice offering freedom and safety to explore yourself in a new way, transforming my life from isolated to feeling connected and social.
“I feel more connected to my life energy, including my sexuality, as well as being stronger emotionally and psychologically – I’m much more patient with my kids. I also have more desire and give myself permission to feel it, delighting in sensations for what they are rather than being attached to a meaning. I’ve recommended it to my friends and sister, even clients.”
She also finds it liberating to claim her experience as her own, regardless of the beauty, age, status of the stroker. “I OM with people out of my ‘range’ and I’ve built connection and friendships. When you bare your genitals to someone, you bond on some level.”
“I love touch, but OM is not someone rubbing around. The pussy is purring… it’s such a good touch that my feminine can understand, appreciate, and open up to.”
"I’ve even cried tears of emotional release a few times in particularly powerful OMs"
Chris got involved with OM after moving to from Australia to London, a city not known for its touchy-feely nature. “I started going to backgammon and chess meetups but thought Orgasmic Meditation sounded a bit New Age: as an IT guy, there’s no way I could have been convinced to sit cross-legged and focus on my breath!”
“Although my misperception of it as sexual initially drew me in, OM should be seen as a wellness practice like yoga or meditation. After 15 minutes with my attention focused on the point of connection between my finger and a woman’s genitals, my body is relaxed and I feel extraordinarily sated, deep in the zone and open for connection. I’ve even cried tears of emotional release a few times in particularly powerful OMs.”
Initially, he felt nervous but excited. “Intimate touch with a partner I didn’t know wasn’t something I was used to. Fortunately I had a very experienced strokee and she guided me. I’m a very comfortable lover but this is a dance, and you kinda need to dance to learn…”
Everyone thinks it’s so weird when they hear about it. And it is, to begin with. Then, after you’ve done fifty OMs, it becomes so very natural. OM is pleasurable, but it’s certainly not regarded as assisted masturbation or sex within community – it’s far more empowering than that. I’ve seen women gain so much self-belief. Want a pay rise, to stop being walked over by your partner, get that job? Maybe the answer is OM.
“I came to OM in some disbelief and mildly titillated. But it’s given me such a new perspective. It really is time to stop shaming the pussy… OM is the new normal.”
Jo Lamiri is a London-based journalist and editor. Keep up with her on Twitter.
To find out more about OM, and read testimony from strokers and strokees, visit the Institute of OM's website.