Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 | 2 a.m.
More about OneTasteThe OneTaste LasVegas meetup page is at TurnOnLV.us and includes all Las Vegas events.
In a city driven by sex, one group is trying to help Las Vegas residents explore sexuality in a decidedly novel way. The organization OneTaste will hold a daylong workshop today introducing the practice of orgasmic meditation (O.M.), a partnered meditative practice focusing on the female orgasm.
OneTaste has locations in nine cities across the U.S. and Europe -- the newest being in Las Vegas -- and has helped brought visibility to the increasingly popular practice, one that’s more akin to yoga and meditation than sex.
We talked with Michelle Wright, a certified O.M. instructor leading the workshop with Ken Blackman and Rosa McGill, about O.M., its misconceptions and why it’s a good fit for Las Vegas. (Enrollment for “How to O.M.” at downtown’s Theatre7, 1406 S. Third St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today is still open at $149 per person; go to OneTaste.us to sign up.)
What is O.M., and what does the workshop entail?
It’s a partnered practice, a timed 15-minute meditation. The woman lays down, nude from the waste down, and her partner [massages her]. There’s no goal: Both partners are feeling what’s happening in their bodies and sensations as they are in contact with the most sensitive part of the human body.
The workshop is a daylong, base-level course to learn the basics. It’s geared around people understanding the philosophy of orgasmic meditation and how to do the practice on their own. We have these in nine cities, and it’s built on what people coming to the class are bringing in terms of their personal experiences and desires, and what are the things people want to change.
The first half is lecturing on female orgasm. We have our own definition of orgasm, which is different from climax, and we talk about that as the foundation for our practice, as well as about dynamics and connection, communication and intimacy. Then that’s followed by a live demonstration of O.M.
The second half is exercises on communication and desire: How to ask what you want and how to notice subtle sensations in your body and identifying desires. The class ends at 5 p.m., and we take a break. Then anyone who wants to is welcome to come back and join for an optional lab, where you can try it out with guidance.
Who is the workshop for?
It’s for anyone, really equally for men as much as women, straight people and gay people, everyone. It’s a practice that’s a gateway to more vitality. You feel awake and alive and a connection and purpose in your life. It’s a powerful experience for both partners. O.M. is a source from which to draw energy, which is inside of you, and a practice you can do whether single or couple. Sixty to 70 percent of people who attend are single.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about O.M.?
People think it means sex, or is something leading to sex, or that you’ll be obligated to have a personal sexual relationship with the person that you O.M. with, particularly if you’re single. But the truth is that it’s a meditation and practice, in the same way you might treat yoga or meditation or exercise.
It’s mediation for orgasm, it’s the same every time you do it, but nothing else attached to it. You agree to connect and feel what’s happening in your bodies for 15 minutes, talk about what you experienced, then go on your way. There’s no dating or having to go to coffee after or do anything other than what it is.
What drew you to O.M.? What does it do for you personally?
Sex becomes more what it’s meant to be, which is connected and pleasurable. That’s a huge thing I’ve gotten; I’ve found the ability to come out of my head and relax in my body and experience pleasure. Whether I’m giving or receiving, I found a way to stay connected to what I’m feeling and move at a pace in a way that feels good to me.
The other thing I’ve gained is confidence in my desire and expressing it. That’s something a lot of women feel they’re getting out of O.M.: how to stay present with how you’re feeling and more connected with your actual desire. A big component of the practice is communicating what you want and making clear, concise adjustments.
As simple as that seems, when you do it on a regular basis for a long period of time, it really grows the muscle of knowing what you want and expressing it with clarity and confidence. And that’s something I found carries into other areas of my life. The benefits happen equally for men and women; it’s a major communication strengthener.
At first, it doesn’t seem that way because it’s a body-based practice. But as you build confident connection with your body, better communication arises out of that in all areas of your life.
What makes O.M. a good fit for Las Vegas?
My perception is that the sex industry here is based on pornography and adult entertainment, so on one end of the spectrum, there’s a lot of acceptance around a certain form of sexuality. So there’s an open doorway for us to come in. It’s not a conservative city.
But on the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s not much here in the way of consciousness and mindfulness around sexuality. There’s a space to be filled in terms of that. I notice people are really hungry here for more conscious sex and conscious connection and definitely are hungry for education around it.
One of the main things I’ve experienced is a hunger for community around the kind of connections that people actually want to have in their lives vs. the connections that have been on the menu for so long. We’ve been fed this one way of connecting and relating our entire lives, and we’re seeing such a positive response to changing that in every city that we go to.
“TurnOn Las Vegas” is every Tuesday night at 7:30 at Trifecta Gallery in the Arts Factory. Details are available at MeetUp.com/OneTasteLV.