I don't understand how I run into the most random people, who then lead me to even more randomness.
I took my single friend to a temple dinner near my apartment. Of course, she motioned me to sit near a cute single guy to my right. I insisted she take the seat instead (her being the single one), but she refused.
So, ever compliant, I started chatting the guy up. I asked him where he was from, and what he does. Next thing I knew, he and I were talking about orgasms. And before I could connect the dots of conversation leading us to this topic, he told me his sister is part of a "slow sex" community that teaches women various "O-finding" techniques.
I was fairly convinced my temple talk would score me a warm seat in Hell. Especially for carrying on the conversation while the young rabbi hopped around the room with a mic in hand, getting people to sing along to the prayers.
Temple Guy mentioned that the orgasm group is called OneTaste. I made a mental note, and emailed the group's instructor Rachel Chewitz the following day.
Turns out, Cherwitz lives in San Francisco but would be heading to New York the next week. It was meant to be! We planned a meeting.
I brought my friend, and we both booked 30 minute sessions with her. My friend went first, and by the time I interrupted their talk, I saw a credit card transaction going down. "Wow, she must be good," I thought! I secretly wondered if my friend already had an orgasm of some kind.
Then it was my turn. I explained what had happened at temple and how I was curious about slow sex. I'm all about self-improvement, and who's to say I can't improve on the intimacy front?
Okay, what I really said was, "Break it down sister: Exactly how do women have orgasms from this method? I want details."
Here's how she explained it:
There's an entire "slow movement" that includes slow food, slow sex, slow parenting, slow traveling, etc. But our culture is all about speed -- we need to do it faster and shorter. We have a finish-line mentality that keeps us from the journey. Nowhere is this more obvious than in our sex lives. Slow sex is the opposite of sex being harder, stronger and faster. It shows you how to get deeper, more connected and more intimate.
Nicole Daedon had a meditation practice, but realized she was living without discovering her sexuality. So she checked into a zen center, where she was told she couldn't leave anything behind. She knew sexuality had to be part of her practice. She spent the next 15 years researching what would become the OneTaste method: adding mindfulness to sex and increasing a couples' conscious connection to sexuality in a slow, sustainable way.
What We All Want
OneTaste teaches people how to have a healthy and whole sex life. Sex is used as a doorway into the deeper things people want. "We all want to love and be loved, see and be seen; we want to know our purpose, and we want to feel connected," Cherwitz told me. "When you open the door to sexuality, you begin to learn things about yourself you didn't know were there."
Practicing Mindfulness in Bed
OneTaste introduces the philosophy of mindfulness in sexuality. Some people already have a mindful practice, like meditation, or do chi-gong. What is mindfulness? It's being with what is. It's not putting an interpretation on it; it's allowing yourself to be present, and allowing things to unfold moment by moment.
Most people think a lot and ignore their feelings, or feel a lot and ignore their thinking. Orgasmic meditation brings these two parts of the brain into balance, so you can feel your body and also listen to what your mind is telling you. So often we're trying to do something just to do something to our partner, like, have an orgasm, and have it feel good! This practice gives you exercises to slow you down enough so you can listen to the sensations of the body, or the wisdom of the body.
There are three ways to get involved: Sign up for private coaching, take group classes or become a slow sex trainer. (How fun would it be to tell people what you do at parties?!) The classes are a combination of lecture, interactive discussion and experiential exercises. By the second class, you will be practicing the act of orgasmic meditation.
The Orgasmic Mediation Practice
Picture this: The lady removes her clothing below her waist and sits with her legs butterflied open. The man is to her right side, fully clothed. He puts on gloves and takes his left leg over her belly and right leg under her legs. He takes a small amount of lubrication and strokes from her introitus through her labia and lands his finger on the upper left quadrant of her clitoris. (O.K., I am not sure exactly where that is on my body, but I'll Google it.) He then strokes up and down at various speeds and pressures in a conscious way for 15 minutes. The couple then draws their attention to the point of contact with the most sensation. When emotions come up, they let them go and focus again on their sensations.
Apparently, even the man gets into an orgasmic state in the practice! Cherwitz practices the slow sex method about five times a day, either with men or women in her community. Amazing! Guess she's not the shy type! No wonder her skin looks incredible and her face looks relaxed.
I love how my temple outing got me learning about orgasms. I'm not sure how God feels about this discovery, but we're leaving him out of the practice. Either way, I think I might have to do a few more interviews before I take any sort of group lesson. But if you're brave and ready (ahem, apparently like my friend!), maybe slow sex is for you? If not, I know a great singles temple dinner you can try.