In previous articles in this series, we’ve been discussing a sexuality practice popularized by author Nicole Daedone – a technique she’s named “Orgasmic Meditation,” though it doesn’t necessarily involve sexual climax in the conventional sex.
In her book Slow Sex, she describes how a woman can develop her capacity for sexual attention by simply focusing without distraction, for 15 minutes, while a partner strokes the upper left quadrant of her clitoris.
At her center in San Francisco, and at workshops she’s led throughout the country, her goal is to show women “how to sink down and truly feel during sex.” That’s something many women complain they can’t easily do.
Daedone’s work is controversial. Since it sometimes involves women getting sexually aroused in a group setting, it’s certainly immodest by most people’s standards. But she has a committed following of individuals and couples willing to devote considerable time and energy to “sinking down and truly feeling during sex.”
The following is a continuation of our recent conversation in New York:
Nicole, when I first read in The New York Times about what you have people do –repetitive stroking of a woman’s clitoris – I thought, “Oh no, not that goal-oriented thing again that gets so many couples in trouble.” But in your book Slow Sex, you make it clear that it’s not that at all. It’s not intended to produce a sexual climax. Or even to get a person sexually excited, in the conventional sense.
Yeah, that confuses a lot of people.
Well, if you call a practice “Orgasmic Meditation,” people are going to assume it’s about having plain old fashioned orgasms. Why’d you name it that, if that’s not what’s going on?
I could have made up a new term, rather than used “orgasm.” But a lot of people in the field do that. They come up with some catchy new phrase. I wanted something deeper, darker, that would be big enough to describe the practice.
So you decided you’d claim the word “orgasm” and use it to mean something else?
I “reclaimed” it. I scooped out the old meaning, and then began putting in new meaning.
Climax is a fleeting moment. When I use the word “orgasm,” I mean something much bigger – the body’s total ability to receive and respond to pleasure.
If we all learned to achieve such a state of pure pleasure, though, how would civilization carry on?
Well, it wouldn’t – not in the way we’ve been doing it. We’d be on a different path. Let’s face it, the path humanity’s been on is not going to work forever.
When you began in this practice, weren’t you worried that if you succeeded you’d just lie around all day doing nothing else?
I did worry about that at first. Once you become able to receive and respond to that degree of pure pleasure, at first you’re in a state of “filling up.” For awhile, yes, you don’t want to do anything constructive.
But it’s a fallacy to think that if you go down the path of pleasure, you’ll just become selfish and useless. I spent many years filling up – getting stroked – getting deeply nourished. But then at some point the meter on the gas tank says “full.”
Then you go out and build a life based on what genuinely feels good. You agree to be used in service to the world.