How OM works it wellness magic

Orgasm is not the same as climax

The practice creates orgasm (not the same as climax, though climax may sometimes occur). That orgasm in turn releases endorphins, oxytocin and a host of other hormones, neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in both the stroker’s and the strokee’s brain.

The hippocampus is in charge

The hippocampus is an organ in the brain which serves as a central clearing house for memories – including learning memories. The “happy” chemicals released via orgasm act in the hippocampus in several ways. The three most important to be aware of here are:

  • They adjust the “signal to noise” ratio, allowing razor sharp attention and focus.
  • They greatly accelerate consolidation of learning memories. This means that whatever neural circuits are in use at the time or shortly before the flood of happy chemicals arrive get reinforced. If, for example, you have just learned a new way of perceiving the world and that learning is followed up by an orgasmic experience, that learning is locked in much more strongly than would otherwise.
  • Oxytocin in particular seems to be an agonist to cortisol. Depressed individuals lose neural receptors in the hippocampus; oxytocin counteracts these effects and restores normal functioning.

Consequences of OM

When people OM, all of these mechanisms work to create powerful changes. During an OM, each partner is focusing exquisite attention on the other (indeed, this ability is multiplied by the release of oxytocin into the hippocampus); each partner is “in the moment” – i.e. not being intellectual in their head but experiencing their whole selves as deeply as possible; each partner is “tuned in” to the other, actually sharing the other’s experience.

All of these abilities are reinforced and enhanced with each OM.

What Orgasmic Meditation does for us

Orgasmic Meditation


I often describe Orgasmic Meditation as a partnered wellness and sexuality practice.

It is a practice designed to foster holding space, focusing attention, building connection and living life as it happens. Mechanically, the practice involves stroking a woman’s genitals for 15 minutes. The actual mechanics are well described elsewhere. While it’s a simple practice, it creates remarkable, positive changes in those who practice regularly. I’ll spend some words on each of these themes below and then talk about both the wellness and the sexuality aspects of the practice.

Holding space is a somewhat vague and often over-used expression. Within the context of OM, it means creating an environment where both parties feel safe letting go, being vulnerable and accessing their involuntary. It means keeping the practice consistent and being careful to keep all of the emotional baggage that can be associated with sex and / or relationships out of the practice.

Over time, continuing to practice OM gradually transforms practitioners so they increase the clarity of their communication – so they are able to create contexts anywhere within which they and others feel safe enough to be vulnerable, safe enough to be themselves.

Focusing attention is the cornerstone of OM. Attention itself is a fascinating subject. Once we humans feel safe, attention seems to be the number one concern. Yet it is poorly taught – where do you learn how to give good attention? How to gracefully receive attention? How to gracefully ask for attention? How to negotiation how much attention you want and how much you’re willing to give? What does giving attention really even mean?

The practice of OM trains us to focus all of our attention on a single tiny point of contact for 15 minutes. How can things get simpler than that? Yet this practice transforms people – over time they begin to focus more attention on what’s going on inside themselves and what’s going on in the people around them. This translates to better and more meaningful interactions with others.

Connection is the next theme. It’s another one of those fuzzy words that get way over-used. Everyone knows exactly what I mean until they try to explain what it is. I respect the difficulty in nailing this concept down with words. I think of it generally as “that which draws and holds people together”. I often visualize it as a tangible, almost physical force. More important, I’ve come to believe that we humans have been wired to be drawn powerfully to connection with others and that sex (and consequent reproduction of the species) is actually a side-effect of connection.

All of us have a limbic system in our brains and it is this component that takes charge of responding to the emotional states of others. Attention is a powerful driving force in creating attention. One of the fascinating aspects of connection for me is that, as it grows, I can actually experience sensations and emotions of someone else; I can sometimes experience their thoughts as well!

The important thing about OM is that as we continue the practice, our ability to use our limbic system effectively and connect deeply with others keeps on improving. With practice, it is possible to achieve levels of connection that are beyond even the day-dreams of most of the people on this planet.

Along with safety (holding space), attention and connection comes living life as it happens. Living in the moment. In today’s society and culture, cerebral skills are much valued. Life is fast paced and we have to stay alert. Life is complex and we have to keep analyzing and understanding things. Yet how often have you felt that you spend too much time in your head? I know I feel it often.

We spend so much time in our heads over-analyzing, over-thinking things that we are left with no time to actually experience the connection, the attention, the vulnerability that makes life worth living. Orgasmic Meditation is a practice that gently trains us on HOW to shift our attention from thinking and analyzing to experiencing our own sensations as they happen.

I can provide an analytical model of how and why OM changes people – but that, again, is content for another blog. And it would require me to leave the experience of the moment and analyze things. Suffice it to say that our neuro-chemistry automatically incorporates all of these themes and likes them so much that it generalizes them out into the rest of our lives.