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Nicole Daedone, a sprightly blonde, is the unofficial leader of the Slow Sex Movement which started in San Francisco twenty years ago and is starting to pop up everywhere. Most famous for her TED talk, Nicole Daedone’s Orgasmic Meditation movement is gaining popularity.

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At a dinner party recently, a couple in their late forties described attending one of Ms. Daedone’s workshops. His wife was thrilled with the experience and the husband was  more circumspect. Ms. Daedone’s workshops are about inducing a religious epiphany, or Samadhi, or trance state, through the female orgasm. A volunteer lays on stage with her legs spread and Ms. Daedone strokes the volunteer’s labia, explaining to the audience the various quadrants and hidden treasures, “The upper left quadrant is the nirvana-spot” etc. The volunteer may or may not have an orgasm; the point is that the ‘pussy’ is revealed as the portal to enlightenment.

“It was pretty confronting, actually,” The husband said of the experience. “We’re all just sitting in the audience, watching her stroke a woman’s vagina.” The wife found it a revelation and can’t wait to go back.

Nicole Daedone began this journey when she was in her mid-twenties and studying meditation. She was two-weeks from entering a monastic retreat for the rest of her life, when she met another monk at a party (this is San Francisco in the early-nineties remember) and he took her back to his monastery. He told her to take off her pants and her underwear, spread her legs and he will just touch her with a single finger. By the second stroke, she entered a state of total euphoria. Her studies as a nun were abandoned and she has since developed a community of people who live and practice together. It’s been coined the Orgasmic Meditation, or OM practice.

Women lay down during a workshop, covering their faces and take off their underpants. A man, whom they may not know at all, simply strokes the woman. Orgasms may or may not happen, the journey is for a woman to let herself experience her own pleasure. The penis never makes an appearance. Ms. Daedone says she chased this early euphoric feeling she got with the monk for three and a half years, wondering where those early highs had gone. What happened instead was she wept. She wept for all the past traumas she had been through. The rejections, the bad sex, the good sex, the fear of her own pussy’s look and smell.

A friend once told me he met a woman on a dating site, went back to her place to have sex and discovered it was one of Nicole Daedone’s OM centres. Instead of the romp he was expecting, he was invited to participate in a pussy stroking workshop scheduled every morning. He voiced his total disdain and quickly left. But the idea of devoting hours, in Ms. Daedone’s case ten thousand hours, to the art of pussy stroking is radical. The focus of sex is usually the penis-in-vagina model, ending with the climax. Five minutes of this single finger-stroking would be radical for a lot of women. Even laying down and spreading one’s legs in front of their partner with the lights on might be a first. What can’t be denied is how popular orgasmic meditation is becoming, even if it’s just a dinner party conversation.

Image via galtime.com