Before you move into an experimental group living situation of any kind, but especially one that pushes the boundaries on sexuality, question them LONG and HARD about whether your confidentiality will be protected and how.
You do not know what your life will be like five years from now. Perhaps you want to run for public office. Or become employed in a setting that requires strict security clearance.
How can you know that you will not be photographed or gossiped about?
Privacy is easy to lose and nearly impossible to regain.
Corboy note: The author of this article does a remarkable job distinguishing
between orgasmic meditation and the One Taste organization.
Here is a remarkable descriptions of day to day living in some OM communal houses, the beneficial aspects and the not so beneficial ones.
Living in an Orgasmic Meditation House
The practice itself seems to be derived from the Eastern spiritual lineage of tantra (ever heard of tantric sex?), but a woman named Nicole Daedone formalized the practice and dubbed it “Orgasmic Meditation”, or OM for short.
Her organization, OneTaste, has popularized OM and has even built a spiritual path and community all centered around this practice. There are now OneTaste centers all over the world where people come for morning and evening OM practices, just like yoga, and can take workshops and programs.
The organization itself is pretty controversial. There are those who call it a weird cult. Say it brainwashes people and takes all their money. And yet, others swear that it’s the most powerful, transformative thing to ever happen to them. That OMing and OneTaste’s programs are the most powerful tools for self-expansion they’ve ever come across. That their lives have a clear “before OM” and “after OM” demarcation.
So, how did I get involved in all of this?
The first I ever heard about OM was a few years ago, when I read the book Slow Sex by Nicole Daedone, OneTaste’s founder (and guru – she’s pretty much worshipped). The book was amazingly insightful and the benefits of the practice sounded too good to ignore.
But every time I went to learn more (at their social mixer TurnOn events), I got turned off. There was something about the OneTaste vibe that felt unsettling to me.
After a few years of this, my curiosity finally grew strong enough that I decided it’d be worth exploring – weird vibes be damned!
A few months later, I felt a strong pull towards San Francisco to explore community living. But I had no idea where I’d live. No idea where I’d find this “community”.
And so, you can imagine my surprise when an OM friend casually mentioned to me, “You should come live in my Orgasmic Meditation house in SF!”
Wait, what? For real?
I soon learned that there were OM houses all over the world, where practitioners lived together in community. Most OM houses are structured so there are two people (usually a male and female) sharing not just a room, but the same bed!
One thing I always found off-putting about the OM community was their hyper-aggressiveness. The community really loves riling up harsh emotions and dropping uncomfortable “truths” on one another (which they call verbal “stroking”).
n the same way you don’t have to be a Buddhist to meditate, you also don’t have to join OneTaste to practice Orgasmic Meditation.
The practice, I find to be a beautiful one. I would recommend it to anyone and can only see benefits.
But not so with OneTaste, the parent organization.
OneTaste is an organization I have very mixed feelings about.
On the one hand, I think it’s wonderful that an organization like OneTaste is growing so fast and spreading a more open, conscious approach to sexuality throughout the world.
But on the other hand, I find them to be pretty weird. And off-putting. And even dangerous, in some ways.
First of all, OneTaste is one of the most aggressively money-hungry organizations I’ve ever come across.
From the moment you go to one of their events, the sales machines swings into full gear! They call and text you incessantly. Constantly push you (hyper-aggressively) to sign up for their latest programs. Use every sales tactic in the book to get you to take out your credit card (including using your specific issues and wounds as leverage).
And these classes and workshops range from several hundred to TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars. Seriously, their highest tier programs run well over $10,000 or $20,000!
I even had a housemate who spent close to $100,000 for the all-inclusive Membership package! (Luckily, she got most of her money back when she decided to leave.)
Now to be fair, charging a lot is not necessarily a problem in and of itself.
But when an organization constantly encourages people to go into debt (and many do) to take their programs, it feels like they’re walking a dangerous line.
I’ve known many OMers who felt like OneTaste pressured them to prioritize the needs of the organization over their own, much like a classic cult.
They were pushed to constantly help with events, to volunteer, and especially to RECRUIT for OneTaste. If you didn’t spend all your free time giving back to the organization, you were seen as “not a team player” and they’d turn their back on you.
They’d get sneaky too.
Once they tried to get my house to take in a “team player”. When we decided she wasn’t a good fit for the house, they began pressuring us constantly. Then they manipulated an easily impressionable housemate to report on our house meetings and throw in specifically seeded talking points. Like a spy!
For all of the above reasons and more, a lot of former OM’ers really do feel used and taken advantage of by OneTaste.
The author made clear she learned a lot and found a lot of friendship and communal support in the OM communities she participated in. But at the end of the article, she warns that there is a downside to living within an insular culture of any sort, but especially a culture that constantly probes at you, judges you, for your own good.
Over the years, I’ve built a very strong sense of who I am. My strengths. My weaknesses. What I have to offer the world. What’s true for me. And what isn’t.
But living amongst a group of people who didn’t fully see me – even as loving, authentic, and deep as they were – began to erode all of that.
I began to feel depressed and lonely in a deep way. Began to doubt myself. Began to tamp down my unique perspective. Began to believe I had no value to give to the world.
Their way of seeing me, as much as I knew it was untrue, began to seep it’s way into my consciousness.
nd the more it did, the more I slowly shut down.
It felt like part of me was dying. And in a way, it was.
Just as the human body needs the nourishment of food and water, the human soul needs the nourishment of being seen. Recognized. Appreciated.
I didn’t fully realize how starved I was until I finally moved out of the OM house and into a possibly crazier situation: a diverse, free-spirited 40-person mansion (yup, that’s not a typo).
Here, there was no group think. No singular culture. The mansion was incredibly diverse, with people from all different backgrounds, cultures, sexual orientations, and mindsets.
Here, my unique perspective was welcomed and celebrated, not dismissed
The author was concerned that Daedone was regarded as THE authority, and that her
One Taste philosophy was regarded as the one and only path.
The author realized she needed ideas and inspiration from a wide variety of persons and cultures, not just one person, one culture.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2016 03:49AM by corboy.