As I’m sitting on the floor of a Denver art studio, a woman lies down in front of me, lifts her skirt, and spreads her legs. I’m staring into the depths of her cave of wonders while a man she hardly knows strokes her sweet spot. I’m paralyzed by my morbid curiosity — I don’t want to look, but I can’t tear my eyes away. As she moans in pleasure and her girly-geyser starts to swell, I become terrified at the prospect of its eruption. My face is definitely in the splash zone.

This is a live demonstration of Orgasmic Meditation. This exhibition is an essential component of the day’s class — an 8-hour lesson in the culture, practice, and myriad benefits of Orgasmic Meditation, also known as OM. 

Watching the intricate technique performed on another woman will pay off when it’s finally my turn to OM. At the conclusion of the class, an expert “pussy stroker” will guide my boyfriend step-by-step through the fine art of caressing my clitoris.

Most women explore sexual pleasure in their bedrooms, in the dark, with a partner who expects some form of reciprocation. Orgasmic Meditation turns that dynamic on its head, gathering pairs of strangers in brightly-lit rooms to stroke a woman’s clitoris for exactly 15 minutes. “Strokers” follow a rigorous protocol to provide comfort and peace of mind for their “strokee” — building a cozy “nest” for her to lie in, making offers and accepting requests to maximize her sensation, and assuming no IOUs for their own sexual gratification.

Devoted members of the OM community say the practice is life-altering in its ability to transform perspectives around self-image, connection and sexuality. They say its benefits extend far beyond the bedroom, instilling confidence into every corner of their lives. 

Critics say there’s nothing spiritual about it; that it’s just an excuse for New Age perverts to get together and circle jerk. They point to its troubled history to label the OM community as a “manipulative sex cult” full of suckers who drank the Kool-Aid. 

There are about a dozen adults in my “Intro to OM” class. But this is just a small gang of new recruits in the sprawling Denver OM community. And Denver is just one small pocket of a clit-stroking movement sweeping around the world to countries like England, France, Germany, Australia, Canada and Sweden.

Like the female orgasm, this wasn’t easy to achieve. A recent catastrophe nearly collapsed the entire community. OM’s founders were accused of preying on vulnerable members — pushing them into sexual servitude and five-figure debts. 

However, the Denver OM community is now rising above its misunderstood reputation, rejuvenating and reinventing this transformative pussy-stroking operation.




As the story goes, Orgasmic Meditation was born in 2004 when a woman named Nicole Daedone met a sexually enlightened monk at a party, who stroked her pussy and taught her the techniques she later developed into OM. To spread the word of Orgasmic Meditation, Daedone founded a company called OneTaste.

In its humble beginnings, OneTaste was a small, San Francisco-based commune with just a couple dozen members living and OMing together. 

“I was in the first coaching program with OneTaste,” says Steve Schaumberg, a leader of the Denver OM community and one of the “master strokers” who trained me. “Yes, I was there from the start. Lived there, helped out, took the programs, and really enjoyed it.” Steven loved being a part of this small, intimate circle of nimble-fingered vagina gurus, but it wasn’t enough for Nicole Daedone. 

“She wanted Orgasmic Meditation to be accessible to the masses,” says Valerie Spinner, another leader of the Denver OM community and one of my OM personal trainers.

So OneTaste developed a cutthroat sales strategy that exploited people’s weaknesses — like desires to overcome anxiety or resolve a sexual trauma — to sell the company’s overpriced “wellness” courses.

To make paying for these courses easier, OneTaste taught members that “money is just an emotional obstacle.” It taught employees to work for free or cheap to show devotion. It encouraged them to take out multiple credit cards to buy more courses.

Worst of all, the company used sex and flirtation to lure in emotionally vulnerable targets. Leaders would frequently order employees to OM with or have sex with customers to sell them on a new course. Many former employees claim that while they worked there, the company started to resemble a prostitution ring. The FBI is currently investigating these allegations.

OneTaste pushed its members to ignore their financial, emotional, and physical boundaries — until they snapped. After many members told their disturbing stories to the media, OneTaste closed its U.S. offices and stopped offering courses and retreats around the world.

“It makes me really sad to know that OneTaste did things without integrity because it does the practice a big disservice,” says Spinner. “I lost friends who were badly burned. They have such a bad taste in their mouths that they don’t practice OM at all and cut off communication with everybody in the community.”

However, Schaumberg and Spinner haven’t given up on Orgasmic Meditation. Like the female orgasm — an unpredictable rollercoaster of peaks and valleys — OM can still power through the lowest moments and end in something glorious. As  Schaumberg puts it: “The practice of Orgasmic Meditation is so beautiful that even the founders can’t kill it.”




We spent 8 precious Saturday hours in a chic LoDo art studio learning the ins and outs of Orgasmic Meditation. First, 5 hours of group discussion, ice-breakers and communication games to get comfortable with our pussy-stroking peers in hopes we’d later orgasm with (or beside) them. We learned the language surrounding the practice of OM, for example, that “pussy” and “cock” are the preferred nomenclature for someone’s genitals. Then, a couple hours’ lesson on the 14 steps of OM, summarized as follows:


Step 1: Ask a partner to OM. If they say no, they owe you no excuse about having a package to sign for or a terminally-ill cat to spoon-feed tuna fish. If they say yes, move on to Step 2.


Step 2: The stroker sets up “the nest” using 3 pillows for his strokee, a blanket, gloves, specialized lube, a timer, and firm pillow for him to sit on. Strokee takes off her pants and butterflies her legs. Stroker sits to the right of the strokee so that he can comfortably fondle her clitoris with his left index finger.


Steps 3-5: Stroker presses down on strokee’s thighs. He says 2-3 value-neutral statements about her pussy like “your labia is pink.” The goal is not to flatter; just to notice. The stroker puts on his gloves and applies lube to his clit-titillating finger.


Step 6: Stoker announces, “I’m going to touch your pussy now.”


Steps 7 – 10: For exactly 15 minutes, he strokes her clitoris, accepting occasional offers or requests to change location, pressure, speed, etc.


Steps 11-14: Stroker cups his hand over her pussy and applies pressure, then pats her down with a washcloth. The strokee sits up, and the partners share “frames,” or descriptions of bodily sensations. like, “I felt a warm throbbing in my cock.”


We sat in a semi-circle around a real life vagina as the practice was performed. Then, as a professional stroker supervised us, my boyfriend and I tried OMing for ourselves. 

I didn’t climax, but I did orgasm. In OM slanguage, this is an important distinction. Climax is a few fleeting seconds of physical pleasure, whereas orgasm is the entire sensational journey. 

Traditionally, climax is the be-all and end-all for every sexual experience. OM, on the other hand, is considered a “goalless” practice that aims to take the emphasis off chasing a grand finale. 

At times, I wondered if my OM experience might be improved my eliminating certain elements of the ritual. If I’d asked my two OM mentors if it’s acceptable to tweak the system to my liking, I already knew the answer they’d give me: Absolutely not.

“There is a specific set of steps so that OM is done the same way around the world,” explains Spinner. “Anybody who is practicing knows, these are the rules, and anything that’s done outside of that is not OM.”

Variations to the routine are a hard no-no because this intimate practice is not supposed to require love, romance, or even flirtation. Two complete strangers should be able to get together to stroke some female genitalia and expect no surprises. With the OM community’s international Facebook network, these arrangements happen all the time. 

“Consistency is essential. It proves my competence — that I’m not just some pervert who isn’t OM trained, and just wants to touch your pussy,” explains Vernon Smith, who’s been practicing Orgasmic Meditation for 4 years now. “It’s like, no matter where in the world you go to a McDonald’s, a Big Mac is a Big Mac. OM should be the same way.”

Smith can go to Paris, for example, and meet up with a French woman to OM. “We might not even speak the same language,” he says. “But we’ll speak the same language of OM.”




At the conclusion of my OM training, I lay on the ground with two men staring intensely into my pussy, analyzing its best methods of stimulation. To distract my mind from the discussion about how to deftly finger my delicate lady-flower, I think about all the classmates I met today.

My short time in the Denver OM community has allowed me to debunk the theory that we’re all lunatics. Quite the contrary, maybe we’re the few enlightened souls who’ve found a viable solution to a culture of sexual shame and clitoral illiteracy. 

Every person here possesses a profound belief in the power of orgasm to heal, to rejuvenate, to help us find some sense of inner peace. Their passion drew me in, to put my face mere inches from another woman’s pulsating pussy, to share my own intimate sexual experience with a room full of strangers. It keeps them fighting to revive and redefine Orgasmic Meditation despite its stigmas and scandals. 

The journey to cultural acceptance might be a long uphill battle, but it would all be worth it in the end — just like the female orgasm.