“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” – Vince Lombardi
The other morning, I was scrolling through my podcasts trying to decide what I was in the mood for when I came across “Orgasm as a Spiritual Discipline” on The Life Stylist podcast.
I mean, of course I chose that one. Who doesn’t want to start their day with a little morning sex (talk?)
The show focuses on the philosophy of Orgasmic Meditation, or OM.
To keep this from being red-flagged as porn, I won’t go into detail on what the practice entails. I thought it was odd when I first heard it, but it intrigued me, and I kept listening. Once the show ended, I had added OM to my mental “to-do” list.
The interview made several on-point observations about relationships and sex in today’s society. The one that hit home the most was the concept of surrender.
Eli Block, the guest on the show, stated that surrender is the ultimate human experience, yet most of the time, we can’t do it. That’s partly because our society has made sex a transactional act with a clearly-defined success metric – the big O. We tend to focus on that goal. There is a lot of pressure to achieve it. Throw in the fact that our minds won’t shut off, our insecurities come out, and our egos can’t handle direction, and we just can’t surrender – to each other or to ourselves.
I don’t mean surrender as in give in and have sex even though you’re tired… or because you’re drunk. I mean really surrender. I’m talking total lost-in-the-moment, completely uninhibited sex – no worrying about what you look like or if the other person is happy, no awareness of time, no holding back.
I’ll be the first admit that I can’t surrender.
I like to think that I’ve had some great sex in my life, but I’ve never been able to really let go. In my desire to orgasm, I hold back on doing the things I want. I hold back on asking for the things I want. I even hold back on acknowledging my thoughts about what I want, usually because 17 other thoughts are running through my mind:
I wish he would go slower.
This isn’t working, change positions.
Yes, right there.
What meetings do I have tomorrow?
Oh shit, I lost it. Gotta start over.
This is going to take too long – should I just fake it?
As a fairly sexual person, I took it upon myself to learn my body a long time ago. I know what works and what doesn’t. In most situations, I can usually find a way to “get mine.” So that’s what I do – I focus on achieving the goal. And more often than not, I succeed.
But that’s not surrendering. Focus is arguably the complete opposite of surrender. I may be reaching the goal, but maybe, I’m just taking a shortcut. Gaming the system.
In the practice of OM, despite the O part of the name, you essentially remove that “orgasm” goal entirely. The point is just feeling. Not finishing. And when you remove the goal – and the focus and pressure that comes along with it – you are able to surrender.
As a goal-oriented person – in sex and in life – this is a hard concept to wrap my brain around. It seems counterintuitive. Why would I not focus on finishing? I need to focus in order to finish, right?
But what if we are cheating ourselves with that mentality, and we don’t even realize it?
The way most of us try to orgasm is just like running. There is a specific route, and the goal is to finish the run. When you’re running, do you pause to enjoy the scenery along the way? No. You may glance over at it for a split-second, but mostly your mind and eyes stay on the route the route that leads to the finish. You don’t randomly wander off the route in search of a better one. And then you reach the finish, and you’re done… and usually tired.
Well, what if instead of staying on course, we just ran wherever we felt like running without thinking about it? What if we went in whatever direction we wanted to go? What if we paused to enjoy every piece of scenery? What if we didn’t care about crossing the finish line, but instead just went out exploring? Maybe, that really would be the ultimate human experience.
Often, we do surrender, but it isn’t to the whim of our desires. We surrender to the route. We surrender to the norm. We surrender to others’ expectations.
But what if we simply honor our instincts?
What if we let go of what we think orgasm should be like, and instead, follow what we feel?
Maybe, the key to surrender is to release the expectations we place on our sex life and let go of the need to be in control. Embrace the unknown. Explore.