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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Enlightened Orgasms

If you want a good, cynical snicker, try this piece about Orgasmic Meditation, the new fad that's sweeping the nation:
OM, as it’s called among its followers, is a holistic practice between two people where a woman has her clitoris gently stroked for 15 minutes in a non-sexual way by a partner with a goal to building connections and prolonging therapeutic orgasms.

The stroking is said to activate the limbic system in the body ie. the emotional nervous system, releasing a flood of oxytocin—“the cuddle hormone”—which cultivates an orgasm. However, the practice is not about the destination, or reaching orgasm, but rather experiencing the journey and whatever sensation may arise. Thus, according to its founding company OneTaste, OM expands the most pleasurable part of the climax as part of a “goal-listed” practice.

“You wouldn’t expect accessing your clitoris could change your life, but it does,” OneTaste New York office director Kim Howerton told AlterNet. “OM involves a sexual practice that includes pleasure at times, but it’s not a practice that is designed simply about pleasure. It’s designed for enjoyment, living a better life and having a better experience. It’s the opposite of hedonistic—more of a personal growth path, than a pleasure-seeking path,” Howerton explained.
Of course. Stroking the clitoris is not just about getting off. When someone manipulates your genitalia, you are not just being self-indulgent and hedonistic. You are attaining a state of deep spiritual awareness. It's, like, cosmic. And spiritual. And spiritually cosmic. Oh wow.

I am reminded of Carlos Castaneda, who was researching his hoax books in the UCLA library system around the time I (more or less) took up residence within those same buildings. Wish I could say that I ran into him at the time, but I didn't. He definitely made more profitable use of those resources than I did.

In case you don't know, Castaneda's big "discovery" was that certain recreational drugs were the pathway to enlightened states of Being. Therefore, if you got high, you just weren't getting high. You weren't just being self-indulgent; you weren't just being hedonistic. You were accomplishing something really fucking important.

I suppose that the works of Ayn Rand may be considered part of this literary genre. In Ayn's view, if you're a thoroughly sociopathic narcissist -- if your only concern is your own pleasure -- you aren't just being self-indulgent and hedonistic. You are, in fact, becoming your highest possible self. You are becoming a God on Earth.

Obviously, a writer can earn a lot of money if he or she tells people what they want to hear. And what they want to hear is this: Self-indulgence equals Enlightenment.

So how can you clamber aboard this gravy train? Two possibilities:

1. Write a book describing how to attain Enlightenment Through Gluttony. A person who eats lots of delicious, fattening food is no mere hedonist. No, that person may attain samsara and become a hyper-aware soul who has advanced far beyond the normal exemplars of the species homo sapiens sapiens. So go ahead and chomp down on all the caramel sundaes you want, because calories create cosmic consciousness. Yes, that fat-drenched sugar-filled dessert will transform you into a spiritually-purified and ultra-cosmic GOD ON EARTH.

2. Write a book describing how to attain Enlightenment Through Drinking. Someone who downs a case of Budweiser isn't just being self-indulgent and hedonistic. No, that person is actually...

I think you can fill in the rest by this point. Right?

Here are a few other possibilities:

Enlightenment Through Spending All Your Money On Expensive Shoes
Enlightenment Through Not Returning Books to the Library
Enlightenment Through Beating Your Children Into Unconsciousness Every Time They Annoy You
Enlightenment Through Cheating On Your Spouse
Enlightenment Through Lying About Your Political Opponent
Enlightenment Through Being a Really Obnoxious Internet Troll
Enlightenment Through Letting All Your Fish Die Because You're Too Damned Lazy To Feed Them
Enlightenment Through Squealing On Your Partner to the IRS
...and, of course, Enlightenment Through Sitting Around All Day Watching Comic Book Movies.

If you can think of any further roads to Enlightenment, please share! After all, if you are a genuine solipsist, you really have become God. Right?
I think you've never heard of the Idler.
"The Idler magazine was founded in 1993 by Tom Hodgkinson and Gavin Pretor-Pinney in order to explore alternatives to the work ethic and promote freedom and the fine art of doing nothing. In that time it has passed through many incarnations, and inspired thousands of people to cast off the shackles of corporate or bureaucratic life, and find freedom. It now exists as an annual collection of essays, published in hardback book form. "

Well, Buddhists would probably argue that sitting around doing nothing (which is essentially what meditation is) can lead to enlightenment. Since you simply clear your mind and sit there for long periods. There is also scientific proof that meditation benefits heath and well being......though that's not the same thing as enlightenment I suppose.

Castaneda was simply following up on thousands of years of drugs used for enlightenment purposes, so in that regard there is no huckster-ism. Of course, if your goal is to enrich yourself at others expense by promoting mushrooms or LSD or whatever as the key to enlightenment, that's a different story.

As to beer, there is probably a reason that so many monasteries made it in the middle ages, some of which are still renowned for their fine ales today.

I think there are many ways to spiritual enlightenment, and don't believe anyone is qualified to deny a method someone else found successful. However, as soon as it becomes a business and people are enriching themselves at the expense of others (who presumably are genuinely seeking a path to enlightenment), then you have a simple scam. Which of course is nothing new in human history.

"... by a partner with a goal to building connections and prolonging therapeutic orgasms."

Is this covered under my health insurance?
If a "partner" could gently attend to my male tool in the manner described the attending of the female analogue in a "non-sexual" way, she would no longer be my "partner" for I would have lost physical attraction for her and would consider her ministrations un-partnerly and would seek another partner to replace her.
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