I was born and raised in a very beautiful part of Germany. My parents were self-made and successful, and my conditioning was very much oriented toward being successful and a man who can provide for a family. That kind of social programming took me into a kind of repetitive, machine-like thinking that was not easy to break out of.
Before I found Orgasmic Meditation, I was working as a photography assistant with a world-class photographer in London. I was already fairly successful and had my name in magazines like Vogue. I also had a severe alcohol addiction and smoked weed. My life was simply a loop of very intense work and then every night coming home and easing the pain of the whole experience with intoxicants. I was starting to realize that a successful life, as I had designed it, would slowly cave in on me. Following a path to happiness through success would always keep me far from home, tied down to big cities and places where the fashion industry thrives. The more I worked, the more I realized that there is a certain dullness to the industry itself. I would never quite find what I was looking for there, which was warmth and connection.
I was very confused. I didn't know what happiness meant. I was missing my family, and my girlfriend, who I’d been seeing whenever I could on weekends, had broken up with me. I think I was living in the endless hope of: One day I will be happy and successful. But at that point, it wasn’t happening, and I was looking for a solution. I was looking for a way to change my life, and I found out about OM.
My first OM was with a woman that I identified as the most similar person I could find to my ex-girlfriend. I guess I was looking for someone who would fit that same box. I was nervous and excited. Fortunately, she was an experienced strokee, and I felt very safe and approved of. I still remember the texture of her skin and the hairs on her skin and a certain blush to her legs.
At first, with the practice, I experienced a certain sense of entitlement, thinking I was doing it better than most men. It was a kind of a condescending one-upmanship with all other men. I think sometimes a spiritual practice does increase the ego for a while!
I soon understood that the container was very important. It became very clear that there's a very specific way that my partner wanted to have my attention and a very specific way the container needs to be set up—the pillows and the blanket—so she could feel safe and can let go. As I gained this understanding of what made my partner feel safe, that intuition started to translate into pretty much everything else I did with her.
But the container is the outside work. Then, there's the inside work, which is the stroking itself. During OMs, it seemed like I was only doing the same thing over and over: up, down and down, up on the same spot. But there were other things that constantly needed my attention: the pressure, the speed; particularly the speed and the pressure are very important. At each moment in an OM, these things can change. When they do, I start feeling where my partner is at emotionally and react accordingly, paying particular attention to the feeling component between my partner and me. Over time, there is a syncing-up process of thoughts, of ideas, of environment and expression.
OM helped me realize that my emotions are very much connected to my partner. It’s an experience of feeling so deeply connected, where I’m pretty sure that what I’m feeling is what the other person feels. That realization is very, very powerful. Then, the frame that my partner gives afterwards can be a certain kind of confirmation to my logical-thinking mind that what I've just experienced was not just my imagination. It's immediate feedback.
That has been a tool that I have used to develop emotional intelligence in all sorts of relationships, whether in my business, with my family, or with my romantic partners. It has improved my life all around because I get to communicate my emotions, which are my wellbeing, and I can share logically from my feelings in a way that other people can understand.
A great example happened when my fiancé and I were planning our big wedding in Germany.
We had developed a way of speaking emotionally with each other, and I got to experience what it means to translate from the emotionally connected language into language a service-based provider could understand. We were in a flower shop, and I was listening to her and translating her vision to the German flower lady. At one point we started talking about ribbons, and my girlfriend, who doesn’t speak German well, couldn’t get her point across. I just had a mental image of how she wanted the ribbons to be bound with a particular cross-woven style with two colors interwoven, and so I explained it to the shopkeeper. The florist created a test piece that was just what she wanted. My fiancé looked into my eyes and said, “You knew perfectly what I wanted before I was even able to say a word about it.”
If not for OM, this situation would have played out much differently. Led by pride, I would have had some fancy idea of what I thought this flower bouquet should look like. If it turned out it wasn’t what she wanted, that would have led to me feeling very frustrated. I probably would have gotten into a fight with her, trying to convince her that because I am an artist, what I think is stylish or cool or pretty or something is right. I would have been very prideful on that point, and it would have turned into a disaster. Instead, because of our work together with OM, there was this beautiful, sublime moment of connection and wordless understanding that brought us even closer.
OM has not only affected my relationships; it has affected my art in a very similar way. Before OM, my art was driven by what I would think could be successful. I would lean into trends and into what other people did. I still always had a very strong sense of my own personal creativity, and I would create projects that were beyond all of the norms; but I would struggle with constant self-doubt and self-criticism, worrying that the art I have inside me wasn't good enough. I would constantly be trying to bring it a little closer to the norm so it would be sellable. OM helped me see that this approach wasn't making me happy anymore. It helped me draw a line, start from scratch, and just like in an OM, create my own container around my art so that it could actually be free and enjoyable.
The grounding step inside the OM practice is basically the moment where I come fully present into what is. I use that a lot as an analogy for life. In order for me to feel safe and grounded and present, I need to create that in my everyday moments. It has taken me a long time to learn to do that, but I am on my way, creating freedom in my art, in my business, and in my life.