Full text of founder and CEO of OneTaste, Nicole Daedone on Orgasm: The Cure for Hunger in the Western Woman at TEDxSF conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Orgasm – The Cure for Hunger in the Western Woman by Nicole Daedone
All right. Okay. My subject is a little bit more challenging to introduce. I’ve been doing radio interviews lately and noticing that the interviewer will spend the first 40% of the interviewer preparing the listening audience for me to come on. They’ll say things like “Ladies and gentlemen, the author of Slow Sex: the art and practice of oh…. Nicole Daedone”.
So I figured we’re TED people. We’re fast, we’re savvy, we’re smart. So I’m just going to break the ice first, OK? My topic is female orgasm.
So that said, I want to thank the people of TEDx for having me on the stage. This has been a dream of mine that I thought was absolutely impossible. That we could have a relevant, intelligent conversation about female orgasm was just a distant dream for me. I just fell in love with this practice. That’s what happened for me. I gave nearly 10,000 hours to this practice. That’s a lot of hours. A lot.
But I learned some key things in that time that I am bringing to you. The first is that female orgasm is vital for every single woman on the planet. The second is, is not so bad for the guys either. The third, and on a much more serious note, is that it roots our fundamental capacity for connection. It’s for this reason that I believe that at some point you will hear Yoga, meditation and orgasm. And you won’t hear it Yoga, meditation and orgasm.
So, in 2004 I founded OneTaste Urban Retreat Center with this in mind. OneTaste comes from the Buddhist expression “Just as the ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so does the taste of liberation, the taste of truth”. And I felt like I have tasted a truth that was so undeniable I had to bring it to the world. I was absolutely clear on this. Mind you, not everyone was.
We had lectures, we had courses, we had what every orgasm study needs. We had a residence. It was insane by pretty much anyone’s standards and we had the lack of clientele to prove it. My business partner has journal entrees that say things like, “Two people showed up to the business this week. The first was the postman, the second was a wrong address”. Crickets. So I began to question whether or not this brilliant life altering notion that I had was actually right. And I began to give up. Until all of a sudden, in some odd storm, the New York Times discovered us.
And when that happened, people began to flood into our doors. Person, after person, after person. And fundamentally each person was saying the same thing. They were saying some version of “I’m hungry”. There’s this gnawing sense of hunger that I can’t quite reach. I don’t know how to touch it.
So I was very clear, and I would say to them “orgasm” and they would say “Haa?” And I would say “orgasm” and they would say “haa?” Because at the time what happened was they were hearing the toxic mimic of what I was talking about. Because that was the only thing that had been ever given to us. They were hearing sort of like this exaggerated version where you imagine like sex toys and boas, or the other version where you have to call your genitals weird things and you use different kind of spiritual names and stuff. But nobody was actually just imagining playing good, clean, everyday orgasm as I was talking about it.
And it was for this reason that people were coming to me saying things like “I’ve been married to my partner for 28 years and we haven’t touched for 18”. Or women were coming to me and saying, “I just roll over at night and I hope he doesn’t touch me because I don’t want to fake it again”, Or men were saying, “I want to do everything to please her and I cannot figure it out”,
Or more commonly, woman after woman was coming to my office and there was chanting, what I call The Western Woman’s Mantra: I work too hard, I eat too much, I diet too much, I drink too much, I shop too much, I give too much. And still there’s this sense of hunger that I can’t touch.
So, when I first discovered this thing — this thing that’s called Orgasmic Meditation — this practice, I was fairly smart, I was fairly savvy, it wasn’t like I grew up in a convent, I had a great sex life, I had all the climax I could ever want. And still I had never experienced anything like this.
It happened like this: I went to a party. Orgasm is compelling enough for me to unveil myself. I went to this party and I met this guy, which sounds typical, right? This wasn’t a typical guy. So he said: “I’d like to introduce you…” oh! you could use this line if you want. I’d like to introduce you to this sexuality practice and I said “ha?” and he said I’d like to introduce you to the sexuality practice.
And then he said “OK, you are going to take off your pants. And I am going to leave my clothes on. And then you’re going to lie down and I am going to put all of my attention on you for 15 minutes”.
“And then, at the end of it, you’re free to go”
Now, I am a good woman and I have the defences of every woman. I know how to say no but somehow I found myself lying there, with my legs butterflied opened. And so that you can know what the practice is so that you can go home tonight and try it. I’ll describe what he did.
I was lying there my legs were butterflied opened and he did what you would always expect in a sexual act. He took a light and shown it down there. And then, he began to describe what he saw. He said: “Your outer labia — I’m noticing that the your inner labia have this red tone to them and they’re swelling as I look at them” And I couldn’t hear anything after that because the tears just started flooding, something began to tone me.
I have never been looked at or felt that kind of compassion in that area before. So then, he sat next to me and he put his right thumb at the base of my introitus which is the area you would enter where you’d have intercourse. And he took his finger and stuck it in lubrication. And then he pulled his finger up and he put it on the upper left hand quadrant of my clitoris. Now the upper left hand quadrant, it’s of my clitoris, would be, while facing you the one o’clock position where my clitoris is [o’clock], and he stroked up down, up down, up down, up down no firmer than you would stroke your eye lid, that tender tissue there. So, it was great! Because nothing happened.
Absolutely nothing. I was where I always am or was when I was in any kind of sexuality act. I was in my head. I was thinking about whether or not I looked good. I was thinking about whether or not I was doing this thing right. I was thinking whether or not this guy was kind of creepy. I was thinking about whether or not I was going to marry him. I was thinking about whether or not my stomach looked a little poochie and then all of a sudden the traffic jam that was my mind broke open. And it was like I was on the open road and there was not a though in sight. And there was only pure feeling. For the first time in my life I felt like I had access to that hunger, that was underneath all of my other hungers, which is a fundamental hunger to connect with another human being.
Now it was enough and in that moment I thought Oh my god. This is what it’s supposed to be like. And then I had a moment of thinking and I want to know how to live here in this place and then I thought in my philanthropic way and I want everyone else to know how to live here and then that window closed.
And then I said about learning how to live there and I began studying and wearied behind the scene places and then I cobbled together this practice that could in a repeatable way get thousands of people who have come through our doors back to this place.
Now the amazing thing isn’t just that you can hit that place, it’s that you can hit it with another human being. Now I don’t like anything, I really, don’t like anything woowoo. So I’m going to describe it in the simplest way I can possibly think. Both people are putting their attention on the same point, it’s a fairly intense point, mind you. They are putting their attention in this intense point and then just like a master chess player would get absorbed in a chess game, or perhaps an Olympic athlete would get absorbed in their practice or a breathing meditator would get absorbed, you get absorbed into that place. The only difference is that you get to be absorbed there with your partner. You get to have this most profound and deep experience with another human being.
So, mind you, I’ve met with some skepticism, people have called my life’s practice diddling. They’ve called it mutual masturbation but the challenge is that I can’t get mad at them, because I too am a skeptic. I was an academic, I prided myself on my ability to say no. I prided myself with my critical thinking. And there is no way you ever, ever ever could have convinced me to try this thing.
What happened was I tried it and that convinced me. So that’s what I say to people when they come into my office. I say: ‘Just try it’ Really, the worst thing you have to lose is 15 minutes of your life. The best thing you have to lose is that sense of hopelessness that you will ever be reached deep inside.
So I said about this journey and I can tell you that there was a moment when I received a stroke that could never be taken back. It was a stroke where I knew that I had been returned to my birth right of my capacity to perceive and receive pleasure. Now this is often a complete shock to women when they come in. When I say just try orgasm, now mind you, it’s not that much of a shock to the pharmaceutical companies. They’ve been spending the past 10 years creating the next female Viagra, right?
And then, for the DSM-5, they propose Hypoactive Female Sexuality Desire Disorder. Now I don’t think that it’s Hypoactive Female Sexuality Desire Disorder. But I do think we have a pleasure deficit disorder in this country. And I don’t think that it’s medical, I think it’s a cultural issue. I do think, though, that there is a cure and that cure is orgasm. But it’s going to be a very different definition of orgasm than we know. It’s not going to be that fleeting moment of climax that seems to take the whole rest of the act hostage. It’s going to be a definition of orgasm that actually works with a woman’s body, so that rather than trying to stuff a woman’s body into an ill fitting definition, we have the definition work with what the woman’s body does.
And the amazing thing is that when you have this, this whole notion of frigidity, or a woman being an-orgasmic flies out the window, and what it’s replaced with is an entire lifetime journey of discovering who you are and how your particular orgasm works. Wooo!
So that said, the Dalai Lama has said that it will be western woman who changes the world. And mind you, I don’t know if you about this but it’s actually a fairly controversial statement, because it presumes that western women are above other women in terms of changing the world. I actually have a totally different issue with it. I think that it will be turned on women around the world who change the world. It will be turned on women and those who dare to stroke us who actually change the world by feeding this desire for connection that we all have.
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