You may have heard of the slow-food movement that started in Italy to counteract the rise of fast food, promote locally grown produce, and encourage meals made and eaten with care. A similar movement is taking hold in the sexual arena: the slow-sex movement. It borrows ideas from many Eastern practices like Tantra and Buddhist mindfulness but with a modern twist.
No, the slow-sex movement doesn't advocate having sex very, very slowly (although that could be one method of engaging in it!). Rather, it seeks to remind people in a pornified world, where the pressure for an ideal body or the "right way" to have sex, has taken them away from the foundation of sex: connection (with your partner and your own body), intimacy, and pleasure. (Based on some of your responses to our recent posts on orgasms — sexual pleasure can be particularly difficult for women.)
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk to one of the most vibrant (and controversial) voices of the slow-sex movement — Nicole Daedone, who runs OneTaste, an urban retreat center in San Francisco. (There's also a branch in New York City.) At OneTaste, women and men can learn about mindful sexuality through classes, lectures, or living at the center. The New York Times describes it as a "co-ed live-in commune dedicated to the female orgasm." Residents engage in morning "OMing" sessions in which women — naked from the waist down — lie in curtained rooms while fully clothed men stroke them to orgasm.
These mindful sex "research partners" and their practices could be easily laughed at or dismissed, but put your preconceptions aside and read the series of interviews with Nicole I will post in the next few days. I can't wait to hear what you think of it all!