|INNER BLISS @ OneTaste Urban Retreat Center|
The brainchild of founder, Nicole Daedone, the OneTaste Urban Retreat Center, located in San Francisco, is a unique foray into the study and practice of female-centered spirituality and sexuality. The center, which is home to 38 men and women, focuses on the use of yoga and meditation to empower women and encourage spiritual freedom using a combination of Eastern spirituality and feminism. One technique used by the residents, which is called “morning practice” on the website calendar, is known as orgasmic meditation. This ritual focuses solely on female orgasm and sexuality, although participants claim that the practice is not sexual in nature.
Ms. Daedone’s mentor was Ray Vetterlein, a sex therapist who claimed to lengthen the female orgasm to 20 minutes. He was inspired by Lafayette Morehouse, who operated a community that still exists in California where women are publicly brought to orgasm. The community has been in existence since 1976, and its founder, Victor Baranco, called the process “responsible hedonism,” but was often controversial as many who lived in the community said he used coercive mind control techniques. Ms. Daedone studied semantics at San Francisco State University, and eventually opened an art gallery. When she learned her father was dying of cancer in prison, where he was sent after being convicted of molesting two young girls, caused her to seek self-awareness. Ms. Daiedone delved into Buddhism, intending to live in a Zen community, until, at a party, she met a Buddhist who practiced what he called “contemplative sexuality.” That was her first experience with the process she now calls orgasmic meditation.
Ms. Daedone says that she was asked to lie, unclothed, while the gentleman set a timer and began stroking her, narrating in detail the beauty he saw in her feminine region. She says that she just “broke open” and at that moment, “decided to live.” At the retreat center, the residents have an oddly clinical relationship. Eye contact during the sessions is not permitted, and the focus is to extend sensation and share it publicly before climaxing. Only women are touched during the process, yet the men say they also experience satiation, likening the process to the hydration of the body.
Ms. Daedone hopes to create mainstream urban centers throughout the country, and offers weekend workshops and private training sessions in orgasmic meditation, as well as mindful sexuality. She says that the American culture is that women are to have open feelings and closed sexuality, while men are to have open sexuality and closed feelings. She hopes to open men up to feelings while opening women up to sexuality to eliminate the resistance and shame that come with sexuality.