Orgasm Is Continuous: An Orgasmic Diver Takes to the Sea
by Marie-Elizabeth Mali Mar 1, 2016
The black manta circles the group, pauses until a diver fins under him, and slowly swims forward as the diver’s exhaled air bubbles caress his belly. A trembling ripples over his skin. It seems as if the sensation of air bubbling over him gives him pleasure. When we’re deep, he circles at our depth. When we’re shallow, he circles up to meet us. When we get back on the boat at the end of the dive, he hangs out near the surface within view of the boat as if waiting for our return. On the next dive, he is the first manta to show up to play with us again.
This kind of interaction with mantas only happens in one place in the world: the Revillagigedo Islands, twenty-four hours off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, accessed only by boat. The Giant Pacific Mantas here have learned to welcome the scuba divers’ presence in their waters and derive pleasure from the thing we bring into the ocean with us: compressed air.
As a feeling person who practices Orgasmic Meditation (OM), I dive to connect with the animals I encounter underwater. I attempt to enter their field carefully, in a way that would have them not take fright and leave. I try to be as still as possible to let them determine the kind of interaction we’ll have and I delight in their evident personalities. Sometimes I hum or sing through my regulator if I sense that they like the way sound vibration moves through the water.
Given that I’m also taking photographs, I’m not always successful at not scaring them off, since my desire to get the shot sometimes overrides my ability to sense how slowly I need to move or how close each animal is willing to get. I notice how my push to get what I want from them affects them and it doesn’t feel good. This black manta surprises me with his evident desire to connect, which seems as strong as mine. I put the camera down and meet him eye-to-eye, until I snap out of it and realize he’s come to a full stop, waiting for me to get underneath him and stroke him with my exhale. We swim forward together until I need to peel off and rest for the next pass.
I look for him among the chevron mantas, the less-common one, the oddball, beautiful in his difference. Not unlike myself, the only OM practitioner on a boat with people intrigued, repelled, or scandalized by my profession as a coach and OM trainer, an “orgasm expert,” someone dedicated to her awakening through the cultivation of orgasm and meditative awareness, and a supporter of others who want to do the same. I find myself downplaying what I do to some and being fully open about it with others, depending on the openness I sense in them. It’s not unlike how I approach the creatures in the ocean, with all my feelers out for the best way to foster connection and for how much connection is available with each of them. With the black manta all my carefulness falls away in the face of his curiosity and invitation to play and we experience a pure, unmediated connection.
On the first day of diving, two dolphins out of a pod of seven swam directly at me. When they parted to swim around me, I saw they had been mating, the male’s small bluish penis erect and quivering before they conjoined again on the other side of me. Is that a coincidence? Of all the dolphins in that pod and all the divers in our group the ones in full expression of their sexual connection end up swimming around me? Maybe. Still it feels significant, given everything I’ve read about dolphin intelligence and intuition. I choose to believe in a connection here, a welcome to their domain with a nod to mine.
Something else has changed since I’ve been practicing OM: I don’t get as upset when I don’t get the shot I want. Though I notice moments of tension during the week, such as when another diver cuts me off while I’m swimming under a manta with my GoPro rolling, the tightness doesn’t last long and I’m soon re-immersed in the wonder of the experience. I also notice I don’t effort like I used to in order to be accepted or liked by the rest of the divers. If there’s resonance with someone and we have a conversation, great. If not, I do my own thing.
During a quiet moment underwater, it hits me: I’m having the experience of living from “full,” an effortless feeling of rightness like the sensation of perfect buoyancy, not floating or sinking but fully met and supported by the water. I experience a felt sense that everything is perfect as it is, even if the sharks are too far away to photograph or someone cuts me off mid-clip. My only role is to meet each moment with openness and willingness to play.
So when the last night arrives and I don’t feel like getting drunk with my new friends, I don’t feel pressured to do so to fit in. Sober, I hang out with them until I want to go to bed. I give thanks for the mantas, dolphins, octopus, sharks, and people I had the privilege to meet. I give thanks for the compressed air that allows me to experience orgasm and meditation underwater with creatures that seem to feel it, too.