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Ex-‘orgasm cult’ members share details of bizarre retreat

Former members of a so-called orgasm cult have revealed the bizarre goings-on of a retreat where topless women dubbed ‘high priestesses’ would be sexually stroked by seven men in a ritualistic sex practice. 

Two people, a man and a woman, told how they witnessed the ritual and other bizarre practices like mass piercings at a retreat organised by OneTaste, a US-based wellness company founded in 2004 by ‘messianic’ leader Nicole Daedone. 

The company lured in thousands of paying members with the promise of ‘changing the world’ through ‘orgasmic meditation’, a practice that involves a half-naked woman having her clitoris ‘stroked’ for 15 minutes by a man, either her own partner or another paying customer. OneTaste also claimed the practice could improve their sex lives and even help in recovery from sexual trauma.

Speaking on BBC podcast The Orgasm Cult, which explores the dark side of OneTaste, a former male member recalled a retreat called ‘magic school’, which another former member described as ‘cult 101’.  

Former members of a so-called orgasm cult have revealed the bizarre goings-on of a retreat where topless women dubbed ‘high priestesses’ would be sexually stroked by seven men in a ritualistic sex practice. Pictured, co-founder Nicole Daedone 

Orgasmic meditation involves a woman, naked from the waist down, having her clitoris 'stroked' for 15 minutes by a man, either her own partner or another paying customer. Pictured, a couple practice orgasmic meditation under the guidance of a British instructor in 2018

Orgasmic meditation involves a woman, naked from the waist down, having her clitoris ‘stroked’ for 15 minutes by a man, either her own partner or another paying customer. Pictured, a couple practice orgasmic meditation under the guidance of a British instructor in 2018

‘Every class was a ritual of a different sort,’ he said. ‘There was a theta healer who taught something, there was a Freemason who taught a class about Masonic ritual and there was this big ritual where people’s skin was pierced.’

What is orgasmic meditation or ‘OM’? 

Orgasmic meditation is a 15 minute partner practice that involves a woman removing her underwear and lying down on a ‘nest’ of pillows or another comfortable position. 

The stroker, often a man, sits next to her on his own pillows and lightly and deliberately strokes her clitoris. 

The stroker focuses solely on the upper-left-hand quadrant of the clitoris, the so-called ‘one o’clock’ position. 

This continues for 15 minutes, until a timer goes off.   

The aim is not necessarily to orgasm but simply to ‘feel’ the sensation as intensely as possible. 

It affects the same parts of the human brain as conventional meditation. 

A former member named Michal continued: ‘We were told this ancient story about high priestesses who were like sacred prostitutes who would wait for the men to come back from war and would then have this sex ritual with them that would heal them from all the trauma that they had experienced at war. 

‘That’s what we were told we were doing for the world – we were healing the world through orgasm, through this new way of having sex and relating.’

To bring this story to life, OneTaste selected three women who served as ‘high priestesses’ in one of the rituals on the retreat.  

‘It was kind of like a dark, big room,’ Michal said, recalling where the event took place. ‘They [the women] had their tops off but they were wearing some kind of mask. Like a beautiful, sexy-looking weird mask.

‘And we would come up and they would hug you [in] a weird, almost sexual, embrace. And that was the idea that they had f****d the war out of us. That was the same kind of notion that we’d learned from the ancient legend. They were priestesses in the OneTaste tradition. They were able to use their sexual energy to heal.’

Later they were joined by a group of men. 

The former male OneTaste member continued: ‘These men, these seven men, who I think were named the priests of orgasm, would stroke them in this ritual fashion and they would all rotate through. I’m it sure sounds super far out there but for someone in the OM [orgasmic meditation] community it was just like the next level… This was seen as a big deal…. They were publicly declared a “priest of orgasm”, someone to be respected in the OM community.’

Founder: OneTaste was founded in 2004 by Nicole Daedone (above) and promotes wellness through orgasmic meditation. OneTaste is currently not allowed to offer classes while the FBI makes inquiries about its activities, including allegations of 'sex trafficking, prostitution and violations of labor laws', a podcast has claimed

Founder: OneTaste was founded in 2004 by Nicole Daedone (above) and promotes wellness through orgasmic meditation. OneTaste is currently not allowed to offer classes while the FBI makes inquiries about its activities, including allegations of ‘sex trafficking, prostitution and violations of labor laws’, a podcast has claimed

In 2018, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article by reporter Ellen Huet exposing the toxic culture within OneTaste. Co-founder Nicole Daedone had stepped down as CEO the previous year.

Shortly afterwards, the FBI started making inquiries into the company over allegations of sex trafficking, prostitution and violation of labor laws, according to the BBC.  

A OneTaste representative told MailOnline in response to a previous story about the company: ‘Any allegations of abusive practices are completely false. OneTaste was an organization that helped individuals to increase health, happiness and connection through methods combining mindfulness and sexuality. 

‘More than 300,000 people practice Orgasmic Meditation worldwide. Many have experienced profound healing and transformation.’  

Who is OneTaste founder Nicole Daedone?  

Co-founder Nicole Daedone

Co-founder Nicole Daedone 

Nicole Daedone hails from California and described Silicone Valley as her ‘home’ in a 2013 lecture.

Before focusing her attentions on orgasmic meditation, the author and entrepreneur, The San Francisco State University graduate founded the 111 Minna Gallery in the SoMa district.

She went on to study with teachers of yoga, Kabbalah, and Buddhist meditation.  

It is thought Daedone was introduced to orgasmic meditation in the early 2000s by a Buddhist monk, who demonstrated the practice in a private session. 

She founded OneTaste in 2004, packaging orgasmic meditation in a palatable format and by 2009 was on the cover of The New York Times’ Style section.  

Daedone wrote a guide to orgasmic meditation, Slow Sex: the art and craft of the female orgasm, in 2012.  

In 2017, the company made $12 million in revenue. 

Vanity Fair named Daedone in its list of ‘Twelve Women Who Changed the Way We Look at Sex’ and around 900,000 people have viewed her Ted talk, entitled Orgasm, the Cure for Hunger in Western Woman.

The Orgasm Cult is available to download on BBC Sounds and via the programme page.    


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