Last Friday evening Sami Saud, an exchange student from Jordan who had been in the US for about three months, stood smoking a cigarette outside of the doors at 1015 Folsom, a dance club in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. “I want to see how people come together for this guy,” Saud explained.
“This guy,” was Barack Obama. The event Saud waited to attend? An all-night fundraiser, the highlight of which was a “guided breath-gasm experience” put on by O’ s for Obama. Tagline: “Because change is coming.”
O’s was the creation of San Francisco-based Obama supporter and “certified somatic sexologist” Destin Gerek. The 30-year-old Gerek, who calls himself the Erotic Rockstar, said that the goal of the event was “to lead the world through a large scale orgasmic breathing experience culminating in a simultaneous group energetic breath-gasm.”
Deep techno music played in the main room while guests bought drinks at the bar. At the tables next to the bathrooms, one group sold Obama paraphernalia (proceeds went to the Obama campaign) while another group distributed Proposition K literature (the women at the second table hastened to explain that the junior senator from Illinois was unaffiliated with their group). The techno was occasionally interspersed with taped clips from Obama’s speeches. The cue for 200 people to enter the largest room of the club for a simulated orgasm guided by Gerek was this Obama phrase:
“We are the change we seek.”
Gerek, shirtless and otherwise dressed in leather, started the guided three-part sensual breathing exercise by explaining that he was once a self-described anarchist who came to identify with the potential of Obama. Participants were told to focus on the warmth and tingling they felt and yell as loudly as they could while experiencing the “group simultaneous breath orgasm,” not to be confused with an actual orgasm. After the exercise, there was a vaguely post-coital feeling in the room. “Now imagine election night,” Gerek said. “Imagine him winning in a landslide.
Sonia Van Meter, visiting from Austin, Texas, was blasé about the affair. “Um, I think all women already know how to do that,” she said of simulating an orgasm.
Gerek explained later that the goal of the event was to help people access and raise their erotic energy, not get off (though apparently there is an Obama-based way to do that, too). Yes, the connection between the group imitation of an orgasm in a San Francisco club, and Obama winning the majority of the votes in the Electoral College, may seem a bit thin. But as Gerek points out, Obama asks his supporters only to give what they can. “And well, this is what I do,” Gerek said.
Image by flickr user PhantomX