A controversial wellness company promoted “orgasmic meditation” for women — but ex-staffers say the program, which featured group pleasuring sessions, ultimately made them feel awful, according to a new podcast.
OneTaste — founded by California native Nicole Daedone in 2001 — offered hands-on orgasm “training” for women who were seeking to develop their sexuality or heal from sexual trauma, according to its website.
But ex-staffers say the company was basically a “sex cult,” complete with a messianic leader, BBC journalist Nastaran Tavakoli-Far says in the first episode of The Orgasm Cult.
The series promises first-person accounts from former staffers — plus graphic descriptions of the “meditation” classes themselves.
“It involves a woman undressing from the waist down, lying on a nest of pillows, and having her clitoris stroked, usually by a man, very precisely on the upper left-hand quadrant, the so-called ‘one o’clock spot,” Tavakoli-Far tells listeners, describing what participants called “OM-ing,” their catch phrase for “orgasmic meditation.”
“A timer goes off after 15 minutes,” she adds.
The first episode includes audio of OneTaste’s former Chief Technology Officer Chris Hubbard engaging in orgasmic meditation with his wife Beth, who is heard climaxing during the episode.
Group classes could allegedly involve dozens of women OM-ing at once.
Many students allegedly signed up to work as salespeople, helping promote workshops, retreats and coaching programs that cost up to $60,000.
In 2018, customers were paying $499 for a weekend course, $4,000 for a retreat, $12,000 for the coaching program and $60,000 for an all-inclusive option, Tavakoli-Far reports.
OneTaste has been the subject of controversy since at least 2018, when Bloomberg News published an expose on the international company.
Ex-staffers told Bloomberg that they were pressured to have sex with potential clients to get them to sign up for the pricey programs and that the sales methods were predatory, putting people in deep debt.
Staff worked mostly on commission, earning hardly anything while living in such expensive cities as San Francisco, New York and London, ex-staffers told Bloomberg.
Some workers were expected to flirt — or even have sex — with customers to close sales, Bloomberg reported, alleging “employees were expected to make OneTaste their entire lives.”
The FBI opened a probe shortly after the 2018 expose, Bloomberg reported.
While it’s unclear if that reported investigation was resolved or is continuing, the FBI is eyeing the group now, Tavakoli-Far says in her podcast.
“The FBI is now making inquiries about OneTaste’s activities over allegations including sex trafficking, prostitution, and violations of labor law,” Tavakoli-Far says.
After what Tavakoli-Far called “allegations of predatory sales tactics and cult-like activities,” OneTaste stopped running classes, the podcast says.
Tavakoli-Far does not provide details of the purported probe in the series’ first two installments.
The group does appear to be on hiatus.
Its original website, OneTaste.us, has been disconnected, as has a 1-800 number at OneTaste’s sales website, which no longer offers classes.
The group’s YouTube channel hasn’t uploaded a new video in two years.
Founder Daedone could not be reached for comment, and the company did not immediately return an emailed request for comment.
“Any allegations of abusive practices are completely false,” a company rep told the Daily Mail.
“OneTaste was an organization that helped individuals to increase health, happiness and connection through methods combining mindfulness and sexuality,” the rep said.
“More than 300,000 people practice Orgasmic Meditation worldwide. Many have experienced profound healing and transformation.”
The company also denied Bloomberg’s 2018 allegations at the time.
“We never asked anyone as part of a sale to have sex with customers — it’s a false and outrageous allegation that insults both us and our customers,” the company said then.
Orgasmic meditation was first introduced to Daedone by a Buddhist monk, and she began teaching the practice in 2001.
In an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP, Daedone said that orgasmic meditation brings about a state of extended relaxation by improving metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and brain chemistry.
At the company’s peak, it employed 150 people in nine cities — including New York, San Francisco and London — and allegedly targeted Silicon Valley’s rich, the podcast says.