The word Tantra is Sanskrit and is derived from the root word tan meaning “to extend, expand, spread, continue, spin out, weave, to put forth or manifest.” The idea is to extend your mind and encompass your body to achieve the ultimate satisfaction. Believed to date back 5,000 years, Tantric sex is an ancient Eastern spiritual practice. Like yoga or Zen, it is practiced for the purpose of enlightenment.
We have, over time developed into creatures of habit. We make love in the same way, same position and probably on the same days of the week.
For most people sex seems to be about achieving the end goal of ‘the orgasm’. We get so lost in the rush to get there that we forget the pleasure of the journey. If we stopped being so concerned about reaching that end goal, we could be more involved with our partner and enjoy the intimacy and pleasure on a much deeper level. After all, how intimate can you really be when you’re having sex with the lights off or your eyes closed and you’re lost in some fantasy. How connected to your partner are you in those moments?
Fantasies are fine if they involve both of you – and they certainly can enhance your love making, just make sure you get the balance right.
Tantric sex involves a lot of ritual. Setting the scene for lovemaking is very important. Candles, incense, scented oils, plus a harmonious, calm and comfortable environment are all necessary. Devote an entire afternoon or evening (not just one hour) to practicing Tantric sex. Taking the time to really pleasure each other (rather than focus on who will have the first orgasm and how quickly) is a great way to learn exactly how and where your partner enjoys being pleasured. By strongly emphasizing the pleasure of the body, Tantra also helps people overcome negative cultural conditioning about body image and sex.
One essential element of Tantra is taking time to become absorbed in oneself and your partner. The methods learned and used in Tantric sex provide sensations and sexual pleasure far more intense and complex than just a simple orgasm. In Tantric sex, the orgasm is simply a by-product of the connectedness we feel with our partner.
FOUR GREAT EXERCISES FOR BEGINNERS
This is the classic position for circulating energy between you. Try it with both the penis in and out. A great position for simply connecting, breathing together, and for circulating energy if you’re doing those practices. Also great for exploring the valleys, see below.
Lying in spoon position, every day for a week come together, penis in vagina, for five to 10 minutes. Just lying there, breathing together. No movement, maybe the odd vaginal squeeze. Feel what happens.
WOMAN-LED VALLEY EXPLORATION
This is a great position for exploring the valleys of sex. The man completely relaxes and receives, which makes it easier for him to be less penis-focused and focus on spreading the energy throughout his body so he lasts longer. The woman can play with subtle movements up and down, back and forth, and particularly round and round, squeezing her vagina, feeling the exquisite sensations that start at the genitals and expand through the body. Try holding back so that you don’t speed up, and let the exquisiteness build to an unbearable, whole-body orgasm (quite possibly mutual).
EYES WIDE ORGASM
Try this – when you’re orgasming, keep your eyes open and look into your partner’s eyes as you come.
A TANTRIC ENERGY SEQUENCE
Sit facing each other either cross-legged or on straight-backed chairs with feet flat on the floor and knees touching. Hands in your lap. Each stage can last as long as you like, start with a couple of minutes each. Unless stated, each stage can be done with your eyes open or closed.
STAGE 1: Close your eyes and smile gently, feeling your energy and awareness sinking into your abdomen and pelvis. Slow your breathing and breathe from low down in your torso.
STAGE 2: After a couple of minutes, place your left hand on the centre of your chest, and right hand over the left. This is your heart energy centre. Imagine the love energy burning bright there.
STAGE 3: Then place your right hand over your own genitals, keeping your left on your heart. Imagine a flow of energy from heart to genitals and back up again, balancing the love and lust energies.
STAGE 4: Bring your right hand back to your hear, open your eyes and look into your partner’s eyes for a few minutes. (You may feel like giggling, which is fine, just don’t look away.)
STAGE 5: Now keep your left hand on your heart and place your right hand on your partner’s left hand on their heart. Imagine the love energies passing between you.
STAGE 6: Move your right hand to your partner’s genitals. Imagine the energies circulating between your heart and their genitals.
STAGE 7: Optional more advanced technique: imagine the energy flowing in a figure of eight – your heart to his genitals to his heart to your genitals to your heart, for a few minutes; then reverse the flow.
STAGE 8: Remove your hands and simply hold each other’s hands in your laps.
STAGE 9: Embrace.