“In your body, there exists a subtle current of electricity, very subtle. But the subtler it is, the deeper it goes. It is not very visible. Scientists say that all the electricity that is in your body, if put together, can be used to light a five-candle bulb. It is not much. Quantitatively it is not much, quantitatively the atom is not much, but qualitatively… If it explodes, it has tremendous energy in it.” Osho, Philosophia Perennis, Vol. 1, Talk #8
Tantra is the practice of consciously creating connectedness. It is an ancient technique that comes to remind us that our bodies and what we do with them is sacred. Through sexuality we grow spiritually and get closer to not only our partners, but ourselves, and God. Tantra helps us heal and empower our relationships through expanding our consciousness and our ability to be present, open up and share.
Tantra is an ancient practice dating back to the fifth century, and as a meditation practice it has influenced Hindu, Sikh, Bön, Buddhist, and Jain traditions. It spread with Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia, and contains enormous cultural significance in central Asia.
Even when they are not practiced within a greater spiritual context, tantric values and tools may influence a great change in the way we go about sex, leading to greater pleasure and satisfaction for both men and women.
Frustrated by how little we know about each other’s bodies and how much we assume about and project over sexuality, I decided to share some Tantric insights and suggestions that can completely transform the sexual experience.
- First and foremost advice to make a priority and a habit: Be present! Presence is tricky and there are just so many ways we distract ourselves from being here and now. Whether it’s alcohol, or drugs, or distracting thoughts, try not to be somewhere far away while being quite literally in someone else! Being present requires confidence that the person in your bed indeed wants to be there, and that what is created right then and there- between this person and you, with the lights on or off, has the potential to be sexy, amazing and fun without the need of any super skills! And it most certainly is
- Most of these will sound like common sense, but we can only wish they were. Be with ME! I’m not your ex-girlfriend, nor any other girl you’ve had sex with. You don’t have to seem or pretend to know what I, or any other woman or all of us together (God, if it was even possible!) want. It’s enough to just be curious about finding out. What does my body react to? Which parts are more sensitive than others (apart from the obvious!)? The fact that something has worked with someone somewhere is just so random that it can never be taken for granted. Sexual experience is about knowing alternatives and being comfortable with experimenting! Learning about someone’s preferences, differences, weird little things that make them shiver is magical, it’s like learning a new language without having a manual…
- What’s even more beautiful about it is it cannot be recreated! The energy that two human beings, two bodies create together is unique… It would create so much more respect if we were accept it and move past comparing and rating each other! There are no better or worst experiences, but only different ones. What makes us compare and rate them is to what extent they align with our own preferences. Yet, in sex and in life everything is dynamic- what once gives us pleasure, we will not react the same way to another time. Sexual experience is situational and for the most part making the most of it requires you to be flexible, open-minded and free of expectations!
- No scripts– Take it easy. Go slow. Build the energy. Flow with it. It’s sad that because of the easily accessible pornography and bad literature on sex, people view sex as a show they have to perform in, having to abide to a certain agenda. There is no agenda. No script. The longer, the better (for many of us). Some of the best experiences I have had in life, in general, are the ones that have evolved and transformed on the go, naturally… The intimate moments I remember the most clearly are the ones which have been an almost-never-ending journey through pleasure, excitement and exploration. When we kiss and talk, talk and kiss and… I wish we would never let ourselves give each other only the mechanics, only the bare bones of sex!
- Stay there! Tantra claims that as individuals and as lovers we are at all times immersed in the energy of love, life and sex, in kundalini (the life energy). To follow the energy means to be sensitive to the processes that are taking place, and the changes that occur for one reason or another. As I have already mentioned, it is about being in the here and now, with your partner, accepting everything that comes along without pertaining to traditional or popular scripts about sex and intimacy. Everything is okay when the partners are respectful, and loving. A guy may lose his erection, starting to jerk of hastily to bring it back. The attitude with which this is done may disturb the energy a lot more than having the penis soft for a while, if it magnifies the idea that there are certain ways in which things should be to be “right”, as if it is all about the physical component of it. Instead, when this occurs, the lovers can go back to caressing each other, reconnecting with the flow of energy, building to higher and higher states of ecstasy.
- Don’t make it all about the achievement- whenever I have refused to go further with someone, it has been because I have felt that the other person’s focus has been oriented towards a certain goal, making me feel as a mean to its realization. Sex should not be orgasm-oriented. Orgasm in tantra is associated with the release and, thus, loss of the vital kundalini energy. This is why after orgasm, people feel tired and need to sleep. Tantric sex is meditative. It runs on no schedule. It can take hours, if certain techniques to raise the energy to higher chakras and work with certain body parts are acquired.The greatest about it is that compared to “standard” sex, there is no game over. The problem with sex being orgasm-oriented is, one, people are objectified, two, pressure is involved which makes it all about achievement. When I give tantric massage on special occasions, I make sure to explain that it has no goal and no time frame. And because it is so free of pressure, both I and the receiving partner are at ease. A loving atmosphere is created and, indeed, the whole process feels a lot less “sexual” and a lot more loving. It’s all about the energy passing through the skin, giving pleasure to someone else, while yourself enjoying the process. This is when you don’t get tired, you don’t get bored or anxious.
- The principles of tantric love-making are that every time you stop just before the point of no return and continue shortly after, you don’t lose the energy (as if you, simply let it happen), but continue from a higher level of sexual arousal building up to more and more intense levels of ecstasy. The benefits are for both men and women as it allows women to relax and receive the attention and treatment they need.
- Touch lightly unless otherwise specified– the lighter the touch, the more intense is the reaction. Pain is not cool (except in some circles). Whenever pain is brought in the equation, this takes away from the energy. Pain is there for a reason- it’s a signal to be aware and be ready to fight or run. When my brother was 15, he used to squeeze the breath out of me in rear moments of sudden expression of love. But it’s amazing to find out that there are grown up men out there who have no idea how much strength they’ve got in their hands (quite literally!). Mindfulness how you place your body weight over another human being does not take too much! Always check with your partner and follow his/her reactions to see whether more pressure is acceptable and appreciated. Generally speaking, it’s safer and often more enjoyable for both parties to experiment with pressure and intensity over time.
- Create your own language- another tool you can lend from Tantra is creating a body language to use in the heat of the moment. While I find it totally sexy, some people aren’t comfortable talking in bed. Small gestures used over time can help you keep the communication alive while not letting it disturb you. For instance, during tantric massage the person who receives the massage may apply slight pressure to a certain easily accessible part of the body of the massage giver to ask him/her to slow down. A squeeze may be translated as “I’m almost losing it. Stop right where you are!” This type of “language” may help introduce more comfort and clarity to both sides.
- Expand comfort zones, but Respect boundaries- besides a source for great pleasure and intimacy, sex can help us move beyond certain fears, taboos or traumas. Through sexuality and love-making we can heal ourselves and expand our comfort zones. For this to happen, trust and comfort should be present. One should never test someone else’s boundaries or reactions beyond what they are comfortable with, and open to experiment with. When boundaries are to be challenged, it must happen with a) consent, b) patience- sometimes people need time to figure out how they feel about stuff, c) with care and not for the sake of building a sexual repertoire.