What Is Tantric Sex?
Sting made tantra infamous in 1990 when he made a throwaway comment to a journalist implying that he was enjoying ‘seven hour tantric sex sessions’ with his partner Trudie Styler. This soundbite was responsible for bringing tantra to the attention of the Western imagination and for setting in stone a cliche that continues to dog the sacred practice of tantric sex. Nearly thirty years later, we think there should be more practitioners of tantric sex to cite than Sting.
But what exactly is tantric sex? And more importantly, how do you do it?
There is a lot of information out there on the internet, but most of it tends to be inadequate, missing the point or brazenly trying to sell ‘services’ such as tantric massage. It is hard to come by information about tantra, which is no surprise given its origins as a mystical practice, it’s holy texts written in code, so as to only be deciphered by the initiated. However, our team has spent years studying, teaching and practicing this sacred art. In this blog, we will explain exactly what tantric sex is all about and how you can begin to enjoy it with your partner.
Time and patience
It may seem obvious, but tantra is not an easy journey, particularly for men. If you want to become a tantrika, a practitioner of sexual tantra, then you both have to make a commitment to having and enjoying sex in a very different way. This takes time, often over a long period, to gain a deeper awareness of your body, to work with your partner and with your orgasms in a different way. By nature of incorporating mindfulness, ritual, dedication, meditation and ceremony means that tantric sex is never going to be a ‘quickie’. To enjoy tantric sex to the full, we recommend setting aside a whole evening, night or day to practice. This may seem like a lot of time, but unlike ‘normal sex’, tantric sex does not rob you of energy and leave you depleted. Rather, it energises and leaves you feeling fresh. So even if you stay up all night having sex, you will not be tired the next day.
Orgasm, but not as you know it
Tantric sex is not goal oriented. It is about the movement of energy to bring you both to a state of long lasting bliss. Put crudely, this means men enjoying more ‘female-like’ orgasms, not as a short bolt of climax, followed by exhaustion, but a holistic orgasm that moves around the whole body and leaves them feeling in a state of bliss. (Yes guys, this does mean that you have to learn to control your ejaculation - but before you get scared or put off, ejaculation and orgasm are not inextricably linked - more on this to follow). For women, here is the good news. It is ALL about the female orgasm. That is where everything starts in tantra. For tantra is, literally and metaphorically, about awakening female energy - the Shakti, or life force or creative energy. Many women, in fact most women these days, have learned to orgasm from their clitoris (for this we have to thank feminist writers of the 70s). However, woman are capable of so much more than this - eight other types of anatomical orgasm, to be precise. For women, just as men will have to detach from their ejaculation, they will have to detach from their clitoris, to start enjoying the kinds of orgasms that can shake the shakti energy into being.
Tantric sex is an ancient and spiritual practice, first espoused in the Tantra Agama Shashtras. A key part of the tantric philosophy is to embrace the spirituality that is inherent in the human experience, rather than shying away from, or repressing it, as in other religions. Tantrikas see the divine aspect in everything - even in those things considered by other religions to be morally wrong. A very important practice in tantra is therefore to not only see the act of sex as divine, but to see you and your partner as the divine too. This is known as transfiguration. Read more about transfiguration here.
Orgasm awakens and manifests the powerful sexual energy that, according to tantric tradition, lies latent in the muladhara chakra, in the base of our spine. The key to tantric sex is the ability to raise this energy. ‘Normal sex’ is about generating energy to come to climax, at which point the energy is released, as in ejaculation for men, or the sharp feeling of escape that women experience with a clitoral orgasm. Tantra is about building the energy through different kinds of female orgasm, then moving the energy upwards and around. This is done through breathwork, and yoga practice. Once the energy is moving, it is experienced by both men and women as states of blissfulness, higher states of consciousness and even transcendence.
Tantric sex can be enhanced by dedication, ritual and meditation, all of which we will deal with in later articles.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this article and we’d love to hear more about your experiences. Please leave write to us if you’d like to guest blog about your tantric sex experiences.