Tantric Sex for Beginners: 4 Easy Tips!

Tantric Sex for Beginners: 4 Easy Tips!

My friend Sean recently wowed me by casually mentioning that he had just  attended a three-day tantric sex workshop where the end goal was, well, for no  end goal.  “The point,” he said, “is to channel all the sexual energy that would  normally leave during an orgasm, back into your body.  It gives you so much  energy!”

Sure enough, achieving the big “O” is not Tantra’s main objective. Instead, you  attempt to prolong the act, increasing potent sexual energy and intimacy with  your partner. If you focus solely on the grand finale, you’ll miss the amazing  range of feeling the rest of the show offers.  “Sexual energy is one of our most  powerful energies for creating health,” says Christiane Northrup, M.D., author  of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.  “Through the intimate connection  with another, our stress hormones lower and our serotonin shoots through the  roof.”

Hmmm, I’ve certainly heard of Tantra but besides the Bible-length Kama Sutra,  wacky-sounding positions like “lotus” and “jumping spider” and tales of Sting  engaging in 36-hour lovemaking sessions, I didn’t know much, let alone that the  intimacy is great for our health.  “Even without an exhaustive education,” says  Wendy  Strgar, Care2 columnist and CEO of Good, Clean Love, “the principles behind  tantric practice can go a long way in deepening the connection you share with  your partner.”

Design an “intimacy space”

This should be a comfortable area that is playful and relaxed. First, clear  the room of any attention-grabbing clutter. Next, decorate with flowers, candles  and cozy fabrics. Scent is really important to our sensuality, so try natural  oils like jasmine, ylang-ylang, or rose. Make sure your bed is as comfortable as  possible with soft sheets and a number of pillows. Lastly, chose a soundtrack of  music that you both like. Play it softly in the background to enhance your  mood.

Breathe Each Other’s Breath

Harmonizing your breath is one of the easiest ways to  sync with your partner. Straddle your partner’s lap (called the yab-yom  position) and inhale while they exhale and vice versa. As your partner breathes  out, you’ll find yourself taking their breath into and down through your entire  body.  As you exhale, consciously attempt to energize the breath.  In this way,  you’re sharing all of yourself with your partner.  “Becoming conscious about  your breath is central to all yogic practices and is foundational in Tantra,”  says Strgar.

Keep Your Eyes Open

“The idea of making love with your eyes open is one of the fundamentals of  deep connection in intimacy,” says Strgar.  “It is surprisingly harder to do  than you might expect.   Move toward this idea as an intention rather than a  rule and be amazed as the collection of glimpses that will reshape how you think  about your partner and yourself.  It is not easy to be seen, even by the people  we love.  Truly witnessing the act of love is profoundly transformative.”

Take it Slow

Sorry guys, foreplay is essential in Tantra. A leisurely, slow build helps  men control longevity and piques women’s arousal. The longer you linger in this  process of building energy, the longer your session will last and the more  energy you will build. Use this time to fully focus on each other. As in  meditation, when your thoughts wander, gently guide your attention back to your  partner and the magic of the moment at hand.

The Truth About Tantric Sex

The Truth About Tantric Sex

There’s a scene in my women’s novel where the main character, Lorna, has an  amazing sexual experience. It’s not because her partner has any special  abilities in bed, but rather that Lorna, on a new quest to live spiritually in  her everyday life, opens herself to the energy of source during the encounter.  “The expression ‘best sex I’ve ever had’ seems a massive understatement,” Lorna  marvels afterward. “This feeling of expansiveness, of being at one with the  world, is the best anything I’ve ever had.”

I didn’t know until I recently spoke with Miranda Shaw, author of the book  Passionate Enlightenment: Women in Tantric Buddhism,  that what Lorna had glimpsed was a Tantric sexual experience. Shaw, an associate professor of  religion at the University of Richmond, says Tantric sex is not so much about  sex as many of us think. Instead, the intimate act is merely one of many  vehicles practitioners use to connect with the cosmic flow. Western teachers who  focus on boosting your sex life through Tantra have it wrong, she claims–the  emphasis is more appropriately placed on boosting your enlightenment.

That’s not to say sex doesn’t enter the picture. Read on for more about this  fascinating practice–and some of Shaw’s tips for bringing a piece of it to your own bedroom.

Can you describe what “Tantra” is?

Tantra emerged in India in the seventh century as a way to weave (that’s what  the word Tantra means) every aspect of daily life, including intimate  relationships and erotic experience, into the spiritual path. Strands of Tantra  exist in the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist traditions, although my study is Buddhist  Tantra.

So Tantra involves much more than  sex?

Yes, there are many practices: methods for working with energy, images to  contemplate, sacred sounds (mantra) to chant. The central goal is to realize the  inherent beauty and perfection of the world and sacredness of all beings,  including oneself. Romantic partnerships are a focus of Tantric practice because  they are fertile ground for revealing the beliefs and emotions–the  illusions–that cause us to suffer and act in ways that harm others. The goal is  to see reality as it is and respond appropriately, with clarity and compassion,  in a way that contributes to the evolution of the planet toward greater  well-being and happiness for all living beings.

But sex is also a major part? Why?

Rather than something that detracts from religious life, sexual experience is  a prime opportunity for spiritual cultivation if approached meditatively and as  a yogic practice. The central purpose is to tap the cosmic energy that flows  through the human body, heighten and concentrate the energy through sexual  union, and then use the energy as fuel for spiritual transformation.

Tell me a little about a full-blown Tantric sex ritual as practiced  by a serious practitioner?

I prefer the term “sexual yoga” to “Tantric sex.”  The practice is  advanced and rather technical–a kind of inner “rocket science”–that incorporates  mindfulness meditation, emptiness philosophy, yogic breathing, mantra  recitation, visualization of deities and symbols, and movement of energy and  inner fire (called kundalini) through the subtle yogic anatomy of channels and  energy centers (chakras) along the spine. My book, Passionate  Enlightenment, describes some practices–-ways to meditate and images to  envision–to direct sexual union to spiritual ends.

Is it true that Tantric sex was created primarily for  men?

That is a common misconception that appeared in virtually all popular and  scholarly writings on Tantra before I undertook my research. But I discovered  extensive evidence to the contrary. First, mutuality is a core principle of  Tantric relationship. From the first meeting onward, there are protocols to  ensure that the man doesn’t manipulate or exploit the woman–she holds the right  of choice. Second, Tantric texts emphasize what a man has to do to appeal to,  please and merit the companionship of a woman, but there are no corresponding  requirements for a woman. In fact, he has to do anything she requests and assure  that she is satisfied. The practice is described as his offering of pleasure to  her for the sake of her inner yogic practice.

Are there aspects of this “sexual yoga” that the uninitiated can  practice?

Sexual yoga is an advanced practice, but anyone can adopt a Tantric, or  spiritual, approach to sexual experience. At the core is seeing the experience  as an energy event–that is, a merging of two energy fields–and being attentive  to how the interplay of energies ignites a dynamic inner landscape of vitality,  light and imagery. Allow the light, heat and however that energy manifests to  illuminate and replenish your psyche, generate positive mind-states and  emotions, and nourish your creativity and life journey.

Contrary to popular belief, the intended benefits of Tantra do not include  enhanced sexual pleasure. For that, India has other practices, known as the  “arts of love,” as taught in the Kama Sutra. The purpose of this branch  of knowledge is to bring a more sophisticated artistry to the stages and skills  of lovemaking in order to devote the sexual experience to spiritual  cultivation.

Here are a few specific practices:

Gaze into your partner’s eyes. Sit facing your partner for  at least 20 minutes, gazing into one another’s eyes. The idea is to strive to  glimpse the pure essence of your partner–the divine, sacred core.  You can  boost the level of engagement by joining palms, left hands facing upward and  right hands downward. Envision sending energy through the right hands and  receiving through the left, circulating the current of energy that flows through  both bodies, counterclockwise. This practice can be done on its own or as a  prelude to union.

• See yourself as radiant light. In the middle of your  lovemaking, envision yourself as an enlightened being floating through space in  a sphere of light. The powerful energy available during lovemaking enhances your  ability to do this. Radiate the joy and harmony of your union throughout the  entire universe in the form of light rays or drops of nectar that spread  happiness, illumination and healing to all beings everywhere.

Offer pleasure to the goddess. One sexual ritual anyone  can do is called “stri-puja,” which means “worship of the woman.” The man  creates an altar-like setting with candles, incense and other symbols of  sacredness. He then makes offerings (such as flowers and other gifts), feeds her  delicacies, strokes her body with a moistened flower, massages her feet with  scented oil, kneels and bows before her, and praises her. The erotic union that  follows is his offering of pleasure to her, his goddess. This practice  challenges the woman to embrace her sacredness, while, for the man, it is an  opportunity to cultivate and express his appreciation and adoration. Surrounding  the experience with sacred intent, making it a ritual, can lead to a deeper  level of communion and open the way for positive emotions to infuse the  relationship, such as greater harmony and gratitude for one another. The  experience can go in surprising directions. (Do know that Tantra is not  heterosexist. Gay and lesbian couples can adapt this practice however it suits  them.)

Primary Chakras

A distinction has to be made between primary and secondary chakras, as these are very often confused.

The primary chakras are the inner chakras, i.e. the chakras as described by original Tantra (Shaktism, Nathism, etc), which can only be accessed through  deep yogic practice.  These chakras are archetypal and do not have a form; the form they are represented as in tantric literature is stylised and symbolic.    Now do they have a precise location.  They are associated with specific correspondences including mantric vibrations, elements, gods, etc.

The primary chakras are represented in an up-down vertical axis (the microcosmic “Mount Meru” – world mountain), and are polarised according to  Shiva (pure unmanifest Consciousness, the Godhead) and Shakti (the power of manifestation).  Shakti is represented by the Kundalini energy at the base of the  spine, or more strictly speaking, in the Muladhara chakra (which as with all the Primary Chakras does not have a strict physical location).  Shiva is located  in the crown chakra (Saharsrara) at the crown above the head.  This vertical polarisation represents the major planes of existence

As microcosmic archetypes the primary chakras can be equated with the ten sefirot of Kabbalah, which are arranged, significantly, in seven rows.  Various  schemes and suggestions have been made to equate the two, but none are completely satisfactory.

Shine a Light into the Darkness

Shine a Light into the Darkness

by Freya Ray

What does it mean, to shine a light into the darkness? If we’re going to talk about candle magick, what more powerful candle is there than the human spirit? In the face of a wide array of conflicting information, it seems worthy to explore the idea of how best to make a difference in the world.

What conflicting information? As you’re reading this paper, you identify as some form of witchy pagan, or are at least curious about such. That’s great, but it does not automatically liberate you from the Judeo-Christian heritage of our culture. That heritage says that to be a good person, to do good for others, you suffer. You give up yourself to take care of those in need. On the other hand, there is a streak of self-indulgent hedonism running through much of today’s Wiccan culture. “Do what you will and harm none.” What’s the harm in doing this little love or money spell, to create what I want in my life? A third opinion about how to be in relationship with the world that affects many of us is the metaphysical hive mind. That cosmic-consciousness PC-police brain hums out, “It’s all good. Everything is happening exactly as it’s supposed to. We have all chosen our own destiny, and can all choose perfect abundance and love if we just, well, choose it.”

Before you get all up in arms about my brattily simplistic summaries, I’m just making a point here. Which is: Most of us feel an instinctive urge to give back, to make a difference, and it can be hard to figure out how best to do that. Following are my musings on the question, “How can I up the wattage on this little light of mine, and shine it where it can do the most good?”

Rest Your Spirit

It’s hard to do anyone any good when you’re run down, crabby or emotionally overwhelmed. Somehow, some way, find the time to restore yourself when you need to. I could run through all the cliché remedies: Take a nap, soak in the bath, be in nature and so on, but you already know how best to take care of yourself. This is your monthly scheduled reminder from the universe to actually do it.

Have Cosmic Sex

Talk about upping your wattage! Great, chakra-blowing, mind-altering sex is better than any drug for opening you up to the beauty of others, increasing the generosity of your spirit and making you more patient with everything. Not only does it benefit your partner (we hope), but the energy of divinely inspired sexual congress overflows to benefit everyone. If you have a partner, seek to actively bring God/Spirit/Goddess/whatever into your lovemaking. Call circle before you begin. Focus every scrap of your attention on the energy between you and your partner, on elevating what you’re doing to the level of art. Take hours and hours. If you’re alone, do all of those same things. Be aware of your energy, of every subtle nuance of your reactions. Get a book on Tantra (The Art of Sexual Ecstasy by Margo Anand is a good one), and practice elevating your energy as you pleasure yourself. Some of the best sex I ever had was just me, my hands and my breathing.

Have you ever considered sending a shot out as you come? As you reach orgasm, take that juicy energy and send it to AIDS orphans in Africa, or the women of Afghanistan, or your ex-boyfriend, or whatever. It can’t hurt, right?

Make Yourself Available

It’s all fine and good to talk about reciprocity and balance in our relationships, but the truth is that sometimes I give a friend apples and get back kiwis. Common metaphysical lore holds that everyone in our life is a teacher for us in some way. But some of my friends just teach me about my ability to be there for someone learning stuff I already know. These “unequal” relationships are not only okay, they’re necessary. I know I never would have made it through the last 10 years without my older (or just wiser) friends who knew the things I was learning. They freely taught, gave advice or just let me cry on them. I do the same thing for a few people younger or less experienced than I.

I believe it’s good to have a list of people who are allowed to make outrageous demands on you from time to time. For some reason, a particular friend’s emotional crisis touches you, and you give them permission to call at any hour, and you’ll be a friendly ear. Conversation after conversation ends up being mostly about them, and their struggles, and you don’t mind or feel “owed.” When energy work, ritual or a Tarot reading happens, it’s for them, not you. Call them projects, call them puppies, call them friends having a hard time. Just have some people you personally care for.

Be a Relentless,
Irrepressible Optimist

Think of it as a meditation, as a spiritual practice: Find the upside in everything that happens in your life. I can talk for five minutes about the good things I learned from being in an abusive relationship. Talk about impulse control! I’m not condoning all the ugliness of life, and certainly I’m not saying we should perpetuate it to help others learn hard lessons, but I do believe that any situation can be interpreted any number of ways. I feel more empowered if, instead of going to the “poor me” place, I answer these questions: What am I learning here, and how is it benefiting me?

For example, I recently fell completely, utterly in love with someone who I am not currently able to talk with. My friends who have heard every blow-by-blow think he’s a jerk and offer all kinds of sympathy. But I know what I’m learning from the situation. I finally found that place in myself that was unwilling to give up on someone, just because of something they said. I found the place in me that can be mad as hell and not walk away. I’m learning some measure of patience. I have a mantra, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, you can’t make me stop loving you.” It’s my process, I own it, I refuse to feel victimized by life.

If you’re at all prone to martyr or victim thinking, I can’t begin to tell you how much psychic energy will be liberated by running your thoughts along more positive lines. Giving away your power is a huge drain on the psyche, on your ability to feel positive about your own life and on your ability to have anything to offer to others. Try keeping your own power instead. You’ll like it!

Follow Your Impulses

Between the opposites lies the path. Sometimes we need to be selfish, sometimes we need to be selfless. The best way to navigate life between the poles is to listen to Spirit, to the voice of your own intuition, in every moment. If you’re in doubt about how to proceed, sit still (or nap) until clarity comes. Trust yourself.

Find the Connections

Alienation and separation do not help us help each other. The false sense that we are all alone, that we are different from others, leads to thoughts like, “Why would I want to help those ones. They’re nothing to me.” Seek to find the connections. Do some past-life work, so you can remember for yourself how a life could lead one to be dirty and poor. Meditate, finding the dark impulses inside yourself, so you don’t feel yourself better than the one who succumbed. There is no separation. What is done to the least of us, is done to us, we do. It’s all one.

We don’t all have to be bodhisattvas in order to care. Some glimmer of the kinship between all of us will open up remarkable compassionate vistas.

Reach Out

Ask yourself, “How does service best manifest in my life?” As a professional psychic, shaman and healer, I find most years that much of my time serving others is done in that way. I have a collection of friends I give my professional services to, without expectation of return. From time to time, I offer my services free to a stranger. For a while, I tithed. Sometimes I do shamanic work for strangers in my dreams. Sometimes I pray or do ritual for a person or family or part of the world in crisis. Sometimes I drive my mother to the dentist.

Not everyone is cut out to volunteer at the hospice. But everyone is capable of some kind of service. Your professional expertise might lend itself to occasional gifts of time and knowledge. Your body might like to express itself in some good physical barn-raisin’ activity from time to time. You might be a fundamentally lazy person, who can still feel like a good contributing citizen by gifting 10 percent of your income every month to someone deserving. Give it some thought, and find your own way.

Everyone needs to know that their flame helped light the way for someone.