An Introduction to Tantric Sex
Misconceptions and Hopes
Whenever somebody is intrigued by the idea of tantric sex, you can be sure that the emotion is kept afloat by several hopes. These thoughts could include wanting to inject spice in their lovemaking, exploring better and exotic techniques, or more pleasure and to connect with a partner in a special way. On the flip side are the misconceptions. They manifest in people who view tantra positively as well as those who regard the practice with disdain. One of the main reasons why most uninformed Westerners see it as “dirty” is the fallacy that tantra gives permission to behave in a wanton manner. Regrettably, once this wrinkle settles in people's minds, it refuses to iron out. Many people rush into the art with the hope that it indeed gives them the right to sleep around like a rabbit. As you'll see, it defeats the purpose and even when the correct sexual techniques are performed, it cannot be true tantric sex. True tantric sex is based on ritual, intimacy, and love of a partner, things which are rarely—if ever—the main emotions during a one-night stand.
What Are the Benefits?
Tantra grew from twin roots—the individual and the couple. Most relationships fail because one or both of the people involved disappear as individuals. Anyone who's ever been in a relationship has experienced this in some form. From abuse within the relationship where one was reduced to nothing and the other elevated, to society's glaring ability to see couples as a single entity. The Browns. The Smiths. Brangelina.
Tantric teachers understand something no school, institution or most parents teach their kids when it comes to having healthy relationships. In order for a marriage or partnership to work, the individual must be whole. Two people looking towards romance as a way to rescue each other and to be rescued is a recipe for failure. Similarly, so is the view that one must follow and the other must lead. Both are examples of broken individuals attempting to control or submit to others in order to feel valid. However, mining “wholeness” from others in such a way is never sustainable. Things usually become worse, with renewed emptiness needing more inequality, sometimes even more violence, to achieve “wholeness”.
Tantra teaches the person how to be whole within themselves and this rare achievement is directly responsible for greater confidence and lovemaking. Secondly, through sex, spirituality, and growth couples learn that happiness is based on individuality, respect, and equality. A happy marriage is not a ceremony stuffed to the gills with vague hopes and notions of love. It takes work and tantra is an invaluable tool for self-discovery and a united relationship.
Tantra's Positive Influences
Some More Benefits
- Empowering each gender in a healthy and equal way
- Less stress
- Better health and sleep
- Looking and feeling younger
- Coping confidently with life's problems
- More enthusiasm for life
- More physical vitality
- Emotional healing
- Greater creative output
- More self-respect and love for others
- Breaking free from mental restraints in all areas of life
- Reconnecting in a world that isolates the individual through technology and increasing social pressures
- Of course, the best sex ever
Who Can Practice Tantra?
The good news is that there is no bad news. Anyone can do it. Regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation, tantra is for everybody. If you are concerned that it might be demanded of you join some funny religion from the East, don't worry. Tantra has spiritual elements and some people incorporate their religion but none are required. Even atheists are welcome, since, in the end, it is about self-discovery and not any particular doctrine. The only things a new practitioner must bring to the table is an open mind and a commitment to respectfully and responsibly use their new knowledge. In tantra, sexuality is sacred and not to be abused.
Another fantastic allure of tantra is that it can be done at home. There's no need to travel to foreign locations and sit at the feet of a swami guy whose name you can't pronounce. All you need is yourself, a good dose of research and then putting it all into practice. Speaking of which, it doesn't take ages, either, to do tantra or experience its benefits.
The Basics of Tantra
The full scope of what tantra is and isn't can fill a book, but hardly an article of this size. But the basics can give the newcomer an idea of what to expect. Tantric practice is done with certain breathing techniques, learning to summon intense sexual energy throughout the body, physical exercises, meditation, yoga and the honouring of one's partner. When practiced correctly, a trained tantric, even one that is teaching him or herself, can experience more physical and emotional pleasure from a touch than the big O.
Tantra is thousands of years old and was born in the East. Tantra is a Sanskrit word meaning “growth through awareness.” There are different schools of tantra but the oldest began as a royalty-only art in Nepal, China, and India. Ancient it may be, but it remains relevant today. One of the things that makes it ageless is that it works with human biology as well as mentality. While the mentality part is largely affected by the person and the perception of their practice, the biology part is the same for everybody. During tantric sex, chemicals are released that contribute to bliss and intimacy. They include endorphins, known for their ability to act as a natural high and painkiller, as well as oxytocin. The latter is often called the “Hugging Hormone” or something similar. You guessed it, oxytocin makes you want to snuggle. These chemicals are released during regular sex too but tantric practice intensifies their effects.
This is tantra in a box. An ancient physical practice that is mental and biological at the same time. It may start in the bedroom but when a person continues to develop themselves in a tantric manner, the effects ripple into business, finances, family, goals and nearly all areas of life that has nothing to do with sex. Tantra can be a point of rejuvenation in a truly exhausting world.
Start With Trust
The First Step Takes Courage
As accepting and safe a space as tantra is, many feel hesitant to begin. Several hurdles present themselves. Frankly, outside influences in the form of others' opinion shouldn't matter because there's no need to tell the whole family or your history class that you're about to embark on tantric sex training. It should be a personal journey with no passengers, often not even with a partner. The worst can be one's own biases. If you grew up with restrictive parents who shamed sex, experienced sexual abuse or assault, or your partner is very conservative, then it's understandable when the question arises, “Is this really worth it?”
In short, yes. An interest in tantra doesn't mean that you are perverse, sex-mad or condoning past traumatic experiences. On the contrary, tantra is a remarkably responsible way to approach sexuality with. Whenever sexual desires are not responsibly handled, bad things usually follow. In addition, tantra heals by reconnecting honour and respect between your body and mind. An unwilling partner should be respected for their choice, this too is tantra. In any case, this ancient practice can be done on its own with all the benefits. In the end, tantra demands no commitment other than honour. You can absorb a few techniques to make a date night for the wife (or husband) better or immerse yourself deeply in the art. Thus, if you find yourself interested, start with what feels comfortable and then progress at your own pace.
© 2018 Jana Louise Smit