What do you know about tantric sex? Or rather, what do you know about it that doesn't involve rumors of Sting's 24-hour marathon sex sessions with wife Trudie Styler? I didn't know much either — so I turned to the experts to find out more:
What Tantra Is ... And Isn't
Born in India over 6,000 years ago, the practice of Tantra has to do with much more than sex. Tantra practitioner Matthew Stillman explains, "In the sacred Indian texts the purpose of Tantra (in its overtly sexual and non-sexual forms) is for spiritual awakening, enlightenment, moksha or freedom. That might be outside the experience or language of many people, so a more secular approach might be to help discover and nourish all parts of you and using sexual energy as a door toward that."
He also cautions against the misconception "that Tantra is all about sex and will make you have sex for billions of hours and ride waves of orgasm into eternity." You can blame Sting for that one. Instead, try approaching Tantra as a practice in being more present, and deepening your connection with your partner and yourself.
Why Practice Tantra?
"Our lives are so outwardly focused and predicated on acquisition of stuff, and being busy and productive, that so often relationships slump or crumple under the weight of exhaustion," Stillman says. Eventually you find yourselves, he continues, "just eating together, talking about your day … as you watch television next to each other on the couch, and then go to sleep." Sound uncomfortably familiar?
Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels, co-authors of Great Sex Made Simple, The Essence of Tantric Sexuality and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, believe that adding just a few of the basic techniques of Tantra can transform your relationship (with yourself or your partner), creating "the conditions in which you can fall in love with each other again and again."
As for your sex life? Stillman says that once he started practicing Tantra, he found sex more playful, more curious, and more energizing. "I can also say that some of the most outwardly productive and satisfying times in my life have been aligned when I have been practicing the most," he adds. Keep Reading ...