Most of us have heard about Tantra before, but have no idea what it is or how it relates to a better sex life.
Tantra is an ancient Hindu spiritual practice based on a 5,000 year-old school of yoga. It is a philosophy with many aspects, not just explosive, orgasmic sex although that can be part of the practice. Tantra means, literally, 'the weaving and expansion of energy'.
We have Americanized Tantra to mean a practice of deep breathing and orgasmic flow that can create an intense erotic and emotional and hopefully a spiritual connection between two people.
Popular figures like the rock star Sting have popularized Tantra by bragging about his “12 hour orgasm” and many people think the purpose of the practice is to help men control their ejaculation or to give women expanded orgasms.
But in it’s finest sense, Tantra can bring a more intense form of joy, and a body/mind connection.
This happens through breathing, meditation, and presence. In tantra, sexuality, orgasm, and the spirit are all one. Female and male energy combine and create a union, (yoga roughly translated means “union”) and this is believed to be the way to find true enlightenment.
Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson, inTantra for Erotic Empowerment, and The Essence of Tantric Sexuality say about tantra and orgasm:
“Orgasm begins in the brain, and it’s up to every one of us to define it for ourselves. Tantric sex often involves building and prolonging arousal, expanding the concept of orgasm to encompass the entire mind-body complex. This is achieved through visualization, breath, and sound. Specific zones of the body are particularly responsive. Stimulating these zones intentionally can help build arousal and create a whole body erotic experience.”
One way to come to know a tantra experience is through a simple but powerful breathing exercise.
Keeping relaxed, sit or lie comfortably and face one another. Breathe deeply into the base of your spine and into your pelvic floor. Make soft eye contact and breathe up through your center as you feel your energy through your body. See if you can both breathe in at the same time and exhale at the same time. No words need to be exchanged during this exercise.
Be present for your partner, and feel your breath and your energy as it rises and falls.
Enjoy the sense of intimacy you can experience without any words at all. If you want to try this during sex, keep and maintain this breath. Breathe in and out and stay with your partner and in your breath, moving the breath and the energy down and through your body.
If you can obtain an orgasm during your breathing, bring the energy of the orgasm up and throughout your entire spine and maybe even into and through your partner’s body as well. There is an increase in interest in tantric experience now in our culture because we are more conscious of our sexuality and want to be more mindful in bed with our partners.
Tantra is not about getting to the finish line with sex, but appreciating what is happening in the moment, and being conscious of the pleasure and sensuality of the experience.