Tantra has been nicknamed "the science of ecstasy". Many assume that Tantra is simply the art of sex. Tantra expands our capacity for pleasure, yet it is much more. Tantra is about living life well and being more alive in the present moment. Tantra is the art of love.
Tantric sex is one part of a much larger spiritual practice of Tantra that touches on every aspect of life. However, it is understandable why many people are most curious about the “sexual” applications of Tantra. Sex is a very compelling force of nature. Tantric philosophy teaches us that everything is to be experienced playfully, yet with awareness. There is a sense of sacredness in every gesture, every sensory perception, and every action. The path of Tantra appreciates all of our senses and sexual experiences as a conscious meditation.
Sadly in today’s fast paced society; the default expectation is that our careers should be our first priority, and that our relationships should magically just take care of themselves. In reality this never works out well. When the majority of our time, attention and energies are focused on work, often times our love lives suffer by taking a back seat. What we sometimes forget is that relationships need to be feed and cultivated if we want them to flourish. Romance takes some creativity, but it is well worth the effort. Sometimes we act as if intimacy is a luxury, or an afterthought, but once it is gone from our relationship, we may start to recognize that it is a real need. Even relationships that started out as solid, loving and passionate suffer from neglect. In our minds we may be doing the whole high powered career thing for the sake of our beloved. However, if we don’t also budget some time for one another, the result is often a loss of intimacy. If we don’t continue to communicate, to connect with our partner on a heart level, and to kiss each other like we really mean it, the result is the deterioration of our relationship and a lack of passion in our sex life. Even with the most patient and understanding of partners, resentment may begin to silently build. Sometimes without meaning to, couples stop taking the time to look into each other’s eyes and stop touching one another. Before we know it, we may be living with someone who once was our lover, but is now a stranger. I am not suggesting that we all need to quit our jobs and make our relationship our full time focus. However, finding little ways to keep love alive, and keep the spark in our sex lives is worthy of our attention. Tantra gives us a structure to follow, as well as some practical tools and techniques to bring the focus back to love and passion.
Tantra is Transformational; teaching us to be open to experience more pleasure, to connect with the divine within us and the divine within our partner. When we apply Tantric principles to our relationship with our beloved, we make LOVE our top priority. We focus on heightening and prolonging that special rapport that exists between lovers during lovemaking. We elevate love making beyond the physical act to a spiritual experience. Through sacred love making rituals we celebrate the union of our bodies, hearts, minds and spirits. Every act of love represents divine union. The more we release the limitations of fear, the deeper we can open into the consciousness of love. The spiritual part of tantra is to use your sexual energy to merge ecstatically with your partner and through him or her to become one with the cosmos or god.
A devoted student of Tantric philosophy goes through an extensive program of physical, sexual and mental exercises to heighten sensory awareness. The tantrika, or Tantra student, will gain an in-depth understanding about the chakras or energy centers of the body. They will learn how to open up these centers, release block energy and move sexual kundalini energy through their whole body. They will also learn how to connect and circulate this energy through their lover’s body while making love. Tantra involves a slow and thoughtful practice of lovemaking techniques. The student learns to comfortably extend the time of lovemaking. In this way they train themselves to be more aware of their own feelings and sensations as well as those of their partner.
What is special about Tantric sex? Tantric sex is to ordinary sex what gourmet food is to fast food. With tantric sex we relax, breath and let go of the outside world. We expand our awareness of all our senses as we gaze into the soul of our beloved. We tune into our beloved’s energy and celebrate our union. We make time for lovemaking, because it is a priority; connecting intimately with our partner, and renewing our love in the present moment. Making love becomes a type of worship, honoring and celebrating the divine within us. The connection is not only physical, but emotional and spiritual. We take the luxury of time to savor every sensation. Instead of rushing or focusing on the goal of reaching a climax, the whole experience of sensual connection is enjoyed and expanded. The energy of sexual arousal is allowed to build slowly and expand fully into a heightened orgasmic state of ecstasy that generally is not reached through ordinary sex. By moving and expanding our sexual energy up through all the energy centers of the body, we may experience an intense extended state of euphoria that some refer to as a full body orgasm.
There is a common misconception about Tantra that I would really like to dispel. Occasionally I hear people express a concern or reluctance to explore tantra because they have heard that during tantric sex, you are not allowed to cum. This misunderstanding naturally discourages people from wanting to explore Tantra because it sounds potentially frustrating and unsatisfying. Especially if you interpret this to mean you cannot have an orgasm. The good news is, this is not the case. Yes, there are some Tantric techniques that are taught and practiced among some tantrikas for enjoying sex without ejaculating. There is some real value in this practice, particularly in learning how to experience orgasms without ejaculating, because this opens up some interesting sexual possibilities. If this intrigues you, then I highly recommend giving it a try. However, these practices are not a mandatory part of Tantric sex.
Tantra is both a spiritual practice and sexual philosophy, yet it is not a religion or system that involves restrictions, denial or deprivation of any kind. In fact the practice of Tantra often encourages followers to explore and dispel taboos. Tantra is a practice of consciously saying yes to life and yes to new experiences. There really are no rules against anything pleasurable or mutually consensual in Tantra, especially no rules forbidding orgasms or even ejaculating. Tantra is practiced across many cultures, and in conjunction with various religious and cultural beliefs that sometimes get mixed up with the pure practice of Tantra. Sex without any ejaculation at all is a practice that I believe stems from a cultural / spiritual belief that is not purely tantric in origin, but rather a philosophy of longevity that is practiced by some Hindus and Taoists. There is a belief that preserving the ejaculation fluid inside your body preserves your life force energy and therefore prolongs your life. However, this is not a belief held or practiced by all Tantric lovers around the world. The majority of American and European Tantric lovers that I know do not feel compelled to practice a strict form of non-ejaculation with tantric sex. However, prolonging arousal or postponing climax to allow the energy to reach a higher level is often practiced as a way to expand awareness and orgasmic bliss.
The art of prolonging pleasure without reaching climax is described in the Kama Sutra, the Hindu sex manual written in the 4th century. "Karezza" is the term used to define a practice of the male pleasuring his partner and prolonging their intercourse by perpetuating his state of orgasm without actually ejaculating. With practice, he may experience a sensation of internal and sometimes multiple internal orgasms. Some people refer to this type of orgasm as a dry orgasm because it happens without ejaculation. A dry orgasm is pleasurable, yet still allows the sexual act to continue, prolonging the state of orgasmic bliss for a couple's mutual enjoyment. The art of Karezza incorporates breath control, meditation, work with postures, and finger pressure into the sexual act.
The Kama Sutra speaks about Karezza as a male practice; however, females can also expand their orgasmic experience in a similar fashion. Although ejaculation control is not a female issue of concern, many of the same basic principles of extending and expanding orgasmic awareness through breath control, meditation, postures and touch apply to the feminine sexual experience as well. Plus, females who previously have had difficulty achieving an orgasm during sex, perhaps have never experienced multiple orgasms, have never experienced internal g-spot pleasure, or female ejaculation before, can often open up their ability to experience more pleasure and a whole variety of new types of orgasms with a little practice and support from a patient Tantric lover.
There are some really good Tantric techniques for ejaculation control, or delaying ejaculation that you may want to explore to enhance your orgasmic experience. The point is not to deprive you or your partner of anything, but rather to allow for broadening your definition and experience to include more pleasure, and an expanded view of sexuality. Experimenting with ways to prolonging love making for your mutual pleasure is encouraged in Tantric practice. However, I personally think there is room in the tantrika’s repertoire for an occasional quickie. However, I would like to suggest that this not be the only option available to you, and would hope that you would make time on a regular basis for luxurious Tantric love making sessions with your partner.
Why Might Someone Wish to Experience Tantra? My first response would be in the form of a question. I would ask “why not?” Perhaps it would be to explore sensuality within a spiritual context, or to heal old sexual wounds or traumas that inhibit your full sexual expression. Perhaps it would be to build confidence as a lover or enhance intimacy with your beloved. One of the primary purposes of tantra is to awaken the Kundalini; a very powerful, intense and healing form of energy that can make us feel younger, more alive and vibrant. When kundalini is awakened, it can travel up through the spine, releasing blocked energy, igniting the transformational powers of each of the seven chakras. The result is higher states of awareness, improved health and often euphoric states of pleasure.
If you are interested in learning more about tantra, or would like to schedule a Tantric counseling session with me, please take a look at my website: http://www.angelstouches.com