In Western culture, tantric sex is often misunderstood. Tantra isn't all about endless hours of orgasms and celebrity couples - it's a complex spiritual philosophy.  Fuck.com asked sex writer Jillian Boyd to uncover the basics of tantra - and gives three easy tantra techniques to help you get a taste of spiritual and sexual enlightenment.


Tantra is not a religion; there is no dogma, no institution. It is a practice - a way of being.  

Until a few years ago, if someone had asked me what tantra (or tantric sex) is, I would have probably said three things. Sting and Trudie Styler. That episode of Sex and the City where the gang attended a “how to please a man” course, and American Pie 2 where Finch describes watering a ficus as a "pure tantric moment". That was the sum of my Tantra knowledge until I became a sex writer 
 

What is tantra?

The most common idea about what tantra is, involves hours and hours of orgasms, flowing robes and touching the divine (seriously, thank you Sting. And Finch, for that matter). The truth is more complicated than that.  

As you’ve guessed, Tantra isn’t all about sex. It’s just one of the facets of a complex spiritual philosophy. When you’re talking about tantric sex, you’re talking about the modern, Western variation of Tantra, which includes both New Age and Western interpretations of traditional Hindu and Buddhist tantra. It is also called “sacred sexuality”.

It's hard to pour something so nuanced and expansive into one short article without doing Tantra and its attached traditions a massive injustice. So, this will be more skimming the surface of the sacred sexuality-side. Tantra for mildly curious beginners, if you will. To learn more about tantra, there's a short list of books at the end of the article.

tantra and tantric sex - Fuck.com
Sexual and spiritual enlightenment
 

Three basic tantric sex techniques

Shaking yourself loose

Yep, this one may seem a bit silly. But as with anything like tantra, approach it with an open mind and don't take yourself too seriously. Heck, you don't even have to do this before a tantric session. It's a great way to get yourself jazzed up for whatever's coming your way on any given day.

Stand with feet apart, take a deep breath and shake yourself loose. Let your limbs flail and fly, stretch and make sounds. Do this for a couple of minutes and relish the energy kick.
 

Conscious breathing

Tantra isn't a race with an orgasm as the finish line - it's about taking your time, and a big part of that is breathing. We tend to take breathing for granted, but it pays to focus on your breathing as it increases relaxation, decreases tension and gives the bloodstream more oxygen.

Conscious breathing can help in any number of stressful situations. The same, too, in sex and tantra. Tantric breathing isn't like the breathing you'd do in yoga or meditation. The key is to pay attention to the breath and make it full and relaxed. Deep, full breaths allow energy to flow through your body.
 

Yab Yum position

An essential part of tantra is getting out of your brain and into your body. With that in mind, the Yab Yum position is all about bodily energy between two people and creating a connection.

Yab Yum invites lots of eye contact. The man sits cross-legged (or with the legs straight out if that's more comfortable). The woman sits on top of him, legs wrapped around the man's back and arms wrapped around him. You can keep eye contact, but if you're not that keen on intense gazes, just having your foreheads touching does the trick nicely.

You can do the Yab Yum position with or without genital contact. The purpose now is to build up a rhythm of breathing, a cycle of energy. As you breathe out, your partner breathes in and vice versa. Try and do this for a couple of minutes, staying still and just being with each other.

There shouldn't be any obligation to move forward from this and have full sex - it's more about creating energy and intimacy. But if you do, start by gently rocking back and forth, keep the connection and take it from there.
 

Further reading:

Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-first Century – Barbara Carrellas

A modern classic, written by acclaimed sex educator, Barbara Carrellas. Carrellas takes the ancient practice of tantra and updates it for the modern day. The book contains more than a hundred easy-to-follow techniques for both solo players and couples.
 

Tantra: The Art of Mind-Blowing Sex – Val Sampson

This well-regarded book emphasises learning to be alive to your senses and helping you to be conscious of your body in a positive and empowering way through tantric practices.
 

Tantra: The Path to Blissful Sex – Leora Lightwoman

Leora Lightwoman developed the Diamond Light Tantra method, has taught classes all around the world and is the author of this clear and concise guide to what tantra is and how it can help you explore sexual intimacy as an opportunity for transformation.

 

Have you tried tantric sex? How is it for you?  Let us know in the comments below.

 


 


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