Tantrics include all aspects of life in their spiritual practice, which means including sexuality in spiritual practice, along with all other aspects of life.
There is much confusion, sensationalism, and misunderstanding about Tantric sex. Popular magazines and websites are bursting with articles about "Tantric sex", but many of them mean nothing more by "Tantric sex" than slow sex for a longer time than usual.Tantric sex is perceived as a type of sex, something couples can use to "spice up" their sex life, or to have better orgasms.
Tantric sex is also often confused with the Kama Sutra. The Kama Sutra was actually written by a celibate monk, for the benefit of householders, and does not contain any Tantric sex secrets.
Wikipedia mentions Tantric sex in its Neotantra entry, but focuses on the spiritual aspects of Tantra in its main Tantra entry.
- 1 Tantric sex is a spiritual practice
- 2 The purpose of Tantric sex
- 3 How to have Tantric sex
- 4 Preparing for Tantric Sex
- 5 Tantric Foreplay
- 6 Tantric Sex
- 7 References
Tantric sex is a spiritual practice
Tantrics approach sex as they approach the whole of life - as an opportunity to lose oneself in the Divine.
Tantric sex is not about maintaining a long term relationship, or about having orgasms, or about having "deep, connected intimacy". All of these things may happen as a result of practising Tantric sex, but they are not the goal.
The goal of Tantric sex is to let go of the ordinary consciousness, the chattery monkey-mind, the sense of separateness, and to dissolve into a higher level of consciousness, in which there is no separation between the individual and the universe (the Divine). The Tantric partner serves as a point of focus, an object of meditation, and a representation of the Divine.
Tantric sex is often represented as being slow, gentle, and preceded by a lot of touching, eye gazing, and breathing together. This is a misapprehension. Tantric sex can be fast, intense, and even kinky. What makes sex Tantric is not WHAT the participants do, but their INTENTION in doing it.
The purpose of Tantric sex
Tantric sex is any sexual activity in which the goal is to use the sexual experience for spiritual accomplishment (reaching higher levels of consciousness).
With mindfulness and dedication, the Tantric learns to control the powerful sexual energy, and to direct it in ways which raise the level of consciousness. While female orgasm is more likely to spontaneously develop into Tantric orgasm, male Tantrics can also develop the capacity for extended Tantric orgasm, through practising brahmacharya, the control of the creative energies, and learning to separate ejaculation from orgasm.
How to have Tantric sex
There is no Tantra without concentration of the mind. If the mind is undisciplined, there is no "Tantric sex"; there is just sex. The Tantric tradition includes many techniques for developing the discipline of mental focus, maintaining the intention of merging with the Divine.
In Tantric sex, the mind is focused completely on the present moment, and what is happening in each of the bodies - physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual.
The physical body in Tantric sex
The physical body is a core part of Tantric practice. Tantrics invest time and energy in getting to know their own physical bodies. When the physical body is well-maintained, and areas of numbness or tension have been cleared, the Tantric is best prepared for the intense experiences which may arise in Tantric sex.
There are no specific physical practices which make sex "Tantric". During Tantric sex, the physical body may be moving fast or slow, the eyes may be open or closed, the breathing may be synchronised or free-flowing, and Tantric sex can happen in any sexual position.
Many Tantric traditions suggest that men refrain from ejaculating, not just during Tantric sex, but at all times. This is a way to meet the yogic requirement for brahmacharya, or "control of the creative energy". In contrast, ascetic traditions interpret brahmacharya as a requirement for complete celibacy.
Tantrics view the physical body as a sacred representation of the Divine. In some Tantric rituals, specific practices are used to "infuse" the Divine into a physical body, as a reminder of this Divinity, and as a form of meditation to create the proper attitude of reverence. As part of a Tantric sex practice, practitioners may worship the Divine in their partner by performing trataka, a relaxed, unblinking gaze, focused on the naked body of their partner. During the trataka, the practitioner actively seeks to see the entire Universe, including the Divine, represented in the body in front of them.
Physical orgasm is an important part of Tantric orgasm, particularly in the early years of practice. However, it is possible to have a Tantric orgasm without the usual physical signs of orgasm. Physical orgasm is a separate physical process from ejaculation, even though in untrained men they usually occur together. Separating physical orgasm from ejaculation is an important part of a man's process of mastering the Tantric orgasm.
Female ejaculation is viewed quite differently from male ejaculation. While male ejaculation involves a loss of brahma (creative energy), the fluids produced by women are not essential for reproduction, and therefore do not contain the same creative energy. Producing female ejaculate is viewed as a siddhi (a superpower), and the fluid is considered sacred.
The energy body in Tantric sex
The energy body is a vital part of Tantric sex. No matter how enjoyable sex may be at a physical level, if neither party is focusing on the energy body level, then it cannot be described as Tantric sex.
The energy body has an anatomy, which correlates with the anatomy of the physical body. Detailed descriptions of the energy body can be found in the chakra systems of India, Tibet and China, the meridian system used in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and modern scientific investigations of the nervous, lymph, and fascia systems. The movement of "energy" in the energy body has been correlated with blood flow, lymph flow, and hormone and enzyme activity. While "energy" remains a scientifically loose term, it is still a useful concept for the Tantric practitioner.
Most modern Tantra is based on translations in English of a small number of Tantric documents in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Included in this corpus was a description of a system of seven major chakras, with many secondary chakras, and thousands of energy channels, knows as nadis. The seven major chakras are arranged vertically, from the perineum to the crown of the head.
The core purpose of Tantric practice is to raise energy from lower chakras to the crown chakra. In Tantric sex, the practitioner deliberately inflames sexual energy, which is primarily located in the first and second chakras, and then moves the energy upward, in a process known as "sublimation".
Physical orgasm can trigger a rush of energy from lower chakras to higher chakras. Tantrics seek to consciously trigger this movement, with or without physical orgasm. If a person is not ready to experience higher levels of conciousness, this rush of energy can cause them to momentarily lose consciousness. With sufficient preparation and practice, the Tantric learns to remain conscious, and to experience altered states of consciousness. These higher states of consciousness are correlated with high levels of energy in the higher chakras.
Just as the physical body must be purified, strengthened, and made ready for intense Tantric practice, the energy body must also be prepared. Any restriction to the free flow of energy can cause problems for Tantric practice.
The emotional body in Tantric sex
The emotional body, also known as the astral body, has an important part to play in advanced forms of Tantric sex. While it is possible to have Tantric sex without being aware of the emotional body, higher states of consciousness can only be accessed reliably when the emotional body is an integral part of Tantric sexuality.
The emotional body is composed of energy that is not directly generated by physiological processes. While there are measurable physical processes associated with emotions, the emotional body also extends well beyond the skin. Some people grow up with a well-developed awareness of the subtle field of emotional energy, while others require months of yoga practice before they learn to identify the subtle sensations generated by the emotional body.
Sexual activity can have profound emotional effects. While there are obvious reasons to this, such as triggering memories of past sexual trauma, there are also more subtle interactions. When we are physically close to another person, our emotional bodies intersect - the occupy the same physical space. Our emotional body is directly affected by, and directly affects, the emotional body of the other person. This is why sex can be so nurturing, or leave one feeling drained and used.
The emotional body must be explored, purified and strengthened before a practitioner can open fully to intense Tantric experiences. Once the emotional body is purified, it can provide accurate feedback about the movement of energy in the chakras. The usual pattern of ordinary consciousness is to have more energy in the second chakra than any other. Particularly goal-oriented, strong-willed people may have more energy in their third chakra, the navel chakra.
When energy rises from the second to the third chakra, it produces a feeling of power, confidence, and strength. A majority of energy in the fourth chakra causes intense feelings of gratitude, humility, and unconditional love - the phenomenon described as "heart opening". The rush of energy caused by orgasm, or extended Tantric sex, can bring people to these emotional states.
When the fifth chakra, the throat chakra, is energetically dominant, the emotion is appreciation of beauty, a feeling of purity, and awe at the Divine. When the sixth chakra, the third eye, is dominant, the primary emotion is compassion. Many people experience moments of these "higher" emotions, but few attain extended states of consciousness at these levels.
The mental body in Tantric sex
The mental body has two aspects - the "lower mind", known to Buddhists as "the monkey mind", and the "higher mind", which is the home of intellect, discrimination, intuition, and wisdom. In Tantric sex, the aim is to quiet the lower mind, and to allow the higher mind to expand beyond the limitations of the space take up by the physical body.
The spiritual body in Tantric sex
The spiritual body is the individual spark of the Divine that exists in each of us. Effective Tantric sex brings the awareness to this body.
Preparing for Tantric Sex
Each person will find their own best way to establish a sacred space for Tantric sex. Here are some examples:
· Clean the space and bathe before starting the maithuna ritual
· Light incense and candles
· Play uplifting music in the background
· Begin by holding hands and meditating, to connect with each other and the Divine
· See your partner as the Divine (either Divine Masculine or Divine Feminine, whichever you both decide)
· Release any self-centred thoughts and feelings
· Create an intention to raise your consciousness through Tantric sex
· Ask the Divine to be with you and act through you during your Tantric sex
There are no specific, prescribed ways to "do foreplay" in Tantric sex. Taoist texts specify that penetration should not occur until the woman's juices are flowing freely, so Tantric sex generally involves more foreplay than the average sexual encounter. It takes most women at least 20 minutes to reach full arousal.
What do Tantrics do for 20 minutes?
Tantric massage is a useful way to structure foreplay, and to produce lasting healing results from Tantric sex. Yoni massage can bring a woman to full arousal, and even to multiple orgasms, relieving any performance pressure their partner might otherwise feel. Lingam massage can help a man to open his energy channels in preparation for sublimating a large flow of energy.
Tantric partners may also engage in oral sex, other forms of petting and mutual masturbation, and even more intense practices, such as spanking, wrestling, and biting. Anything goes in Tantric sex, as long as all participants are consenting and mindful.
Sometimes, the foreplay is so satisfying that the Tantric sex session concludes without any penetration. Indeed, some Tantric rituals, such as the Yoni Mudra oral sex ritual, specifically prohibit penetration for 24 hours afterward, to ensure the energies that were aroused by the ritual settle correctly in the practitioner's system.
It is not necessary to do a complete Tantric ritual to have Tantric sex, although there are many fascinating and powerful Tantric rituals to explore.
It is also not mandatory that Tantric sex is slow and gentle, despite widespread misunderstandings to this effect in popular culture and the Western media. Tantric sex can be hot and passionate, rough and animalistic, or gentle and angelic. What matters most is that all people involved are fully present and aware, and are responding appropriately to the energies moving within and between them.
Tantric sex awakens vast amounts of sexual energy, which the Tantric practitioner will channel toward spiritual growth, clearing their energy channels, or healing. While it is possible to use this sexual energy for material gain, in a process known as "sex magic", it requires a very high level of consciousness to use this capability without being seduced into egoic diversions from the spiritual path.
Managing sexual energy requires practice, discipline, and a good level of awareness and control over the bodies, particularly the energy body and the astral/emotional body. For most people, these prerequisites must be developed through dedicated practice of hatha yoga, including kriyas, pranayama, and sublimation.
- Tantra Fundamentals course papers 2016 by Agama Yoga.