The Astral/Emotional Body
Tantrics consider the human body to be a microcosm, while the entire Universe (or Multiverse) is the macrocosm. In other words, the human body is a representation, or a map, of the whole of reality.
The emotional body of a human being corresponds to the astral level of the Universe.
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.
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 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.
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.