My friend Sean recently wowed me by casually mentioning that he had just attended a three-day tantric sex workshop where the end goal was, well, for no end goal. “The point,” he said, “is to channel all the sexual energy that would normally leave during an orgasm, back into your body. It gives you so much energy!”
Sure enough, achieving the big “O” is not Tantra’s main objective. Instead, you attempt to prolong the act, increasing potent sexual energy and intimacy with your partner. If you focus solely on the grand finale, you’ll miss the amazing range of feeling the rest of the show offers. “Sexual energy is one of our most powerful energies for creating health,” says Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. “Through the intimate connection with another, our stress hormones lower and our serotonin shoots through the roof.”
Hmmm, I’ve certainly heard of Tantra but besides the Bible-length Kama Sutra, wacky-sounding positions like “lotus” and “jumping spider” and tales of Sting engaging in 36-hour lovemaking sessions, I didn’t know much, let alone that the intimacy is great for our health. “Even without an exhaustive education,” says Wendy Strgar, Care2 columnist and CEO of Good, Clean Love, “the principles behind tantric practice can go a long way in deepening the connection you share with your partner.”
Design an “Intimacy Space”
This should be a comfortable area that is playful and relaxed. First, clear the room of any attention-grabbing clutter. Next, decorate with flowers, candles and cozy fabrics. Scent is really important to our sensuality, so try natural oils like jasmine, ylang-ylang, or rose. Make sure your bed is as comfortable as possible with soft sheets and a number of pillows. Lastly, chose a soundtrack of music that you both like. Play it softly in the background to enhance your mood.
Breathe Each Other’s Breath
Harmonizing your breath is one of the easiest ways to sync with your partner. Straddle your partner’s lap (called the yab-yom position) and inhale while they exhale and vice versa. As your partner breathes out, you’ll find yourself taking their breath into and down through your entire body. As you exhale, consciously attempt to energize the breath. In this way, you’re sharing all of yourself with your partner. “Becoming conscious about your breath is central to all yogic practices and is foundational in Tantra,” says Strgar.
Keep Your Eyes Open
“The idea of making love with your eyes open is one of the fundamentals of deep connection in intimacy,” says Strgar. “It is surprisingly harder to do than you might expect. Move toward this idea as an intention rather than a rule and be amazed as the collection of glimpses that will reshape how you think about your partner and yourself. It is not easy to be seen, even by the people we love. Truly witnessing the act of love is profoundly transformative.”
Take it Slow
Sorry guys, foreplay is essential in Tantra. A leisurely, slow build helps men control longevity and piques women’s arousal. The longer you linger in this process of building energy, the longer your session will last and the more energy you will build. Use this time to fully focus on each other. As in meditation, when your thoughts wander, gently guide your attention back to your partner and the magic of the moment at hand.