You’ve heard about tantric sex. You’ve heard about sex that lasts an entire weekend. You’ve also heard about tantric sex that deepens pleasure and forge a tighter bond between partners. These aspects relate to the philosophy of tantra, as well as the human obsession to derive benefits from whatever we do. Tantra has no interest in any of these. Tantra is a technique that hands opportunities about what is permanent in our lives and not about what can or should be.
It’s important to learn about where the concept of tantric sex comes from. The word tantra appears in the Sanskrit sutras, thousands of years ago and were commentaries on the philosophies of the day. The word tantra means “to weave” and it referred to the writings about what the priests explained to the students so that they could understand. The students wrote down the words of the teachings they have received and that became known as sutras. Tantra was the concept of scriptures that wove the philosophy and the teaching together into a manuscript.
The concept of tantric sex is very modern as tantra became linked to sex only in our century and only in the West. Meditation deals with sex and not tantra. Do you need some proof? Ask any Buddhist monk sitting on his heel, stimulating his prostate for many hours a day. It is “something almost mystical” as it is unnatural for hundreds of men to be confined in a small space and to limit potential conflict between them, the natural procreation instinct has to be employed for inner personal experiences.
Western tantra teachers tell us that all sex is about pleasure and that tantric sex places an emphasis on the pleasure of sex, while you’re having sex. The benefits of mindfulness during sex is just an extention of the beneficial mindfulness of everyday life, that became a buzz word amongst spiritual people.
Let’s look at what Western teachers say about the benefits of tantric sex. To determine the benefit of anything we have to make it a mind based logical assessment, a comparison between several things. Tantra is an awareness technique that falls outside the domain of comparison, as awareness is about what is and not about what should or can be.
BENEFITS OF TANTRIC SEX:
Bigger is better when it comes to orgasms
More and better orgasms, to a sex starved Western wold, must really be like manna from heaven as it is too good to be true. It’s not surprising that sex is taken out of context and it gets redesigned to intensify the connection between partners. The truth is that there is no connection between partners per se, the connection they have is with the instinct that runs through both of them and has little to do with them as individuals.
Western people have drifted so far away from what sex really is, they have lost so much about what binds them together, no wonder Western tantra teachers take the essence of tantra and remodel it to suit the need of the times. This is actually nothing new and has been going on for thousands of years and tantra still exists, as it is anchored in human instinct and not in the human mind.
No need to perform
Tantra is presented as a kind of anti-porn as porn is performance-based but tantric sex is all about helping people slow down and get out of this performance mindset. When two people start with an eye gazing exercise, when they sit together facing each other, then passion killer, performance driven thoughts can be left behind.
This means that obsessing over what they are “supposed” to do, can make way for “just let it happen”. This is quite strange as Western people have lost the ability to read the patterns of instinct as it plays out in the ovulation cycle of a woman. If there is no awareness about what instinct asks of us, how can we just let it happen?
Super connections during tantric sex
Western people are constantly looking for ways to bond more deeply with their partners and they believe that tantric sex is the answer. The prescribed thing “to do” and not the tantra technique, is to get into a position that require physical closeness and eye contact. It is exactly the opposite of the tantra technique that suggests the facing of the instinct in you and not each other.
Another “to do” assigned to tantric sex is to encourage couples to devote more time to reach a deeper connection and practice longer sex sessions. Even a timeframe is assigned: a minimum amount of time tantric sex should last is about 15 minutes but several hours are regarded as better.
You can experiment about what sex is
Tantric sex, we are told, means throwing old expectations of sex out the window as sex isn’t only penetration and couples should rather focus on what they want from their time together. Couples shouldn’t simply go through the motions when they’re having sex but should stop to think about what they want to do. It is strange that people should think about their instinct as instinct has no wish to be analysed.
You can communicate how you like sex
Tantra is often associated with mindfulness practices. It is quite amazing to hear that as in reality, tantra is a non-mind-based technique. We are told that tantric sex requires concentrating on exactly what you’re experiencing in the moment and sex partners should focus intensely on exactly what feels good and share that with each other.
In the same breath these teachers tell us to “get out of your head and into your body” but we were just told to focus and concentrate. I struggle to grasp what is said as there are “to do” lists on the one hand and there are “let go” instructions on the other hand. All this confusion is derived from a lack of any grasp of tantra as an awareness technique.
TANTRIC SEX AND SMALL MINDEDNESS
Many ill-informed Western tantra teachers tell us that tantra is a slow form of sex which can increase intimacy and create a mind-body connection that can lead to powerful orgasms. This statement is absolutely absurd as meditation deals with procreation instinct and not tantra. When a tantra teacher doesn’t know about the interaction between meditation and yoga and tantra, then some weird and wonderful concoctions surface as teachings.
It is also said that anyone can practice tantra, that is anyone who is interested in rebooting their sex life and finding new depth to their love-making. There is no such a thing as rebooting your sex life when you know what sex is. When you practice emotional sex then inevitable you run into trouble sooner than later. To find new depth in sex means that there was no depth from the beginning and it should one again be stressed that tantra is an awareness technique and not sex coaching.
So called tantric experts believe that if you extend the time and effort you put into sex, you will reach a higher and more intense form of ecstasy. Tantra does not have ecstasy as a goal. Tantra does not have any goal that is mind based. Tantra is an awareness technique that operated on non-mind-based logic.
The modern proof that tantric sex works, is usually to state that celebrities such as Tom Hanks and Sting have said how great it is. In fact, Sting’s wife once famously boasted that her husband could make love for more than 5 hours at a time. There is no need to find evidence about the value of tantra as it surfaces in anyone with the snap of the fingers.
The current Western thought about tantric sex is that it is good for you if you’re looking for something new to do in bed, to become more intimate and to reconnect with your partner. My suggestion is that you forget about all this nonsense and that you start at the beginning, to practice meditation to gain awareness about how instinct uses you and your body.
How to perform tantric sex
I thought that tantric sex advocates would at least have explained the following statement better: “Tantric sex isn’t goal oriented”. Their explanation is that you don’t have to work hard at learning what to do. I just wonder if they try to explain that tantric sex has no goal or that the sex that you practice shouldn’t have a goal?
It is further explained that the trick is to take the mind off the orgasm and instead focus on making foreplay enjoyable and rewarding. We are promptly schooled into the delay of orgasm and the so-called tantric sex experts advise us to use a variety of methods to achieve that, like meditative techniques, breath control and massage.
It is such a confusion when Western tantra experts try to explain simple concepts. No one takes time to explain the interaction between meditation, yoga and tantra. No one knows how sex and other people fit into the awareness landscape. No one seems to understand the difference between a method and a technique. No wonder they say that Western tantra experts cater for ignorant people.
The “to do” list of tantric sex
· turn down the lights
· shake your limbs vigorously
· get comfortable on the floor and not on the bed
· apply a variety of massage strokes
· think about your breathing
· keep trying to prolong the time together
Tantric sex exercises
· roll over from side to side when on the floor so that you get used to changing positions often
· breathe faster for several minutes and then return to normal breathing so that you can regulate your passion
· learn to feel what is happening in you when touching a partner
· try a variety of sounds to represent different sensations
· do one thing you haven’t done before
Tantric sex positions
· look between the eyes of your partner, instead of jumping the gaze from one eye to the other
· place left hands on each other’s hearts
· do synchronised breathing
· do alternating breathing
· let the female partner sit on the crossed legs and lap of the male partner
· hug slightly off centre so that the hearts touch
· first slow down and then speed up the breathing rhythm
· separate orgasm and ejaculation
· find joy in whatever is happening
· climax with a loud burst of air
NOT ALL LOST IN WESTERN TANTRIC SEX PRACTICES
All people practice meditation, yoga and tantra in some form. This is because these techniques were born from the questions ordinary people have about everyday life situations. Awareness techniques didn’t fall from the sky, they were not handed to humans by the gods, they were not channelled to some extraordinary person, they didn’t pop up in some brilliant mind and they can never escape the simple reality of life.
Awareness techniques have their origin in the realisation that a procreation drive manipulates our lives. No one was ever given the choice whether they wanted a sexual drive or not and no one was ever given the opportunity to turn it off when they retire. Procreation instinct is just part of the essence of life that flows through us, whether we like it or not. Humans have no chance to deny or destroy their procreation instinct, the only available option is to embrace it or not.
All people observe something during their normal day, all people gain insight about what they have observed and all people create mindsets as boxes to hold a variety of opinions. This normal but slow activity was considered inefficient to early awareness practitioners. They wanted a technique that could be a shortcut to get them to make productive use of their observations.
The techniques that came about were for impromptu use, not a rehearsed long-term practice but an authentic response to the situation. Meditation can be practiced for a few seconds to a few minutes when required and will yield all that we need rather than sitting still and watching a wall for ten hours. Early practitioners of meditation also had the skill to focus the meditation on the very aspect they wanted to observe.
Meditation came about as a yearning to gain awareness about the variety of ways that procreation instinct uses human bodies and minds, to allow life to be what it is. Life reproduces itself and that process is selective and ever adaptive. Sex is the focus of the meditation technique of awareness and not tantra. Monasteries are full of people who meditate for hours, they have sexual experiences for many hours a day as they position their heels in order to manipulate the area around the perineum.
So called Western tantric sex experts are spot on when they include breath and touch and intimacy in their work with clients. These are the three methods that are most used in meditation, yoga and tantra techniques.
People are told to indulge in light feathery touches and in gentle stroking of the partner with the aim to heighten the sense perceptions in a slow and intense way. This is beautiful as it belongs to the yoga category of awareness techniques. Anyone with a family knows that one gets sucked into a taking care role of others. This is because instinct drive humans to do that. The only way to be enticed out of being there for others all the time, is to regain the sensual experience of your own body once again.
Western tantra experts keep reminding us that tantric sex is all about intimacy between two partners, something which is true but extremely limited in its vision. The natural human instinct is to build or enter an in-group where they belong. This is always against an out-group concept as it lends identity clarification opportunities to the in-group. Tantra is a technique that focuses on handing people opportunities to experience an existing intimacy between themselves and everyone they come in contact with, not only a partner or someone they know.
I find advice from Western tantra experts quite painful when they dish out “to do” lists when you find your mind starts to wander and implies that the connection between the two partners are disappearing. If the connection is mind based, if the person says that this is my “official” partner, therefore I may practice intimacy with him or her, then the connection can’t last more than twenty seconds as the mind can’t be trapped on one thing for that long.
If the interaction between people, irrespective of who they are, if that connection is based on natural human instinct, that very moment it becomes the sharing of existing intimacy. Intimacy exists between people whenever they are in contact with each other. It takes a huge mental effort to dislike a person you sit next to in the aeroplane.
Tantra reminds you that you can separate yourself from the person next to you, that you can live in natural apartheid from each other and you can also start to celebrate the intimacy that already exists in abundance between people and it’s not dependent on your mindset approved association towards that person.
A QUESTION FOR YOU ABOUT LIFE AND TANTRA
Choose one of the following scenarios: to have sex with a person you are in a relationship with or to have intimacy with a complete stranger?
-Martin du Toit