Have you ever experienced a moment of sexual ecstasy? How did it make
you feel? Exhilarated? Luminous? Deeply connected? Intense sexual
experiences are one of our greatest sources of pleasure.
At the same time, sex is often regarded with an equal measure of fear
and fascination. We may crave sexual intimacy to the core of our
being, yet also take great pains to avoid it. We may wish to be
touched with all of our heart, yet fear our own vulnerability. We may
long to rekindle lost passion, but have forgotten how to light the
The practice of Tantra shows us how to reclaim the sexual intimacy
that is our birthright. And through this most ancient of arts, we may
discover new joys of the erotic and expand mere moments of sexual
ecstasy into a lifetime of sexual bliss. At a time when the stresses,
fears and distractions of daily life threaten so many relationships,
the age-old practice of Tantra shows us how to open our hearts, our
emotions and our sexuality.
What Is Tantra?
Although Tantra has long been practiced in many eastern cultures, it
is just beginning to flourish in the United States. Born in India
more than 6,000 years ago, Tantra emerged as a rebellion against
organized religion, which held that sexuality should be rejected in
order to reach enlightenment.
Tantra challenged the acetic beliefs of that time, purporting that
sexuality was a doorway to the divine, and that earthly pleasures,
such as eating, dancing and creative expression were sacred acts.
The word Tantra means "to manifest, to expand, to show and to weave."
In this context, sex is thought to expand consciousness and to weave
together the polarities of male (represented by the Hindu god,
Shiva), and female (embodied by the Hindu goddess, Shakti), into a
Couples need not adopt the Tantric pantheon in order to benefit from
the sexual wisdom of this ancient art. Tantric sexual practices teach
us to prolong the act of making love and to utilize potent orgasmic
energies more effectively.
Tantra is also health enhancing. "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."
"By using sexual energy consciously…we can tap into a true source of
youth and vitality."
How Is Tantric Sex Unique?
In the West, we sometimes view sex as a source of recreation rather
than a means of transformation. The goal may be to reach orgasm
rather than to pleasure our lover or to connect with him or her more
This kind of lovemaking, say sex experts, has a distinct beginning
and ending, with a climax somewhere in between and an average
duration of 10 to 15 minutes. Given that women can take about 20
minutes just to reach full arousal, this type of sexual experience
can be deeply unsatisfying.
In the Tantric model, the sexual experience is seen as a dance with
no beginning or end. There is no goal, only the present moment of
exquisite union. For this reason, lovemaking is meditative,
expressive and intimate. Tantra teaches lovers how to extend the peak
of their sexual ecstasy so that women and men can experience several
orgasms in a single sexual encounter.
Leading teachers of Tantra suggest that even men who experience
premature ejaculation can learn how to extend orgasm, and, with
practice, to enjoy multiple orgasms. One of the most well known
advocates of Tantra is the musician, Sting, who credits his
fulfilling sex life to this ancient art. With ingredients such as
love, trust and mutual respect, the magic of Tantra is available to
couples of all ages and levels of sexual experience.
Beginning Tantric Sex Techniques
The following exercises will help you reconnect with your body and
with your partner in a profound way. As you move through these steps,
do not focus on intercourse as the ultimate goal. Instead, simply
enjoy giving and receiving pleasure using gentle touch and loving
Communicate with your lover to discover what he or she finds most
arousing. Try to spend several weeks practicing the Tantric Intimacy
Exercises without necessarily engaging in intercourse. For many,
experiencing these erotic exercises with no pressure to "go all the
way" helps release sexual guilt, builds trust and reawakens sexual
Tantric Sex — Welcoming Love
Make time for each other every week. Plan a sexual rendezvous at
least once per week. Set aside an hour or more of uninterrupted time
to be together. Although it may be difficult to find the time or to
manage children, you won’t be able to benefit from Tantra if your
relationship is not a priority.
Create an inviting atmosphere. Whether you meet in your bedroom,
living room or another space in your house, creating a sacred space
for each other will help relax you and bring you into the moment.
Candles, fresh flowers, erotic art, finger foods and tantalizing
aromas can transform any room into a temple of sexual delight. Even
something as simple as dimming the lights and playing erotic music
will help create a welcoming environment.
Dress provocatively. Or, wear nothing at all. Experiment with
clothing or accessories that make you feel sexy and excite your
Tantric Intimacy Exercises
Use ritual to develop intimacy. Begin your journey with a ritual.
This may be something as simple as feeding each other delicious foods
or sharing a glass of wine in the nude. Some couples enjoy bathing
together in order to attune to each other.
Take time to wash each other with loving care. Water relaxes the body
and is a symbol of sexuality. Massaging each other is also an
excellent way to fuse your energies. Or, read poetry to each other,
dance, play, listen to music—work on developing new intimacy skills.
Most importantly, use this time to communicate,
about each other. The idea is to help each partner feel loved and
In order to fully focus on each other (rather than on the goal of
sex), some lovers experiment with various intimate rituals for
several weeks before moving on to the next steps or engaging in
intercourse. This is a wonderful way to strengthen the bonds of love
and ignite passion.
Harmonize your breathing. "The only time we ever think about
breathing is when we have trouble doing it, yet conscious breathing
can be a powerful aid in sexual growth," according to sex therapist
Marty Klein, Ph.D. of Palo Alto, California. Breathing exercises also
quiet the mind and help you focus on each other.
Try this exercise: Sit quietly, cross-legged, facing each other. Rest
your hands on your knees with your palms facing up. As you gaze into
your partner’s eyes, take soft, but deep breaths. Keep your eyes
open, gazing beyond the eyes, into the soul. Although this may feel
awkward at first, sustained eye contact is essential for building
Now, pay attention to your breathing. Begin to breathe at the same
pace, bringing air slowly in through your nose and exhaling through
your mouth. Maintain eye contact while you breathe together. Practice
this exercise until you can sustain eye contact and harmonized
breathing for about 10 minutes. Then, you may move into the next
Experiment with erotic touch to fully appreciate your partner. This
most pleasurable practice will help you become better lovers.
Although you should continue to maintain eye contact, don’t worry
about keeping your breath synchronized. Breath will come back into
play later. Guide your partner as you take turns stimulating each
other. Describe exactly how you would like to be touched.
Share your desires in an encouraging way, making requests in a clear
and loving manner. For example, ask your lover to caress your
clitoris or penis (or any erogenous zone), encouraging him or her to
apply more or less pressure, to stroke in a specific pattern, to use
the tongue, etc. Thank your lover and let him or her know with words
or sounds that you are enjoying this sensual touch.
Once you become comfortable with this process, you may wish to create
a "pleasure chest." Include whatever excites you and your partner—a
feather, vibrator, massage oil, blindfold, soft fabric, erotica and
loving notes to each other are just a few ideas. As you pleasure each
other, don’t be shy about asking for something different. This is
your time for appreciation, experimentation and for taking
responsibility for your own fulfillment by asking for what you want.
From here, you may wish to embark on your own erotic journey. Create
amorous adventures together, exploring new and creative ways to
awaken each other’s bodies and minds. Then, you will be ready for
Basic Tantric Sex Techniques
The Tantric tradition emphasizes preparation for lovemaking. Erotic
rituals such as those described above focus on exchanging pleasures,
awakening the senses and allowing couples to communicate on deep
physical and emotional levels.
During this time, lovers are able to establish an intimate connection
that can be maintained and heightened as they transition into the
sexual dimension. Intimacy exercises are a form of extended foreplay,
helping titillate lovers for the sex that is to come and create the
optimal conditions for Tantric lovemaking.
As you experiment with Tantric techniques, don’t worry whether you
are doing something the "right" way. Tantra does not judge right or
wrong, good or bad. Ultimately, your pleasure is what matters most.
Moving Toward Sexual Bliss
As you transition into sex, the idea is to maintain a state of sexual
ecstasy for as long as possible. Tantric lovemaking is not result-
oriented, but rather, timeless and unstructured.
Maintain a deep level of intimacy. Continue to gaze into each other’s
eyes as much as possible. Sprinkle your lover’s face, neck and
shoulders with light kisses and whisper words of love and
encouragement. Help each other feel loved and desired.
Keep it slow. A long, slow build helps men control orgasm and piques
women’s arousal. According to Tantric teacher, Robert Frey, the
longer you linger in this process of building energy, the longer men
can resist ejaculation. During this time, focus on each other. If
your thoughts should wander, gently bring your attention back to the
present, concentrating on your lover and the magic of the moment at
Bring your attention back to your breath. Resist the urge to breathe
quickly. Quick breathing or panting creates arousal, speeding you
toward orgasm. Instead, take long, slow, deep breaths from the belly,
exhaling gradually. You may match your breath to that of your
partner, or try breathing alternately—as you inhale, your partner
exhales. This moves energy back and forth and connects you to your
Vary your positions to explore your duality. Different sex positions
add to sexual pleasure and balance male and female energies. When
lovers release themselves from gender roles, they are free to engage
in deeper, more intimate sex. Men realize their sexual potential
through surrender, by being soft and open, gentle and vulnerable.
Women, in turn, can direct and initiate. As you experiment with
different positions, some male-dominant, some female-dominant,
explore your capacity to be strong and gentle, generous and
Multiple Orgasms for Men
Tantric sex distinguishes between the experiences of orgasm and
ejaculation. Although they often happen at the same time, men are
capable of having orgasms without ejaculating. Ejaculatory control is
what makes it possible for Tantric lovers to capture and extend the
magical energy of orgasm. By holding back, men can experience a
series of "mini-orgasms.
This does not mean that you are never to ejaculate, but that you can
control your climax. The essence, say Tantric experts, is to catch a
wave of energy and to surf the edge without going over. Use these
strategies to stay atop the wave:
Pump the PC muscles. The pubococcygeal (PC) muscles, which run from
your public bone to your tailbone, are the ultimate sex muscles.
These are the same muscles used to stop the flow of urine. If
properly conditioned, the PCs enable you to stop ejaculation while
continuing to enjoy sex. Kegel exercises are the best way to tone the
Here’s how: Contract your PC muscles three times per day, squeezing
20 to 25 repetitions. This is a simple exercise that you can do at
anytime. Just don’t overdo it. After a month of conditioning, try to
extend the squeeze, holding each contraction for two seconds.
Gradually work up to 10 seconds. Once your PCs are in top shape, you
will be able to pump them in order to ride the orgasmic wave without
gliding over the brink too soon.
Relax. Although it sounds paradoxical, it’s important for men to stay
relaxed during high states of arousal. If you feel the undulations of
ejaculation, take a slow, deep breath and stop making love long
enough for your arousal to subside. Relax and try to direct energy
from your penis up through your body.
Take this time to talk to your partner or to draw several slow, deep
breaths. By experimenting, you will discover how much "time out" you
require before catching the next wave. The idea is to allow yourself
enough time for the intensity to subside, but not so much that you
lose your erection.
Put it all together. When you and your partner make love, thrust
slowly, allowing your arousal to build gradually. Before your
excitement mounts, relax for a moment, tighten your PC muscles and
take a deep breath. Resume your lovemaking, continuing to generate
Then, relax again, hold your PCs and breathe. Continue to ride this
swell until you near the crest. Then, open your eyes, clamp down on
your PC muscles and take a deep breath to experience the joy of
orgasm without ejaculating. Since these techniques take practice,
expect a few "wipe outs" before you achieve mastery.
Freeing Female Orgasm
It is often said that a woman’s most powerful sex organ lies between
her ears. Since desire can be short-circuited by fear, guilt, stress
and a host of other distracting thoughts, women often need to
concentrate on feeling rather than thinking when making love. Taking
breaks to pleasure each other, manually and orally, is a great way to
ward off any lingering diversions and to coax one or more orgasms.
Clitoral stimulation. Most women require stimulation of the clitoris
and labia (the inner lips surrounding the clitoris) during sex to
reach orgasm. Prolonged clitoral touch with a gentle, patient hand
is, for many, the key to sexual ecstasy. Use sounds and positive
words to guide your lover, showing your partner how to stroke you
The sacred spot. The mythic Grafenberg Spot (G-spot) is referred to
in Tantra as the "sacred spot." This potent and mysterious erogenous
zone is located about two to three inches up on the front side of the
vaginal channel. When your lover is aroused, slip your ring finger
into her vagina allowing your fingertip to brush against the inner
The G-spot is between the size of a pea and a quarter with a slightly
rippled texture. For some women, though not for all, gentle
stimulation can induce powerful orgasms and even female ejaculate.
However, take care not to over-stimulate this sensitive spot.
Tantric Sex — A School of Many Courses
According to Tantric philosophy, lovers who have practiced these
ancient techniques can learn to direct sexual energy through the
body’s "chakras," or energy centers. Moving the energy of orgasm
through these physical channels is thought to create sensations of
ecstasy throughout the body and to enhance health.
There is much to learn about this ancient art. "Tantra is a school of
many courses in which there are many levels of study and an unlimited
degree of potential for spiritual gain, for sexual delight, and for
worldly success," state Charles and Caroline Muir, authors
of "Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving." Although they caution that
Tantra does not promise instant results, for couples who wish to
enrich their relationship, these practices "can release a particular
kind of energy that can bring about harmony…and increase sexual
pleasure and intimacy.",