What Exactly Is Tantric Sex, and Should I Try It with My Partner?
Tantric sex can be an amazing way to reconnect with your partner and a sure-fire way to increased pleasure. An expert explains how it's done.
Tantra is a Sanskrit word that means ‘woven together.’ Hindu and Buddhist meditation practitioners use the sexual union of tantra sexology as a metaphor for weaving together the physical and the spiritual: weaving humanity to the divine. The Western form of this sacred sexuality called Tantra teaches slow, non-orgasmic sexual intercourse.
Couples in my practice who have tried tantric sex find that they cultivate great sensual pleasure and also a sense of “dissolving into each other” that is profound and loving. The purpose is to become enlightened, not to win an Olympic medal for carnal gymnastics. (Plus, there’s actually a scientific reason why you should have sex before you go to sleep.)
(Related: Can Cannabis Help Kick-Start My Sex Drive?)
So, where do we start?
Begin by facing each other and gazing into each other’s eyes with your clothes on. Focus on one of your partner’s eyes; this keeps you intimately exposed. (Some people look back and forth between the two eyes to reduce the tension, but I think that’s cheating!) Eyes are windows to the soul.
Make sure you’re breathing the right way (yes, there’s a wrong way). Next, synchronize your breathing with your partner’s: Breathe in together, exhale together. Then move into breath exchange: You inhale when he exhales, then exhale when he inhales, as though you’re breathing each other in. Practice this for at least 10 minutes.
Then what? What does tantric sex for beginners look like?
To take this into sexual Tantra, try the same process but with clothes off. Sit on your partner’s lap, and wrap your legs around their waist. Do the breath exchange, but move into kissing and caressing. In time, begin slow intercourse, but continue caressing and kissing. Keep eye contact.
Here is where things get interesting; as you become more proficient, you can develop the ability for prolonged orgasm. For both women and men, this is a variation on multiple orgasms; you remain at the peak of ecstatic pleasure without climaxing. There are all the feelings of a typical orgasm, but it lasts for many minutes (or even hours), without a traditional orgasm. This leads to profound sexual and emotional merging.
Why should I try tantric sex?
In our over-scheduled lives, we rarely stop and intently focus on our partner. Practicing tantric sex can enhance your relationship and your sexual pleasure in several ways. First, emphasizing breath and connection creates a deep level of intimate contact. This alone can open your heart to feeling closer, more loving and more forgiving.
Second, the slow pace of tantric sex will allow you to explore the sensual range of your bodies and minds. Making love for an hour or more is like turning a fast-food meal into an epicurean feast. Both will satisfy your hunger, but the feast brings you more pleasure, delight and profound satisfaction.
Lastly, while you may balk at the idea of avoiding climaxing, these practices can help you both develop sexual ecstasy and connectedness far beyond that of a typical orgasm. If you feel that you need help getting in the mood, try these libido boosters.
Cheryl Fraser, Ph.D., is a psychologist and sex therapist who lives in Duncan, B.C. She teaches a couples’ workshop, the Awakened Lover Weekend.