Whether you’re a newbie to the spiritual side of sex or a skilled sensual pro, our expert Dr. Becky Spelman has got you covered…
You’ve probably heard the term, but do you know what ‘tantric sex’ actually means? At its most simple, tantric sex, which is also known as ‘neotantra’, represents the goal of bringing our spiritual and physical beings together during the act of love in a way that can bring the lovemaking participants to a higher spiritual plane. Its a sort of mindfulness enacted during sex, in connection with another person. It was initially developed in India about 6,000 years ago, when participants rebelled against the ways in which formal religion sought to quash sexuality, and developed techniques to bring sexuality and spirituality together. Of course, nobody is going to get to a higher spiritual plane the first time they try it out – and this is where practice makes perfect! But there are ways of introducing tantric methods that will enrich your technique and repertoire and bring you closer to your partner, whatever your experience level.
“Start with adopting mindfulness during lovemaking,” says Becky. “Rather than simply losing yourself to physical sensation, try to delay orgasm by slowing things right down and staying in the moment, focusing on where you are at any given time and what you are doing. Tantric sex is not just about achieving an orgasm, but about connecting with your partner, the activity, and ultimately the universe itself. Focus on the details, and put thoughts of gratification to one side.” Our sexual energy serves a significant purpose, and it isn’t just about climax, self-pleasure and procreation. Our energy literally connects us back to Source through the very energy that created us. Try these five tips if you’ve never tried tantra before…”
Gaze and breathe
Breathing and eye contact create a deep level of intimate contact, opening your heart chakra and helping you to feel closer to your partner. Use this as an act of foreplay. Explore the sensuality of your bodies and minds. The eyes are said to be the windows of your soul. Gazing deeply into one another’s eyes allows you to connect on the deepest level possible, making intimacy more sacred. Try and get your breathing to match your partner’s, too. Controlling your breath is very important and central to all yogic and meditative practices, and will help you produce a more heightened and alluring sexual energy.
Get wrapped up!
Take a ‘yab-yum’ position – sit with your legs wrapped around the other person’s torso, or sit in your partner’s lap with your legs totally wrapped around each other. This means you will adopt an extended embrace that will bring you to the highest level of intimacy.
Be a massage master
Explore your lover’s body with your hands and awaken all of their energy centres. Make them feel completely relaxed and ready to receive energy from the Divine. Don’t forget to set your intentions together before having sacred sex.
Slowly does it
Spend lots of time kissing and caressing before moving on to intercourse. Try to maintain a state of arousal for as long as possible without actually climaxing. This will take practice, but you will find that the more you do it, the longer you will be able to feel aroused without losing control.
Tantric tips for intermediates
“Practice makes perfect!” says Becky. “In yourself and your partner, you can find the sacred essence of male and female. See your body, and theirs, as existing beyond yourself, and envision them as participating in a timeless dance, at one with the universe. Experiment with “edging” to heighten pleasure and enhance sensation. “Edging” refers to the practice of bringing oneself, or another person, close to orgasm, and then withdrawing from that moment. Accept the ebb and flow of sensation and repeat the process. This can lead to a much more intense orgasm when it comes, although many find that orgasm becomes less sought after as a goal as the couple becomes more practiced in their technique. Practice bonding twice a day through these ten-minute tantric exercises for couples who have mastered the basics….”
For this exercise, assume a spooning position. The partner at the back will be the ‘giver’, rebalancing the chakras of the person in front. Make sure your chakras line up with each other, heart to heart, root to root, and so on. If you are the person in the behind position, bring your hand around the other person to rest lightly on the third eye chakra of their forehead, or the crown chakra at the top of her head. Inhale together, slowly and in time with each other. Feel your energies flowing together.
Heart in your hands
Sit comfortably, cross-legged, facing your partner. Next, get each of you to place your right hand on your partner’s heart chakra, and your left hand over your partner’s right hand. Tune into the emotion and energy of one another’s heart chakras. How does it feel? Is it open to love? Fluttering? Peaceful? Try closing your eyes, focusing on the connection.
Get your yab-yum on!
With this position, the man sits cross-legged and the woman sits on his upper thighs, crossing her ankles behind his back. This sets you in alignment with one another, and enables your brow chakras to meet together. This is the classic position for tantric sex, so try making love in this position.
For the pros…
“Start by loosening your body all over, shaking out your arms and legs and releasing yourself to the moment,” says Becky. “Make sure that you have set aside plenty of time for lovemaking, as you may need many hours! Be prepared to experiment with a wide range of touches and strokes, locations and techniques. What works for one couple might not work for another. Focus on your breathing, and breathe mindfully to keep yourself in the moment. You might try exhaling when your partner inhales (a useful technique to prolong sex and foster mindfulness).
Engage in as much skin-to-skin contact as possible, not just involving the erogenous zones. With tantra, every part of the body can be erogenous. Deliberately slow your breathing down as you approach orgasm. This can be quite challenging, as we instinctively tend to breathe more quickly when we are especially aroused, but by slowing down respiration, we can prolong and intensify orgasm.” Inhale into your lower abdomen and allow it to fill like a balloon through the lungs.
Exhale by contracting the lower abdomen to fully expel your breath slowly. Breathing this way slowly releases more oxytocin, a chemical produced in the brain that is associated with strong feelings of love and pleasure, creating greater connectivity with your partner. In men, practicing adopting this style of breathing means they can achieve orgasmic release without ejaculation, while in women, it can encourage multiple orgasms.
We-Vibe’s relationship expert Dr. Becky Spelman is a registered psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist. She treats a whole range of issues at her private practice in London.