Tantric Sex 101: A Guide to a Deeper ConnectionBy ASTROGLIDE Team Sexual Health
You’ve probably heard about Tantra or the Art of Tantra, but that might be the extent of your knowledge on the topic. Well, don’t worry, we’ve tapped into some Tantric techniques from experts to get the download on what Tantric sex is—a sexual practice to enhance your sexual experience by creating deeper intimacy and potentially more powerful orgasms—and how to practice. You might want to share this one with your friends, too!
What is tantra?
The word Tantra – is a Sanskrit word that is two words – “Tan” to expand and “Tra” to bind. Tara L. Skubella, founder of Earth Tantra, expanded upon this saying that Tantra literally means “weaving for expansion.” It’s an energy movement within oneself and an exchange with others if you decide to share your energy. There are hundreds of practices/ and modalities in Tantra ranging from meditation and chakra breath work to ceremonies and sacred sexuality. Tantra is all-inclusive and many people are drawn to the sacred sexuality practices not understanding its just a small piece of Tantra.
According to Fiona Gilbert, Sexual Wellness & Fertility Consultant, Tantric principles are marketed as an ancient form of lovemaking to get a deeper connection with your S.O. Many people have visions of harems and strange positions or talking about having sex for hours. But it’s really about connecting with your body and connecting with your partner (if you choose to have Tantra with a partner).
Historically, Tantra comes from the Bhakti lineage of Eastern Spiritual Philosophy, which sees the Divine energy in everything, including sex. “Essentially, Bhakti, a wisdom path dating back thousands of years from India, encourages us to see and experience the divine in day-to-day life NOW, rather than waiting for some afterlife party in the sky. Regardless of your spiritual or religious path, or non-path, Tantric sex is a way to experience ourselves as a vast, alive and powerful being,” said Townsend.
Simply put, rather than seeing sex as “dirty” or to make babies, Tantra sees it as a way to experience the beauty of life and the essence of being human. We like the sound of that!
Plus, Tantra can benefit all people no matter their gender or sexual orientation. “As individuals, we grow a more defining connection to our feminine (Shakti) and masculine (Shiva) energies within. We all house both masculine and feminine energies. Learning to connect to our Shakti and Shiva is an important practice in Tantra,” said Gilbert.
What is tantric sex?
You may have heard singer, Sting once share that he had a seven-hour lovemaking session with no orgasm. If that’s your first thought of what tantric sex is, then think again! The reality is that Tantric sex is a guilt-free path of sex, not just for sexual pleasure or procreation but sex for a deep connection to your own orgasmic life whether you’re in a long-term relationship or single.
“Tantra is meant to be experienced, not read in a book. I suggest beginning with the pathway of Tantra. First, understand that you’ll be learning practices outside sacred sexuality and as an individual. When we are able to feel and connect to our energy centers and body, Tantra will begin to transform us,” said Skubella.
What are the benefits associated with Tantra?
As we’ve shared, Tantra is about all about the connection, either with your long-term partner or yourself. Gilbert suggests looking to Tantra in the following scenarios:
- If you’ve both been stressed out, whether that’s kids, work, aging parents, or just life which means you need to calm down and connect.
- If you’re trying to get pregnant and just need to bring it back to basics and just be.
- If you or your partner has been traveling, and need time to reconnect.
- If you’re experiencing sexual dysfunction in your relationship, either one or both of you.
- If you want to try something different.
By taking 10 – 15 minutes out of your day to connect with your partner, Tantra sex techniques can become a lifestyle.
For men, specifically, Tantric sex can help them get over erectile dysfunction issues, while women experiencing menopause can engage in Tantra to deal with dysfunction while still maintaining sexual contact. “Remember, a lot of menopausal and andropausal sexual dysfunction is caused by high-stress levels, so to be able to connect in a calm manner is a great way to solve many issues,” said Gilbert.
How do you get started with Tantric sexuality?
First, you and/or you and your partner should decide that Tantric sex is something you want to try. Remember, it’s super simple and not that crazy harem, strange positions, perfect timing, perfect setting, perfect mood thing imagine often portrayed in relation to Tantra.
Shasta Townsend, Holistic Sex Expert + Best-Selling Author, shares that you can start experiencing the depth of and arousal associated with Tantric sex by following three key rules:
- Let Go of Guilt: Sex can be a 100% guilt-free experience. Tantra encourages us to view sexual intercourse as a means, to not just pleasure or procreation, but as a tool to feel their own innate goodness. Giving yourself permission to experience sex as something life AFFIRMING will enable you to experience sex as ten times more satisfying.
- Get In Your Body + Out of Your Head: Tantric sex is so explosive because we learn to be present – a feeling many of us yearn for and one that few of us are really ever-present in. Our mind is usually running a mile-a-minute thinking about work, the grocery list and when we need to pick up the dry cleaning. Which makes for bad sex. Great sex starts by being IN THE MOMENT, and in the body.
So, start by just being present to sensation in your body. Your body is always in the present moment – it literally can’t be in the past or future, unlike your mind. Take the time to notice how your lover’s hands feel on your back, how you’re breathing, how your bodies move against each other.
Rather than judging, avoiding or fearing sensation, or thinking about the grocery list, allow those sensations and bring your focus to them.
- Get In Their Body + Master Presence: We all want to be better lovers, but few of us know what that really means. From a Tantric perspective, this means simply being fully present to our lover. Consider the last time you felt really seen and heard? Now imagine feeling that way during sex. Imagine if your lover felt that way with you. Masterful lovers are fully in the moment, compassionate, kind and paying attention. They respond as you respond.
Notice what’s happening in your lover’s body. Look into their eyes. Notice how he or she is responding. Are they moaning, breathing deeper, moving in some way? Are they maybe experiencing multiple orgasms during this session? What are the signals that they like this? Can you be fully aware of them, and the experience they are having and respond to them?
Pay attention. Be present. Respond.
Tantric Sex Positions For Beginners
Many experts agree that Tantric sex isn’t necessarily a series of sexual positions or postures, but rather a way of thinking, feeling and being. However, all the experts agree that the main component of Tantra is time. It’s important to take the time you need to connect and see whatever you need to in order to feel comfortable during the process.
With that said, there are some basic positions. According to Gilbert, this basic position is called Yab-Yum, where one partner sits cross-legged and the other partner sits on their thighs with legs wrapped around them looking into each other’s eyes. Or if needed you can modify this to lying down side-by-side facing each other. Try it for 10 minutes and just lay there breathing together.
“This is the standard position but it doesn’t mean it can’t be modified. No one needs to look like photos and diagrams of perfection. If there are joint issues, surgical issues, age issues, flexibility issues, disability issues, any issues, things can be modified. The most important thing is for BOTH partners to be physically and emotionally comfortable,” said Gilbert.
Beyond the positions, the foundations of Tantra lie within the ability to connect and move energy. Skubella says, “I recommend learning basic Tantric breath as an individual and then breath exchange before learning any positions. Sharing our most deep and intimate exchange of breath can release ample amounts of oxytocin and dopamine to ignite that flame within.”
Can you engage in tantra if you’re single?
Singles, don’t worry you can absolutely engage in Tantra solo. In fact, many Tantra experts recommend finding a true Tantric journey that you explore it as an individual. “Once we are more fully aware of our own individual energy, how to move it, what feels good, and which Tantra practices resonate with us the most, we are better able to live in our truth without attachment to outcomes with a partner,” said Skubella. Plus, we hear it can lead to not only powerful orgasms but also multiple orgasms.
Gilbert shared that, “Tantra is not just a connection with another person, it’s a connection with yourself. Practicing Tantra by yourself, where you know how different sensations and stimulations affect your physical and emotional being is a great form of meditation and it’s not only about orgasms.”
To practice Tantra solo, pick a time, setting aside 10-15 minutes, then take your clothes off and slide into clean sheets. Think about:
- How do the sheets feel on every part of your body, from head to toe?
- How does your favorite pillow feel around you, under you?
- What fabrics do you like better on your skin?
There you have it! Tantra 101. In a world that still sees many sexual hang-ups, and probably more bad sex than people would like to admit, remember that Tantra is an easy way to change that in your life.