The Tantalizing Tease of Tantra
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The Tantalizing Tease of Tantra

By Emmeline Peaches, 31.01.2020

Have you ever caught yourself just staring deeply in to your partner’s eyes? Tracing their features with a slow half-gaze, breath shallow as you gently take them in, body and soul? If so then you’re already partially acquainted with the sexual potency of Tantra.

What Is Tantra?

Rooted in the traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism, Tantra is a Sanskrit word which literally means to ‘loom’ or ‘weave’. Working on this basis of unity Tantra teaches its practitioners that true enlightenment is found in the perfect balance between masculine and feminine energies—represented by the deities Shiva, male energy, and Shakti, female energy.

More Than Sex
This balance can definitely be interpreted as sexual (and often is) but in a broader sense Tantra is much more concerned with the reverence and celebration of each other’s natural desires. In merging these through sensual acts it hopes to allow both individuals involved to transcend and reach true bliss.

How Old Is Tantra?
As an esoteric belief system, Tantra has existed in some form or another for about 5,000 years. But (much as with any ‘ancient’ tradition receiving new hype) modern Tantra is an amalgamation of knowledge passed down through text and word of mouth, transformed with each generation and act of cultural assimilation.

As Tantra becomes popular in the West (boosted by Sting’s infamous comments on the art of Tantra) the version of Tantra that we practice can be considered as even more of a modern construct rather than a truly pure practice.

Although there’s always a desire to stay true to the core values of ancient beliefs it’s probably a good thing that Tantra changes with the times, at least a little. For example Tantra can definitely benefit from being given an LGBTQ approach, making it more accessible for queer and trans individuals (who may find the polarizing energies of masculine and feminine isolating at first glance).

So What Does Tantra Actually Involve?

Anything you want! Okay, now to give a more concise answer. Because Tantra is predominantly concerned with near-spiritual reverence and unity between two individuals its main focus is on slow, loving, and affectionate acts. And there’s certainly a few guidelines for how to go about this.

Create a Tranquil Space
With Tantra you are encouraged to create a sacred space for your sessions—somewhere that has been laid out with great care for the session that you have planned ahead. This area should have a focus on relaxation and creating a soothing ambience. Dim the lights and get some pillows ready. Anything to make you both feel at ease.

Stop and Enjoy Each Other’s Company
When engaging in Tantra you can expect to take it slow and steady—so as to actually pause, take a break from life’s struggles, and actually relish each other’s company. Some good ways to do this are through a shared meditation—where you sit opposite each other and focus on your breathing and your partner’s breath. In that moment only the joint action of breathing together matters, which Tantra tells us gives a sense of unity and intimacy.

Stare in to each other’s eyes. It’s awkward at first but practice makes purpose. Treat this as another form of meditation and allow yourself to truly get lost in your partner’s gaze. If you feel the need to act intimately at this point then do so but only with respect and gentle motions. Patience is a virtue, especially with Tantra.

Begin Making Physical Contact
Physical contact is encouraged in Tantra but sex isn’t the end goal—unified reverence is. It is perfectly possible to have a full tantric experience without any penetration (orgasms are optional too). With this in mind begin by taking turns kissing or caressing each other’s bodies, allowing that flow between your two bodies to naturally guide your movements.

Try mirroring each other’s movements if it helps, or simply move in to an embrace and pay close attention to the rise and fall of each other’s chest as you breathe while intertwined. You could also treat each other to a massage, gently caressing each part of the body as if it were the first chance you had truly been given to prove your dedication to your partner and to celebrate their beauty.

Make sure that, in every instance, this is a give and take. You certainly don’t need to be keeping an orgasm tally but there should be a sense of equal satisfaction in the actions at hand. At first this may need to be verbally communicated. Over time it will evolve into a very intuitive form of non-verbal motions.

But If There’s No Sex Then How Do I Know If It’s Over?
The penetration may be optional but the sexual energy of the Tantra is undeniably present in almost every act. Much as the activities between you are personal (and personally defined) so, too, is your end point. Most people will find that Tantric sex sessions meet a natural conclusion—as the participants involved settle in to a warm and tender embrace. This isn’t a true end, either, but more an extension of the Tantric act, which is then carried on throughout the day and beyond. Think of it like long-term aftercare in between intense scenes where you nurture and honour each other during sex and everyday life.

Tantric sex sessions meet a natural conclusion — in a warm and tender embrace.

However, if you do find yourself struggling to decide when your Tantric session is over then don’t feel like you’ve failed. Like yoga, meditation, or any other form of spiritual and/or mindfulness practice, Tantra takes time to learn and is an ever-growing practice between you. As long as you take the time to tend to your Tantric practice—and each other—then you will eventually find a space where you naturally relax, content in the moment. What could be more desirable than that?

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