Sex Techniques and Positions
Tantric Sex - The Basic Principles
The word "Tantric", as applied to Tantric Sex, originates in India, where a Tantra is a written text which would have been some kind of written authority on sex, religion or spirituality.
In the Hindu tradition, the Tantra would be poured over by those wishing to achieve enlightenment, just as a mantra, a spoken chant or prayer, could produce spiritual enlightenment if used repeatedly and with the correct spiritual attitude.
Thus Tantric sex means sex where you follow a series of instructions or texts with the object of achieving spiritual enlightenment. It is not, repeat not, just about better sex; it is not just a way to achieve better orgasms....though that may be a welcome side effect!
The most famous of these potentially enlightening texts on Tantric Sex is probably the Karma Sutra, but there are others, since other religions besides Hinduism embraced the ideas behind the Tantras.
For example, think of the Anango Ranga, the Arabic Perfumed Garden, and Chinese pillow books like the T'ung Hsuan Tzu (otherwise known as the Tao of Sex) and the Japanese Shunga (also called the spring drawings).
Although these books seem archaic, they actually contain much informative and useful information on ways to improve sex, relationships and lovemaking.
For example, they offer much advice on positions, but as we all know, sex goes far beyond the simple act of finding new physical ways to express your desire: these texts also contain information on how to build and maintain a long term and committed relationship.
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Different expressions of Tantra
As I hinted above, there are many different ways in which Tantra has found expression, but since the objective is always enlightenment through sex, that, not surprisingly , is their common theme.
Sex is used as a means to focus your spiritual energy and guide it from base chakra to brain, to crown chakra, so that your sexual energy (or the sexual energy of your partner) finds its way to your brain, and takes you to another spiritual dimension.
Our objective on this website is to explain the simplest techniques and exercises which will help you to adopt some of the ancient Tantric practices for yourself, so that you can turn the glory of sex into a personalized spiritual experience, using any or all of the sexual positions recommended by the ancient texts, or other ones which are new to you and your partner. This gives you ample opportunity for experimentation, practice and play in your search for the spiritual aspect to sex.
What is Tantric sex about?
Well, as we said above, it's about enlightenment, and it is one of the four ways in which the ancient Hindu traditions claimed that you get to a more spiritual place. The other pathways were about social behavior and morality (dharma); another was about financial gain, material wealth and physical comfort (artha); and the one we are interested in is the path of kama - the way of love, sex and sensuous pleasure.
The Hindus were not inhibited about this, nor were any of the other practitioners of Tantra - we could do a lot to learn from their attitude, and incorporate sex into our thinking as an everyday bodily activity, a social function, and a god-given means of obtaining pleasure which is separate from its reproductive functions. The relevant text, as you may by now have realized, is the Kama Sutra - the summation of a spiritual approach to love, sex and the purely sexual pleasure of intercourse.
Rightly, the ancient writers in this field regarded sex as something that you could not suppress - it is a life energy, a force of the body (a force of nature, in fact), which, like drink, food and physical comfort, was essential to the well-being of both men and women.
If an urge is insuppressible, as sex so often seems, then how right the Tantrikas were to suggest that the better approach to dealing with our sexual impulses is to use them use for something that benefits both the individual and society - not just obtaining pleasure, but achieving enlightenment. This can be true of both sexual desire and sexual practices.
The Kama Sutra
The Kama Sutra is, therefore, a summary of Hindu sexual and erotic guidance. The guidance offered here is complete - from every stage of foreplay, with advice on how you can get yourself into the mood for sex (including which foods were reputed to have aphrodisiacal qualities), information on sex positions, kissing, courtship, and so forth. This is a complete sex manual for the people of its time - and for us, if we choose to listen to the advice which it has to offer.
Thus, the Kama Sutra was not just a collection of advanced sexual positions, but it also explained sexual health, the correct way to conduct yourself in a marriage, information on how to attract a partner, ways in which you can avoid the perils of adultery, and the best methods of erotic foreplay. As you may imagine, there is very little judgment around - sex is seen as a healthy and natural pastime, where what you do with your natural sexual powers is your own concern.
Love and Sex
The Tantric texts have much to say about human sexuality, but they all agree that sex is best enjoyed within a stable and loving relationship. To the Tantrikas, sex is not just something you do for pleasure, it's a deep and profoundly meaningful way of exchanging sexual energy.
Since sexual energy comes from the divine, the universal life force, the fundamental energy of the cosmos (also known as spirit, soul, chi, ki, kundalini, or cosmic consciousness), when you have sex with your partner, you actually exchange universal energy and you enter into a spiritual act of worship, an act of ultimate lovingness.
Shaking off what you've learned about your sexual inheritance
But of course getting in touch with this energy is hard if you're not comfortable with your own sexuality. Western society, for some reason (probably because of its religious traditions) has always seen sex as sinful or dirty, and we've all absorbed guilt and shame about our own sexuality, and it isn't easy to get rid of this....
But, to enjoy the true expression of love and sexuality that is the aim of Tantric practice, you must learn to be thoroughly relaxed about your body, your sexuality in general, and your lovemaking in particular, so you become a man or woman capable of giving and receiving loving sexual energy on a very intimate and personal level.
You need to start by developing a sense of love for your own body: indeed, you need to be able to love it as you would expect your lover to love it (i.e. with complete acceptance). But, like the rest of us in Western society, you have probably been brought up to think of the human body as irredeemably flawed if it does not conform to the images of perfection peddled to us by the beauty industry, the media, and the fashion industry.
Images of so-called perfection are all around us, especially images for women, who are faced with Western concepts of what female beauty should look like on every magazine cover, billboard and TV program they see. Which woman genuinely doesn't care what she looks like?
Which man wouldn't like a flatter belly or a bigger penis? Try and think of your lover as a person who sought you out so as to learn something profound, to use you as a channel for divine sexual energy, not as someone who wants a perfect lover with a perfect body. If you can do this, you will understand that your body is perfect for them just as it is.
Just how can you be comfortable with your body?
For genuine Tantric sex you must be relaxed about the appearance of your body. You must be willing to let your lover see it - and be comfortable with this - even if there are a few stretch marks or excess pounds around your waist, or your breasts and/or penis don't match up - in your opinion!
Remember, your true lover doesn't care what you look like - they love you just the way you are, and you are the person they want to be with, and you're occupying the body they want to enjoy. (By the way, if your lover keeps suggesting you change something about yourself, maybe you are not with quite the right person for Tantric sex...)
Make a start on loving yourself!
When you're alone, get a full-length mirror and stand completely naked in front of it. Look frankly at your reflection and listen to what is going on in your mind. The appearance of your body matters not - what matters is what you are saying to yourself about it.
Do you feel free, relaxed, sexy perhaps? Or ashamed and shy? When you stand naked like this, all the sayings and statements about you that people put in your head count for nothing - what matters is what you yourself believe to be true.
And only you can alter your perceptions, since only you have control over your sexual and spiritual energy. So the first and most important change you must make as you become expert in Tantric sex is to accept yourself, your sexuality and, most of all, your own body.
Of course your lover will perceive what you feel about yourself if you carry this with you when you make love, but it isn't anybody's responsibility but yours.
Such self-acceptance is required because Tantric Sex uses sex as a means to expand and enhance your sexuality and spirituality. It doesn't involve casual sex, group sex, gurus, celibacy or unsatisfying sex.
When you understand the importance of the energy generated, enhanced and exchanged during sex, you truly understand Tantric sex, and you then have a way to connect with the divine energy of the universe.
Next: what do you expect of sex, and of your partner? Start by writing down all the things that you expect from your partner. What do you want during sex, during periods of intimacy, as you make love?
What do you want to do to them? What do you want them to give you? How do you like to be held, touched, and caressed? What do you want them to give you, or to do for you?
And what do you not like? What would you like to try but have never dared to do? Write all this down and exchange it with your lover. Compare your answers and see what surprises there are in stall for you - but don't let this develop into a fight: the purpose is only to learn about what you and your partner want, since in Tantric sex there is neither right or wrong.
There is just non-judgmental acceptance and respectful recognition of each other's emotions, sexual desires and, especially, your sexual practices.