Is Tantra for Me?
I’m excited to be talking about this powerful practice. It’s had a profound impact on my life… personally and romantically.
I’ll suggest that before you can decide if Tantra is right for you… (even right for a bit of exploration before you think about trying it in your life…) it might be good to understand what this practice actually is.
Tantra, originally a set of Eastern spiritual practices, became synonamous with sex as it was brought into our western culture. The adaptation isn’t surprising given the long-standing repression of sexuality in America where for many sex has been a “dirty” word. Many men and women alike have craved something deeper when it comes to sexuality as well as looked for a more honoring and sacred relationship to this powerful act. Still others have had “phenomenal” experiences sexually causing them to look for explanations that Tantra can provide.
Although in Eastern traditions there are actually 108 Tantras, or spiritual practices, less than 10 have anything to do with sex. Yet here Tantra has come to mean sex. Originally these practices incorporated spiritual activities like meditation, yoga, chanting, symbology, and rituals. The practice of Sexual Tantra here, also referred to a Red Tantra, does incorporate these spiritual activities. Each of these spiritual tantras or practices, sexual or not in nature, were designed to bring the “practicer” closer to God or the divine.
So with that background, you know that Tantra doesn’t have to mean sex and you know it’s founded in spiritual tradition with an intention of becoming closer to God. With that being said, you don’t have to believe in God or the divine, to practice Tantra, or what we’ll here call Sacred Sexuality. You can practice with the desire or intention to simply discover what you discover or experience what you experience. Then you can decide how to describe your experiences and discoveries.
So why would you want to explore this realm of Sacred Sexuality that might bring the divine into your lovemaking when so many spiritual traditions seem to shun it? For me, it was really that very reason. It felt to me, without any education or teaching, that there was more to sex than I understood, even somthing sacred… although I certainly couldn’t have put words to it back then. It felt like such a powerful experience and I knew the intense and deep energy that could move sexually.
As I reflect on my 8 years of Tantric practice I’ve found 6 particular ways it impacts our lives. It’s awakening and healing. It expands our capacity for love and pleasure. It connects us to ourselves, each other, and the divine. It aligns our body, heart, and spirit and, when focused, it manifests our heart’s desires.
Through Tantra I’ve found more access to pleasure in my body. I’ve found deeper connection with myself and my sexuality. I’ve discovered the power of intention in sexuality where I couldn’t imagine it before. I’ve let down walls of protection and found freedom in all new ways even when sharing Tantra with a partner. I remember one of my very first experiences where after finding my g-spot, or as we call it in Tantra, my sacred spot, I found myself in tears of joy, apology, awakening, and reconnection to a long-repressed part of my body.
If you decide to explore Sacred Sexuality, you’ll learn and experience breathing practices that more deeply connect you to your partner or expand the pleasure in your body. You’ll find heart-opening practices and invitations to share deeper intimacy. The practices begin before you ever reach the bedroom, continue through every moment of your connection including foreplay, intercourse, and orgasm!
I don’t know what Tantra could bring to your life… but I know it’s changed mine immensely. And, for those singles out there, I was single when I decided to explore Tantra. I’ve had powerful experiences as both a single and in relationship.
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.