Tantric Sex

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What can Tantra do for you?

“The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom…for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.”  William Blake (English visionary Mystic, Poet, Painter and Engraver. 1757-1827)

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” Oscar Wilde (Writer, Poet, Playwright. 1854-1900)

These two sayings epitomise what Tantra is about. Many spiritual traditions are against life, against pleasure, against emotions. They talk of love but their version is an abstract, it’s universal and God-given in which they seek to imitate whilst resisting the sensual realities of human love shared physically. For Tantra sex is a metaphor, a symbol and a practice for the experience of joining with the God/Goddess in mystical union. Other traditions will talk about the ecstasy of these mystical experiences as being released from the solitude of being locked in your individual experience as a body, again, in abstract terms as a result of meditation and other practices like Yoga. Tantra says the ecstasy of sex and intimacy, in which you truly reach out of yourself into your partners through love and sex, are both pointers to and methods for achieving mystical union as a reality. In a way the sexual practices of Tantra by enhancing and developing your capacity for pleasure prepares you for the greater bliss of the spirit that can come when we reach for the mystic.

Even if this all sounds like spiritual, New Age gobbledegook the practices of Tantra have the practical application of helping you develop your capacity for giving and receiving pleasure and participating in intimacy. Many people, including those with a mystical bent think of the physical as simply physical. Sex is just sex. But the reality is to get the greatest experiences of tantric sex all of who you are comes into play. For example, there is a myth around that men can be very impersonal about sex, as if women are different, more emotional. On the surface this may be true, but men talk about great sex. They don’t always question what great sex is because they are often just happy to be getting any. The deeper truth is most men are in and prefer to be in relationships, and equal numbers men and women break relationships with dishonesty and infidelity. The reality is that sex is always emotional, even if it appears not to be. Using sex as a tool for self-aggrandisement and pleasure without consideration of your partners is still the product of your emotional relationship with yourself and with your partners, and finally with sex itself as an act. Avoiding emotion and its attachments is a very emotional choice.

Tantra teaches first you must love yourself. So cliché! What does it mean? First it is about how you talk to yourself inside, how you relate to your weaknesses, to your vulnerabilities (which are not the same as weaknesses) and to your strengths and talents. When you make a mess of something how do you treat yourself? How do you go about organising yourself to achieve your goals in life and how do you cope with and respond to obstacles that get in your way? It is how you use your inner critic to improve, what tones of voice you talk to yourself in, what kind of language you use.

These are important because the more intimate you become with your partners the more likely you are to speak to, treat them the way you do yourself. The way you relate to your body, to your pleasures will profoundly affect how you relate to and seek to give pleasure to your partners. Tantra acknowledges that sex and intimacy are the most important and therefore sacred experiences most people participate in. The aim then is to expand and intensify the specialness of sex by ritualising it. There are two basic ways of intensifying your attention to the sensual reality of your experience of life around you now – fear and desire. Tantra uses desire. Imagine that you paid attention to every moment of your life when desire is most intense, the way you do to a lover before and during sex, to someone you feel passionately in love with, so that you feel passionate love for the most ordinary parts of your life and those in it.

The first practices of Tantra are for the individual before you have a partner. They are about the experience of your life. Then comes being intensely aware of the way you interact with the people in your everyday life. Finally it comes to learning understanding the way you participate in pleasure which is best epitomised by how you participate in sex (not “do sex”, because that’s too impersonal), knowing your partners’ body and your own, how pleasure works physically, emotionally and together with others.

So the first practice is the mindfulness you may have heard of. Paying attention to your body as you go about your daily life – where are your hands, feet, hips and back at all times. Breathing is the key, an ordinary activity that takes into the highest most intense awareness of sensuality even in ordinary life. Many people are so focused on the goals and emotions of the situations they are in that they forget to notice the simplest sensations of their bodies, how they are breathing.

If you pay attention to your body as you interact with other people in your life, your relationship with the emotions and goals changes – not only do they intensify but you become more centred in yourself and your space clarifying who you are and what you want, and how to get it.

Christopher Michaels teaches workshops and gives couple and singles advice on how to grow your knowledge of Tantra and applying it to your experience of daily life and love. For more info head on to http://deepconnecttantra.com/ 

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