Ancient wisdom is a tool to explore new ways of having meaningful sexual experiences.
Let's take a minute and chat about sex. What is sex? The definition in Merriam-Webster Dictionary leaves a lot to be desired:
1: either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male especially on the basis of their reproductive organs and structures.
2: the sum of the structural, functional, and behavioral characteristics of organisms that are involved in reproduction marked by the union of gametes and that distinguish males and females.
3: SEXUAL INTERCOURSE.
No wonder we get confused, flustered, and left unsatisfied as a society within our unique sexual experiences. We have been led to believe that in order to “have sex” we must have intercourse.
What Webster fails to put into words is the sacredness of sex of any kind of sexual encounter, and the union between bodies, individuals—the coming together of souls, an exploration of movement and freedom.
Tantric sex comes in as a tool to broaden our definition of sex and what we hope to give and receive through the experience.
Now, let's talk about Tantric Sex. What is it exactly?
Tantric Sex is a meditative practice that involves deep-rooted intimacy that can be performed alone or with a partner. The idea is to eliminate the end goal of reaching orgasm and instead cultivate a deeper mind-body connection and an enlightened state of presence.
Tantra is an ancient Hindu Sanskrit word that means to “weave”. One way to think of Tantric sex is ‘the weaving and expansion of energy.’ A deeper description of Tantra in Sanskrit is a system of joining masculinity and feminity or “dark and light” energies by using practices that weave these energies together to create one union.
This “way” of having sex is not often practiced in Western Society. We have created a standard around sex that we must reach an end goal without fully experiencing raw connection through the power of touch or breath. Tantric sex is often used as a tool for healing, to help those who have been wounded by sexual experiences by opening new ways of exploring touch that honors the body and the soul. The practice is gentle, slow, and must be performed with patience.
How To Get Started With Tantric Sex
Incorporating Tantric sex takes practice and can take time to feel fully comfortable. The practice can feel vulnerable and strange at first because we are not always conditioned to experience sex in a mindful, present way. Below are a few ways to begin the practice but with continued commitment, the experience can become customized and free.
Create a sacred space for yourself or you and a partner.
Take time to prepare a space that promotes intimacy and that feels ultra calming, soothing and of course, comfortable. Dim the lights, light candles, play meditative music.
If trying with a partner begin by facing each other.
Either with cross-legs or try starting in the “Yab-Yum” position. The practice can start clothed or not, depending on your comfort level. Start by looking into each other's eyes and begin by breathing together. After you find a rhythm of breath together you can experiment with speaking loving words.
Begin taking turns with soft touch remembering that the practice of Tantric sex is not to reach orgasm or to have intercourse (there are no rules against any of this, though). The idea is to remember that there is no end goal other than to feel completely connected and relaxed with yourself and another.
Stay present with one another.
Continuing to use eye-contact as a guide, allow for breathing and touch to guide the rest of the way.
Again, incorporating this practice requires patience and remaining curious, so it may take time to find which aspects of it work for your body, mind and soul. Because Tantric Sex is thousands of years old and has been practiced in various ways for centuries there are vast amounts of resources that can be used to explore the many layers of the practice online and through books.
Courtney Jay Higgins is the Associate Editor at The Good Trade. She is also a Yoga Instructor, vegetarian, wellness and fashion enthusiast. Originally from Colorado, her soul found California when she came to get her degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising. She has a background in telling a story through writing, creative direction and content creation. Her online blog hosts her unique perspective on the mergence of fashion and spirituality.