Tantra, the millenary holistic spiritual tradition from India and Tibet, considers sexuality as one of the avenues to achieve higher states of consciousness, universal love, and deep connection with our partner and the whole universe.
Because of the relevance given to sexuality, Tantra has developed techniques to allow sexual energy to run more freely and abundantly in our bodies.
Here is a selection of some of the Tantric “tricks” to supercharge our sex lives. These techniques are “unconventional” just insofar as the conventional way of making love has veered away from the limitless potential for ecstasy, connection and elevation that all of us can experience in sexuality. As with anything Tantric, we are our own laboratory and all it takes is experimenting with these techniques and observing the results.
This one may sound deceptively simple, but don’t let yourself be fooled. If we carefully observe our breathing pattern during sex, we may notice that, in certain moments, we hold the breath or breathe shallowly.
Holding the breath during sex stops the circulation of sexual energy and prevents relaxation. It is one of the main causes of premature ejaculation, anorgasmia, and a host of other sexual dysfunctions. We tend to stop breathing during sex because of our inability to cope with intense stimulation…and intense pleasure! Yes, stopping the breathing is a “defense mechanism against pleasure.”
Breathing shallowly, on the other hand, can produce a certain excitation and a superficial arousal of the sexual energy. It can be fun in certain situations, but a shallow breath does not allow us to experience the deeper and more fulfilling orgasmic states.
While making love, we can try to breathe deeply, slowly, and with awareness. If we notice that our partner is holding their breath, we can ask him/her to breathe deeply as well. Breathing deeply produces a powerful shift in the energy circulation: pleasure starts running abundantly through our body, and at the same time we relax.
To make breathing even juicer, we can try sounding our exhalations. We can sigh, moan, cry, whisper, or chant! Using the breath as our ally, our sexuality becomes a powerful energetic practice.
2. Using the daytime.
In other words: making love when we are rested and full of energy rather than when we are tired and sleepy can help a lot. For most people, this translates into reclaiming some daytime for their sexual enjoyment.
We often relegate sexuality to the last time spot in a long, busy day. It is no wonder then, that we often struggle in finding the depth and connection that sexuality may offer. It’s pretty obvious if you think about it—would you do anything important and valuable when you are exhausted? So, put that alarm clock one hour before and go to bed one hour earlier, moving the time for erotic play to the morning when you are well rested.
3. Looking into our partner’s eyes.
When kissing, hugging, or in sexual play, we often close our eyes. If done sporadically, closing our eyes allows us to savor the touch, smell, and flavor of our lover better. But if we keep our eyes closed for most of our sexual intimacy, something else may be at play. Even if we don’t realize it, we often close our eyes to withdraw from the experience. Setting aside the cases where we’re having uncomfortable sexual experiences—in which, the best thing we can do is stop them—we may unconsciously want to escape from: intense pleasure, intimacy, deeper connection.
When we make love while looking deeply into our partner’s eyes, this generates an incredibly deep connection. So, every now and then, it’s good to remind ourselves and our partners to make eye contact and connect through the eyes, the “windows to the soul.”
4. Forgetting about orgasm.
This may sound really counterintuitive. After all, orgasms are beautiful experiences and we all kind of want more of them. And isn’t sex about getting to the point where we experience orgasm? Not really. Saying that the purpose of sex is getting to orgasm is a bit like saying that the purpose of a dinner is getting to the dessert. Isn’t it better to enjoy all the courses, whether a dessert will be served or not?
Moreover, the paradox of orgasm is that it is very much like sleep: the more you seek it, the less likely you are to find it. Being orgasm-focused can turn our sexual experience into a marathon where each partner tries to cross the finish line first. This goal-oriented attitude prevents us from focusing on the present moment, and it can put ourselves and our partners under the pressure of “achieving it.” Learning to enjoy sexual pleasure with or without orgasm is a fantastic skill that, by the way, will help in having deeper and more frequent orgasms!
5. Taking pauses.
Once again, lovemaking is not a marathon. There is no need to hurry. If we have time (and we do need time if we are going to enjoy intimacy), taking a pause from lovemaking and then starting again is a delicious, juicy practice. We sometimes don’t take pauses because we are afraid that, if we stop even for a minute, the sexual connection will disappear. This is almost never the case. Pauses are delicious moments to connect on other levels: talk, hug, meditate together, or simply lay and rest. There’s no need to be shy of asking for a pause if we need one, nor to be offended if our partner asks for one. Would we really eat a delicious dinner, with many varied and exotic dishes, without taking any pauses?
6. Eating lightly if at all.
Another paradox of sex life is that we stuff ourselves with food (think romantic dinner), and then we engage in sexuality. But once digestion starts, it will avert much of the body’s energy. Sex is a complex activity that requires presence, coordination, intensity, and of course—energy. In other words, being on a full stomach isn’t the best condition for a powerful, energetic and intimate lovemaking session. How would we like to be, food-wise, if we were going to a dance? That will give us a great point of reference for how to balance sex and food.That might mean, of course, having that romantic dinner after rather than before…
7. Avoiding alcohol.
To conclude with the collection of paradoxes: sexuality often happens under the influence of alcohol. There is a false idea that alcohol actually makes sex better. This is far from true. Our bodies are equipped with all the necessary tools to make sex a heart opening, soul expanding, mind blowing experience. The only “function” of alcohol is to temporarily remove inhibitions, shyness, and other blockages that come up when we engage in intimacy. This is the reason why, all over the world, many men and women feel like they need to drink before they can muster the courage to connect to someone they like. But alcohol is not renowned for making us more present, alive, and sensitive, is it? And presence, aliveness, sensitivity are what we need if we really want to make sex into a transformative experience. We will be much better off working on our inhibitions through self-inquiry, therapy, counseling—till the moment when we are able to own our desires, and communicate them to others, without needing a drink.
There is much more that Tantra has to offer in regards to our sexuality and intimacy, but these seven simple tricks can already completely transform our sexual experience. Have fun!
Author: Raffaello Manacorda
Editor: Catherine Monkman