I have been practicing Tantric lovemaking for over seven years now.
I’ve also been blessed to have had many beautiful experiences of spontaneous heart opening and of shared expansion.
I’ve had lovemaking sessions lasting for hours and hours. I’ve had heart orgasms, full body orgasms, and energetic orgasms. I’ve learned to control my own sexual energy—and that of my partners.
But, I have discovered recently that there has been a problem—there has been a disconnect between my heart and my genitals. How was it possible to have all these powerful experiences with this blockage? And what could I experience if this blockage didn’t exist?
We will explore all this in this article, but first, a bit of how this all works:
Sexual energy is an incredibly powerful energy; it literally has the ability to create life. Tantra and Neo-Tantra embrace sex as a spiritual practice for this reason. The idea is to harness the sexual energy built up in the lower chakras, and bring that to the higher chakras that facilitate expanded states of consciousness like unconditional love, pure clarity, expansion, states of void, and states of oneness.
To give a brief overview of the chakra system, involving the sexual energy, it looks like this:
Muladhara/root chakra: the source of vitality and our sexual potency.
Svadhisthana/sacral chakra: the source of our desire.
Manipura/navel chakra: the source of our connection with our self as personality (our ego), has impurities such as anger and aggression.
Anahata/heart chakra: the source of love in the human system, the energy of selflessness.
Vishuddha/throat chakra: entering into the transpersonal realms.
Ajna/Third Eye: pure abstract symbolic understandings of reality.
Sahasrara/Crown Chakra: the experience of oneness.
Lovemaking is another term for sex, and is really only applicable when the sexual energy is brought to the level of the heart chakra. When we feel that we are merging with our partner, that overwhelming feeling of affection, caring, and goodwill for our lover naturally arises.
This doesn’t happen every time that we have sex though. Therefore, in my opinion, this term should be reserved for those times that this is true—when we are literally making love.
Why doesn’t this happen?
Most likely, each of you has experienced this spontaneous phenomenon—lovemaking that becomes overwhelmingly beautiful, with powerful feelings of love toward yourself, your partner, and the cosmos. This happens most commonly at the onset of a new relationship, when one is in the “infatuation stage,” that passionate, euphoric time of off-the-chart levels of dopamine and cortisol flooding through the system.
It may happen spontaneously at other points in a relationship, as well, especially while being reunited with your partner after a time of being separated due to distance, argument, extreme work conditions, and so on. When it happens spontaneously, it’s beautiful!
However it’s also possible to enter into this space, together, intentionally. For that to happen, many conditions need to line up. These include, but are not limited to:
>> True intention of both parties to enter into a loving space.
>> The ability of both partners to be vulnerable with each other.
>> Sublimation of the sexual energy, intentional or spontaneous.
>> Lengthy arousal time to build enough sexual energy to bring it to the heart or beyond,
>> A clean connection between one’s genitals and one’s heart.
We’re going to focus on the last of these.
Jeff Brown, author of Soulshaping and An Uncommon Bond, calls this the “heart-genital highway.” He beautifully elucidates this point in his “Apologies to the Divine Feminine (from a warrior in transition)“:
“I apologize for a sexuality that was objectifying and disconnected from the heart. I know you longed for real intimacy, a merging of our souls along the heart-genital highway. But there were too many defenses around my heart, and no bridge could form between our souls.”
He focuses on the blockages around the heart chakra, which are a real concern for most of us, but not the only problem. The other chakra directly involved in this connection is the sacral chakra, the chakra directly connected with the genitals and sexual desire.
But there is also the “bridge” between these two that must be considered—the navel chakra. So let’s take these one at a time. I will give the briefest of explanations and suggestions on how to do this work with the caveat that each of these could be the subject of an entire book, and the work on how to unblock/purify/open this chakra much depends on the circumstances of the individual’s life.
Anahata/Heart Chakra: It is at this level of consciousness that we begin to see beyond ourselves. So anytime that our consciousness is not this level or higher, we are by definition, objectifying others. We see them only as a reflection of ourselves in a narcissistic duality.
By allowing ourselves to experience the true, deep vulnerability of this level of being, we begin to allow the possibility for truly experiencing the humanity—and the divinity—of those that we interact with. But as Jeff Brown points out, we have so many defenses around our heart because of all the times that we have been hurt in the past. And so the practice here is one of slowly letting down our heart’s armor. Sometimes it is necessary for it to be “broken” for this to happen.
As Rumi says, “Yours is not the task to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” And Gangaji, ”The willingness to let your heart be broken again, and again, and again—that is living in love.”
The work at the level of Anahata is a gentle and persistent re-opening, de-armoring, an allowing, a return to powerful vulnerability. I’ll stress that to really take care of ourselves, this needs to be a gentle and persistent re-opening. Allow this process to unfold slowly, otherwise we risk (re)traumatizing ourselves.
Svadisthana/Sexual Chakra: This is the chakra that governs our sexual desire, and it is the dominant chakra and level of consciousness of humanity. Because we often inherit, at best, an impure and confused sexuality from our modern world, most of us have many distortions and impurities in this chakra. The main need here is to purify this level of the being. This purification may need to take place at the level of the physical body through massage, in the emotional body through psychological work, or at the level of the mental body by working with the subconscious.
Here, we are speaking of purification. In the modern world, especially for men, a very important part of this purification is to move away from pornography. In fact, it has been said that, “Tantra is the opposite of Porn,” and I believe it’s true. Without this purification, it is impossible to reunite our sexual desire with love—the goal of the genital–heart highway.
Manipura/Navel Chakra: This is the chakra that connects to the heart and the genitals. In the yoga tradition, it is said that one of the “knots” that must be untied for kundalini to ascend all the way to the crown is here. Meaning that this is an incredibly important point of focus!
This chakra’s positive qualities govern willpower, self-control, perseverance, and courage. Its negative manifestations are anger, aggression, and violence. It’s fundamentally about power. Violence, anger, and aggression come out of a feeling of powerlessness. Good boundaries, courage, and surrender come from being powerful.
The vast majority of humans are out of touch with their own power. One of the core wounds that nearly all of us have received from being born human, and being born in the Kali Yuga, is that of deficiency—not being good enough, and feeling powerless or disconnected from our power. And often, we have received these wounds from those that love us most—our parents.
As both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung pointed out, in childhood, there is initially an attachment for both boys and girls to the mother, and at a certain age that intensifies for boys and switches to the father for girls. This is often accompanied by a sense of rivalry toward their same sex parent.
It’s during this psychosexual development phase that so much of the violence between the sexes becomes fertilized in the new child. And there is so much violence in the world between the masculine and the feminine.
There are the obvious examples of violence, such as patriarchy and rape culture, and there are much less obvious ones as well. So much of this violence plays out in our sexuality. In fact, there is an incredibly subtle violence toward the feminine within the way that Tantra is commonly taught.
First, the amount of male Tantra teachers that violate their female students is disgusting. Secondly, Tantra often uses Shakti (energy) to get to Shiva (consciousness), rather than gently and lovingly inviting Shiva into Shakti.
There is so much in the contemporary Tantra world that is about sexual empowerment and sexual prowess, and these are teachings that I myself have benefited from and offer to others. However, this focus on sex often acts to fuel our distortions, and we end up solidifying our ego (layers of protection against our wounding) through sex, continuing to find love, validation, and empowerment.
So the work that needs to be done at Manipura chakra is the deep and honest exploration of our sense of powerlessness. A sincere seeing of how we are violent, especially toward those we love, especially through our sex. This work is not meant to result in anger and violence manifesting toward ourselves, but rather in a true healing. A true forgiveness. A true ability to love. And a clear connection between the heart and the genitals.
This is difficult work, going deep into our shadows to own the parts of us that hate and want revenge on our mother or father, but it is such important work. We can learn to stop projecting onto our partners and actually, honestly love from a place of essence.
Author: Amitayus Haga
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Erin Lawson