Tantra / Tantric sex – what is it?

Are you familiar with the practice of Tantra? Does the term make you think of spiritual ‘woo woo’? Do you association it with yoga or religion or do you think it’s some kind of sleazy sex practice?

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The first I heard of Tantra was a mention of it in the movie “Go” (starring Katie Holmes – pre-Tom Cruise). Imagining discovering tantra with the gorgeous Marcus, the character who described hours spent love making with his girlfriend, left me with pleasant associations of the term.

When I met a guy recently who admitted to being a tantra devotee I was more than a little intrigued. I started looking into a bit, and when the opportunity presented itself to participate in a weekend “Art of Love” workshop in my capital city, I couldn’t resist signing up.

So what is Tantra? Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more in a few weeks, but in preparation I’ve spent some time searching the internet and thanks to Wikipedia and Google, I think I have a basic understanding…

Originating over 3000 years ago in India, Tantra is said to be born of the blissful practices of the god Shiva and his wife Shakti… the ‘yoga of love’ (a beautiful story if you’re interested in mythology). Tantra had a strong influence on both Hinduism and Buddhism.

According to André Padoux, “Tantrism” is a western term and notion. As the interest in Tantra has grown in the West, it’s perception deviates remarkably from the Tantric traditions. It is seen as a “cult of ecstasy”, combining sexuality and spirituality to correct Western repressive attitudes towards sex. Hence for many modern readers Tantra is now synonymous with “spiritual sex” or “sacred sexuality,” a belief that sex should be recognized as a sacred act capable of elevating its participants to a higher spiritual plane.

The practice is used to develop a deeper and spiritual connection with your partner; to build and prolong sexual pleasure with no emphasis on orgasm to enhance your physical pleasure and personal connection. It’s-about-the-journey-not-the-destination kind of sex. Sounds fun!

Margot Anand encapsulates it beautifully: “The Tantric path teaches us to embrace and unify the ordinary, the erotic, and the sacred dimensions of life…”

I’ll keep you posted 😉

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