Tantra is a religious practice commonly performed by followers of Buddhism or Hinduism. It can be incorporated in all areas of life, including your sexual experiences.
So what is sexual tantra?
The purpose is to focus on igniting your physical and spiritual awareness, and there are plenty of ways to do that. Some people use breath work, mindfulness, or focusing on their chakras to tap into tantra.
This is useful for anyone who has an interest in giving it a go because, let’s face it: Sex can often become a means to an end, whether you’ve been with the same partner for a long period of time or you’re simply focused on getting yourself off that night. Tantra, on the other hand, challenges you to switch from an orgasm-focused mindset towards “the journey to get there” instead. And as you tap into tantric sex, you might discover new experiences and senses, and feel an increase in intimacy and a strengthened connection with your partner. Some people who practice tantra also report that their sex sessions last longer.
Before learning about how to engage in tantra, it’s important to understand that you shouldn't get stuck on these, or any other suggestions. Let things flow, be present, and work from within. Getting too worried about whether you are “doing it” correctly will take away from the experience. Furthermore, it’s important to note that the benefits associated with tantric sex aren’t typically achieved on the first try; it is a process that will take practice.
Sexual Tantra Techniques
Using breathing techniques can heighten your senses. Many practitioners believe that these techniques are fundamental to achieving the benefits of tantra.
If you’re already familiar with meditation, you can jump into your established practice. Focus on sending your breath down to your stomach and back up your spine. If meditation is new to you, download a meditation app or switch on an audio track for some guided help.
Partnered breath work uses the same techniques as a solo practice — you’re just inviting someone else into your awareness and space. There are a variety of positions you can try with your partner to help intensify this experience, if you want to progress from a simple shared meditation practice.
One partner sits in the other’s lap, with their legs wrapped around the torso of the person who sits at the base. The base person can wrap their arms around their partner’s torso.
Match your breathing patterns by breathing in, holding the breath, and releasing the breath at the same intervals. Try to maintain eye contact to build the connection, deepen your energy flow, and establish your presence in each other’s peditation.
One partner straddles the other and lies back on the legs of the person at the base, who in turn leans over so their chest connects with their partner’s torso. Establish and maintain the same breathing pattern, and allow the breath to flow in and out of your bodies in sync.
Hand on Heart
Sit across from your partner, place your hand on their chest, and sync your breathing by following each other’s heartbeats. This is a helpful position to try if you are struggling to sync up your breathing patterns through boxed breathing or other counting techniques.
Keeping eye contact is another way of intensifying your tantric sex practice and exploring new senses. Experts recommend that you break eye contact as little as you comfortably can. You might laugh, or feel self-conscious at first — remember that there’s no pressure, and no way of doing it “wrong."
For many people, the focus of practicing tantric sex is to make sex a process — remember that saying about the journey, not the destination? Consider this a sign to take the end goal of an orgasm off your mind, go slow, and enjoy each step.
Tantra practice recommends you divide activities into different sections, such as spending five minutes kissing while making eye contact; before moving to five minutes of touching each other’s erogenous zones, but not the genitals. If you want, return to kissing, or to five minutes of touches and foreplay. Enjoy yourself for as long as you and your partner feel like it, keeping communication open and trying to avoid any expectation. Remember to stay present as best as you can — if you find yourself wandering off, focus on syncing your breathing again and follow what feels good.
Five minutes is just a guideline, and you can establish different windows of time as you feel inclined to. The main idea is that splitting your sex session up into individual elements can help you slow things down and tap into the full experience, bit by bit.
Overall, if tantric sex sounds far off from your current sexual practice, I encourage you to spend a week or two trying yoga or meditation, both of which require breathwork and body awareness. The point is to open yourself up to a deeper sense of peace.
Finally, if sexual tantra becomes a common ritual of yours, I encourage you to do further research into additional tantric practices. The recent increase in the popularity of tantra means you’ll likely be able to find local classes or sessions to guide you in the process.
- Ullery, Elizabeth K. "Consideration of a spiritual role in sex and sex therapy." The Family Journal 12.1 (2004): 78-81.