After many centuries of repression worldwide, sexuality has been newly discovered in recent decades – helped by the current Information Age, which has brought revelation and greater education to this area for everyone from teenagers to senior citizens. Sexuality has experienced some of its most shining moments in modern times, leading to rising interest in tantric sex. With its promises of prolonged lovemaking, multi-orgasmic pleasure for both men and women, transcendent states of consciousness, and deeper intimacy, the tantric approach to sexuality appears to fulfill our deepest desires and redeem our natural birthright to sexual liberation. And indeed it does – as long as authentic teachings are at the forefront of this extraordinary practice.
This, of course, begs an important question: How does one identify genuine teachings or recognize whether they have been diluted to reach the masses? Read more below and learn the four vital components that authenticate true tantric sexual teachings and differentiate them from imposter adaptations.
But first, let’s explore the ancient roots of tantric sex…
Tantric sex is derived from the greater system of Tantra, which emerged some 3,000-5,000 years ago according to ancient texts.Tantra is as whole and complete a spiritual system as the most organized religion out there, if not more so. It unveils life’s greatest mysteries and encompasses a vast sphere of knowledge related to our existence and the universe from which we spring forth – all within the realm of and in accordance with the universal laws of energy. The tantric scriptures describe astrology, astronomy, energy, cosmology, birth, death, reincarnation, karma, philosophical doctrines, Yoga, meditation, the sacred process of conceiving a child, marriage, health, purification, spirituality, and yes, even sexuality. It is important to note that the sexual teachings represent only 5 percent of the entire realm of tantric knowledge.
The tantric approach to sexuality appears to fulfill our deepest desires and redeem our natural birthright to sexual liberation.
As evident by the increasing popularity of sex coaches, sex classes, and pornography or sex-based websites, people are seeking revolutionary ways to spice up their sex lives and make sex more interesting, satisfying, and mind-blowing. Coincidentally, sex is also very widespread and accessible nowadays by contrast with a few decades ago. This is easily explained; as with everything that attains such massive popularity, it simply comes down to one thing – demand.
Some might say this trend toward more visible and widespread sexuality is indicative of a more liberalized and progressive society, where social and cultural mores have become relaxed. However, it may actually only confirm what advertising giants have long known and used as the basis of their marketing strategies: sex sells. Nudity and sex have become ubiquitous, leading us to become somewhat desensitized and unrefined in our appreciation of the true nature of our sexuality and the purpose of our sexual energy.
Due to this obsession with sexuality, Tantra as a whole has been reduced to merely sex practices and tantric sex has been equated with kinky positions, playful rituals, and cuddle parties. Modern self-proclaimed tantric practitioners who are fixated on the small percentage of tantric teachings related with human sexuality have diluted the knowledge, modified the attributes that define tantric sex practices, and rendered it as Tantra.
The result has been that common perceptions of Tantra and tantric sexuality are misguided and founded in “neo-style” teachings and false prophets – not the genuine, original teachings. Unfortunately, this has inevitably led to confusion and the weakening of an otherwise powerful and potent system of knowledge.
While a dim picture may have been painted above, it is important to note that this is not a crusade against neo-tantric teachings – beautiful experiences and benefits can still be gained. However, they are not backed by history, lineage, and veritable results. This is key for the spiritual aspirant who wishes to transform into a true tantric man or woman and prosper from the mysterious effects authentic tantric sex practices can generate.
Here are four key ingredients that characterize true tantric sex teachings:
1. Conservation: In Ayurveda it is known that by having sex frequently we exhaust ojas (an energy in its subtle form which each of us is born with in a finite amount) and, as a result, different diseases and health disturbances can occur such as premature aging, sexual dysfunction, cancer, early menopause, disorders of the nervous system, and many others. However, tantric sex offers specific techniques and practices that teach a practitioner how to conserve this precious life force energy. By practicing this energetic retention or “continence,” health is maintained and a person can remain vital and strong into old age. Men learn how to orgasm without losing their sexual energy and women discover deeper and more profound orgasms that are not discharging in nature. Thus, neither men nor women lose ojas. One could go so far as to say that there is no Tantra or tantric sex without the conservation of the sexual energy.
2. Practice: To learn how to preserve and conserve the sexual energy takes both time and diligent effort. A practitioner does not become tantric overnight in the same way an average person does not become a bodybuilder in a matter of days. A bodybuilder must eat incredibly clean and healthy, count calories, take supplements, weight train daily, and essentially devote his or her whole life to a serious goal. Becoming a tantric man or woman requires the same drive and determination. Authentic teachings should include specific techniques and daily practices that help transform one’s mind, body, and spirit into those that support the tantric way of life.
3. Energy: As with all things Tantra, tantric sex involves the harnessing and use of energy. Sex is not tantric in nature without the conscious control and integration of energy in a precise way, as defined by the ancient tantric texts. When genuine practices and rituals are involved, this evolved way of lovemaking helps people become aware of subtle energies within themselves and their partners, as well as the universe as a whole. Awareness inspires acceptance that we are beyond the gross, physical body and there are vital energy currents that run through us and to us. We realize energy is not just a vague and abstract concept, but is in fact tangible and discernible. Tantric sex trains us how to move energy in both ourselves and our partners. Sensations during the act of lovemaking become exponentially and automatically enhanced due to the simple addition of consciousness. Energy was always present, but now that we recognize it, our sensitivity is elevated to a whole new level of perception.
4. Purity: In order for the energy to flow without obstruction through innate channels in the human energy system, the pathways must be unimpeded – free of blockages and clear of debris or impurities. True tantric teachings will always embody a pure lifestyle on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually – and will provide the guidance and instructions for achieving this.
Tantric sex compels a person to look at sex differently. It does not set in motion a race to the finish line to appease carnal urges, but rather invokes a slow and sensuous approach to deep interaction with another human being. Through practice, our mind experiences a shift in perception and reality whereby we can release our addiction to an ultimate climax and experience whole-body orgasmic energy. We become hyper aware and hypersensitive to touch, the breath, the presence of energy, vibrations, and subtle nuances in the emotional state of our partner. There is complete presence and sexuality transforms into an ecstatic experience of totality. Tantric sex teaches us that it’s not about the end result; the process itself is mesmerizing and the journey exhilarating.
The tree is known by the fruits it bears. In your quest to attain the tantric dimensions of sexuality, ensure that you pursue teachings that can take you there. Many contemporary, new-age approaches have modernized the original practices and guide seekers away from the essential and fundamental ingredients that define tantric sex and toward feel-good, pleasure-seeking decadence. Devoid of its true heritage and lineage, the promised fruits of this practice and its potential are no longer guaranteed. However, studying the authentic path of Tantra with a legitimate teacher will take you down the beaten path to known results.
Founder and Head Teacher
Spiritual yogi, lecturer, teacher and author, Somananda is the founder and head teacher of Somananda Tantra School.
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