Western sex practices yield an average of about 10 minutes of bliss, according to a recent study.
Yet, in India and the Far East, Tantric sex is practiced as a form of spirituality, enveloping its practitioners in hours-long ecstasy.
Why not spend a few delicious hours riding the wave, instead of 10 minutes?
Yet, tantra is far more than just drawing out the coitus process.
Studies show couples struggle to reconcile their high sexual expectations with an inability to express their sexual needs.
Today, many open-minded couples are banking on Tantric techniques to better these odds.
Recently, sacred sexuality and the use of ancient lovemaking techniques have taken centre stage on the New Age circuit. Tantric or sacred sexuality teachers draw heavily from the Tantric tradition, which has Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist influences, dating back 8,000 years. Tantric sex goes well beyond the physical realm and, like building your body, requires technique, devotion and practice to achieve enlightenment. Clearly, it cannot happen overnight. But Tantric sex is not your average kick at the sexual can. The path to enlightenment is one awesome trip!
While sexuality touches every part of our lives, this most pleasurable, life-affirming phenomenon is marred by abuse, exploitation and negativity, especially by Western religion. Tantra is the only spiritual path in which sex is sacred, whether in marriage or not. Tantra also runs counter to most religious codes by transcending procreation to an explicit search for enlightenment through hours of ecstasy. In Tantra, the sex act is a natural vehicle for exploring altered states as well as greater levels of intimacy. Achieving a state of sexual ecstasy is also viewed as a way of communicating with the Divine.
For well over 8,000 years, a sexually uninhibited culture was able to dissect its components so completely that you can actually build your sexual prowess as you can build your body or mind. In so doing, you honour the Divine rather than worship evil. From these beliefs, we can today reap the rewards of incredibly satisfying and intensely pleasurable sex.
Tantra is a spiritual tradition that embraces sex as a vital part of human nature. Margo Anand, a respected exponent of modern Tantric practices and author of The Art of Sexual Ecstasy, says Tantra originally developed as a rebellion against repressive, moralistic codes of organized religion, particularly India’s ascetic Hindu priesthood. It branched out and influenced Taoist and Buddhist traditions and influenced Western religious history through the cult of the Greek god Dionysius around 2,000 B.C. Today, many people have been exposed to energy healing, such as Chinese medicine, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch and others. Yet, except for the Taoists, few actually use the body’s most powerful energy centre, the sex centre, for the achievement of divinity, immortality and enlightenment.
Orgasm on Hold...The chief difference between Western and Eastern views of sexuality lies in the goal-oriented approach to orgasm. In Tantra, there is no beginning or end to sex, while in ordinary sex, the act is finished with male ejaculation. In Tantra, the plateau of pleasure is extended over time by delaying orgasm, especially male ejaculation, in order to build increasing levels of sexual energy for both partners. With meditation, breathing techniques and ejaculation control practice, a heightened state of ecstasy is achieved.
Tantra challenges traditional ideas and assumptions about sex. Genital-focused sex is viewed as but a stop along the way to achieving an ecstatic state. The importance of breathing and relaxation techniques, vocalizations, focus on certain energy centers of the body called chakras, as well as touch, all contribute to making Tantric is sex a more slow, meditative experience. Ultimately, it teaches you how to go from the explosive release of genital orgasm to the implosive orgasm of inner expansion.
Tantric sex involves ritual so setting the scene for lovemaking is crucial. Candles, incense, scented oils, plus a harmonious, calm, comfortable environment are all necessary. Devote an entire afternoon or evening to Tantric sex. Take time to really pleasure each other! This is an ideal way to learn exactly how and where your partner enjoys being pleasured. By emphasizing physical and sexual pleasure, Tantra also helps people overcome negative cultural conditioning about body image and sex.
Although Tantra challenges common ritual and religious views on sex and sexuality, studies show that the best sex takes place in committed, longterm, monogamous relationships. Clearly, a man would not delve into such intimate practices with a stranger he had just picked up at his local sports bar. You require the closeness of an exclusive relationship to reap the true benefits of Tantric sex. As a single male client said recently, “When I first started to explore Tantra, I thought a few exercises and some meditation could help me boost my casual sex conquests and performance. But I soon learned that authentic Tantra is a lot more involved than that!”
You must Sexercise to Maximize!…Tantrics use several key exercises to heighten their pleasure. Once you see their relevance to human physiology, human sexuality and extended pleasure, you too may wish to give Tantra a try.
In the book, Sexual Energy Ecstasy, authors David and Ellen Ramsdale say sexercises are designed to maximize sex muscle strength and control. Your arm muscles do their job well as you use them daily, but your sex muscles are rarely used, other than holding in urine or feces until you can hit the bathroom.
The main sex muscle is the pubococcygeus or PC muscle. This muscle contracts at the rate of once every 8 seconds in both sexes during orgasm. The rediscovery of the value of this muscle is credited to Arnold Kegel, a California physician, who developed the famous Kegel exercises in the 1950s to ease childbirth and stave off incontinence some women experience from pressure on the bladder during pregnancy. However, these muscles also have a profound effect on the intensity of orgasm for men and women.
Indeed, Kegel exercises are a re-discovery. Effective sexercises have been practiced in China and India for thousands of years. The Eastern sexercises were developed in cultures that placed less emphasis on the genital orgasm. Currently, sex experts tout the development of the PC muscle and other sex muscles as a way to achieve, intensify, prolong and control genital orgasm in both sexes. Given our culture’s endless stress on exercise, it’s bizarre that exercising your sex muscles isn’t more in vogue.
An Essential Find...Before you start your PC muscle workout, you must determine where this muscle is located. The PC muscle stretches between your legs, from genitals to anus. It is part of the pelvic floor in both sexes. The standard way to find it is to stop and start the flow as you urinate. Try it several times the next time you’re in the bathroom so you can form the mind-muscle connection. A man can stand in front of a mirror and make his penis move up and down as he squeezes his PC muscle. A woman can place a finger about one and a half inches into the vagina and squeeze. She’ll feel the vagina grasp it.
Once you have definitely found the PC muscle, start with quick or short Kegel squeezes. Contract the muscle 20 times at about one a second or faster, for one set. Do two sets your first day. Gradually build up to 75 reps twice a day. When you can comfortably do 75 quick Kegel contractions twice daily, add sustained or long Kegel movements.
Instead of holding the muscle contraction for a count of one, hold it for a count of 3. Start with 20 per set, two sets a day. Build up to 75 reps each set twice a day. Take your time. Avoid straining. The PC muscle is just like any other muscle. If you overdo it, it will become sore. A tightening of the muscles in the stomach and thighs may happen, no matter what you do at first. This is common. Once you have completely isolated the muscle, these extra contractions will ebb.
Build up to 300 reps a day. Once the PC muscle has been strengthened, a maintenance regime of 150 per day in one 3-minute session should suffice. Make these focused, committed contractions, just as you would do for any other muscle you work in the gym. You must relax between contractions or else the muscles will not respond as quickly. Relaxation is as important to your control as the contractions. If a man learns how to relax these muscles during intercourse, he can last much longer. Try to breathe in time with your clenches or count breaths. You may be holding your breath and not realize it.
Once you have mastered the squeezing, go to Step 2, the bearing down maneuver. After first tightening, then releasing the PC muscle, push down and out gently as if trying to have a bowel movement. This is the same sequence you would use for sexual arousal and control. You will feel the action of your stomach muscles and anus as you bear down. These are called push-outs. After you’ve developed good PC muscle strength, a useful variation is doing sets of reps that pair long Kegel clenches with strong push-outs.
Up Your Pleasure Potential…Men can easily add weight training to their Kegel practices! After achieving an erection, place a small wet towel on your erect penis. Move this towel up and down by squeezing your PC muscle. You can increase the size of the towel. Some East Indian Tantric males even use sandbag weights!
These exercises often arouse erotic feelings, which is simply part of the fun. Whatever your approach, develop your ability to focus your attention on your sensations for maximum results and enjoyment. Indeed, you may feel waves of bliss that have nothing to do with your environment at the time. They are not caused by an outside stimulus. They are internally generated. You are awakening your natural inborn pleasure potential.
The benefits of the Kegel exercises are numerous. You get more in touch with your genitals and sexual feelings, improve the blood flow to these areas and make orgasm more voluntary. Women can use them to firm up the muscles of the vagina after childbirth. And Kegel exercises have helped many non-orgasmic women become orgasmic. Muscle strength, sensitivity and control gained through Kegel contraction exercises are known to make genital orgasm during intercourse or masturbation more voluntary and intense.
Strong PC muscles help men in their practice of ejaculation control. But virtuoso status is only achieved and maintained by working out consistently. Once you get the hang of it, you can do Kegels anywhere. A solid practice routine takes about 5 minutes twice a day. The benefits will manifest themselves in the strongest, most intense orgasms you have ever had, especially when combined with building to orgasm and backing off repeatedly. This has even led to the much envied multiple orgasms for men!
In the book, The Multi-Orgasmic Man, authors Mantak Chia and Douglas Arava summarize research evidence showing male multiple orgasms are equivalent to female multiple orgasms. The book highlights the male Tantric practice of stopping or changing sexual stimulus while clamping down on the PC muscle just prior to reaching the point of no return. If done close enough to ejaculation, you may experience the muscular contractions that accompany “contractile phase orgasms” without moving into “expulsion phase orgasm.” Expulsion-phase orgasm is accompanied by ejaculation and the subsequent loss of your erection, while contractile-phase orgasm is accompanied by the normal feelings of “cumming” (including spasmodic PC muscle contractions) without ejaculation and loss of erection.
Over the course of a lovemaking or masturbation session, men “peak” to this contractile phase orgasm many times. After experiencing each orgasm, a man pauses for a few seconds, then resumes the stimulation in which he was engaged.
Breathe and Concentrate…In honouring Tantric teachings, this book first discusses how to breathe. By breathing deeply and regularly (not hyperventilating), you can gain more control over your orgasm and enhance your ability to balance on that thin line between the contractile phase of male orgasm and the expulsion phase, without teetering over the edge.
This breathing exercise can enhance your sex workout:
1. Sit on a chair with your back straight, your feet touching the floor about shoulder-width apart.
2. Place your hands over your navel, relax your shoulders.
3. Inhale though your nose and feel your lower abdomen expand at the navel area (below and around it) so that it bulges outward. Your diaphragm will also descend.
4. Keeping your chest relaxed, exhale with some force to pull the lower abdomen back in, as if you were pulling your navel back toward your spine. Also feel your penis and testicles pull up.
5. Repeat steps (3)and (4) 20 -30 times.
Concentration is the backbone of most Tantric rituals. When mastering the art of concentrating, you also foster the vital ability to direct attention to your partner.
To focus your attention on the task at hand, the authors suggest the following:
1. Slowly inhale (expanding your stomach) and exhale (flattening your stomach). Count each complete inhalation and exhalation as one breath.
2. Continue breathing from the belly and counting from one to 100, thinking only about your breathing.
3. If you notice your mind has strayed, start again.
4. Practice this exercise twice a day until you can count to 100 with ease.
Practice and Beyond…Next the authors suggest you incorporate these exercises in practice masturbation sessions to bring yourself close to the brink and then back off. Repeat the process as much as you want until you experience exactly how breathing, relaxation and PC muscle contracting let you experience the non-ejaculatory orgasm.
If you can achieve contractile-phase orgasms twice or more in a masturbation session without loss of erection, you have become what many deem the impossible…a multi-orgasmic male!
Now you are ready for your partner. The only difference is that with a partner you generally stop thrusting, or ask her to slow down or stop whatever she’s doing, rather then slow down or stop your own hand.
The authors suggest that if regular intercourse is going to be part of this start/stop initiation into male multiple orgasms, it’s wise for the woman to experience an orgasm or two first. That way, the stopping/starting doesn’t drive her to fish out her vibrator from the night stand. Besides, intercourse tends to be far more pleasurable for women after a couple of orgasms.
Any healthy, loving, sexually liberated couple can freely experiment with Tantra. The path to enlightenment is a long, pleasure-filled journey, so enjoy every delightful moment. After all, you only live once!
Tantric sex is filled with ritual, massage and special exercises for both men and women. Sexual conquests aside, men, the heart is the first muscle essential for great sex. Truly, sex is an art that does begin in the heart. Skill, practice, awareness and open-mindedness all work to seal your success in Tantra.
If you want to further explore sexual enlightenment, the following resources may help.
- Ancient Secrets of Sexual Ecstasy (Higher Love Video Series, Tantra.com)
- Fire on the Mountain: Male Genital Massage (Joseph Kramer Productions)
- How to Female Ejaculate (Blush Entertainment)
- The Multi-Orgasmic Man, by Mantak Chia and Douglas Abrams Arava
- The G Spot, by Beverly Whipple, Alice Ladas and John Perry (Dell Books)
- Divine Sex, by Caroline Aldred (HarperCollins)
- The Art of Sexual Ecstasy, by Margo Anand (Jeremy P. Tarcher)
- The Pictorial Guide to Tantric Sex Positions, by Kay Parker (California Exotic Novelties Inc.)
- Spiritual Sex, by Nik Douglas (Pocket Books)