When My PARTNER Brian and I were just married, we were still in the intense stage of our relationship. But I was intrigued when I heard about Diamond Light tantric sex workshop, which claims to transform intimacy,
Tantra brings couples extremely close emotionally, with proven results: full-body orgasms, climax during intercourse for women and men not needing to nod off afterwards.
Originating in the 4th century, Tantra is a spiritual practice with roots in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Jainism. Despite being reductively understood in the West as a method of delaying and intensifying orgasm, it’s a multi-branched mystical tradition concerned with having greater cosmic awareness.
Arriving for the 3-hour session in smart Maida Vale, my heart started to pound. Through the door, I saw 35 people sitting in a circle. “Do I have to hug total strangers?” I thought or Will I get jealous if Brian does? And I’m NOT taking off my clothes.” To my surprise, there weren’t any bearded hippies or women in flowing robes. In fact, everyone was clothed, and normal-looking. We strangers ages to 20 to 60 sat in silence as Leora Lightwoman, our tantra teacher and an Oxford Psychology graduate, explained that tantra is about becoming sensitive to feelings, to femininity and masculinity, and communicating desires honestly.
We were asked to introduce ourselves. It emerged that some were here with partners, others not. One 53-year-old woman was looking for meaning in life after her husband’s sudden death. Several single men in their early 30’s said they were “just curious”. In the middle of the circle, incense wafted around a statue of a goddess, and a box of tissues had been prominently placed. “Is that for bodily fluids or tears?” I wondered.
We started exercises to New Age music: shaking and swaying on the spot with our eyes closed, while Leora asked, “What is your pelvis saying?” She exhorted us to let our inner child play. Several people began moaning and grunting…a yoga class gone mad! I couldn’t bring myself to emit any noises nor did Brian. We all danced around the room catching eye contact with one another: it was excruciating. Then we had to stare into each other’s eyes, holding hands and focusing on the “juiciness” in imaginary “bowls” in our pelvises. I was relieved to stay with Brian while singletons had to find partners. The couple next to us started passionately fondling each other.
This was just an intro evening designed for tantric beginners. Diamond Light runs longer workshops, which, taken in sequence, initiate seekers from level one “opening to bliss” to levels four to seven “Deep diving training”.
There are also gender-segregated workshops one for women who feel uneasy in a mixed setting and a residential “men’s circle” where men discover their “sacred brotherhood”.
At our tantra class, everyone else seemed to be connecting with their pelvises. But we were a bit cynical. I knew the tantric principles were potentially powerful, but couldn’t get over my belief that such intimacy should stay private.
Only after the workshop, when Leora took Brian and me aside and showed him an exercise of stroking imaginary veils away from my face, did I see how tantra could teach men how to touch women.
We left totally charmed by Leora and still intrigued by the idea of tantra, which has since become a passion and lifelong pursuit for both of us.