by Niki Davis – Sex Educator, Coach & Writer , written exclusively for For Her Box.
How to Practice Tantric Sex
My younger self was fascinated by sex scenes in movies. I remember being shocked at how short a time it took from two people casually hanging out to being naked and making moaning sounds. I asked my mom, is sex really between 5 and 20 seconds? As I developed, I evolved from learning about sex from romantic comedies, to an even more reliable source – pornography. I was similarly in awe with the speed of the whole thing, not only how fast things got sexual, but also how sped up the intercourse seemed.
As I started experimenting with partners, I found many of them mimicking the culture and initiating fast and dramatic sex. For years, I longed for a button to press that would allow me to engage in sexual interactions in slow motion.
When I discovered tantra, I was intrigued to learn that it is basically the opposite of the type of sex that I had learned about and experienced. Loosely stemming from spiritual texts from Hinduism and Buddhism, it is slow, meditative, connected, and for many folks, spiritual. The focus is away from goals like orgasm or performance, and instead it is about learning to slow down, connect and really enjoy the journey.
Why engage in Tantra?
For many folks tantric sex can really help them to get out of their head and into their bodies during sex. This is helpful to create a deeper level of intimacy with a partner and with experience it can allow folks to experience longer, more fulfilling sexual encounters.
It has also been found that this type of immersive sex is great for those who may be experiencing sexual dysfunction. By taking the focus away from orgasm or even erection, folks can learn to be in the moment, and as it happens, that can help penises stay hard and vulvas become aroused and receptive.
How do you engage in Tantra?
There are a number of ways that you can begin a tantric practice. Often folks begin sitting in a comfortable position (either clothed or nude) gazing into each other’s eyes. A good starter position is having one partner sit on the others lap with their legs around the others waist. Once you get comfortable you can gaze into your partner’s eyes and let your breathing start to align. Let the intensity build, and when it feels right you can transition from gazing to kissing and slow intercourse. There are many ways to engage in tantra, so you can set an intention with your partner to figure out the type of exploration you are hoping for each time.
Although tantra can look different each time it is practiced, here are some overarching techniques that are often used during a practice.
Prep the brain. Turning off your mind and experiencing connection through your body can be difficult, particularly when many of us are experiencing stressors in our lives. Before a tantric practice, you can prepare by doing some grounding exercises like meditating, taking a relaxing bath, stretching, getting a massage or even rubbing one out. This can help you show up to a session present and with a clear mind.
Slow the fuck down. This is not the kind of sex you want to have in the office when you have an appointment in half an hour. This is the type of sex that you want to have when the rest of the day off and can turn off your phone and fully emerge into the moment. When engaging in a tantric session, really slow down! I would suggest taking at least 20 minutes warming up with a partner, before you begin intercourse.
Set the scene. There are so many distractions that can pop into your head during sex. Are those my clothes on the floor? Are my feet cold? Where is my vibrator? I suggest setting the scene before a session so there are as few distractions as possible. Create a clean and relaxing setting with a comfortable temperature. Get any oils, sex toys or items that you may want during your session ready to go. Perhaps, add a little something extra, such as candles or music.
Forget the script. We often think of sex as involving foreplay, sexual intercourse, orgasm, cuddles and then pizza. However, during tantric sex you should forget the usual progression and just do what feels right in the moment. Sometimes there may not be any orgasms, other times there may be five. There is no “right way” to do tantra if you are connecting and doing what feels right in the moment.
Play around with Edging. We all know orgasms are incredible so why would anybody want to purposefully not have an orgasm when you feel ready to release? To have an even more intense orgasm of course! Edging is the practice of orgasm control, where you get right to the edge of climax a number of times, raising sensations almost to release without crossing over. The sexual energy continues to build up, so that when the orgasm finally arrives it is OUT OF THIS WORLD!
Edging can be practiced alone or with a partner, however with a partner you may need to create a signal so that they know to stop stimulation so that you don’t accidentally go over the edge too early. It is an art to get somebody right to the edge, and leave them there. As tantra is an exploration of sexual energy, edging is a natural extension of building and channelling erotic energy.
When I talk to folks about tantra, they often are concerned regarding if they are doing it “right”, as descriptions of it are often a bit abstract. As long as you are working on connection with your partner, slowing the fuck down, and not engaging in goal oriented or script-based sex, you are doing tantra right!