Hear the words "tantric sex" and you might immediately think of Sting-like lovemaking involving incense and candlelight, which last for hours on end. Maybe. But also: not exactly.
"Tantric sex is a sexual practice that helps create a deeper connection between two lovers than regular sex," Mackenzie Riel of romance company TooTimid.com, tells Organic Authority. "The word tantra comes from the root word 'tan', which means to extend and to manifest. In this instance, your extending your thoughts and energy to your partner with sex."
Sound complicated? While it might not be the type of sex session that you're used to, this kind of meditational, intimate experience might be the missing ingredient to your sex life. Here's what you need to know.
It's Not Really Just About Sex
"Tantric sex is about presence more than anything else," NYC-based sex coach and healer, Cara Kovacs, tells Organic Authority. "There are a lot of false notions about marathon sex or crazy Kama Sutra positions, but tantra is about finding universal truth through the pathway of pleasure."
Which is why Riel likens it to yoga or meditation.
"Tantric sex aims to help a person better connect with their partner by having a stronger sense of self; so it's not just related to sex, but can also be used in yoga and meditation practices."
And according to Kovas, tantric sex can be practiced alone or with a partner because it's "essentially the outcome of bringing a mindfulness practice to the sexual experience."
Think of it as mindfulness meets pleasure-making.
It's All About Being Present
Like meditation and yoga, tantric sex requires being totally in the moment and relying on your breath.
Whether you're masturbating or with a partner, Kovacs says one of the most simple ways to try it is to focus intently on your breathing (yours and your partner's if you're with someone else) and the rising sensation of pleasure whether you're masturbating or making love.
"Don't allow your mind to wander to a fantasy or be goal-oriented about orgasm," she says. "Breathe, connect to the breath, honor the body, and feel without expectation."
No quickies with tantric sex. Riel says it's important to remember that the process itself meant to be longer and extended, so it is not to be rushed. "Tantric sex is more about the gentle build up, rather than just jumping right into the sexual act."
Check in With Your Feelings
Sex can be an emotional experience for some as it is. Tantric sex is on another level. As it is it involves breathing in sync with your partner and being completely in the moment, there are sure to be a lot of emotions coming up.
"The idea of tantra is to place emphasis on the more emotional and intimate parts of sex, rather than the physical aspect," says Riel. Which is why both people should try to avoid touching the other person's genitals as long as possible to get the most fulfilling tantra experience.
Instead, begin tantric sex with your partner by touching and caressing of each other's bodies either done sitting and facing one another, or lying down depending on your preference.
Set the Scene
Creating a sacred space is key.
"In order for tantric sex to be successful, you have to have a relaxed and comfortable environment free of distraction," says Riel. She recommends setting candles throughout the room and dim the lights if possible. And, yes, maybe you will light some incense that soothes you.
"It's all about bringing a better sense of tranquility to the room while you have sex." And don't forget the room should be at a comfortable and warm temperature.
It's a Whole Other Level of Orgasms
Savoring each sensation, taking your time, and being completely in the moment? Sounds like the perfect recipe for achieving otherworldly orgasms. While having big Os isn't primarily the goal of tantric sex, Riel says incorporating tantric practices "can make an orgasm much more intense and fulfilling."
And while feeling pleasure is enough reason to try anything once, including tantric sex, there's an even better reason to give this ancient pleasure tradition a whirl: it will deepen your connection to both yourself and your partner.
Says Kovacs, "All roads really lead to the same place: the belief that pleasure is a sacred human right that can deepen our understanding of love and truth."
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