Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year, and a resource page for VVS.

This has been a wonderful holiday season for both of us, as I hope it has been for all of you!  We spent an old-fashioned Scandinavian Christmas with Z's parents and his sister, her spouse, and their kids.  And the week since Boxing Day with my brother, his wonderful wife, my three beautiful nieces and their families, so I'm seriously peopled out!

On top of family visits, parties, and entertaining, I've been trying to squeeze in some time to get started on the book that I've been promising many of you for over a year.  It's not been easy going, but I'm determined to push ahead and at least get the manuscript in reasonable shape this winter.  Because formatting and editing depend so much on consistency and continuity, I'm finding it very hard to get it done when my time is broken up into little chunks, so I probably won't post here again for several months.  I'm also seriously thinking of taking a week of vacation time from work in February or March and just locking myself in a room somewhere with my laptop until it's done.  We'll see.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A New Resource Page: Vaginismus

Over the last several years, many people have found this blog and written to me with questions, and I'm always curious about what attracted them to tantra.  One of the more unusual groups of people who have landed here have been women who suffer from vaginismus, a disorder that causes vaginal tightness and pain and frequently makes penetrative sex impossible.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Guide for Male Virgins

Sixteen months ago I took a break from purely tantra postings to post an article aimed at helping women have a painless and more enjoyable introduction to sex.  Even though it's not about tantra, that article, "Aunt Shakti's Action Plan for Proactive Modern Virgins," has turned out to be one of the most popular landing spots on this blog for new visitors and I've also heard privately from several regular readers that they appreciate being able to give out the link to young friends who are on the verge.

Then last month I was asked to provide advice for a male virgin.  The background was a little different.  The young man was distressed that he didn't know what to do and would feel ignorant and embarrassed.  He said that all he knew about sex was what he had seen online, but that he wasn't sure it would really be okay to do many of the rough things he regularly saw in porn videos.

Unfortunately, that's all too common these days.  Even mainstream porn is now increasingly violent and extreme, and it's easy for people who have been in serious relationships to forget that young people have no way to tell what is pure fantasy and what isn't.  

This seems to fill a need, so I thought I would post it here as a companion to that earlier article.  Here's a slightly expanded version of what I wrote:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tantric Sex: Escaping a Dead Bedroom

One reason I've been discussing the various overlaps and close parallels between tantric sex and sex therapy over the last few months is that Z and I found our way to tantra in the first place because we were facing a "dead bedroom" - a catastrophic drop in sexual frequency.

I've kept my own personal story mostly out of this blog, but I recently came across a question on Reddit that inspired me to write about how Z and I escaped from that trap that kills so many relationships when the passion declines after a year or two.  And an old friend read it and encouraged me to expand on the story here.  So here goes!

Monday, August 31, 2015

What Lesbian Couples Can Teach Straight Couples About Good Sex

I posted back in January about how "Jeri" and her partner had adapted tantra to a lesbian relationship, and this started a correspondence with another reader who got me looking into the research on the differences between gay and straight sex, particularly the differences in terms of frequency, duration, orgasms, and satisfaction.

Let's start with frequency and duration. A major study in the 80s found that lesbian couples had sex less often than straight couples or gay male couples.  This result has been confirmed by other studies, giving rise to the persistent meme of "lesbian bed death," the idea that sex inevitably fades out to nothing for gay women in long-term relationships.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tantric Sex as Therapy III: Stress and Arousal

To better understand the relationship between tantra and therapy, it helps to understand a little more about sexual arousal.  Early sex research in the 60s and 70s focused primarily on lab studies, which naturally required recruiting individuals and couples who were able and willing to have orgasms in extremely clinical settings while wired up to machines and being observed by other people.

Needless to say, the research subjects weren't representative of the larger population.  In particular, they typically did not include people who had low libido or had other problems getting aroused.  This led to models of sexual response that were either vague about the questions of desire and arousal, or which made definite statements about desire and arousal that turned out to be wrong for large parts of the general population.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tantric Sex as Therapy II / Premature Ejaculation

In my last post, I discussed the similarities between tantric sex as described in this blog and the therapy program for couples described in Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women, the pioneering guide for pre-orgasmic women, written in the 70s and updated in the 80s by Julia Heiman and Joseph Lopiccolo.  And I speculated about two reasons for this similarity

First, there's the possibility that the authors were secret tantra practitioners, who used what they learned from tantric sex to fashion a therapy program for couples.

Second, it's possible that once it became possible to explore sex in a more open way, sex researchers would more or less inevitably rediscover the principles on which tantric sex is based, because once you start experimenting with slow, extended sex, you find out what works and that doing it right can have really powerful effects in terms of pleasure, in terms of altered consciousness, and in terms of bonding between partners.