Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Is Tantra for You? (Part Two)

Okay, now that I’ve chased off some of the thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies and given the rest fair warning, I need to address the couples who may have the most difficulty with Tantra.


Whether one partner is less interested than the other, or both partners are curious, but just not ready to commit to the amount of time and effort it takes to learn and practice Tantra, the common element is motivation.  And the answer in both cases is:  go slow.  Set smaller, achievable goals that will improve your love life.  See how you like it.  Don’t rush.  When you’re comfortable with one thing, enjoy it for a while before you start experimenting with something else.

A lot of successful and enthusiastic Tantra practitioners actually started out like this, cautiously exploring the topic, learning as they went, and gradually increasing their desire to learn and do more.  When it doesn’t work out, it’s usually because couples are too ambitious to start with, and became disappointed that they didn’t reach nirvana overnight.

So if you and your partner aren’t both highly motivated, you need to focus on “getting ready for Tantra,” instead of “doing Tantra,” until you are completely comfortable taking the next step.  If this is right for both of you, the rewards along the way will be enough to increase your motivation (or the reluctant partner’s motivation) for going further.

Can Good Sex “Fix” a Bad Relationship?

Unfortunately, I can offer very little hope for couples who are trying to salvage a bad relationship by spicing up their sex lives.  I know of only one successful Tantric couple who started out like this, and it worked for them because the core of the problem was real sexual dysfunction, not lack of love.

However, as any therapist will tell you, it is extremely rare for couples to make that kind of progress, and it depends on an enormous amount of motivation.  Had there not been a lot of genuine love, affection, and commitment to each other, it would not have been possible.  And the key in that particular case was their commitment to therapy and meditation.  Tantra did not mend their marriage.  It was just the cherry on the cake after they had done the work of rebuilding their relationship and dealing with their basic personal and sexual problems.

So, in general, my advice to couples with troubled relationships is still to deal with the root of the problem first.  Improving your sex life can certainly help you do that, but don’t expect Tantra to magically restore your romance on a wave of sexual bliss. 

Loving Couples, Stale Sex

On the other hand, for long-term couples who seldom have sex and who feel like they have fallen into a friends/housemates/co-parents relationship, learning Tantra can be just what the doctor ordered.  This is how Z and I got attracted to Tantra in the first place, and learning Tantric sex together played a critical role in helping us rescue our relationship from a "dead bedroom" situation.

Often the problem is not that partners have stopped caring for each other, but that they’ve forgotten – or never learned – how to express how much they care, especially in an erotic way, after the initial passion and romance wore off.  And I know of no better or more convincing way to demonstrate – to both of you! – just how much you love your partner than to give him or her a long, loving Tantric massage.

It is almost impossible to do that – and do it really well, without being distracted or bored or thinking about what you might get in return – unless you truly care for the other person.  Your hands speak the truth with an eloquence and honesty that words can’t match, and your partner can feel your love and care and devotion – and your delight in their body – with every stroke!

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