Friday, November 8, 2013

Vibes and Toys - A Tantra Taboo

Okay, after yesterday's historical digression, I'm going to go back to variations on the Tantric theme.  When I began interviewing experienced Tantrics, I didn't know what to expect.  I didn't even know if there would be general agreement on the basic outlines of the Tantric ritual, and was a little surprised that most people stuck fairly close to the same general plan of action.  

On the other hand, there are some things the gurus say so forcefully that you expect most people to go along with them, so it's always interesting when they don't.  And on no subject did the "just folks" ignore the "experts" more than the topic of sex toys!

I’ve mentioned that vibrators are considered evil by a lot of self-proclaimed Tantric gurus, but almost all of the couples I asked had at least one, and most used them at least occasionally.  The couples who used them fairly regularly used them mostly in five ways:

Starting, ending, or extending yoni massage

My partner and I have tried this, to try to figure out why other couples do it, and it just doesn’t work for us. After twenty years together, I start meditating and go deep under right away and he manages my arousal level like he has telepathy, so I just don’t have to pay any attention to it. Adding a vibrator at any point feels horribly intrusive and breaks my concentration. However, some couples started using a vibrator early and incorporated it into their yoni massage from the beginning, and they now they feel the same way about leaving it out that I do about adding it in, so I guess this depends mostly on what you’re used to.

The advocates insist that there are some advantages. As Janet* said, “I can get started much faster and can get up to ‘cruising altitude’ much sooner. I either have an orgasm or two, or stop just short of that, and then I can start meditating without worrying about whether I’m getting enough oomph from Jim* to make it by the end. After I’m started, I just tune out and all he has to do is keep me cruising along nice and level until I’m ready to finish. After all the problems I had for so many years, when just having one orgasm was so rare, I think it’s a blessing to be able to start off knowing it’s not going to be a problem.”

Patsy* normally has a fairly average threshold, but her concern is at the other end. “I sometimes have a hard time finishing. I get really revved up and everything seems okay, but then when I’m almost there and I say I’m ready, sometimes I just get stuck. No matter what he does or how long he goes, I just don’t go any higher, so then it’s time for the vibe. Once I’ve had that first one, then I’m all set and I can have more without it.”

Georgie* has a very low threshold, but she is one of several women with an endurance problem: they have too much of it! “Sometimes I have one of those magic mornings, and I’m in bliss, and I’m near the end, or what I thought was the end, and then I’ll slide over into that zone with the non-stop continuous O. Dave* is great about getting me there and realizing what’s happening and keeping me going. But he’s been doing his magic for 30 minutes or so at that point, and I can tell I’m going to be going for at least another 10, and he needs some relief before he wears out his fingers and his tongue falls off. So it’s time to call for backup. By now he knows that when I start a continuous orgasm, he needs to grab the buzzer and take some breaks. But I still want him to switch back every few minutes, because if he goes too long with the buzzer my clit gets numb.”

Orgasms while still in yab-yum

This just seems to be a difference in how people learned Tantra. Some people learned from a mentor who emphasized yab-yum as stillness and pure meditation, so they just assumed you didn’t think about orgasms until after you changed positions. But a lot of the people I interviewed were basically self-taught from some pretty sketchy outlines of the Tantra ritual and are a lot more casual about yab-yum being “quiet” meditation.

If you do a couple meditation with your partner in your arms and your genitals connected, and you keep it up for quite a while, it is natural to be getting pretty hot partway through and to think about going further. And if you’re locked together and your mobility is low, sliding a slim vibrator down between your bodies seems an obvious thing to try. Those who do it say it’s a great way to get the female partner fully warmed up before switching to more active play.

Revving her motor at the start of maithuna

Those who take a more purist, meditative approach to yab-yum often find that the female partner is lagging a bit behind at the transition to maithuna. It seems like almost everyone prefers the cowgirl position for this. With the man on his back and the woman sitting upright or kneeling astride him, or even leaning back on her hands, it’s easy to add clitoral stim with fingers or a vibrator. Several of our women said that they like to extend this to multiple orgasms if they can, a preference I share, but several more cautioned that using a strong vibrator to give the woman more than one orgasm can sometimes trigger her partner’s orgasm too, ending the party a little earlier than planned.

For her, when he comes first

Best laid plans, and all that. Sometimes your guy comes early and you’re left hanging. Getting rearranged for oral takes time and effort and it’s asking a lot of a guy who is probably still pretty groggy. It’s much quicker and easier to grab the lady’s favorite helper and finish with a big bang of your own. Even some couples who say they never use a vibe for anything else say they keep one within reach for this purpose. If you’re quick and you stay connected while you do it, giving yourself a finishing flourish can give your guy a nice extra orgasm even if he’s getting soft.

Just for variety

Most couples have tried using vibrators at various times just to introduce some variety into their activities. Small novelty egg-style vibrators were mentioned several times in this regard. Because they are low-powered, they can be used to add a different touch without dominating the proceedings. One woman said she got one of these as a joke present and actually found it quite a lot of fun to have her partner tuck it up into her vagina during yoni massage. It still leaves room for his fingers, just adding some extra fullness and a nice background hum to everything else.

Several people who used anal toys also mentioned anal vibrators in this respect, as most are so low-powered they don’t do more than add a bit of sensation. However, one couple mentioned using the vinyl finger attachment of the Hitachi Magic Wand as an anal vibrator. The Hitachi is a powerful plug-in vibrator with a tennis ball-sized head and an attachment that is like a soft vinyl finger extending out at right angles from the head. Using it anally in yab-yum meant sitting directly on the head of the vibrator, and even at the lower speed setting, this proved strong enough to bring both of them to orgasm much faster than planned!

The Hitachi was the overwhelming favorite for a vibrator that plugs into the wall, with the Eroscillator 2 Plus as the second choice. Each has ardent fans. Of the 41 couples I asked, 16 owned only the Hitachi, 4 owned only the E2+, and 11 owned both. Most couples had also experimented with various kinds of battery-powered bullet, rabbit, g-spot, and clitoral vibrators, but only one model was mentioned more than once, the Mystic Wand, a battery-powered clone of the Hitachi. Recommendations for most of the others were lukewarm at best. Many people had tried and discarded several because they were too weak, they broke, or keeping them charged was a nuisance.

Vaginal Inserts

Several people mentioned other toys and gadgets. Of these, only two types were mentioned more than once. Six of the women like using some sort of vaginal insert during yoni massage. Three use a stainless steel ball, two use a stone egg (one of marble, one of polished granite), and one, mentioned above, uses either the vibrator egg or a short silicone tube, an attachment from another vibrator that broke. All items were small enough to slip inside but large enough to create some internal pressure. All six women said they liked the extra fullness and especially liked the sensation when their partners’ fingers pushed against the insert during yoni massage.

I experimented with a glass egg and a stainless ball and found both added an extra something to yoni massage, but both were a bit hard to remove afterward. However, one of the women later told me there’s a knack to it: stand on tiptoes on your mat with your feet apart and come down several times hard on your heels with your knees locked, using the weight of the ball or egg to move it down to the vaginal entrance and out.

I also tried an egg vibrator that had a wire to a separate battery unit/speed controller. The extra vibration was interesting and the wire made it easy to remove, but I didn’t like it enough to replace it after it broke. However, different strokes, YMMV, and so on. Your experience will almost certainly be different from mine, so I do recommend that you try various playthings for yourself.

Cock Rings

Fifteen of the men said they sometimes or often wear cock rings or straps. These are rings or adjustable straps placed around the base of the penis that are intended to help a man get or maintain a firm erection by reducing the rate at which blood flows out of the penis. Although several men used them as erection aids, most said it was mainly for the effect of extending the erection for a bit longer after ejaculation a) to give their partners a little longer to get over the top if the man comes first and b) to have more, and more intense, aftershocks. Staying hard, or at least almost hard, for just one or two extra minutes can be a definite benefit for both of you.

Be very, very careful about experimenting with these things! Anything that cuts off circulation can be dangerous, especially if you can’t get it off in a hurry! Also remember that it always has to come off after no more than 30 minutes!

Extending any erection for too long can be dangerous, but doubly so when the blood flow is reduced even more than normal. For this reason, most of the men who use cock rings or straps do so only during yab-yum or only during maithuna. The exceptions are several men who use them during shorter lingam massages (or sometimes during the second half of a longer one), including two older men who say they sometimes slip on a ring or strap if they still don’t have a hard erection halfway through the massage.

Next: a very sensitive subject!

*Not their real names.  I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I assigned aliases to the people I interviewed to protect their privacy.

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