Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hans & Anna: Young Love

To give you a better sense of how Tantra differs from one couple to another, I’m going to describe three more couples' experiences. Although the next two couples do happen to be among the youngest and oldest couples I interviewed, that’s not the only reason I chose them. As you will see, they are also different from each other and from Cammie and Don in a number of other ways.

Hans and Anna

Hans, 28, has a German name but looks Hispanic, not terribly surprising because his father is from Germany and his mother is from Mexico. He came to the US when he was two, finished college at 20, served in the Army, and is now a citizen. He lost a foot in the service, but you would never suspect it from the way he moves around.

Anna (pronounced “Ah-nah”), also 28, was born in what is now the Czech Republic and came to the US when she was 7. Like Hans, she served in the Army and is now a citizen. They met overseas in Iraq, where he was an intelligence analyst and she was in charge of an MP unit that interviewed and otherwise interacted with Iraqi women.

They’re both around 5’8”, and are very similar in build, both very fit, but solid and sturdy rather than slim. They own and run a landscaping company and I met them when my partner and I hired them to do the landscaping for a private meditation garden we wanted to create that incorporated a large mandala. One reason we hired them was that they had a picture on their web site of a similar mandala they had installed in their own back yard.

We were talking about the project in my study, when Anna noticed my shelf of books on Tantra and commented on them. Naturally, I asked what they knew about Tantra. When I discovered that they had been practicing it for several years, I described my project and asked them to be interviewed. They agreed, but because of time limitations we didn’t actually do the interviews until several months later, after our garden was finished.

First Interview: Beginnings

When we finally got together, I started by asking how they discovered Tantra. This is their account:

Anna: We got into Tantra a little over five years ago. Our sex life before that was fun, but pretty basic. We’re both pretty horny, but kind of choosy, so we didn’t have much experience with other people before we met. Iraq is no resort, but we really hit it off, and, well, where there’s a will, there’s a way. We had a lot of fast, rough sex in supply closets and storage containers, but not much time for romance.

Then I rotated back to the States, and a few weeks later I got a call saying he’d gotten himself blown up. He lost his left foot, and had to have more surgery on the right leg and foot. I was in the middle of out-processing, and as soon as I was a civilian again, I moved to Maryland to kind of hold his hand. He was still pretty banged up and had some torn muscles in his back and legs, which made it hard to get around on crutches, plus they had him doing rehab, which is brutally hard work, so I learned a lot about massage in a hurry.

Pretty much as soon as he was off the heavy pain meds, he wanted to find out if everything still worked, but he couldn’t use his legs for much, so we did a lot of me-on-top and oral sex. One of the rehab docs got us started on learning to meditate. I happened to mention the sex thing to this same doc and he suggested some books, one of which was about Tantra. We were interested, but put off a bit by all the mystical stuff. But we found some stuff on the Web and read some other books and sort of figured some things out on our own, and it was great. We got hooked!

Hans: She was amazing. I was pretty down about the foot and all the surgery and rehab, but she just wouldn’t let me mope. She pushed with the meditation and the Tantra thing just to give me something to do that was fun and wasn’t about rehab. But the funny thing is, it was the best thing possible for her too!

Anna: Yeah. I was always a horny little rabbit, but I’d never had an orgasm during regular sex. Don’t get me wrong, it still felt great, and I loved having sex, but I still felt like there was something missing at the end. And it bugged Hans. I could come from oral or a vibrator, so we would have sex, and then he’d be a real gentleman and try to stay awake long enough to get me off too!

Hans: So Anna was learning massage, and it seemed very natural to give the massage a “happy ending,” as they say in massage parlors. And we were learning to meditate and reading the Tantra books, so it seemed like a fun thing to try combining them. We also found a website in Portugal with some hour-long videos of Tantric massage that were a lot more helpful than the books. Anna suggested that we try the whole incense and meditation thing and then do the Lingam ritual, while I tried to stretch things out and last as long as possible. So I said sure. [Laughs] What a flop! I lasted maybe 3 minutes!

Anna: It wasn’t a flop! It was a start!

Hans: Well, after what we’d been reading, it sure seemed like a flop! The back massage part was great, but when I rolled over and she started on the front, I came almost right away.

Anyway, we did this again almost every day over the next few weeks, because, I mean, why not? Maybe it wasn’t doing anything magical like the books claimed it would, but it sure felt good! As long as Anna wanted to keep trying, I’d be an idiot to say no!

Then, one time we did it, and I came, and instead of stopping, she just kept going. She coached me through a lot more breathing and guided imagery. She stroked my legs and my stump, very carefully, and instead of hurting like it usually did, it felt amazingly sexy. And when she went back to the Lingam massage, I could really feel the tingle building even though I didn’t even have a hard on.

By the time I was hard again, I’d had 20 or 30 minutes or so to work on the breath control and to feel the way the pressure fills up the whole groin. I had a couple of what we call dry orgasms, sort of baby orgasms, when I was still not quite hard, which was something really new for me. I didn’t even know guys could do that! Then, when I did come for real, it was way stronger than the first time and it felt like I was coming from all over my mid-section and part way up my chest. I actually yelled, I was so surprised.

Anna: That’s when I figured that there might really be something to this!

Hans: So while this is going on, we’re trying to figure some way to do something good for her. I had an adjustable bed that the Army had kind of lost track of, and we borrowed some padded weight-lifting benches, and we tried a bunch of stuff. Basically, if I sat up in bed with my back supported, and she sat in front of me between my legs, with her back to me, I could massage her neck and shoulders and back. Then she’d shift around so I could do her butt and legs, and shift again so I could do her arms and chest, and then again so I could do her belly and thighs and yoni. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked!

Anna: And for a long time, I was like Hans, I was really, really enjoying it, but not getting much of a glimmer of anything different. The big payoff for me was that this was the first time Hans had ever been in a position to touch me and see what he was doing at the same time, and we were both learning all kinds of things about what gets me hot. Until he started doing it, for example, I had no idea that my perineum was so sensitive during sex, or that I liked anal.

Hans: Like she said, I learned a lot. I always used to kind of dive right in and go for the money spot right away, because I thought that’s what women like. I mean, everyone talks about clitoral orgasms, clit this, clit that, and I knew she wasn’t coming from regular sex, so I thought the clit was everything! But when you’re deliberately going slow and you can see what you’re doing, you realize that you can massage the outer lips and watch them fatten up and get bigger, and it’s clear that that feels good and warms her up. And you can play around other areas and get some really nice wriggles and moans, and it turns out that there’s a whole lot of money spots!

Anna: You make it sound like I’ve got a cash box down there!

Hans: Well, it’s sure worth a lot to me!

Anna: Anyway, he was having all sorts of fun learning how my anatomy works and one day we found out that I could have a whole string of orgasms, one after another, if he gets me really, really hot before even touching the clit, and then does the come here thing with two fingers inside me while massaging the clit or doing oral. So that was a huge plus! And then, gradually, after he started to figure out how to control and delay things for himself, and to build up and direct the energy in his orgasm, I started to catch on to the same stuff. But it took me a lot longer.

Hans: I think some of that has to do with me not being as good a coach.

Anna: Well, you know I don’t agree with you on that. You did a great job and you were really patient with me. I think it was just because I was used to using a vibrator, and that’s so intense that when I got close to a peak, slowing down was impossible. Then, when we figured out the multiple orgasm trick, that was so lovely that I had a hard time slowing down when I felt like they were about to start! So it took me a long time to learn how to catch things just before the point of no return and kind of hold it there. Once I learned when to tell you to slow down or stop for a bit, it all came together.

Hans: Or you did!

Anna: Hush, you!  So, anyway, by the time I was beginning to get some control, Hans was doing great with his, and we had both been meditating several times a day for months. His right leg had healed, he finally got a good fit on his first prosthetic and was getting used to it, and he was doing really well with the therapy. A lot of the time, we could almost forget he was anything but a bit gimpy. And we noticed that the regular sex was getting better too, better than it ever had been before.

Hans: Well, a lot of that was being back in the States, having lots of time, and not humping on crates of MREs!

Anna: Sure, some of it was. And some of it was just you getting healthy again. But I still remember the first time I had a big O, in fact a whole string of ‘em, while I was riding on top of you. It was Christmas Day, so it was almost six months after you got hurt. We’d had a lot of sex on a real bed by that time. The difference was all the massage and meditation.

Second Interview: A typical Tantra session

This was where we wrapped up the first interview. Hans had a conflict and missed the second interview, so I asked Anna to jump forward to the present and tell me what a typical Tantra session is like for them. She had read some of the earlier interviews, and I asked her in particular what she and Hans did that was different.

Anna: Well, there’s a lot of differences. I guess we don’t do anything right! But we change things up a lot, too, from time to time. One thing we do is I think we might have sex a lot more in one session than (some of those other couples) do. I mean, we start out in bed. Typically, we start by having sex, because we’re horny and that takes the edge off, and we don’t really start doing Tantra until after that. Then we shower, or we go outside, if it’s warm, and use the hose, washing and rinsing each other. And we come inside, and fix up the room.

Hans doesn’t care for incense, but he found a little heater that is supposed to be for aromatherapy, so he loads that up with a nice musky oil we both like, and he warms up the massage oil. I usually make up kind of a picnic earlier, so I get that and a jug of ice tea. We have a tumbling mat that folds up, so we spread that out with some towels and a couple of fat pillows. We don’t have a massage table. The mat works fine for us.

All that takes a few minutes. Then we meditate. Sometimes we sit on the mat, but sometimes we do it while walking the mandala outside. Even if we meditate outside, we usually come in and sit for the last five minutes or so. Or we set up the mat outside if it’s really nice. Our backyard is really private.

Then we swap massages, and what we do there sounds pretty standard with a few exceptions. When I’m finished doing his back, I have him lift his butt up and bring it back towards me, so he’s kneeling with his head down and his forehead and forearms are on the mat. It’s like he’s kneeling on a prayer rug. And that means his goodies dangle nicely right in front of me, so I can massage them properly before he turns over.

Then he flips over and I continue from there. Right before the end, just when he’s about to come, I sometimes like to slide forward with my chest on his chest until I can back up just a little and slip him into me. It depends on how hot and horny I am. Sometimes just giving him a massage makes me really hot and I’m all wet down there, so why not? He loves it, and it feels good inside me, even if I’m not ready to come. And sometimes I really cheat and slide the Hitachi [Magic Wand vibrator] between my legs so I can sit on it while I massage him with my hands, and then when I slide onto him, we both come!

Depending on how intensely he comes, and how long it lasts, we usually take a short break and just cuddle or go back to meditating for maybe five or ten minutes. Then it’s my turn! It’s really nice, because he has really good hands and gives great massages.

I do the same butt-in-the-air thing before changing sides, because that makes it easier for him do a better job of massaging my taint [perineum] and the outer lips of the vulva.

The front side for me starts out pretty standard, but after he’s done the rest of the front and he’s gotten a good start on the serious “Yoni worship,” I bring my knees up to my shoulders and he slips a pillow and a towel under my butt. This is because I really like that position for a bit of back door massage.

With one hand massaging my clit and vulva, and the thumb of the other hand in my yoni, he can reach my “rosebud” with his other fingers. When he massages it and makes little circles on it, it feels divine. No insertion, though. It’s too distracting at that point and it makes me lose my concentration on my breathing and my mantra.

I get greedy sometimes, and since I learned to control things I sometimes think I take advantage of Hans’ patience. I’ll tell him to back off or just stop for a little bit, then start up, and slow down, and start up and slow down, just because it feels so good to make it last longer. But it sometimes makes me lose my focus if we go on too long, so I have to be careful.

When I finally can’t stretch things out any more, he can tell I’m starting to lose control when I start breathing fast. That tells him to ditch the pillow and start on some serious clit action. After a few minutes, I start to really lose it and I grab his head and pull it up toward me, so he slides up on top of me and slides his penis in, and we finish like that, with him stroking really hard. Pretty soon, bam! like dynamite going off! Or more likely, bam! bam! bam! bam! bam!

I never really know what it’s going to be like, except that it’s always good. Each peak is broader and stronger than a normal orgasm. Each one comes from my whole pelvic area, at least, and often a lot more, and every now and then I’ll have one that shakes me from my scalp to my toenails and makes me feel like my whole body is going to turn inside out.

When I do have one of those, it’s usually the first or second orgasm, and then it’s followed by a string of aftershocks that seem to last forever. But I’ve had the opposite happen, too, with smaller peaks building up and up and UP to one that was almost too strong and almost lasted too long. Hans is convinced I’ve actually passed out for a minute or two after one of those, and I know it feels like I’m going to, but, wow, it’s incredible!

Afterward, we just lie there and hold each other until we recover. Sometimes he even takes a little nap. Poor, hard-working guy, he’s earned it! Then we have our picnic, and do a second set of rubdowns, or play silly games. There’s a mock fight we sometimes do on all fours, sort of growling and trying to push the other person off balance or off the mat. Kind of sumo on hands and knees. We’re pretty well matched. He’s stronger, but I’m sneakier. It’s fun, it gets the blood moving, and it means a lot of skin-to-skin contact!

We don’t do the sitting Yab-Yum thing at all. We tried it, but couldn’t find a comfortable position. He can’t do a Lotus with his prosthetic on, and his other leg, which is pretty scarred up by all the surgery, won’t take my weight. So we just lie on our sides facing each other on the bed, doing the alternate breathing thing. When he gets hard again, I roll onto my back, he gives me some fairly intense oral to help get me going, then we get linked up in missionary before rolling back on our sides, but this time with my legs around his waist. It’s a position that lets us do our breath swapping, but now with him deep inside me, not moving at all or stroking v-e-r-y slowly in time with our breathing.

It also lets us roll easily into an inverted-missionary position, with me lying on top of him. When I need a bit more of a boost, I can sit up, cowgirl style. That lets me slide back and forth, rubbing my clit on him, or I can lean back on my hands, letting him do my clit with his fingers. Then we come back face-to-face and roll back on our sides again. He goes back to a nice slow stroke, and we go back to our breathing pattern. We like to keep this up as long as we can. After a while I lose all track of time and place and boundaries. Some of the other couples you talked to talked about feeling like they are connected to each other. I really understand how they feel, but I don’t just feel like I’m part of Hans. I sometimes feel like my skin isn’t there at all, like there’s no boundary between me and him or between me and the air, or the mat, or the whole earth.

I don’t usually have an enormous orgasm when I’m like that. I can feel Hans’ tension slowly rising and I try to keep my own about even with his. If I’m successful, then when he finally can’t keep up the breathing I’m getting pretty ragged too and we both sort of switch into high gear. When he comes, I'm feeling how intense his climax is, and that almost always brings me along with him, which is nice, but I don’t mind if it doesn’t happen. I’m already completely satiated at that point, so it’s a fairly gentle ride either way.

But whether I do come or not, I always end up feeling this incredible wave of love for him that’s really overpowering. I want to hug him so tightly that we DO turn into one person. It’s so strong I’ve sometimes started crying on his neck while I’m holding him, which he says is a little bit alarming, while I try to explain incoherently that no, I’m not unhappy, I’m very happy, and I love him with all my heart, so please ignore all these very undignified sniffling noises!

Third Interview: Loose Ends

At our third session, Hans read over the interviews from two other couples, and Hans and Anna both read my write-ups from the first two interviews.  We spent some time going over these, making corrections, doing some edits for clarity and readability, and getting Hans’ input on Anna’s account. (To be clear about this: what you are reading is a revised and edited account, not a verbatim transcript. That’s true of all of these interviews.)

Hans had only a few suggested changes, which were all endorsed by Anna, so I just inserted them into her account, but I did specifically ask Hans about whether he experienced a loss or blurring of boundaries at any point. He said that he didn’t think so, and that his experience was closer to Don’s. 

Hans: I definitely have that experience of feeling what Anna’s feeling. In fact, it happens a lot, pretty much every time. But I think it’s a case of experience and empathy and hormones all combining to make you hyperaware of what your actions feel like to the other person. When you’re on your third or fourth orgasm in three hours, and you’ve spent a lot of the time between orgasms cuddling and stroking and being stroked, your ability to think clearly and rationally is kind of out to lunch. Or mine is, anyway. So if you have a strong enough feeling, it’s going to slip by your mental skeptic and seem like it’s literally true. But it sure feels like I can feel what Anna does, especially during the Yoni massage.

It’s not as strong during Maithuna, the last phase?

Hans: It’s not less of a connection, in fact in many ways it’s more of one. But like she says, the physical sensations for her are usually less intense in the last phase, and that’s what I was talking about. But the emotional side of it can really knock me out.

When she goes weepy on me, I tease her that I’ve got her by the love button, but I think a lot of the intensity of feeling she described is because we are bouncing all that emotion back and forth and back and forth between us, and we pump it up each time. I don’t think it would be anywhere close to that intense for either of us if we weren’t both feeling it and both feeling what the other person is feeling in all kinds of non-verbal ways.

Tell me about what you called “dry orgasms” – have you had them often? What are they like?

Hans: They’re just orgasms without ejaculation. I literally didn’t know that was possible, but I’ve found out that it’s well documented. The ones I had the first time were fairly weak, but I’ve had stronger ones, including several strings of four or more in a row. I’ve had them maybe a few dozen times in four or five years, and I’m still not sure whether I like them. Part of the pleasure of a male orgasm comes from the ejaculation, so there’s less pleasure when you don’t have that big spike at the start and the smaller spikes as you keep pumping.

I can even make it happen to myself, or I did once. All I need to do is get my head in the right place and masturbate when I’m totally pumped dry and not quite ready to get completely hard. Which is another reason they’re not as intense.

Of course, it’s more fun if Anna does it for me, and not just because someone else is doing all the work. When she does it, she can do hard upward strokes on the perineum and the base of the shaft, and those really help to pump up a penis that isn’t quite ready.

Do you think that having vaginal sex at the end of yoni or lingam worship changes the ritual or the effects of it in any important way?

Anna: Well, the obvious one is that he gets one more climax that way, and it’s usually his third one of the day, so we have to kind of schedule enough break time afterward for him to recover, but no, I don’t think it does any harm, and we both enjoy it more.

Hans: I think maybe I’m missing something. What are these effects supposed to be?  I know some people think Tantra has great spiritual significance, but I’ve always thought it was just supposed to be a way for two people to express how they feel about each other, and to make each other feel really, really good. And it certainly does that! So, no, I think it’s great and I don’t see any downside. And sometime I’m not that horny, and I skip that part, and it still works fine for her.

What do you do after you finish Maithuna?

Anna: (laughs) Mostly I just hang onto him for dear life and wait for my brain to get back from the Horsehead Nebula, or wherever it’s gone to! When we’re finally compos mentis again, we snuggle for a bit and meditate for a bit more, then we pick stuff up and put it away, and chuck the oily towels and things in the washer. If we have lots of time, and the weather’s great, we might go back outside to rinse off and lie in the sun.

How often do you make time for a full Tantra session, like the one you described?

Hans: Monday is our sacred day. We do a lot of jobs that require working on weekends, so the company is officially closed on Mondays, and our guys know it’s a firing offense to call us before 2PM on a Monday.

Anna: I used to hate Mondays. Now I love them! And I’ve always loved nooners!

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