Sunday, January 12, 2014

Jack & Lita, Part 2: Tantra as Sacred Sex

Getting back to our interview with Jack and Lita...

Can you describe your usual Tantric experience?

Lita: [laughs] Oh, wow, I don’t know what’s typical! We keep mixing things up! Okay, let’s see… He flies home on Thursdays, so we have a Thursday-nighter when he gets back that’s usually just a basic body rub for him, something simple for me for a warm up, and then regular sex. It depends on how tired and sore he is.

On Friday night, we’re usually out at a restaurant, a concert, or a party or we go dancing or something like that, so we get home late-ish and don’t have time for much fancy stuff. Saturday is my biggest day at the dojo, so it’s my turn to get a good long massage before bed, but it’s usually just that, some drinks, a movie, and a cuddle, no sex, ‘cause we’re sort of saving up. Sunday, we head out to the shack, and I guess that’s what you mean by a Tantra experience, but it’s just sort of loosely woven into the whole day.

Jack: Most Sundays, we get to the shack around 9:30, put the groceries away, maybe start the grill, take a dip if it’s warm. After that we sit outside in the sun and meditate for a bit and then swap full-body rubs [Tantric massages]. She prefers working on me on a mat, but I prefer a table when I’m working on her. We’ve got a nice sturdy one I built that’s just the right height and size for me to give her a massage, and we’ve got a whole bunch of cushions and pillows and beach towels, and a big gym mat we can unfold on the ground, or in the shack if it’s too cold outside.

So anyway, we might meditate, swap rubdowns [lingam and yoni massages], fix lunch, go sailing or do some fishing, come back, take another swim if it's warm, meditate some more, then I give her another massage, just a warm up. Then we sit nested together [Jack’s term for yab-yum] for a while, kind of connecting again, then have sex [maithuna], cuddle a bit, and do some other stuff. And then if we’re both still feeling frisky, one of us gets to call the shots for anything we’ve had an urge to try.

For example, neither of us had ever tried bondage, so we tried that a couple of times. It turns out it’s sort of fun as a novelty, but it’s just too much effort for a regular thing. We’ve done some fantasies, you know like role-playing, but we both have a hard time staying serious for very long, and once one of us cracks up, we never get back on track. We’ve done full body massages in the water, had sex on the boat – which was not as fun as it sounds – and I rigged up a swing from the big tree behind the shack so we could try that, which turned out to be fun.

Lita: We’ve actually used the swing a bunch of times, with different kinds of seats and supports, and sometimes we incorporate that into our regular Tantra. Sitting yab-yum in a swing is fun! And we sometimes try out new positions, which can be fun and can lead to nice discoveries.

I suggested one a year ago that has turned out to be a big favorite. Jack lies on his back with his left foot flat on the mat near his butt and his left knee raised up. I sit on him, sort of like cowgirl, but turned so I’m straddling his leg.

Now I can rub my clit on his thigh as I move up and down and he can massage my butt, which feels fantastic. I can also rub my tits on his leg and I can reach down with my right hand to play with his balls or give them a little tug. And the more I squeeze his leg, the tighter I squeeze him inside me, which feels great for both of us. [This is also one of Cammie’s favorite positions.]

But it’s not so much the actual things we do, because a lot of times it’s nothing special. It’s the idea of not knowing what the other person has planned, so there’s some variety and suspense. It keeps things interesting!

Jack: All of this is sounding pretty disorganized, but in fact there are some things we do that are pretty constant, whether we’re at the shack or at home. We usually meditate first for at least 15 minutes, because we’ve found that sex is always better if you’re relaxed and in tune with your body and with each other. Ditto for massages if there’s time, but even if there isn’t, Lita always gets at least a short yoni massage and maybe some oral to get her started, because she takes longer to warm up than I do. If we do full massages, then we usually sit nested together for a while before really getting into it again. It’s like we both know the basic script, but we can always change it.

How often do you do Tantra?

Lita: Well, with Jack’s schedule, he’s home for two Sundays and the Wednesday in between them every four weeks, so I basically clear those three days every month and we go out to the shack if the weather’s okay, or do Tantra at home like decent married folks if it isn’t. And in between times, we do bits and pieces of Tantra, depending on how much time we have and how horny we are. He has to leave at noon on Tuesdays to catch his flight, so we usually get up early and have a Tantra session on the Tuesday mornings before he goes back to the rig. So that’s three days and one morning each month for real Tantra, and those are the times when I just don’t schedule anything else.

Can I ask for more details on your experiences with orgasms? How has that been different since you’ve been doing Tantra?

Lita: I was married for five years, and I had several long-term relationships after that before I met Jack, and in all that time I mostly just had orgasms either solo or from oral sex. For me, that was more like relieving tension than actually doing something pleasurable. I mean, it felt good, but the pleasure was from getting rid of the built-up tension.

My first husband got pretty upset that I usually couldn’t come when he did, so I started to do the whole Harry Met Sally routine [faking orgasms] just to make him feel better. But that was a big mistake, because then he figured he didn’t need to do anything for me. So I was the kind of married woman who waited for her husband to leave the house and then got a vibrator out. Which is pretty sad. Unfortunately, it didn’t get any better with anyone else until I met Jack.

Tantra is so different! In the first place, after a swim, some meditation, and a good massage, there’s no way I can possibly be tense! I’m completely relaxed, so I can actually enjoy the build up as well as the end result. Plus, as anyone who has done Tantra knows, relaxing and letting it build for a long time is really intoxicating, and it makes the orgasm itself way, way more intense.

Sometimes I know in advance that I want to follow a certain kind of path for a yoni massage, so I might tell Jack I want to build slow, have a series of shallow, fast orgasms from my belly level, come down a bit, climb back up for a series of deeper ones from my third or fourth chakra, come down just a tiny bit, and then slowly build way up to one really big full-body one.

Sometimes I don’t want any intermediaries at all, just a long, long build up and then as many big orgasms as I can stand. And sometimes I don’t have a clue what I want, so Jack and I just improvise. And a lot of times those are the best, because he’s so good at reading me!

I sometimes feel selfish about it, because even with the amount of control he has, Jack’s usual experience seems less complicated than mine.

Jack: Well, it usually is less complicated, but having multiple orgasms takes more concentration and effort for me, so most of the time when I’m getting a rub, I just aim for the longest delay I can manage.

If I’m starting to peak too soon and Lita doesn’t slow me down, I’ll often have a dry orgasm or two along the way, and those are fun, but not as much as the big one. Sometimes if I feel like I have a huge charge built up in my whole body, I’ll have three or four dry ones at the end, just before the final one. But, really, that’s more common for me when we’re having couple sex, because each of those dry orgasms for me can trigger a whole series of orgasms for her.

The time I use control the most is when we are sitting nested together. We always warm her up first, either right to the edge or including a couple of orgasms before we sit, so it’s not unusual for her to start to come, or continue to come, while we’re sitting.

Usually we’re just moving a little bit, just to keep everything firm and frisky while we’re “sharing energy,” but sometimes she starts pushing the pace and she gets a few quick ones going. When that happens it often triggers me too, but I always try to control things, or clamp down if I have to, and have dry ones so I don’t spoil the fun too early. Or if I goof, I just say oops when I’m done and we laugh and take a break and do other stuff for a while and then start over.

But mostly it works, and it can lead to fun stuff. A couple of months ago, out at the shack, we both started to climax while we were sitting, and she said, “Stand up with me!” so I put my hands under her ass and stood up. Of course, the effort of doing that stopped me from coming, but we’re still connected, and she has her legs wrapped around me and she’s hanging onto my neck, so I just start walking around, kind of bouncing her up and down with my hands, and I can feel her coming as I walk.

Finally, I walked out on the dock, and just about then she gave a kind of whoop and said “Oh god, finish it!” So I got a bit more into the action and we came together. Then I just sort of leaned back and toppled off the dock into the water! I backpaddled over to the bank with her still hanging onto me and we ended up lying in the mud and weeds, half in the water, laughing our asses off!

Lita: That was an amazing day! You know, I always dated skinny guys before Jack, the kinds of guys you see in yoga classes, so I never knew how incredibly erotic it is to have a man just pick me up and hold me in mid air without missing a beat!

I hope your shack is as private as it sounds!

Jack: [laughs] Yeah, it’s out at the end of this low, skinny little ridge that runs down into the lagoon where […] Creek comes out into the bay. It’s the only dry land for miles, and the lagoon is separated from the bay by a mudflat covered by really dense mangroves.

I took some C4 and blew a twisty little path through the mangroves that’s just barely wide enough for my boat. If you don’t know exactly where it is, it’s invisible from the bay side, and with all the snags you’d be crazy to bring a boat in there blind. I’ve also got a big-ass gate where my private road meets the state road, so no one comes down there but us without an invitation.

Anyway, getting back on track, you asked how different sex is with Tantra, and there’s really no comparison. I always had girlfriends wherever I was stationed, and I never thought much beyond, you know, sex is good and orgasms are lots better when there’s a girl involved. I’ve had lots of normal sex, plus lots of BJs and “happy endings” at massage parlors, but looking back on it, that’s like I was living on Cheetos and candy bars when there was a magnificent banquet right around the corner. Until I met Lita I had no idea what good sex was really like, or how good it could really be.

Lita: You say the nicest things!

Jack: Hey, I’m just a sweet-talking sailor boy! But seriously, it isn’t just the Tantra. I was never in love before. I thought I was a couple of times when I was a kid, but that was just being young and really, really wanting to get laid. But the real thing makes a huge difference.

Would Tantra be the same experience if I didn’t feel like I’d do anything to make Lita happy? I don’t think so. Would it be the same thing if I was worrying about impressing her, or wondering whether she liked me or how I measured up to other guys? Again, I don’t think so. And I certainly wouldn’t have that complete confidence in someone else that I need to have to relax into the deep, slow buildup to a full body O! So the difference is at least as much Lita, or Lita and me, as it is Tantra.

Lita:  That’s so true! I can’t imagine trusting anyone else like I trust Jack, and I can’t imagine Tantra working without that trust. In fact, I tried Tantra before – twice!  and it was a flop. The difference, for me, is Jack.

So which is more important? Tantra works for us because of how we feel for each other. And because it works for us, it makes that feeling stronger. All the rest is just a bonus, frosting on the cake.

Tantra and Transcendence

Some of the couples I’ve interviewed have reported feeling like they have somehow merged with their partner or had an even more transcendental experience, a feeling of being one with the cosmos. Have you experienced anything like that?

Jack: Oh, yes, absolutely! That feeling that you’re one person with two bodies? That happens a lot for both of us, and it can be really, really strong. When we’re in that zone I feel at least as much pleasure when she comes as when I do, and more than twice as much when we come together. It’s better even when it’s just me, because it isn’t just me. It’s me coming and it’s me feeling what she’s feeling when I come, so it’s like stereo, experiencing the exact same orgasm, but through two different channels.

But it’s not just the big bangs. It’s sometimes the little stuff that blows you away. Like running my fingernails up the backs of her knees and thighs and knowing exactly what that feels like to her!

It gets downright spooky at times. The other day we were sitting nested together, my back started to itch, and she just scratched it right where the itch was. I hadn’t said a word; it just itched and “I” scratched it – with her fingers!

Maybe it was coincidence. Maybe my back gave a tiny twitch at just that spot and she felt it and knew what it meant at some unconscious level. But it’s things like that that are almost enough to make me believe in telepathy!

Lita: The feeling of being connected to Jack and feeling whatever he’s feeling happens for me pretty much every time we take the time to meditate and do proper Tantra. It’s easy to take it for granted now, but I was so bowled over by it the first few dozen times, maybe even the first hundred times, it happened. It’s wonderful! Feeling him build up and come is even more important to me than having better orgasms myself. It’s the best thing about Tantra!

And I know Jack doesn’t agree with me, but for me this is the strongest evidence that the spiritual part of this is real. Sharing that oneness with someone else is a fact. And the simplest way to explain how that’s possible is that we are linked together in spirit, that by meditating together, and getting in synch, and loving each other, we have created this spiritual bond that lets us share each other’s feelings.

Everyone says Aristotle was the founder of Western science and logic. Do you know what he said about love? He said, "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." If it’s obvious to Aristotle, that’s good enough for me!

As for the other thing you asked about, I almost hate to talk about, it’s so special. There just aren’t any words for it. It’s happened to me, I don’t know, maybe eight or ten times in the last five or six years.

It only happens when we’ve had a long day of Tantra and sailing and other things, and I’m totally relaxed, exhausted, and feeling happy and full of love. If I’m completely connected to him and he is with me, and I’m being carried along on a big wave and I’m feeling him being carried by it too, then sometimes it’s like I can see right through him and through me and through the earth.

Sometimes I feel like I have a sun growing in my stomach and nebulas spinning around where my head should be. Sometimes I feel like I’m part of every tree and every plant and every ant or amoeba or bacterium, and everything burrowing in the ground, and I’m part of the earth and all their roots are in me and connecting me to everything else. Even saying “me” is wrong, because there is no “me”! There’s us and everything and it’s all the same thing!

I’m sorry, words really can’t explain it. I think that before we started doing Tantra I sometimes got close to the edge of something similar a few times when I was meditating, but never the real thing except with Jack. I’m just sorry he’s never been able to share it with me. Maybe someday.

Do you have any advice for other couples who aren’t on the same page spiritually?

Lita: Yes. Don’t preach! Don’t let it get in the way! Tantra is about love, not dogma.

Jack: Agreed. And if you’re the skeptic, don’t be a downer about it. Insisting that your partner see the world through your eyes is just a power trip, and it’s going to ruin the trust that makes it all possible.

Lita: I do think you have to find words that work for both of you, something that lets you talk about what’s going on in ways that don’t automatically get one person or the other on the defensive. And I think that means, for starters, that whoever is using non-English words needs to find English equivalents that they’re both okay with.

Jack’s gotten used to my jargon by now, but when we were just getting started, I was always careful to talk about “zones” or “areas” and of “that feeling of fullness” or “that tingling sensation,” instead of the way I thought about it in my own head.

Jack: And don’t be competitive about it. It’s not about who is more holy or spiritual any more than it’s about who has the biggest orgasms.

Lita: Well, that’s good advice for anyone, not just couples who are spiritually mismatched, or whatever you want to call it. You wouldn’t believe how silly it gets when two good friends or lovers get into that “I’m a better meditator” one-upmanship thing, especially since nothing messes up meditation more than being competitive or goal-oriented about it!

Jack: Most important, it’s what Lita said: Tantra is about love. If you make it something else, whether that’s bigger orgasms or the quest for enlightenment, or anything else, then that interferes with what makes Tantra work. If you just focus on loving each other the best way you can, those other things are more likely to happen. But if you try to make them happen, it backfires. It just messes up the sex and makes the other things less likely instead of more.

I do think there is another important thing here, though, for skeptics like me. You don’t have to believe literally in a spirit world or mystical powers, but there’s a difference between “spiritual” and “sacred.”

Sacredness is an attitude or a feeling, not a belief. It’s an attitude of reverence and joy. It really has nothing to do with religion, except that every religion has rituals that try to create feelings of sacredness. Tantric sexuality is about creating that feeling of sacredness in something that we usually think of as crude and profane. And when we do that, we discover that it can be so much more.

Ordinary sex is grubby and urgent and small because we think of it that way. It’s “dirty.” It’s hustling and conning the other person into doing something just for you. It’s playing a role and being afraid someone’s going to see through it. And it’s trying to get what you want as quickly as possible, all rush and no joy, except for that little bit at the end.

Tantra is the opposite. It’s completely the opposite. It’s slow, it’s relaxed, it’s honest, it’s about really enjoying the journey, not just the destination. Most of all, it’s about creating a sense of celebration out of the union of two people.

Another thing – religions make people associate sacredness with being pompous and serious, and it’s not like that at all. It should be joyful, and that means it should be fun!

Lita: Jack’s right. And I think there’s an important connection between sacredness and ritual. Having a ritual you do every time, even if you’re as casual about it as we are, is an important way to get yourself back into the right headspace. When we meditate before sex, that’s more than just a way to get relaxed. It’s a way to trigger all the feelings, all the emotions, that go into making Tantra feel sacred.

I think that’s also one reason that Tantric massage is such an essential part of the experience. First, it is part of that ritual, so it sets the stage and makes Tantra different from normal sex in an important way. But there’s also the whole idea of “yoni worship” and “lingam worship.”

I actually don’t think “worship” is a good choice of words, because it makes Christians think you are treating a body part like a god. But in the Hindu tradition, the Lingam is Shiva, who creates, destroys, and recreates the entire universe and all its substance, and the Yoni is Shakti, who animates Shiva’s creation, and gives it life and energy and wisdom. Your partner at that point represents the god or goddess in all of us, and I think “honoring” or “reverencing” or “celebrating” would be a better way to talk about it than “worshipping.”

Jack: Well, I don’t think changing the words is going to make it any more acceptable to people like my old man. But even if it seems odd to Christians – and Muslims and Jews, too! – you have to remember that the sacredness of fertility is probably the oldest and most universal religious idea.

There have been sky gods and earth goddesses as long as there have been farmers plowing fields, planting seeds, and praying for the sun and the rain and the warm mother earth to bring forth the new crop. The parallels between man and woman, seed and field, sky and earth, are obvious.

So there's nothing odd about finding sacredness in sex. We talk about the miracle of life – what could be more sacred than the act that creates life itself?

Lita: Exactly! So when you’re giving a Tantric massage, you’re doing more than just pleasing your partner. You’re celebrating and appreciating the sacredness, the capacity for energy and joy and fruitfulness, in your partner. For me, at that point, Jack is Shiva, the personification of all that is male and potent and strong in the world, and what I’m doing is an act of reverence and celebration.

Plus, of course, it’s fun to have a great big hunk of a man turn to jelly in your hands, but, hey, like he said, the sacred should also be fun!

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