Monday, October 31, 2016

Bram & Kat & Gunter & Ann: A Tantric Foursome

As some of you know, I was traveling from July to early Sept, which is why there are no posts here for July and August.  But I want to share with you one of the most interesting stops I made on my journey, a visit with  two couples in Amsterdam who are in a committed tantric foursome.

I had them each pick a nickname, so I'll be calling them Bram, Kat, Gunter, & Ann.

Bram and Kat are Dutch, both 41; they have an 11-year-old daughter I'll call Kitty. They both have mid-level management jobs.

Ann is English and the baby of the group at 34.  She's a a pediatric therapist, specializing in Sensory Integration/Sensory Processing Disorder and autism.  Gunter, 37, is a programmer from Austria.  Their son is 3, and I'll call him Gumby because of the way he twists his face into funny shapes and wraps himself around any friendly adult.

Ann and Kat sent me an email last spring and I got to know them pretty well online.  When they heard I was coming to the Netherlands in August, they invited me to visit with their family and talk about tantra.

They wanted to grill me about techniques and of course I was curious about tantric sex in a group setting.  The result was a very long, chaotic, and fascinating interview.  With some help from Kat and Ann, I've extracted a long, highly-edited, and hopefully somewhat coherent transcript.

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (American Film Comedy, 1969)   

Okay, let's start with the obvious: how did you guys meet and become a foursome?

Kat:  Bram and I were friends in college, but we didn't really connect until we ran into each other again 8 years later. We'd both had messed up relationships with very low libido partners and we were determined not to do that again.  In fact it was sympathizing with each other about our exes that brought us together.

Bram:  We've been together since '03.  Kitty was born in '05 and by the time she was two it was obvious that she was having trouble with many things – touch, balance, loud noises, social interaction.  We were at wit's end.  She had a lot of issues and we knew something was wrong, but no one could give us any clear answers.

Kat:  When she was three and a half, we took her to a research center in England where we finally got a good clear diagnosis.  They put us in touch with Ann, who had trained there but worked in Amsterdam.  She agreed to help us and that meant not just doing therapy with Kitty, but training us to do it too.  So we were working together almost every day.

Bram:  And we hit it off really well.  Kitty adored Ann, we loved her, she became part of the family.  Therapy was a long process, but we could see what a difference it made.  And it got to be much more than just a professional relationship, a really deep friendship.  Between therapy sessions we talked about work, philosophy, sex, music, politics, who she was dating, how it was going, and all that.  It was just a friendship at that point, but a very close one.

Ann:  What Bram didn't mention is their cooking.  They both love to cook, and they would ply me with the most wonderful food!  I'm not much of a cook and I hate cooking for one, so when this escalated from delicious snacks to exotic lunches, and then to magnificent dinners, I was helpless to resist!

Kat:  It was so!  We were so grateful to her for helping with Kitty, and for being a friend, and we express love through food!

Bram:  And I think love is just the right word.  Not in a romantic way at that time, but all three of us fell in love with her during those first few years.

Ann:  So here I was, a single girl away from home, and these mad, wonderful people took me into their hearts and their home and fed me ambrosia.  And Kitty is a love.  Even with all the problems she had, she had so much courage and determination!  And once she saw we were making progress, she was fierce about her loyalties.  I was her hero, and being a little girl's hero is hard to resist.  But Kitty is my hero, too.  She's an amazing person.

Meanwhile, I went through some messy romantic stuff.  I had a girlfriend for a while, a girl from Romania who was exciting to be with, but she had some serious sexual problems and she just couldn't accept a no from me.  She got more and more kinky and into pain, and I just wasn't into that.

Finally I broke up with her and started dating a really cute English guy, and she completely flipped!  I told her I was bi when we first met, but at the end she couldn't accept being replaced by a guy.  So it got ugly.  Plus the new boyfriend turned out badly, so that was a mess too.  And of course Bram and Kat were feeding me good food and sympathy as all of this went on!

Gunter:  Tell her about the massages.

Ann:  It's one of the tools we use for pediatric therapy.  Some kids with SPD need lots and lots of experience with touch, stroking their heads and bodies with hands and with fur and cloth and brushes, with all sorts of different textures.  It helps them gradually learn to localize touch and figure out where their limbs are.

When I started working with Kitty, I would tell her to close her eyes.  Then I would touch her arms or legs or chest and ask her to point to the spot I had touched.  And she couldn't even come close.  She felt it, but she had no idea where it was.

Massage also helps many kids who are hypersensitive become calmer and more relaxed, and Kitty fit this category too.  So I started out teaching Kat and Bram how to do it, using a mat on the floor.  Then Bram built a nice padded table so he could do it standing up and, well, it spread from there!

Kat:  Yes it did.  We were really stressed for a lot of reasons, and we could see how much good it did for Kitty, so Bram and I started giving each other massages too.  Naturally that also became part of sex for us.  So we were playing around and learning more about massage as a way to cope with stress and keep ourselves sane.  Having a 'special needs child' tears a lot of couples apart.  I think it made us closer, and that's one way we stayed glued together.

So that's all it was for several years until Ann's love life fell apart the second time.

Ann:  I had such a huge crush on that guy and he turned out to be such a bastard!  And having two relationships go bad like that, one after the other, was just too much.  I got depressed and was moaning to Ann and Bram about it over dinner.  As we finished dinner they suggested I needed a massage that day just as much as Kitty ever did.

So I lay on the table in just my undies and all three of them started to work me over, Bram and Kat on either side and 6-year-old Kitty stroking my hair and patting my head in the sweetest way.  It was heavenly!  It was just what I needed to feel human again.  And after Kitty went to bed, it seemed the most natural thing to swap places and give Kat and Bram their turns on table.

So, gradually, we got into a pattern of exchanging back rubs and massages quite often when I came for dinner.

So how did Gunter get involved?

Gunter:  Oh, I was the boy next door!  [Laughter]

Kat:  He was, literally.  As you saw, this is a duplex, and Gunter moved into the other unit about the same time that Ann was breaking up with Dracula's Sister and starting to date the Slimy Limey [her English boyfriend].  We got to know him after a while, and Kitty liked him a lot.  He was very patient with her and built legos with her, which became her favorite thing. So Ann met him at dinner sometimes.

Gunter:  Kitty was our matchmaker.  She disapproved of Ann's boyfriend, because he made Ann unhappy.  Kitty's a smart girl.  She thought her two favorite non-parent grownups should be together, just like her parents, and that would make us all happy.

Kat:  Well, she was right, wasn't she?

Gunter:  Of course she was.  I said she was smart!

Ann:  What Gunter means is that he had cleverly positioned himself to catch me on the rebound when the Limey turned out to be slimy.  I wallowed in my misery for a couple of months, and about the time I got over that, who was always there when I stayed for dinner? Who did Kitty tell me all about during therapy?  How handsome he is and how he'd be perfect for me?

We got to be good friends, and I must say it was refreshing to get involved with someone sane for a change!  And things took their course naturally from there.  Honestly, it just felt right, almost preordained.  What could be more natural than to fall in love with the handsome gent who lived next door to my best friends?

So I moved in with Gunter in, let's see, I guess it was March of 2010, and mostly we motored along like that for a time.  Gunter and I figured out where all the bits should go and we were all wrapped up in each other like new lovers should be.

But we were also eating dinner here at least half the time, and Kitty spent almost as much time on our side of the house as she did on this side.  She and Gunter had graduated from Legos to "Lego Logo," a programming language for kids.  He was teaching her to program and she was soaking it up and loving it.

So we got into a pattern with the massage table.  If Gunter was working with Kitty after dinner on the other side, Kat and I might offer to give Bram a back rub over here, or Bram and Kat would give me one.  If I was working with Kitty, the men would give Kat a rub.  And so on.   So there were a lot of 4-handed massages given all around and we all got very comfortable with each other.

How did you get involved in tantra?

Kat:  It started for us with sex massages.  When Bram and I first got together it seemed like there was never enough time, and of course it got worse after the baby came.  But we both have the healthy libido and we learned that too many quickies just makes me irritable. So we tried to make time for sex with lots of foreplay whenever we could.

And when Bram built the table and we started to use it for ourselves, he figured out right away that it wasn't just good for stress.  He got good at making me cum over and over again, which was a new thing for me.

Bram:  I think she took it as a challenge, because she started trying to find ways to make my table-time as good as hers, which is how we got into edging and delayed orgasms. This was a good thing!  I approved!  It made pretty good sex much better!

And then with the others in the picture, there were suddenly all these extra hands, and lots of teasing both ways.  So Gunter and I might give a massage to Ann in the evening, leaving me all worked up, and then I'd end up in bed with Kat as soon as we put Kitty to bed and said goodnight.  Or the girls might give me one, and that would be just as bad, because they are wicked teases!

Ann:  And of course it was contagious for us too.  I'd help Kat give Bram a massage and get so horny that I'd be ready to drag Gunter into bed and go nuts as soon as I got back to our side.  Plus, we were all comparing notes and egging each other on.  And gradually the four-handed massages went a little bit further, and then a teeny bit more.

One day Kat asked Bram to show Gunter how he did a breast massage and Bram demonstrated on Kat, and then had Gunter duplicate his motions.  Just to be sure, they did it again the next time they were both working on me.  Well, that opened the door a crack.  Then Kat and I started including serious butt massages when we were working on the guys.  And pretty soon the knickers were gone and nobody much noticed.

Kat:  Bram and I did have a serious talk about how far we wanted to go with this.  Both of us had escaped from almost sexless relationships before.  And we had always said we were okay with opening up our relationship someday if it seemed necessary because of changes in libido.  But we still did some cautious exploration, like... If they want to share with us, is that something you would like?

But once I was sure this was what Bram wanted, I asked Ann if the increase in intimacy was making them uncomfortable and if we needed to draw a line somewhere.  And she said that if it bothered us we should all back off, but that she was fine with it.  Then she had a talk with Gunter, who was going mad with frustration from all the teasing and wanted to go ahead if Ann did.

Ann:  I was as hot to share as he was, so Kat and I put our heads together and decided to ambush Bram while Gunter was with Kitty in the other half of the house.  We locked the door and gave Bram our sexiest 4-handed back, butt, and leg massage, with Kat doing some cock teasing between his legs.  Then we told him to roll over, which was new.

He did, eyes wide, not sure what was going on.  He was very hard and Kat and I went to work, first rubbing his chest and thighs, then rubbing his cock and balls, and then trading licks.  Then Kat announced that she was going to go check on Gunter and Kitty and told us to have fun!  [Laughter]

Well, you can figure out the permutations from there.  We took some time getting used to our new partners one-to-one in bed before we graduated to serious two-to-one on the massage table.  Bram and Gunter are both wonderful lovers, but different, and it took a while to get the little quirks sorted out – what they especially like, how we fit together, and such.  I'm so much shorter than Kat that both guys had to make some adjustments.  Things like that.

Kat:  Of course it is much easier to figure out a new partner's secret wishes if you can compare notes with someone else who knows just what he likes!  And during a massage you can just demonstrate for the other person.

I'm hearing that you did four-handed massages, but not threesomes or foursomes in bed. Is that right?

Bram:  That's right, especially at the beginning.  I'm not really sure why we waited.  Maybe it was a sense that the geometry might get awkward, and we didn't want to risk it?

Ann:  I think that was it, but also because we had this whole 'straight male' question that we'd never talked about, with two straight guys in the same bed.  If they are standing on opposite sides of a table, there's no awkward contact with private parts.  But with three or four people squirming around in bed it's a different story.  It's the same for two women, except in that case, everyone knew I liked women, but we all acted like we were afraid to talk about it.

So how did you resolve it?

Kat:  It started with me.  I'd always thought I was straight, and maybe a little bi-curious.  But I love Ann and I was getting turned on whenever I helped give her a massage or she helped give me one.  And it started to bug me that she hadn't tried to get something going, so I started teasing her about it.

Ann:  And I had just been holding back because I knew she was straight and I didn't want to mess anything up by putting pressure on her.  But as soon as she signaled some interest, we got some time alone together and made up for lost time!

Afterward we found out that the guys had been discussing the situation the whole time, wondering what they could do to encourage us, so everyone was happy when Kat and I made the leap.

Kat:  You know the best thing about it?  Aside from some really sexy girl time?  It was having Ann teach the rest of us to be a lot better at fingering and cunnilingus.  She's amazing!  I might have felt awkward being with a woman for the first time, but the first time she went down on me was a revelation.  I was in heaven!  Now the men are as good as she is, which is oh, so good for both of us!  [Laughter]

It is sad that our men are not bi-sexual, because there are still some three-way experiments we haven't tried, or have tried only once or twice, and the big orgy is an appealing idea, but it just hasn't panned out.  Ann and I do sometimes get six-handed massages when all four adults are together and the kids are safely out of the way, which is really rare.  But the men do not.  And the few times we've all four been together in one bed, either we were still two separate pairs or the girls were in the middle.

Gunter:  You know, it's not just that we're shy.  If any of us really wanted to do something, we'd try it.  But most of the MFM and MFMF porn stuff just isn't worth all the complexity.

Double penetration?  It must take hours and extra helpers to set that up for the cameras! The position is almost impossible to get into, and then the guy on the bottom can't move.  And daisy chains fail for the same reason 69s do:  its very hard to do a good job of oral sex when someone else is doing a good job on you.

Kat:  So we've had some three-ways but almost no four-ways.  Like when Bram takes Kitty to his mother's house for the day, and Ann and Gunter and I all three take several turns being on the table.  We get really hot and there are lots of orgasms for Ann and me.  Or Gunter would tell us he had promised to spend the afternoon building a Lego robot with Kitty, and we'd grab Bram and do the same thing with him.

How did it affect things when Ann got pregnant?

Ann:  Surprisingly little at first.  I had an easy pregnancy and I was horny the whole time. Having three lovely people pampering me helped oodles!  We had sex into my 9th month and did massage and oral right up until my waters broke.

We all did kegels like mad the whole time, too.  Kat did them when she was pregnant and she insisted that I do them to help with the birth and recovery.  And they all made a point of doing them too, so I wouldn't feel alone.  Kat and I also did some other pelvic floor exercises that she learned when she was pregnant with Kitty.

Then the baby came, and it is SOOO much easier to be a new mother with three other people around to share the load!  Gunter took leave for three months, so he was home during the day, and I never had to manage Gumby alone.  I just nursed and napped and they did the rest!

Which was a good thing, really, because my hormones cycled all over the place for the first couple of months.  If I had had to cope with anything serious like most new mothers do, I'd have fallen apart.

In fact I did fall apart, but over nothing.  Gunter was such a wonderful dad and partner and Kat and Bram were being so much help, and they were all so good with the baby that I talked myself into a crying jag because I felt so inadequate when I realized they were all three better at changing my son's diaper than I was.

How did you handle sex in the aftermath?

Ann:  Oh, they were wonderful!  Everyone got lots of rubs and Kat took up the slack and kept Gunter sane for me.

Kat:  Ha!  I had two strong sexy men to myself for two whole months!  Such a big sacrifice!

Ann:  But it meant a lot to me, because I would have been pushing myself to give Gunter oral when I really wasn't feeling it.  But I wasn't torn up much from the birth.  I didn't have any stitches and the doctor cleared me after 8 weeks.  And by then I was feeling quite a lot more sparkly and like myself.  

Of course nursing can be a nuisance.  I had a tendency to leak a lot, and to spray whenever I had an orgasm, so I started keeping my nursing bra on even during sex unless someone wanted milk play.  But aside from that we got back into our old routine pretty soon.

Kat:  Except no foursomes after that.  One or two of us stayed with Kitty and the baby while the other adults played games.  But everyone took turns, so no one missed out.  

Having live-in babysitters is good for new mothers and fathers.  Bram and I had a lot less sex when Kitty was little!

Bram:  Very true, very true.  And even when Kitty was old enough for a nursery, her problems made that too hard.  Kat and I did not get much sleep until we found Ann, and sex happened not much for three years.  I think this way is better.

Gunter:  MUCH better!  As the young papa, I approve of the new way!  Every couple should have partners like Bram and Kat before making babies!  [Laughter]

Kat:  Ann mades it sound like we did all the work, but being a mother is always hard work. She was also doing therapy for Kitty almost the whole time, after just one month off, and Gunter was teaching Kitty to program and make robots.  Everyone helped everyone!

Not to be one-track-minded, but I think we lost the thread of how you got interested in tantra?

Bram:  Right you are!  And that is actually timely, because we just got to that point in the story.  Ann, you were the one to find Shakti's website, weren't you?

Ann:  That's right.  I would sit by my computer while I was nursing and follow all sorts of links down all sorts of rabbit holes.  At first, most of it was about babies and nursing and 'new mom' things.  But soon I was looking for things related to sex after pregnancy, and then erotic massage.  And that landed me on one of your pages.

What you were saying made a lot of sense, so I went back to the beginning of your blog, and I realized that we were already doing a lot of the things you described as tantra.  So I shared the link and the men read it and got interested, and finally Kat agreed to read it. And actually Kat and Bram were the first ones to start doing it seriously.

Bram:  It was the meditation.

Ann:  Yes.  Gunter and I thought we were too busy to spend time on meditation.

Kat:  That is not sensible, of course.  If you meditate, you think more efficiently and that saves time.  Besides, serenity is very good for babies.

Ann:  Well, yes, luv, but we didn't know that.  It was seeing the benefit for Kitty that changed my mind.  She would meditate right along with her mother and father, and it really seemed to help her.  I was impressed that an 8-year-old with SPD could sit still and do nothing for that long, and it helped her be a lot calmer and get less anxious and frustrated. Gunter and I wanted to see what it felt like, and that got us into it too.

Gunter:  So we were meditating and also doing things from your blog.  And it gradually came together.  We started deliberately edging each other much more to make the buildup longer before orgasms.  And Kat and Bram were getting good at it, telling us we needed to catch up.

Kat:  And Bram was working on the dry orgasm too. That motivated Gunter too, I think!

Ann:  It wasn't just Gunter.  It motivated me as well.  I still remember the first time Bram did that [had several dry orgasms] when Kat and I were edging him in a lingam massage.  It was so thrilling to be able to give a man several orgasms, just like you can give a woman!

Gunter:  So then I had to catch up.  But it was easier for me with Bram there telling me how he did it.

Kat:  And while he was working on that, we started doing whole tantra sessions, but just in couples.  We still did four-handed massages, but not if we were going to do yab-yum after and finish with penetration.  We couldn't figure out the logistics of three or four people in the same place while we did yab-yum and the finish.

We are still new to this, and there are so many combinations that it took a long time.  But now we have done the whole tantra session enough times with all five pairs to get it sorted. I mean there's Ann and me, and each of us with each of the men, which is five pairs.  And we did it enough so it is working for all of our pairs.

Ann:  Once all of us had done tantric sex with one partner successfully, it was much easier to learn to do it with another one, because we both knew what to expect.

Can you give me some idea of the time line?  How long have you been doing tantric sex and when did you start mixing pairs?

Bram:  Kat and I started meditating and doing other things at the start of 2014, and I think the first time we tried the full tantric sex was March.  I think Ann and Gunter were 3 or 4 months behind us.

Ann:  About that.  I think our first time going all the way through it was Midsummer's Night, toward the end of June.  Kat and Bram had the children and it was a short night.

Gunter:  It was during the World Cup, so June sounds right.  The Dutch team won group B that day.

Ann:  I can see what you found most memorable about it!  [Laughter]  But it wasn't until the following winter that we tried the complete tantric sequence with other partners.

Bram:  That was you and Kat?

Ann:  I think so.  After Christmas.  You were out and Gunter had the kids.  Kat and I were still trying to figure out what girls do with girls at the end of tantra.  And we talked about it afterward and we told you we wanted to try trading partners for tantra the following week, after the New Years party.

Then we started doing that about once a month after that for quite a long time.

Kat:  When did we start exchanging more often?

Ann:  I don't know.  Last summer some time.  But it wasn't until early this year that we really started to alternate every time.

Do you do tantra with someone every week?

Kat:  Not at first.  Bram and I started doing it every other week the first year, because of making time for everyone else.  But this year it's been very close to once a week for all of us.  In fact for Ann and me it's a little more than that, because we have to steal extra time for tantra with each other so the boys don't feel neglected.

Ann:  So we neglect each other instead.  I do tantra with either Gunter or Bram every week, but Kat and I only get one tantra session with each other every month or two.  It's so sad.  We need a bi liberation movement!  We are oppressed by our men and their militant straightness!!! [Laughter]

Do you and Kat feel pressure to spend equal time with each of the men, and vice versa?

Ann:  I don't think it's pressure, exactly.  It's more a feeling that keeping it equal prevents any cracks in the foundation.  So even if it seems a little unspontaneous, it makes more sense to alternate.  Besides, we all like the variety!

Kat:  I think there was a little bit of feeling that doing tantra only with one person created a division.  It wasn't that I was having sex with Bram more often than with Gunter, but I was definitely having sex for more hours with Bram, and the connection from tantra is stronger than regular sex, no matter how much fun the other kind is.

Bram:  On the other hand, doing tantra with everyone this year has made us more of a foursome and less like two couples who share.  My bond with Ann is stronger now and Kat's bond with Gunter is too.  So it has helped equalize things.

Gunter:  Oh, yes.  That is very true for me too.

In doing tantra with different partners, have you found more similarities?  Or more differences?

Bram:  This is a good question!  The basic feeling, the "tantric high," as you called it, is the same.  But everything else is different for me in some ways because Kat and Ann are such different people and they are very different in what they need.

Also, I know Kat for two decades now, so I find it easy to share her body in spirit.  Ann is still my "new girl," so I have to think more about what I need to do when I am giving her massage.

And afterwards, toward the end, it is not so easy to lose myself and feel like I am inhabiting her body and mine too.  The power of that feeling is as strong when it happens, but it is not so easy for it to happen so it usually happens later, just near to the end.

Gunter:  Wow!  Really?  Have you ever said this before?  That is interesting because I don't think there is a difference in that way for me.  The feeling is very different because you are sharing it with a different person, but I don't have to think more or try harder to make it happen and I don't think there's any difference in how long it takes!

Ann:  I think my experience is more like Gunter's, at least when I'm with Gunter and Bram. Sharing with them has different ... flavors, maybe? ... feelings, anyway.  It's very different! But I don't think it takes more effort to get to that point with either one of them.

However ... sharing tantra with Kat is very different from sharing with either Bram or Gunter. I always feel the maleness of their bodies as different from my own, so at the end I'm always aware of feeling like I'm in two bodies at the same time.  But with Kat it's more like we just melt together into one body.  Does that make any sense?

Kat:  Oh, yes.  It does to me.  I was wondering how to say that without making the boys feel left out!  It is not better with a woman, but it is different.  With a man, I feel like I have a cock AND a pussy.  With Ann we are all the same so the difference is less.

But also, we are taking turns almost the whole time, so the focus is more on the feelings of who is receiving.  When I am giving, I feel like I am mostly her, still Kat, but mostly in Ann's body, because I am more focused on how my tongue or fingers feel to her.  When she is giving, I am mainly in my body even though I feel like I am also being her and giving that body pleasure.

But I also know what Bram means.  I have to pay attention much more when I am giving Gunter a lingam massage or sitting yab-yum with him.  That is not a bad thing!  Paying attention is good!

But with Bram I can just go into a trance and act on feelings so I can be more lazy in my mind.  I don't have to think about what I should do next or whether I need to back off.  I just know.

Ann:  I wonder how much of that is because of how much longer you two [Kat and Bram] have known each other, and how much is because you were both born here and have the same culture and first language?  Are there subtleties of the body language that you "speak" to each other that Gunter and I can't "hear" as well because we are both foreigners?  And vice versa?

Bram:  Another good question!  I thought it was the time, but maybe it is culture too.  It's probably some of both!

Have you ever tried doing a full tantra session with more than two people?

Kat:  Not really.  We tried doing it in parallel once, as two couples, doing everything at the same time in the same room, but separately.  It was too distracting.  Even if I shut my eyes, I couldn't stop hearing what was happening "over there."  The others said the same thing. So we didn't try that again.

Bram:  We are still new to this. We hoped you had some better ideas for us to try!

Unfortunately, I don't.  I'm having a hard time just trying to visualize how everything would fit together physically for some of the possible activities you might want to try with four people!

*  *  *

We talked for four hours, had a terrific dinner, and talked for a couple of hours more.  (Ann is right.  Bram and Kat are marvelous cooks!)

I posted a lot of the conversation because I thought it highlighted the emotional and practical considerations in a four-way sexual relationship really well.

I have much more from the interview, but this is already too long, so I'm going to reserve the other bits for other posts at a later time.  Perhaps by then I will have heard from other people doing tantra in open or polyamorous relationships, or in committed relationships with more than one partner, and they can offer us new perspectives.

So I'm signing off for now, with big thanks to my four wonderful hosts!

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