Scheduling AlternativesNot everyone is able to make as much time for Tantra as they would like. Several couples have to skimp on the preliminary meditation and severely limit the full-body massage in the interest of time. They start with lingam and yoni massages and proceed from there without a break. All say they much prefer to take more time, and do so whenever they can.
Just about every couple with limited time shortens or skips the break. Several skip it entirely, and a few let it overlap with yab-yum, A few still set out some snacks before starting. Then they feed each other tidbits during the massages and while joined together in yab-yum. (Is that sex while eating? Or eating during sex? Either way it sounds weird, but apparently it works for them!) An upright position, like the traditional yab-yum position, is obviously best for this.
Two couples who have trouble getting even two hours for Tantra split it into two halves: When they have at least 90 minutes, they meditate and exchange massages; then on an alternate day, or when they have just an hour, they meditate, do yab-yum, and finish maithuna normally.
The first of these couples is young and they work conflicting schedules. By splitting the Tantra sessions, they nevertheless manage to squeeze four 60-to-90-minute sessions in per week. I think they are the only couple who said that they have Tantric sex more often than non-Tantric sex.
The other couple alternates between a split-Tantric schedule and a quarterly full-Tantra retreat. Four times a year, they drive five hours, park the kids with grandma, rent a cabin, and have a blissful Tantric weekend to themselves. They say that the biggest problem with dividing it up the way they normally do is with the second half-session: without the long buildup, especially the massages, they need more stimulation to get aroused during and after yab-yum, and the sex that follows it is typically shorter and less intense, with fewer extended orgasms. They also experience strong transcendent effects only during their quarterly Tantric weekends.
Finally, most couples seem to gravitate toward a weekly schedule, but there are some variations. Cabot and Marla, the oldest couple I interviewed, are on a roughly ten-day schedule that amounts to three Tantra sessions a month. Jack, another of the men I interviewed, works on an oil rig two weeks out of four. He and Lita squeeze four full Tantra sessions into 13 days, and then don’t see each other for two weeks. Yet another couple does both a “long” and a “short” Tantric ritual every week; I'll describe this more tomorrow. And one older couple (late 50s) is on a once-every-two-weeks schedule. (The husband has a job that requires working alternate weekends, but they also say that that frequency feels about right to them.)
Time of DayJust over half of the couples usually schedule Tantra for the evening, simply because that’s the only time available, but a solid majority of those I asked say they prefer to have Tantric sex in the morning or around mid-day whenever they can. It was years before I noticed this pattern, so I didn’t start asking most couples about why until about halfway through the interviewing process. The ones I asked said it was a fairly strong preference, but they didn’t do a good job of explaining why they preferred it.
Several say they got into the habit of mornings when their kids were small. As one put it, “You can’t ever count on having even 3 hours without an interruption if the kids are at home, and on the weekends it’s actually a lot easier to get them out of the house during the day than at night. There were a lot of weekends we dropped them off at soccer or swim team or Scout meetings and then went home and got crazy.”
That makes good sense, but it doesn’t explain why they didn’t switch back to evenings when the kids left home, or why couples with no kids share the same preference. The most common answer was along the lines of being fresher in the morning, or being less likely to get sidetracked or bummed out by something else that happened. One couple said they preferred mornings for Tantra because they always shower in the morning anyway. One woman said morning was better because “You always know that any day that starts with Tantra is going to be an amazing day!”
My partner and I agree with her and share this preference for morning Tantra, but I’m afraid we don’t have any better explanation for it. As I was writing this, my partner did point out that at least in daytime the man is less likely to roll over and fall asleep right after an orgasm. It’s a common stereotype, and for all I know it might apply to some of these couples, but – as I reminded him – he’s never done that yet, in the more than twenty years we’ve been together, so it can’t be my reason!
My best guess is that it’s because scheduling sex in the evenings is riskier, and most couples realize that. It can be a major downer to hear, “Honey, I know we had plans for tonight, but [stuff happened] and I’m just too tired.” Mornings make for far fewer disappointments. However, you need to experiment for yourselves. If you are like most people and associate sex only with bedtime, you might be surprised to find you like broad daylight better!
Mixing Up the MassageOne of the more common variants on the normal sequence for the massages is to finish each full-body massage with a relatively short genital massage – perhaps five or ten minutes. After both massages, the partners continue to swap places several more times. The man gets a second installment of lingam massage, the woman gets a second installment of yoni massage, and so on, until they are both done.
Many couples do this early in the learning process as an experiment. The attraction is that a five-minute alternation (for example) gives each person five minutes to come down a bit from the previous arousal peak, while the stimulation of giving a genital massage limits how far down he or she will come. This lets both partners extend the arousal period further and more easily, and it effectively turns two separate 15 to 30 minute arousal periods into a single period for both partners of 30 to 60 minutes.
Of the 22 couples who said they had done this, seven said that their first real experience with the “Tantric high” came from using this technique to get past the magic 20 or 25 minute mark.
However, the disadvantages keep most couples from doing this routinely. Swapping breaks the recipient’s internal concentration and makes it almost impossible to experience a full-body orgasm. It can also lead to the male partner having a sympathetic orgasm and ejaculation while he is massaging his partner’s yoni. After all, the point of swapping in the first place was that he was awfully close to the point of no return and needed a break. Hearing and feeling his partner’s response to his touch can be highly erotic and can easily push him over the brink, especially if he is focusing entirely on her and not paying any attention to himself.
Perhaps for this reason, the two couples who alternated short massages the most are both youngish (under 40) and both have a habit of giving the male partner two orgasms during the massage period and the female partner at least two. So the typical sequence for them is:
- Full-body massage for him, ending with a fairly quick orgasm - no attempted delay.
- Full-body massage for her, ending with one or more orgasms - meditation and moderate delay.
- Lingam massage for him, with maximum possible delay, finishing with an orgasm.
- Yoni massage for her, with maximum possible delay, finishing with multiple orgasms.
Both of these couples really prefer this approach and say it works well as long as the man's recovery time is short enough to allow two orgasms about 45 minutes apart and a third one after yab-yum and maithuna.
Tomorrow, we'll look at some of the creative ways different couples cope with physical limitations.