Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Grounding" or "Energy Management" Techniques

Happy holidays, everyone!

As we end the year, I want to talk about a topic that frequently comes up if you study with, or read books by, tantric gurus who have been affected by Chinese/Taoist approaches to tantra.  

Here's one version of the question asked on a Q&A site:

What do tantric/sexual grounding or "energy management" techniques involve, and what is their purpose?  Are grounding techniques and energy management commonly practice by people who practice tantric sex? Why?
I ask because when I read about tantra, including people's personal experiences, people tend to promote the idea of being careful with things like sexual and kundalini energy.
It makes sense to me that it is important to be careful with any practice, especially when getting started. This is true for almost anything we do with the physical body.
E.g. In reference to energy, the body has an electrical system, and it stands to reason that we could overwhelm it, just like we can injure a muscle if we don't  take care when exercising.  And I know from personal experience that I experience strong energetic sensations when practicing solo tantra.
So, getting back to my questions: what do tantric or sexual grounding or "energy management" techniques involve, and what is their purpose?
I could read lots about this, but I'd have to wade through lots of stuff I don't really resonate with.  I'd like if someone could just boil it down to simple explanations that are practical and applicable to many people. I'm fine with spiritual terms and concepts, I just prefer them to be clear, practical, and consistent, rather than obscure and arcane.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tantra Workshops, Gay Tantra, and More

Happy Turkey Day, for all American readers!

I've just enjoyed my second Thanksgiving dinner in four days, first with Z's amazing family, including his sister and her husband and kids, and then with my brother and his wonderful wife and daughters, so I'm feeling very happy, thankful for my family, and stuffed!  I hope those of you who celebrate T-day had a great week too!

Tantra Coaching and Workshops

Ever since I started this blog, I've had a steady trickle of questions about personal coaching or workshops.  As far as I'm concerned personally, the answer has to be no.  I did this once for a young couple about a decade ago, and Z just found it too embarrassing and awkward, so part of my deal with him when I went public with this blog was that I would not get involved in teaching tantra in a personal way.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Origins and Meaning of "Tantra"

I want to move some posts from other spots over to this blog, so I thought this one on the origin and the various meanings of the word "tantra" would be a good place to start.

The word "tantra" means (at least) four different things:

Tantra (1) – A tradition of supernatural ritual magic found within many branches of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and to a lesser extent Daoism.  Also known as Tantrism.

Tantra (2) – A ritual, formula, or procedure described in a text or esoteric teaching, especially in Hinduism and in Vajray─üna (Tibetan Buddhism).

Tantra (3) – A written text describing a tantra (2) and recognized as authentic by one or more sects of one of the Asian religions.  Most date from the 5th through 10th centuries CE when religious turmoil and increased literacy led to a great upsurge in interest in learning and recording the secrets of ancient magic.

Tantra (4) – Tantric sex, the common Western term for a set of sexual practices that are allegedly derived from sexual rituals that originated roughly 2500-5000 years ago in the Indus Valley region of India.  Also known as neotantra, modern tantra, urban tantra, and sacred sex.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Woman on Top - Sex in the "Cowgirl" Position

I love being on top.  As I've mentioned before, the "cowgirl" position is pretty close to a standard for a lot of couples after the yab-yum stage during tantra, but I also love it for regular sex.  My partner and I tend to begin that way more often than not.  But after getting several private questions and a plaintive one on another website, I've begun to realize that a fair number of women are scared to try it, so I thought I would share some tips.

This was the question:

How do you support yourself as a woman when you are on top during sex? Do you move up and down or do you rock back and forth? Are you sitting completely upright?  Besides being shy about "being on top," I don't really know the logistics of how to do it.  Any tips?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Most Intense Orgasm for Women

This was a question I answered elsewhere, so I thought I would share my answer here, too.  Some of it will be redundant for those of you who have read through this blog from the start, but it still may be fun to see it summed up in one place!  :)

What is the most intense orgasm a woman can have?

I've discussed this question at length with many women and their spouses/long-term partners.  All are very experienced with tantric sex, and all of the women have at least occasionally experienced real monster orgasms.

The first observation, and this was unanimous, is that "most intense" does not equal "best."  This is partly because you can trip a circuit breaker and pass out when things get to the max intensity level and then you miss a good chunk of the fun.  Around a dozen of the women I talked to have blacked out at least once during an orgasm.  Several reported feeling woozy or nauseous afterward and none of them thought passing out was fun.  It made all of them a bit cautious about pushing for a repeat.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Aunt Shakti's Action Plan for Proactive Modern Virgins

In my last post we talked abut women and when they had their first orgasms, and we followed the story of a young woman who had been sexually active for most of a year and was still seeking her first one.  As a follow-up to that, an old friend has been pushing me to add an article based on something I first wrote for my nieces when they were old enough to be asking questions about how virgins can make their first time better and less painful.
Listen, I know this isn't strictly about tantra, but I bet there are a lot of girls and young women out there reading things like this on the web who have NEVER been with a guy. Or they've just done oral and stuff, and they're on the verge and they're kinda excited and kinda scared and NOBODY is helping them get ready.
My first time was horrible.  It was so painful and bloody that I pushed him off and made him stop.  It was about as bad as it could be for both of us. That thing you wrote for virgins really needs to be out there so people can stumble across it in as many places as possible.  It's a really great guide to getting ready, and I think you should at least think about putting it on your website.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mailbag #4: First Orgasms, and How Women Vary

I've gotten a fair number of messages over the last six months from people who are struggling with the mysteries of the female orgasm.  This one showed up in early May:
Hi Shakti, my girlfriend & I came across your blog a couple of months ago and we'd really like to start learning tantra, but we've been trying to follow your advice to get "the basics" worked out first. The biggest problem is that Sara* can't have an orgasm no matter what we do. She says she enjoys having sex with me. She says she loves doing it & she loves making me come. She acts horny & rubs up against me to distract from TV or studying or the computer when she wants to do it. She takes the intiative a lot, maybe even more than I do, but I know it's bugging her that there's this other experience women are supposed to have & she can't do it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mailbag #3: Single Women/Meditation

Two of the letters about solo Tantra were from women, and both asked about vibrators.  I think I could have done a better, more complete job of answering them (sorry!), so I’ve rewritten and expanded on my answer for posting here:

I'm considered something of a radical pro-vibrator heretic in some circles because I refuse to condemn the use of vibrators during Tantric sex.  However, I do agree that it's a good idea for women to be cautious about using a vibrator during solo sex more than absolutely necessary, in part because a vibrator can get us used to reaching orgasm very quickly, a tempo that sex with a partner can't match.

Even if you have never managed to give yourself an orgasm manually, I urge you to give it a try and go as slowly as you can for as long as you can.  Your goal should be to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the arousal phase as long as possible.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mailbag #2: Tantra for Singles

One of the most common questions I have received from readers is from people who are currently single and want to get ready to learn Tantra with a partner.  Each time, I have added things to what has become my standard response, but I think this now covers most of the essentials:

Hi, ____.

I’m not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll try to answer any questions you have. If you have read this blog from the beginning, you know it’s a pretty complete course on learning Tantra, but it’s also very oriented toward couples. That's what I know, and it's what the people I interviewed know best.  

However, I did ask everyone I talked to about their experiences with things like meditation, sex, and orgasms before they learned Tantra, so I can say a bit about some things you can do now that will make the whole learning process easier when you do have a partner.

The best things single people can do to get ready to learn Tantra are: 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mailbag #1: Tantra Videos / Stoned Tantra

I mentioned last time that I’ve been answering emails individually, but that some of the exchanges are worth sharing, so with due attention to privacy, here are some of the more interesting bits.

Tantra Video Links

This first one is a response from Anna that I’ve already quoted in reply to a reader’s question.  New readers who bother to look at comments will see it, but the readers who have been following the blog for a while won’t, so I’m going to insert the whole exchange here for them.

Pisces Flower had this question: 
In the last several years I have done a short version of the lingam message for my husband before I knew what it was (as much for him as me!) I did a couple of massages based on the information I had read here and a couple other sites but it wasn't... quite right. I finally found a tasteful video and that helped but I've only been able to find the one. I found it helpful but not so much for my husband in regards to the yoni message. I was wondering if you could send or post the website Anna and Hans found with the hour-long videos that helped them?

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Free Tantra Ebook

Wow, you guys are shy!  I can see from the stats that this blog is getting a lot of visits - about 5,000 hits per month after screening out the obvious spambots - but it has gotten only four public comments in seven months and 40-50 emails!

I have answered most of those emails individually, but some of those answers might be useful to others, so I'm going to start reshaping my answers into things I can post.  Unless I get sidetracked by other things, expect to see a Q&A format coming up for the next few posts at least.  And please send me your questions!

Converting the Blog to a Book

Several readers have written urging me to turn this blog into a book.  There's more than enough material already, but I also have more interviews that I could add, plus some additional info and suggestions that I omitted originally to avoid making the blog posts too long.

If I decide to do this, should it be just an ebook?, or should I do a "pbook" too?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Mystery and Magic of the Human Pair Bond

In my last post, I made a case that humans have (at least) three overlapping and competing attraction systems, and that there are styles of sex that are appropriate to each of the three. The key problem is that everyone starts out with lust and romance, but people who want to be in satisfying long-term relationships often aren’t able to make the transition to the kind of sex that can sustain a long-term relationship.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lust, Romance, and Pair Bonding

You’ve now had a chance to read about four of the couples I interviewed.  I chose these couples to profile because they represent the range of differences I encountered fairly well.  (There was one obvious exception:  because I was also favoring the more reflective and articulate interviews, the couples I ended up choosing to describe for you were all college educated, and four of the eight individuals have at least a masters, whereas seven of the people I interviewed had some or no college.)

But as you read through this series of posts, you should have noticed a clear similarity:  all four of these couples are strongly devoted to each other.  In this, they are completely representative of all of the (now almost 60) couples I've interviewed.  To understand why, we need to take a step back and look at why this question even comes up.  Why aren’t humans, like many species, simply hardwired to be either monogamous or promiscuous?

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.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Jack & Lita: Male Orgasm and Ejaculation Control

I decided to introduce you to this next couple because my interview with them touched on two important questions:  How can couples manage if the two people feel very different about the spiritual or religious side of Tantra? And how important is the role of “sacredness” in what is often called “sacred sexuality”?

The other reason that I wanted to write up this interview for the blog is that Jack is the only man I talked to who had been able to go beyond the kegel clamp method for having multiple orgasms, to being able to trigger a complete orgasm without ejaculation by an act of will.  We’ll get to his account of what that learning process was like at the end of part one of this interview.