Often when I bring up tantric sex to people, their initial reaction is "Sex for four hours? No way!" But, the goal of tantric sex is not necessarily to have marathon sex sessions (though that is 100 percent achievable and not a bad goal). It's more about having a stronger, deeper, and more intimate connection with your partner. That can translate into hourslong sex and mind-blowing orgasms, but don't start out with that mission in mind.
My nine-year practice as a tantric sex coach and educator was informed by nearly a decade spent studying the authentic roots of Shakti Tantra in the jungles of South India with a teacher who gave her initiation to share the teachings that are 5,000 years old.
I initially learned tantra for my own sexual healing after suffering sexual abuse as a child and a sexual assault in my 20s, which instilled a very disempowered mindset regarding my sexuality and femininity. Tantra principles not only help people have better sex but are also a powerful tool to release unhealthy emotions and trauma that block relationships.
Tantra was instrumental in my healing because in this practice sex is sacred. It is not taboo. It is not something to be ashamed of. It gave me permission to integrate myself as a sexual woman and own that energy as an empowered goddess. Just viewing sex as worship instead of something dirty was incredibly liberating for me.
In my classes and workshops, I use a method called KISS to explain the true mission of tantra:
Tantra is about tapping into and embracing our inherent sexual energy.
Tantra principles create deeper intimacy and make a true "heart connection" through mindful sex.
3. S-Slow Down
By slowing down the foreplay and intercourse, you are able to be more present and pay more attention to the feelings and needs of both you and your partner.
Feeling sensual before you get sexual will allow you to feel more in your heart, body, and soul and help you feel more in tune with your own body and with your partner.
With that mission in mind, here are my five tips on how to incorporate tantric sex into your sex life:
1. Avoid judgment.
We tend to be in our heads, creating stories about ourselves and/or our partners when we are having sex. We often judge our bodies, our ability to please our partner, or what our "O face" looks like. When trying something new, those judgments and fears can be amplified. The key is to go into this with no judgment and no agenda—just let go and have fun.
2. Breathe together.
Bliss breath is a tantra technique that makes you feel much closer to your partner. It helps you have a deeper tantra experience. To try bliss breath, lightly constrict the back of your throat and take long, slow, deep breaths through your nose. It sounds like a sexy Darth Vader. You can inhale and exhale together to the speed and rhythm of your lovemaking, sometimes fast, and then slowing down to ride the edge of climax longer. Being in sync with our breath can bring you into a trance-like state.
3. Make eye contact.
Intimacy is not just about being naked and engaging in intercourse. Even when you are, you can still hide from true intimacy. As they say, the eyes are the windows to the soul. So, try holding eye contact during foreplay and during sex for a prolonged time. It might feel uncomfortable at first and, sure, you might even giggle from the awkwardness, but the benefits far outweigh that initial uncomfortable feeling.
Prolonged eye contact during sex lets you see deep inside the other person and lets them see deep inside you. When people close their eyes during sex, they are often focusing on their own pleasure or thinking of something—or someone—else. Or, they are just afraid to be truly connected. Eye contact helps you be fully connected to your own sensations and feelings and to your partner's as well.
4. Try feather-light touching.
Caressing your partner with a feather-light touch is one form of foreplay in tantra. You can run your fingernails gently up and down his arms, his back, his neck, etc. The skin is a powerful and sensitive organ. This is a great way to tease and delay gratification, which helps to build sexual tension and increase your arousal. It also raises the anticipation of sex, which increases dopamine levels in the body. In tantra, foreplay is not about oral sex or heavy making out. It can be gentle, sensual, and loving and still create a magnetic buildup.
5. Practice yab-yum.
Yab-yum is a Tibetan word that translates to "father-mother" and is symbolized as two Buddhas in a seated position with the woman seated on top of the man, straddling him with her legs wrapped around her partner. To get in position, start by sitting up straight, cross-legged in front of each other and look into each other's eyes.
By sitting still, holding the aforementioned eye contact, and breathing in unison, you create an instant and intimate connection. There is no sexual touching involved here, but you do want to use the feather-like touch to caress your partner. The second position has the woman's knees over her partner's legs. In the third position, she straddles him and wraps her legs around him—chest-to-chest, heart-to-heart, and genitals-to-genitals.We are prolonging intercourse to build up that arousal and tension. I recommend that couples try this position for at least five minutes in the beginning and build up to 10 or 15 minutes. Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, a licensed sex and relationship therapist who has studied oxytocin, says, "Oxytocin is a powerful hormone. With the 20-second hug—chest-to-chest—you will feel a rush." Can you imagine what you will feel with 15 minutes of yab-yum?