Tantra practices are more about mastering and understanding our own energy than with the sex act in particular. However, sexual energy is an element of human nature. As Rashmi Tantra explains, Tantra “accepts human nature as it is and then elevates it, rather than avoiding/denying human nature and human desires.” Tantra does not consider sex "impure." The body is viewed as a vehicle for enlightenment.
“The balance created by Tantric practices [allows] seekers [to be] fulfilled, while neither chasing nor denying the pleasures and passions of life.”
More-conventional Tantra instructors may focus solely on the idea of sacred sexuality, which practitioners like Rashmi consider separate from the original Tantra teachings. “Many Neo-Tantra workshops are [really just] sex education workshops,” says Rashmi.
Diana Daffner, certified sexologist and author of Tantric Sex for Busy Couples, agrees that the purpose of Tantra originally “was not to have better sex or to improve relationships. It wasn’t even to be practiced by couples. It was to help individuals reach their own higher consciousness, to enter the liberating experience of heaven, or 'nirvana.' Some, but not all, Tantric sects...embraced sexual activity.... The sexual practices were designed to provide the practitioner with orgasmic intensity as a pathway to divine energy. It was never about having more enjoyable, sex. It was a spiritual training.”
But, as Daffner explains, “When Tantra was introduced to the Western World in the second half of the 20th century, it took on a new flavor. This teaching of intention [resonated with many people, and began to be] applied as [a way to cultivate] awareness into today’s busy world.”