Psalm Isadora is the top tantra expert in the world and a highly sought-after sexuality, relationship, and trauma expert specializing in women’s health and empowerment as well as modern sexual education. In this weekly advice column, Psalm brings her expertise to sexual and relationship issues most people face at one time or another. If you want to ask Psalm your questions (anonymously), email email@example.com.
Question: I find that people are so stuck on the idea of sex as a purely physical act. How can I bring up the idea of tantra to new partners? I find in general that this kind of sex leaves us feeling emptier than before.
Before we get into how to introduce tantra to new partners, let's explore this idea of sex as a purely physical act. Yes, we do live in a world where there is a transactional quality to sex. But adopting your own negative attitude doesn't serve you at all. In fact, that attitude will keep you from attracting the kind of partner you want.
It sounds like you're not feeling an emotional connection when you have sex, either. It shouldn't be that way. If you're with the right partner, communicating your sexual needs clearly, and if you respect yourself enough to get respect back, then sex shouldn't be "emotionless" or "a quick fix." It certainly shouldn't leave you feeling emptier than before. "Emptier than before" implies that you have some feeling of emptiness in general, not related to sex. This could be a core issue that you need to work on.
Here's a quick questionnaire that you and (everyone reading this) should ask if you're not emotionally fulfilled after sex:
- Do you feel empty and unfilled in other aspects of your life?
- Do you feel empty after sex with every partner?
- Do you feel shame about your sexuality?
- Do you feel guilt in your sexual choices?
- Do you feel disrespected by the partners you choose?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you have some work to do on your relationship with yourself, on your sexuality, and with the choices you make.
And, here's some tough love: If you're with a partner who makes you feel empty, shameful, or disrespected, it's not entirely your partner's fault. It's your fault for choosing that person. Your choices are largely based on what you feel you deserve. If your self-esteem is low, then you might be thinking—even subconsciously—that you don't deserve a partner who lifts you up emotionally.
That aside, I know that some people still cringe when they hear the word "tantra." There are a lot of misconceptions about what it is and how to do it. It's not as out-there as some people still think. It's simply the process of slowing down, being more present, and actually connecting. It's up to devotees of tantra to educate everyone else. If it's something you want to make part of your relationships, then it's on you to ease your partner into it.
Start by simply offering your partner a tantric massage. Worship your partner and let them just receive—whether that's through tantric lingam massage (for men), or tantric yoni massage and tantric nipple massage (for women). Many women have full-body orgasms from just nipple massage. And this is a technique you can even perform on yourself to arouse and engage your partner if they're not comfortable participating in the tantric experience initially.
After giving or receiving a tantric massage, both people should feel energized. If you feel empty, start asking yourself what was missing. There may be something deeper happening that you need to address.
And always remember, if you're seeking self-awakening through tantra, regardless of your relationship status, authenticity is key. By being authentic, you allow for a happier life for yourself—inside the bedroom and in every other area of your life. And that's what tantra is about.