For most people, Tantra conjures up images of sexual encounters likely to outlast the Energizer Bunny.
But Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, who have been teaching Tantra together for eight years and are the authors of The Essence Of Tantric Sexuality and Tantra For Erotic Empowerment, which is due out in April, say this idea that Tantra is simply about lengthy sex is one of the greatest myths surrounding this ancient tradition.
Tantra, as it relates to sex, is about the knowledge of yourself and the ability to harness that to unlock your own sexual empowerment.
“There are multiple definitions of Tantra, but the one we give is it’s an ancient Indian tradition that recognizes sexual energy as a personal and spiritual empowerment,” says Michaels. “Sexual energy doesn’t necessarily mean sexual activity. The idea is that the energy of sexuality is the energy that moves us. It’s all about tapping into that energetic source within yourself.”
And the easiest way to do that?
“Begin at the point of orgasm,” says Johnson. “A lot of spiritual or traditional practices involve lengthy periods of meditation, but what the ancient Tantrists recognized is at the point of orgasm, people are literally attaining these mystical states.”
Such wise people.
For people who are just starting to practise Tantric sex, Johnson and Michaels recommend they stay in a state of arousal for at least half an hour.
“That will create physical changes in the body, which makes it easier to access these mystical states,” says Michaels. “It doesn’t have to be intercourse, it can be any kind of core stimulation.”
Johnson and Michaels started practising Tantra together on their first date, with a simple eye-gazing activity, in which they gaze at each other, focusing on the right eye and letting the left relax as each person allows all their thoughts to dissipate and focus on each other. Physiologically, each partner begins to mirror the other as they become more in tune with each other.
It’s this ability to learn to work together that can enhance a sexual experience — even the quickies.