The Mail on Sunday
Can you rekindle your sex life after the initial flames of passion have died down? Through its deeply pleasurable techniques, Tantra will help you discover your sexual energy, enrich your physical relationship, and bring you and your partner closer than ever
Report Val Sampson
Can you imagine sex with your partner being more exciting after 30 years together than after three? Suppose that you could exude a magnetic sex appeal into your 60s and beyond. These are not impossible fantasies. There is a direct route to rekindling sexuality and bringing depth and richness to your relationships. It is called Tantra.
The popular myth about Tantra is that it’s ordinary sex tat goes on for hours. In fact, offers an entirely different approach to sex, based on honouring and respecting your sexual partner as the other half of yourself. It’s a 5,000-year-old tradition, yet its relevance to the 21st century is astonishing. It offers an approach that enables women to feel sexually confident and good about themselves, and gives men an opportunity to become multi-orgasmic and to satisfy their lovers in the most intimate, soulful ways.
Tantra isn’t a religion. Like yoga, it can practised by people of any faith, or no faith at all. It originated in India as a quiet rebellion against a male priesthood who decreed that sexuality should be repressed for an individual to achieve enlightenment. The first Tantrics were teachers who felt that sexuality was a gift of the Divine and should be celebrated. They believed that the experience of good sex offered people glimpses of love that could be explored as part of their spiritual development and help create a deep connection with the universe as a result.
Today, Tantric practices enable anyone with a willing spirit and an open mind to access this potent energy. In the West we are programmed to think the only way we can get in touch with our sexual energy is through someone else. Which is why we sit by the phone waiting for Mr or Mrs Right to call. Tantra, on the other hand, shows us that a powerful sexual energy exists in us all the time. And we don’t need someone else to make us feel good. We can learn how to channel our own sexual energy to benefit our minds and bodies using simple breathing and visualisation techniques.
Accepting this you can be sexy and can enjoy sexual energy without necessarily having a sexual relationship is a new idea for most of us. The majority of people tend to shut down on their sexual energy if they are not with a partner. This may lead to frustration; more often it means they are missing out on a vital part of themselves. Practising Tantric exercises by yourself can change your attitude to your sexuality if you are single. You can learn how to enjoy your erotic energy without having to go to bed with someone else.
So instead of sex being a purely physical experience-a kind of genital squeeze-it can become a way of opening your mind to the purist forms of love. Sex becomes a route to emotional and spiritual connection, either with a partner or by yourself, rather than just a physical release.
If you’re in a relationship, in purely physical terms this means that sex changes from being a race towards orgasm and ejaculation for the man (and an orgasm for the woman if she can match his pace). There’s a shift in focus. Tantra is about intimacy and connection. You both make love with the thought, ‘How much love and pleasure can I possibly give my partner?’
This approach relieves men of the pressure to impress with their ‘performance’ and switches attention instead to building intimacy between you. There is, for example, no problem in Tantric practice if a man can’t maintain an erection-you don’t need to reach for Viagra. A soft penis has as many nerve endings as a hard one and its owner can bring his partner as much pleasure.
In Tantra, the longer you have been together, the deeper and more passionate your relationship can be. There is a saying that it takes seven years to know your partner’s body, seven years to know their mind and seven years to know their spirit. Boredom often sets in when couples continue to make love in exactly the same way, at the same time and usually in the same place. Tantrics would say that it also occurs when people make love only with their genitals and their hearts and minds remain disconnected. They say sex begins between a couple a day or two before they actually make love, and that when they start to touch each other sexually they are bringing the positive and negative energy, as well as the stresses and joys, of the previous 48 hours with them. Clearly it’s not practical (or even desirable) to wait to make love only if you’ve spent a blissful 24 hours with your partner beforehand. The message here is simply to be aware of what you are bringing with you, and to leave as much of the negative stuff as you can outside the bedroom door.
If you want to rekindle desire between you, try this exercise (its easier to stand when doing it):
The Heart Breath
▪ Gaze into each other’s eyes.
▪ Place your right hand on your partner’s heart
▪ With your out-breath, imagine breathing the energy from your heart into their heart (picturing this as pink or gold light may help).
▪ With your in-breath, imagine inhaling their heart energy into your heart.
▪ Once you feel comfortable with this, try breathing alternatively. In other words, as you breathe out, they breathe in. This way, loving energy is circulated between you.
Don’t worry if you struggle to find the right rhythm at first. It’s natural to feel a bit embarrassed, too. It’s your intention that really matters. If you embark on this with the intention of becoming closer to your partner, no matter how many times you get the giggles, it won’t detract from the spirit of the exercise, which is to bring you closer together.
If you want to try Tantric sex, introduce changes slowly, and stick with the things you already enjoy. It’s still fine to have a quickie if it feels exciting and that’s what appeals to you both. But if sex is always over in five minutes, you may want to explore some of the Tantric options on offer. Tantric massage, for example, where you use more than your hands to give pleasure, could be one way of making a difference. Feathers, hair (either your head or his chest), soft, silky fabrics and butterfly kisses can all be railed across your partner’s body to bring them deepening levels of delight.
Also think about where you make love. Tantrics create a ‘sacred space’ for their lovemaking-the idea is that if you are going to treat your partner as a divine reflection of yourself, then it is only right to ensure that you make love somewhere that is as pleasing as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to turn your bedroom into a boudoir. But light a few candles and play some music. These changes can make a surprising difference to your sexual experience.
Take note that Tantra is not a ‘quick fix’ for a relationship that makes you miserable. So before you seek is as a solution to sexual difficulties, ask yourself if you respect your partner as a good friend, if your life is better with them rather then without them, and if you trust them to be there for you. If you are uncertain about any of this, think carefully about your relationship before practising Tantric techniques together. Tantra can help heal wounds but it is not a magic cure.
Assuming that you relationship is a respectful, loving one that perhaps has just lost the spark, Tantra can help enormously. The main trick is to not give up. If you can, keep your excitement high but reduce your expectations of immediate results. Renewing a relationship rings rewards in all sorts of ways but takes time and effort. And while there is no technique in the world that will transform your sex life if you don’t have love in your heart, near in mind that Tantra has successful 5,000-year-old track record.
How Tantra Can Improve Your Relationship
▪ If your love life is on a downward spiral, it is a good idea to take some time to talk before you make love. You don’t have to do this every time you have sex, but it will help you form a deeper connection sexually if you practise really listening to what your partner has to say. Talk for about half an hour.
▪ At least once a week, put aside an hour or two that is sacrosanct. This is time for each other when you can enjoy a conversation that is not about whose turn it is to pick up the kids from school. Focus on building intimacy between you. It can become sexual or not. It doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to schedule time when you can listen properly to each other. Don’t be put off if booking time together sounds contrived and not sufficiently spontaneous. If you both lead busy lives and you’ve been married for a few years, it’s better to plan time together and actually get it.
▪Tantric sex does not need to take a set amount of time. Tantra is not about imposing rules and regulations. There are techniques you can learn to prolong passion, but as long as you make love with the thought, ‘How much love and pleasure can I give my partner?’, you can take minutes or hours. It’s up to you.
For Him: is she’s no longer interested in sex
▪ Men, as a rule, become turned on more quickly than women. If you want her to really enjoy your lovemaking, take time to treat sex as intimate and pleasurable.
▪ On the most basic level, a woman won’t want to kiss a man who doesn’t smell good. A lot of women equate a man being careful about his personal cleanliness with an emotional safety net. In other words, if a man bothers about making himself clean and fresh, he is bothering about his partner.
▪ Men often want to use sex to unwind. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when you want to coax a reluctant partner to make love to you, just having sex to shake off your stress will leave her feeling ‘used’.
▪ Instead, take time to touch and caress her whole body. As mentioned before, Tantrics use more than their hands to give pleasure.
▪ Talking to your partner and whispering the things that you love about her as you caress her can have a liberating and pleasurable effect on a woman.
▪ Don’t be obsessed with ‘making’ her have an orgasm. You’ll win no popularity contests.
For Her: the good news
▪ Tantra teaches women how to be vital and sexy without the need for dieting or face-lifts. Tantra places sexual satisfaction of the woman as equal or above that of the man. And it is the woman’s sexuality that is acknowledged as the fuel that drives the couple’s sexual experience.
▪ For a Tantric relationship to be successful, it’s important that you believe that your inner self and the inner self of your partner deserve to be honoured. Social research shows that men find their partners increasingly attractive as they grow older. A partner who genuinely loves you will be blind to any defects you may perceive about your body.
▪ Women’s bodies are designed to have rounded tummies. The phenomenon of the flat female stomach is a recent one and, according to Tantric practice, it isn’t advisable. Women store powerful female energy in their bellies and by trying to flatten them they are losing out on an integral part of their femininity. If you are a woman who hates her rounded tummy, try thinking of it as a symbol of your feminine power instead of something to feel bad about. You may even start to like it.
Tantric short cuts
These are designed to intensify your orgasm and help move your sexual energy around your body, so you feel energised and refreshed after sex. Try them separately or together.
▪ The next time you experience an orgasm, imagine energy moving around your body, away from the genital region. You don’t have to do anything complicated, such as trying to move it physically or force it in another direction, just relax and imagine it lightly moving up your spine.
▪ Keep the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, at the front of the palate (it helps energy circulate).
▪ Breathe deeply as your approach orgasm. Most people tend to hold their breath, tighten up and ‘will’ their orgasm to happen. In reality, your orgasm will be more intense if you can relax into it and breathe fully.