What is Tantric sex and how can it spice up your sex life? Put simply, it involves slowing down and enjoying all of the build up to the main event, rather than rushing to get there. The opposite of a quickie, Tantric sex is all about enjoying each other and increasing intimacy.
What is Tantric sex?
Tantric sex is an ancient Hindu practice that has been going for over 5,000 years, and means ‘the weaving and expansion of energy’.
It’s a slow form of sex that’s said to increase intimacy and create a mind-body connection that can lead to powerful orgasms.
Tantric sex – or Tantra as it’s often known – can be done by anyone interested in rebooting their sex life and finding new depth to their love-making.
If that sounds confusing, think of it this way – if quickie sex is the sexual equivalent of a takeaway, tantric sex is a Michelin-starred meal, slowly and lovingly prepared and all the more delicious thanks to the wait.
Why should I give it a try?
Tantric experts believe that if you extend the time and effort you put into sex, you will reach a higher and more intense form of ecstasy.
Dominnique Karetsos is the co-founder of The School of Healthy Pleasure. She says, “When it comes to sex, we often view it in an isolated sector of our lives, away from our physical and mental health when in reality, everything about our wellbeing, including our pleasure, is interconnected. When we become more aware of ourselves we are better able to live within our experiences, and this is true for sex.
“Tantra can teach you balance and connection which will not only help you build intimacy with your partner but also greater awareness of your own body. Too often we can ‘just go with it’ during sex and not question if we’re really enjoying the experience as much as we could. Learning to be fully present and engaged can help you feel physical and emotional sensations in their entirety as well as connect to your partner completely. This can lead to heightened sexual experiences with new and intense forms of pleasure.”
It’s likely for this reason that top celebs like Heather Graham, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Rita Wilson and Sting are famous fans of the practice. In fact Rita, whose husband Tom Hanks is also a famous fan, once reportedly gave out some solid relationship advice around the topic. “You gotta talk, you gotta listen, you gotta laugh. And…you gotta have lots of tantric sex!”
We hear you, Rita. So who is tantric sex suited for?
Tantric sex is good for you if…
While there’s no one reason to try tantric sex, or one way to practice it our expert says, but you might want to explore the practice if…
- You’re looking for something new to do in bed
- You want to become even more intimate with your partner
- You want to try to reconnect with your partner
“As a practice, tantra speaks to reaching a higher level of consciousness in all aspects of our lives. It is for this reason I truly believe we can learn a lot from this ancient principle.”
Although tantra is good for all regardless of gender, our sex expert Dominnique says that “the concept of slowing down and not being goal-orientated when practising tantra could be particularly helpful for women. Research suggests arousal and pleasure are far more context-driven for women, who need to feel free from pressure and distractions in order to fully relax and enjoy themselves.
“Tantric sex teaches you to be entirely focussed on what is happening between you and your partner and not worry about what will happen. If you find you struggle to let go of external stressors and concentrate on the moment, I would definitely recommend looking into tantra.”
How to perform Tantric sex
The good news is Tantric sex isn’t ‘goal oriented’, which means you don’t have to work hard at learning what to do.
“As tantra cannot be condensed to one particular practice or method I would definitely recommend researching different approaches to see what you might be interested in. There are various schools or courses you could take which would make for an exciting date night with your partner.” Dominnique advises.
The trick is to take your mind off your orgasm and instead focus on making foreplay enjoyable and rewarding until you’re ready to take it to its natural end. This is easier said than done of course, so to delay orgasm Tantric sex experts use a variety of methods including meditative techniques, breath control and massage.
Our tantric expert also suggests that going solo for the first try can not only improve your experience but help you to get your head around the concept, before trying it with a partner. “As it is about balancing your energies and awareness, take the time to build greater awareness within yourself first. When you are in a quiet and relaxing place, maybe your bedroom, lie or sit down with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing. Place one hand on your heart and one on your genitals and breathe into the connection. Stay like this for as long as it feels natural, you could even try squeezing and releasing your pelvic floor muscles in line with your breathing.
“It shouldn’t be about reaching an orgasm or feeling anything in particular but rather just experiencing your body as it is. If you want to begin to explore further you can begin to move the hand on your genitals in a way that feels good for you. Take it slowly and be mindful of everything you feel.”
Then when you feel ready, you can try doing something similar with a partner.
Tantric sex: What to do
This starts with eye contact and matching each other’s breathing, just as you would do by yourself, Dominnique says. “Let go of any pressure to perform for them or to speed up. If you think you might feel this expectation, talk to your partner beforehand and reassure each other that you’re just exploring together.
“Check in with yourself and your partner after each experience. What did you notice. What did you enjoy? Remember, the point of tantra is awareness so don’t feel like you need to be progressing quickly. It’s a complex and powerful practice, so explore it bit by bit and enjoy the journey.”
If you want to give it a go, try the following:
– Start by turning down the lights and shutting out the rest of the world.
– Loosen your body: Tantra is about moving energy through the body, so sex expert Louise Van Der Velde suggests “shaking your limbs vigorously to energise and unblock your system before you start”.
– Stay off the bed: This will trigger the sleep button in your brain, which, according to Louise AKA The Pleasure Professor, “means you’ll be settling for a quickie romp instead of deep connection and loving sex, which is ultimately what Tantra is all about.”
– Get comfortable: Try lying down with your partner on the floor and slowly start to touch each other, taking your time to leisurely make your way around their body.
– Experiment: Try a variety of touches – firm massage, light feathery touches, and gentle stroking. The aim here is to heighten his senses in a slow and intense way so that you’re building him to a peak but not taking him all the way and vice versa. Performed in the right way this can prolong sex and your pleasure for hours.
– Think about breathing: If you find your mind starts to wander, re-focus on your breathing. Inhale as your partner exhales and vice versa – it can help improve the connection between the two of you and keep your mind on what’s happening.
– Don’t give up: If you don’t last beyond 10 minutes, try again. Tantric sex takes time to get to grips with because we’re all used to sex in a western way – this means we expect sex to have an obvious start, middle and end.
With practice you can let go of this idea and enjoy sex without thinking about the conclusion as well as be able to control your body so you can delay climax and increase the strength of your orgasms.
Tantric sex exercises
As Tantric sex is all about intimacy between two partners, the following exercises can help you get a hang of Tantra:
1. Try the heart breath to tune into each other. Stand opposite one another and look into each other’s eyes placing your left hand on your partner’s heart. He should then place his hand over your left one and you should try to match each other’s breathing for at least two minutes.
2. Sit face-to-face (this works better if you sit in his lap). Wrap your arms as tightly around one another and press your body against each other. This kind of skin contact promotes greater feelings of intimacy.
3. Ensure you move and breathe slowly during sex (it can help to avoid any position that you know makes you orgasm easily) and work towards a gradual build-up of pleasure. The more slowly you can allow your feelings and sensations to build up, the more intense your eventual orgasm will be.
How to get your partner involved in Tantric sex
If your partner is a little skeptical or curious about the mystical element of tantric sex and unsure whether to give it a go, Val Sampson, author of Tantra: The Art of Mind Blowing Sex suggests that you explain it more to them and do research together. “Tantra is like yoga,” she says, “You can add the spiritual side or just do the exercises. Many people choose to do Tantra, not because of the mysticism but because the sex tips are better.”
And then if they’re still a little unsure, encourage them to go away and do their own research on the issue and come back if they have any questions or concerns about trying tantra. Also share with them why you want to try it and explain to them why you might want to slow down and take away the pressure to perform. Having an open dialogue about new sexual activities is always the best way to be.
Top Tantric tip
“Slow your breathing down as you approach orgasm,” says Val Sampson. “Most women breathe more quickly as they feel themselves peaking and tense up trying to bring the orgasm on, if instead you relax your tummy, and take slow deep breaths into your stomach, the orgasm will last longer and be more intense.”
Our pick of the best books and products for your Tantric sex life
This is a beginners guide to 'authentic' tantric, sharing 54 techniques to get you and your partner started. Claudia Blake, who is an expert, presents simple and straightforward practises, which will help you to kick off your journey.
To help the experience along, give this massage oil a go. With high gliding properties, it's ideal for partner massages to set the mood perfectly for your evening in together.
Feel your absolute best in this sexy, eye-catching basque from lingerie brand Bluebella. It features a sleek underwired bra and the sheer mesh body will certainly get you in the mood. Plus, it's made with stretch material for comfort!
Spice things up during your practise with these cheeky dice, instructing you on what to do and when and where.
Elevate the senses with this two-pack satin eye mask blindfolds, which are easy to tie and to remove. And plus, when you and your partner are finished, they're great for getting a good night's sleep!
Pick up this three-pack of 36 condoms, which come in thin feel, extended pleasure, and pleasure me. They are shaped to be easy to put on and comfortable to wear.
Help things along with this soft and smooth lube, which is also gentle enough for all over body massage as well as for use in intimate areas.