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What Is Tantric Sex? It's Not Hours of Lovemaking — But It Is Fantastic

Jamie Beckman is the lead blogger for the Sexcerpts blog on SheKnows.com. She has written about relationships, health and lifestyle trends for Redbook, USA TODAY, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Best Life and First for Women magazines, as w...

Try these 5 non-intimidating, super-sexy tips for practicing tantric sex

When you hear the word "tantra," what instantly pops in your mind? The idea of spending hours upon hours lost in slow-motion, super-pleasurable lovemaking? Well, my friends, tantra is a little different than what pop culture would have us believe.

We wanted to learn more about what the real deal is with tantric sex, so we talked with Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson, authors of Great Sex Made Simple: Tantric Tips to Deepen Intimacy and Heighten Pleasure, who opened us up to the real workings of tantra — and how everyone can use tantric techniques to take their sex lives to the next level. Here's what they had to say.

More: 8 Ways to Bang Out an Orgasm With a Partner Without Actually Having Penetrative Sex

How Sting got it wrong

Sting kinda became the 21st century spokesperson for the ancient mythical sex practice by saying all kinds of things about his experience with tantra, but the 5,000-year-old Eastern spiritual practice does not mean that you have to make love for hours. Instead, enlightenment and having a reverence for your partner that lasts beyond the length of any orgasm is at the core of the teachings, Michaels and Johnson say.

"It's funny that a comment Sting made over 20 years ago [about tantric sex] still has an enduring hold on the public's imagination," the couple says. "He's tried to explain it away or recant it in various ways. At one point, he said that he regretted making the statement and didn't really feel he could talk about the subject beyond saying that his wife, Trudy, is his church. That's much closer to what the spirit of tantric sex is all about."

"In the classical sexual ritual, the participants worship each other as embodiments of deities. We encourage people to bring an attitude of reverence into their lovemaking and to all their interactions. The tantric approach has far more to do with your mental approach than with technique. It's certainly got nothing to do with bragging about staying power."

Next Up: How you can feel pleasure longer

Originally published January 2013. Updated June 2017.

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