For The Goddess In You: What is tantric sex?

Jan 25, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Tantric sexuality is a sacred expression of romantic love that comes out of the ancient Hindu tradition, which honors the divine feminine and divine male. It teaches that divine love can be attained through a loving partnership between a man and woman. Because Tantra treats the loving exploration of sexual pleasures as a sacred act, it can unite partners and inspire intimacy on all levels.

What it means
In Sanskrit, tantra means "expansion." Evidence of tantric rituals date back nearly five millennium. Practitioners of Tantric Yoga are taught sexual play and sexual union early on in life. Women passed knowledge along to children. Sex was just one of 65 arts, which included singing, breathing, meditation, chanting, writing and drawing, tattooing and making beds and spreading out carpets and cushions for reclining. One of the reasons tantric sexuality is so attractive to modern men and women is because it creates a sacred container for lovemaking that is very healthy for both partners. It honors our bodies, our sensual natures and our power. It gives men and woman a way to be close without some of the typical barriers, such as shame, or fear of being known by another. Men have the chance to truly honor their women because Tanta is a spiritual practice in which the female is revered, treated like a Goddess; her pleasure is the first priority.

This kind of intimacy and devotion to sexual love comes with practice and patience. It requires a partner who wants to love you as fully and deeply as possible. It offers a way to develop deeper intimacy and sharing between couples. Even single people can study up on it and work on developing a "tantra antenna" that can help draw the right partner to them when ready. The first key, of course, is to give ourselves that love and be willing to learn and experiment.

It is widely believed that the woman initiates her man to sacred pleasures -- rather than waiting for a fully trained "Tantra Man" to show up. You can inspire your partner to a higher love or, if single, you can do some homework, and prepare for a tantric loving. Eventually, couples engage in a back-and-forth exchange of energies so intimate, and so unifying, there is this great sense of oneness.

Tips for testing tantra
Tantric sex is not something for first dates, but to get started, you will find a tantric kind of "soul connection" though the eyes. Practice seeing into people's souls. Eye contact is an aspect of tantra you can use any time. - and it is not necessarily sexual or romantic. However, when you look deeply into someone's eyes you connect with them intimately and completely.

That technique can help anyone develop immediate rapport in almost any situation. Looking into someone's eyes also helps you "know them" and get a sense of what they are about. If a person can maintain the eye contact, it is a sign that they are not afraid to see you, or be seen by you. You can also trust the eyes to tell the truth about feelings. Look into the eyes of people you are attracted to and see if you can see love. The love they have inside them, as well as the love they feel for you, is always visible in the eyes. Tantra helps us to see if a potential mate or date has that certain twinkle, or warmth, before we do anything more than kiss with our eyes!

Take classes
Modern teachers, such as Charles and Caroline Muir, who teach The Art of Concious Loving Seminars around the world, have brought tantra into the 20th century. "We've taken the original tantric customs and have done our best to translate them for modern men and women," Charles Muir explains. "Our course is designed to make you into a better kisser, lover and toucher. It's also designed to make you a better communicator." Their Secrets of Female Sexual Ecstasy, ( is a home study video course. This video is highly educational and also graphic.

Read up on it
Dr. Judy Kuriansky, PhD., world-renowned clinical psychologist and sex therapist is author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Tantric Sex (Alpha Books) a comprehensive, easy to follow, hands on tantra guide that offers a spiritual view of sexual power. In addition to guiding couples on how to have more magical, playful and loving relations, she addresses dating and mating for singles and how individuals can incorporate tantra styles and practice tantric sex without a steady partner, as well as how to find the perfect tantra partner. She contends tantra can enrich all individuals regardless of age, lifestyle or relationship status and she discusses how the tantra traditions offer hope and healing in the world today.