As I was flipping through the latest issue of Men's Health (that I picked up for Matt, I swear), the "Sex Feature", a segment that just about every mainstream magazine for men or women has these days jumped out at me. The feature titled, "Your Sex Wishes Granted" talked about things like erotic massage, outdoor sex, role playing, a threesome and on down the list...TANTRIC SEX. Well, now I'm even more interested to read this author's perspective! Steve Almond was sharing his experience, much like I do, about the interesting and rewarding, and pleasureable, and frustrating, and confusing, and wacky, and somehow limitlessly wonderful SEXUAL NATURE of us humans.
The article starts:
"Sex isn't just about gratification... it's about overcoming your inhibitions and conquering fear and shame on behalf of a shared pleasure." He continued to say that he and his wife, Erin, "had fallen into a routine, as couples sometimes do..." and after consulting a sex therapist he decided to create EROTIC RESOLUTIONS with Erin. After a nice romantic dinner and some wine to relax them both, they made their lists. She listed massage first. (Like I've been saying for years, gentlemen, women LOVE massage. It's what really gets us in the mindset/mood for sex.) Next, Steve offered "outdoor sex", which he said was attractive because of the thrill of being seen or caught involved. He followed that by sharing that the scheduled dates and same old venue (the bedroom) felt a little too safe. Mixing it up is always a good thing!
The two lovers talked about other erotic resolutions and then came Tantric Sex. I'll share here what was written in the article exactly as it is.
"It hardly came as a surprise that Erin pitched this idea. She'd brought it up before and even had a book on the subject, which I was supposed to have read, though I'd gotten only as far as the pictures.
But hey, I'd read the interviews with Sting. I knew what tantra was all about: prolonging sex in some vaguely Buddhist manner so as to produce mind-blowing climaxes. 'I'm in, ' I said immediately.
'Okay,' Erin said. 'But you did read the book, right?'
'Right,' I said.
'So you know it's not just about sex.'
'Of course,' I said.
'The focus is not on orgasms.'
'There are going to be some sessions where we just breathe together.'
'Hold up,' I said.
The ensuing discussion went just about as badly as you might imagine. I kept saying things like 'Couldn't we just quietly hump when you come back all sweaty from yoga?'
A pattern seemed to be emerging in our resolutions. Erin was emphasizing activities that involved a fair amount of -- for lack of a better term -- emotional legwork. I, being a dude, was more focued on revamping our physical repertoire."
Off in the side column there were "tips" from experts added to the author's experiment with his wife. Regarding tantra, Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., a relationship expert and professor of sociology at the University of Washington offers this:
"Forge a connection. Tantra isn't just about orgasms -- it's about connection."
The following technique offered by Schwartz is also one I recommend to all my clients seeking to connect with their partners. It is simple and can be done clothed or nude (I prefer the latter). Sit comfortably facing each other. Both partners: Place your left hand on your lover's heart. Start with eyes closed and just feel for one another's heart beat. Breathe normally until you begin feeling at ease. Next, open your eyes and gaze into your partner's with a soft focus while beginning to let your breath deepen a bit. As your mind yields to all the chatter focus on aligning your breath with your mate's. That's it. That's all there is to it. The connection may induce feelings of ease, peace, joy, love, compassion...and/or...you might slip into the state of meditation. You can conclude this encounter or allow yourselves to transition into lovemaking while embracing those feelings and that deep connection.
Obviously, I recommend the exploration of tantra for couples wishing to deepen their connection and enhance (every area of) their life. And like Steve and Erin realized through their erotic resolution exercise, men and women approach sex differently. Being able to communicate our unique desires and limitations is not something we are taught in school. Often times, we get to a point where a lack of satisfaction drives us to seek alternative or creative solutions. Or we can prepare/educate/empower ourselves in advance to avoid a fall-out. This is where I come in. Being a relationship, sex, and intimacy coach as well offering a tantra training program is how I support couples (and singles, btw) in articulating and creating fulfilling (sex) lives.
To read the full article by Steve Almond, "Your Sex Wishes Granted", pick up the Febuary 2014 issue of Men's Health Magazine. To find out if my coaching or training program would turn up the temperature on your love life, schedule a complimentary 30-minute call. Finally, keep an eye out for my workshops (for the fellas and the ladies) in Austin, TX on the above topics and more!