Monthly Archives: August 2017

Tantra, communication & consent

Men and women too, don’t seem to have a clear understanding of communication about sex. Communication is key to good sex. Sex isn’t some magical thing where we come together in prefect harmony and then explode in perfectly timed orgasms. It happens,but usually with people who communicate. I can’t read my partner’s mind. I ask him what he likes, what he wants from me and I tell him what I like, what I want and I constantly check in with him so we make small adjustments or try something new.

The article I linked to is by a man who learned how to use communication and full consent to improve his sex life.

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/i-promise-its-not-lame-to-ask-a-woman-for-permission/

Tantra. So you want to learn Tantra?

Many of my contacts with clients begin with that statement they want to learn Tantra. I know most men or women don’t fully understand what they are asking. Tantra isn’t a massage, although I do give authentic tantric massages and I do think they are valuable.

However, for most people, Tantra is sex. It is almost impossible to bridge that gap in our thinking that sex and the energy it generates can be a source of peace and can bring healing. When it gets right down to it they just want to be naked and to be touched and somehow Tantra feels like a safe way to that. I am actually okay with that up to a point. I am good with it until the person obviously is more interested in being naked than learning about Tantra. I understand that for many people that talking with me it is the first time they have discussed sexual issues and normalized their sexual feelings. That is liberating for people. Most Tantra people are not judgmental. We are open and strive to be compassionate. A Tantra session can give a person some tools, answer questions, and provided needed human touch and connection. Yes, I am for Tantra massage by qualified practitioners.

A few things can be learned in a massage, but Tantra has so much more to offer. It is a system of techniques that bring the body into balance, create peace or mind and link you with universal energy. So I really encourage people to take my course as it puts Tantra inside a system.

Yes, techniques will work.

Yes, a massage will give you a glimpse of tantric bliss

Only knowledge will make that bliss a daily part of your life

Tantra 101, curing sexual dysfunction

Tantra does cure ED, inability to orgasm, Premature ejaculation, lack of intensity during orgasm, and the inability to connect intimately with someone. Tantra actually can do all of that plus bring you peace of mind and good health.

Having said that and experiencing these changes with clients and myself, why is it taboo? It is the sex thing. If you insist on sexualizing sex rather than normalizing sex you will continue to experience dysfunction. Also your body doesn’t lie to you. Trusting the body is one of the hardest things for someone new to Tantra to learn.

We are conditioned especially men to think through a problem and solve it. But ED isn’t a problem you can think through so people turn to dangerous medicine because it is a quick fix. No sexual dysfunction can be fixed by the mind. However, they can be cured through the body.

The block however is being willing to get out of the mind and move into the heart and feel.

Every Tibetan Tantra mediation begins in the heart and ends in the heart. It has been found by Harvard medical studies that deep inside the heart are a cluster of cells similar to brain cells. So in some primitive way our heart actually does process emotion. I had a boyfriend once and only once. He was a serial cheater. I didn’t care. But one of his complaints was that he couldn’t get erect for one of his dates although he was very sexually attracted to her. Somehow this was my fault. I didn’t understand it either. What I think happened was guilt, knowing this woman wanted a commitment, and a lack of emotional connection. So he took viagra. He never took it with me nor did I ever have unprotected sex with him. I also didn’t look for sex outside of our friendship. With me he had connection and trust and faithfulness. He has none of these with this woman he dated and he couldn’t function with her.

Obviously, this was not a good situation for me and it ended really bad. The point of it is the body doesn’t lie. Many men after a breakup can’t orgasm with a new partner. That is a real thing. An orgasm is a release of not just ejaculate, but energy. It is giving your partner something and sometimes our bodies don’t want to do that. If you don’t feel comfortable with the person it is hard to relax feel pleasure and exchange energy. Literally your heart isn’t in it. And I don’t mean love. I mean pleasure.

Pleasure is a difficult thing for some people to accept and enjoy. They think because they get really excited and ejaculate there has been an orgasm. Not so much. Orgasm and Ejaculation are not the same. Most men with PE problems let excitement take over, not pleasure and experience ejaculation, but not what I would call real orgasmic pleasure. This shows a lack of control but also an inability to drop into the body and accept higher more intense levels of pleasure. It can be fixed through Tantra.

Lack of intensity of orgasms has such an easy fix that it is hard to believe that changing something as simple as your breath can change your consciousness and energy. Yet it does. After the trauma of my divorce. And do not underestimate the trauma of a breakup to your body. I went from being non-orgasmic to having full body orgasms every time I self pleasured for had sex. I had always been orgasmic since 15, but my marriage had gotten so bad I lost the ability to orgasm the last five years of my marriage.

Tantra is about techniques. They work. They only work if you can open your mind and heart to change.

Tantra 101-what Tantra sex offers plus a free offero

Tantra has been a life changer for me. Sexually it has given me the ability to have full body orgasms, but more importantly to be open to more pleasure. I am not saying more kink. I am pretty vanilla in my sexual doings. I think many people turn to porn and kink to try and achieve a level of excitement that just isn't there anymore for them. Then the porn, the kink takes over. And there is this strange pull or obsession that takes over. Plus pressure to act on these feelings becomes stronger and eventually the person can only function within a narrow range of sexual behaviors.

That can't have an orgasm unless this and this happens. Their sexual responses become rigid. And what was once fun is now more of a trap.

I look at Tantra sex as just the opposite. It is a way to be open, fluid, receptive to the highest levels of pleasure. It is difference between sexual play and sexual struggle.

What I mean by sexual struggle is shame, concern over having an orgasms, lasting long enough, feeling disconnected from your partner, pleasure that is confined to just the lingam and yoni, inability to communicate needs.

Tantra sex is the opposite.

1-the focus is on pleasure, not orgasms, but pleasure.
2-a stronger connection between partners
3-full body orgasms
4-open communication
5-a lack of shame
6 -a full acceptance of the body.
7-a higher level of consciousness.
8-an overall feeling if bliss and unity
9-an increase in compassion and love for our partner and ourself.
10- pleasure based sex leaves you contented and happy.

Tantra' goal is to normalize sex, not hid it, not make it dirty, but to glorify it and soak in the pleasure of the body and the pleasure of being alive.

If this sounds good I have a 20 page e-book I will send you for free titled The Power of Pleasure in Daily Life.

Just email me at Jill@breathofbliss.com

Review of Slow Sex by Anders Lund

This seemed to me to be a good thing to share. Sex isn't meant to be fast food, it is a gourmet feast.

BOOK REVIEW
Diana Richardson. Slow sex. The path to fulfilling and sustainable sexuality. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 2011.

Diana Richardson is a holistic body therapist living in Switzerland. She is known for the week-long “Making love” retreats for couples that she holds regularly with her partner Michael Richardson. During these retreats couples are taught to approach sex by slowing down and being fully present to each moment during their sexual meeting. In this book she describes the principles of conscious sexuality that are basic to this teaching.

It is now over two years ago since I first read the book. Since then I have read a number of other books on a similar theme, and come into contact with other partly similar (“tantric” and other) approaches to mindfulness and sexuality. I now felt that I wanted to read her book again, to see how I am experiencing it today.

What had a major impact on me when I first read it was the focus on being SLOW in a conscious, mindful way. Diana Richardson compares slow sex with slow eating, and describes how deliberate slowness in both cases can increase awareness, relaxation, sensitivity, and the quality of the whole experience. The practice of slowness may have benefits in many areas of life: “The slower we can learn to be, the more we can relax and hold awareness of the present moment: gradually the practice of slowness will begin to positively impact every aspect of living” (p. 6).

When reading her book the first time I noticed that this kind of slowness could be applied also to the reading experience itself. One of my notes from February 2015 goes like this:
“During the last week I have been able to set aside time each day for reading, and this has turned into a kind of ‘reading meditations’, a kind of mindful ‘slow reading’. Reading this book (which is so full of genuine observation and wisdom) with full awareness in a relaxed state of mind, and allowing each sentence to ‘sink in’, feels very refreshing. I also feel that this kind of reading contributes to a ‘change of mind’, in favor of a ‘being mode’. It is all too easy to slip back into a doing mode, and I guess that regular reading of this kind of literature may serve as a good complement to other forms of meditation practice.”

What strikes me now when I read the book for the second time is that Diana Richardson’s slow sex approach differs from many other tantric and similar approaches by having its focus more clearly not only on BEING rather than doing, but also on RELAXATION rather than arousal, on a COOL rather than a “hot” attitude to sex, and on the cultivation of SENSITIVITY rather than the seeking of new sensations.

What is probably most distinctive for her approach is the preference for a “cool” rather than a “hot” approach to sex. Although hot sex may provide great experiences for the moment, these tend to be quickly over. Cool sex, as she describes it, is more sustainable, and conducive to experiences of bliss and ecstasy: “Slowness takes the heat out of sex, which is a good thing, because bliss and ecstasy plant their delicate roots in a cool environment, not a hot one” (p.2).

In stark contrast to conventional approaches to sexuality, the role of arousal is very much played down: “sexual arousal is not a prerequisite. You don’t need to heat up with excitement. Instead, you discover how to fall back into your body, to be more aware and relaxed, with a sense of not really going anywhere special.” (p. 2-3)

One aspect of this process is that when we focus attention on pleasant inner sensations this tends to increase the pleasure: “That’s the power of awareness. Any sensations of streaming, tingling, vibrating, or warmth, for instance, will respond to the awareness and amplify, expanding deliciously into other parts of the body” (p. 28).

By cultivating this kind slow relaxed attention to how our body feels from within, in combination with an attitude of mindful curiosity and exploration, we can develop an awareness that is in itself “a highly potent aphrodisiac” (p. 22).

One example is her description of a man’s “slow conscious entry” into the woman: “the actual entry and subsequent penetration should be done with extreme awareness, and therefore extreme slowness, extending into the vaginal canal millimeter by millimeter, and the slower the better” (p. 37).

Interestingly, she also describes how a man, by means of slow sex practice, may train the sensitivity of his penis, so that he may feel “when and where the vaginal tissues are tight, hard, soft, receptive, defensive, relaxing, or melting” (p. 41). To me, this is yet a wonderful example of how mindful practice can lead to an increased sensitivity in any area where it is trained – sexual sensitivity just being one among many other examples.

The basic thing is to direct the attention into the body, and particularly into one’s own genitals. As she points out, this is very different from using the genitals in the “mechanical, rubbing, friction-type way” that is typical of conventional sex: “Through fast movement the genitals get overheated and overcharged, finally finishing up in orgasm. Being slow and still, however, allows a gently flowing cool stream of vitality to arise between them. (p. 42-43).

In her words, this allows room for “genital intelligence” – the wisdom that is inherent in our genitals, and that is released when we let our genitals meet and allow things to unfold spontaneously, with mindful slowness, without any striving for an orgasmic climax. In this way “we offer our sexual organs the opportunity and space to communicate in their own language” (p. 33).

Because the need for sexual arousal is played down, there is not even any need for the man to have an erection. “Soft penetration” is an option that is “highly recommended”. Diana Richardson describes in detail how a woman may insert a soft and relaxed penis into her vagina. This option “takes the pressure out of the situation because you can unite at any time you choose. Union is not dependent on stimulation, excitement, or erection.” (p. 48).

I think “Slow sex” represents a very interesting way of combining mindfulness with sexuality. And when I read the book now for the second time, it strikes me how clearly she focuses her entire approach on sexual PLEASURE, rather than on sexual AROUSAL.

In psychological research on emotions, it is common to differentiate between two independent dimensions of emotion: (1) emotional valence, ranging from positive to negative; and (2) emotional arousal, ranging from excitement to relaxation.

It seems to me that sexual experiences can be described similarly in terms of two independent dimensions: (1) sexual pleasure, ranging from high to low and (2) sexual arousal, ranging from excitement to relaxation. Some approaches to sexuality focus on sexual arousal, and hardly mention pleasure at all. Other approaches combine arousal and pleasure (focusing on lust, desire). Diana Richardson’s approach, however, focuses almost exclusively on pleasure, or rather on pleasure in combination with relaxation (that is, the opposite of arousal). Thereby, it also points to the possibility of a variety of orgasmic experiences.

Here it is interesting to contrast Diana Richardson’s slow sex approach with Emily Nagoski’s completely different view. According to Emily Nagoski’s definition, “orgasm is simply the explosive release of sexual tension”. Strikingly, this definition is totally devoid of mentioning anything like pleasure. It also means that Nagoski has a hard time understanding the value of longer orgasmic states, saying that “having extended orgasms is the sexual equivalent of running a marathon”. In Nagoski’s view, extended orgasms represent hard work, keeping sexual tension high and releasing it only little by little (“your job is to steadily release sexual tension even as you continue to add it”, as she puts it in her booklet “The sex nerd on orgasm”). Diana Richardson’s view of extended orgasmic states is completely different, as they require awareness and relaxation, rather than tension.

I don’t know how we should best define “orgasm”, but I think an adequate definition has to include at least two components: sexual pleasure and sexual relaxation. Such a definition would recognize various forms of orgasmic experiences, which all have in common that they involve a combination of sexual pleasure with relaxation – including explosive releases of sexual tension, but also waves of orgasmic sensations that come and go in a mindfully relaxed state, and long-lasting orgasmic states.

Although pleasure is central to Diana Richardson’s view of sexuality, her way to sustainable sexual pleasure does not go via external stimulation of erogenous zones, or the buildup of sexual fantasies. On the contrary, she claims that our present society’s focus on external stimulation and excitement, and fast hot sex, actually leads, in the long term, to a loss of sensitivity.

The way to deeper sexual pleasure goes via awareness, relaxation, and increasing one’s capability to experience subtle inner sensations. “Not a pleasure that leaves you wanting it again and again, but a pleasure that nourishes, fulfills, and uplifts you” (p. 70). This may open up to more of genuine love and sustainable relationships, and to spiritual states of bliss and ecstasy – as well as an ability to experience “orgasmic, blissful states in aloneness” (p. 89).

When I had read the book for the first time, in March 2015, I made the following note, which also shows a bit of skepticism in relation to some parts of her book: ”Diana Richardson’s book gives me so much, but not in the sense that I accept everything in it (on the contrary, I feel skeptical about some of it), but by inspiring me to continue exploring. This is something which she actually emphasizes herself: the important thing is to explore and to see for oneself. Importantly, she invites us to take what she writes as tools, not rules.”

As she explicitly formulates it in her book: “DON’T MAKE TOOLS INTO RULES!” I think this is yet another great example of the wisdom that is to be found in her book.

Anders Lund, June 2017

Tantra Consciousness

I love giving a Tantra massage. It is a practice that brings pleasure to the other person and begins a process of healing. However, a massage session is not the fullness of Tantra, it doesn't impart the teachings and all the benefits of the practice. It is one reason I have shifted toward education. I hear so many people say they want peace of mind, healing, or to be multi -orgasmic. Tantra can do those things, all of them for both men and women. However, Tantra isn't a massage or a technique it is a system of transformation.