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Sex From All Angles: The Truth About Tantra

Friday, 9 May, 2014

Words by N. Nemaric
Illustration by Sarah Haris

I heard Sting had sex for twelve hours doing something called tantra. Obviously it was in humanity’s best interests that I investigate this further. What I discovered, though, made me question: Can one culturally misappropriate sex moves?

Tantra is sexual activity rooted in meditation. It’s based on the idea that sexual arousal can lead to an altered state of consciousness. It involves matching breath, unwavering eye contact, extended foreplay and earth-shatteringly intense orgasms—or so I’ve heard.

Delving deeper, I learnt that tantric sex got its start in religion. Buddhism or Hinduism to be ambiguously precise. Regardless of where it originated, according to the tantric texts, both involve extensive preparation and purification rites prior to the sexual act. In Hinduism, the highest aim of tantric sex is liberation. This means refraining from orgasm in favour of a supposedly superior ecstasy.

Yet who actually does all that self-educating and preparing and refraining? Sounds taxing. Most people take the aspects they like – such as the increased intimacy and the delayed climax – and disregard the rest. But that’s like going to church so you can munch on a communion wafer – totally wrong. Right?

Well, my feeling is that I am picky and choosy in all matters of life, why not with sex? I buy lipstick from L’Oreal but not their foundation. I like Mexican mains but Italian desserts. I don’t see what is so wrong about not wholly appreciating something but, instead, recognising its positive components.

With this in mind, I have decided that tantric sex is worth a try. Aside from the obvious physiological benefits, it can improve your relationship. In Sanskrit, “tantra” means woven together, and is largely about creating deep and intimate bonds. So take the bits you like, and assume the Lotus position.