On the Today programme last week, Sarah Montague was asking what parents should say when children see images of women ‘not wearing many clothes’. This issue of the sexualisation of children has been in the media quite a bit recently. We don’t yet know what impact online pornography will have on the adult sexuality of today’s youngsters, but we do know the impact of negative attitudes to the body and sex. That’s what I want to talk about in this blog.
Either there’s something ‘wrong’ about the body or there’s not. Either there’s something ‘wrong’ about a penis or a vulva or there’s not. Either there’s something ‘wrong’ about sex or there’s not. If there’s not, why do so many parents convey disapproval to their children? This is real damage and it takes years to undo. Some adults never ever manage to throw off their inhibitions.
A great deal of fiction nowadays surrounds Tantric sex. The problem is that Tantra was not founded by any single person and has never had any sort of ruling body to define its beliefs, so its teachings have varied from century to century, place to place, and guru to guru. Quite frankly, there are lots of self-proclaimed Tantric gurus out there writing books and running courses that have little or nothing to do with the real thing. If you go on such a course you may have a great time and learn new things. That’s fine. But authentic Tantric sex is a lot more than staring into eyes and lighting incense.
What makes Tantric sex different is not its range of physical sexual techniques (potent though they are) but its range of psychological techniques and the intention behind the sex. The prolonged state of excitement which Tantric sex is capable of creating is only a beginning. It’s aim is the attainment of a quite extraordinary state of mind known as ananda or bliss.
A woman friend of a woman friend this week asked me what I ‘do’ and, as usual, I replied: ‘Write about Tantric sex.’ There are other subjects I could mention but Tantric sex is my most special of specialities and, anyway, I like to see what reaction I get.
‘Ah, yes,’ she said, not at all rattled. ‘Making love for a long time.’
This is one of the commonest misconceptions about Tantric sex. Another is that lighting candles, burning incense and being especially nice to one another amounts to Tantric sex. None of this is correct.
Tantric sex is about using sexual energy for spiritual purposes.
If you don’t have a spiritual aim then it isn’t Tantric sex, no matter what techniques you employ.
The point about lengthy sex is that it enables the sexual energy to build to extraordinary levels. But you still have to use that energy in the right way.