Tantric Love: Where Spirituality And Sexuality Meet
Updated January 20, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Erika Schad, LCP, CWLC
When you hear the phrase "Tantric love," what's the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, the words can immediately conjure up mental images of sex. And not just any kind of sex—adventurous, new-age sex. They may imagine long-haired folks smelling of patchouli in a room full of crystals who are engaged in awkward positions that only an experienced yogi could achieve.
Although there is some truth to this image, Tantric love is so much more. Unusual sexual positions and a particular ambiance can be part of the experience, but this is not what Tantric love is all about.
At its core, Tantric love is all about presence, connectedness, and, well, love. It's about putting aside the gratification of self to bond more fully with another person, so it's an experience that anyone can enjoy. Read on to learn more about Tantra and how you might incorporate it into your life.
The Origins Of Tantra
Tantric love has been around for so long that no one knows for certain exactly where or how it started. It appears to be rooted in a combination of ancient Buddhist and Hindu traditions that were preserved in a few obscure Sanskrit texts. These texts embody oral tradition that was passed down in India around the 6th century. In these traditions, practitioners worshipped the god Shiva and the goddess Shakti, who represented male consciousness and female power respectively.
Although Tantra appeared to die out around 1100 AD as Islam began to rise in prevalence, it experienced a Western resurgence in modern times when it was incorporated into New Age spiritual practices.
With that background, let's tease out some of our misperceptions about Tantric love and get to the heart of what it's really about. You just might find yourself inspired to experience some of that powerful connective force in your own relationship.
Tantric Love And Sex: Why They're Not the Same Thing
As mentioned previously, sex is a part of the experience of tantric love, but there are some key differences between the act of sexual intercourse and that of Tantric love. Here are a few of them.
Tantric Love is Not About Gratifying the Desire
By nature, sexual intercourse is a relatively selfish act. For some people, the sole objective of this activity is to achieve pleasure for themselves. Once they have achieved this goal by reaching orgasm, the act is over.
However, in Tantric love, the focus is on experiencing an authentic deep bond with the other person. Your energies merge, harmonizing and balancing each other out, so you become whole together. It is a sacred and a selfless act.
Tantric Love Takes More Time
The average sexual act, desire-driven and goal-oriented as it can be, takes place rapidly and is over quickly. Sometimes both partners can finish in well under an hour. In essence, this is a "fast food" lovemaking experience that is all too common in our culture of busy schedules.
However, to experience Tantric love, you have to move slowly, taking your time and savoring your connection with the other person. Meditation, breathing exercises, and Tantric massage all set the mood and help you establish a deeper connection. As a matter of fact, in ancient times it was not uncommon for people to spend days engaged in the act of Tantric love. That's because the emphasis is not on simply getting it on and getting it over with, but in taking the time to experience a deep union with your partner.
Tantric Love Is Sacred
In our society, we have learned to think about sex as something taboo, naughty, and even a little bit shameful. However, Tantric love takes a completely different approach. The sexual act stems from the deepest creative force within us. Instead of being a source of shame, the human genitalia are a source of sacred power, and our bodies are to be treated with reverence.
Tantric Love Involves Your Whole Body
Tantric love is all about expanding your sexual energy to forge a deep connection. Your energy moves from your genitals to the rest of your body. Any part of your body can experience pleasure during the act of Tantric love. In addition to the body, Tantric love also involves your mind and your spirit.
Tantric Love Is Ritualistic
As it's considered a sacred act, rituals like massage, meditation, and prolonged eye contact are an essential part of Tantric love. The idea is that you take the time to worship and adore the sacredness of each other's bodies and sexual energies.
If Tantric love takes more time and isn't focused on desire, you may be wondering why you'd want to do it. As it turns out, this experience has some powerful benefits for your sex life and your relationship.
Benefits To Tantric Love
Below are just a few of the benefits to Tantric love.
A Deeper Connection With Your Partner
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit of Tantric love. The entire focus of the practice is a deep and powerful union with your partner, both on a spiritual and a physical level. Since Tantric love is an experience that consumes your mind, body, and spirit, you will ultimately deepen your bond with your partner on all of these levels.
Developing More Trust In Each Other
Along with that deeper connection comes a profound trust. Part of Tantric love is working together to prolong the experience while you're in a position of shared vulnerability. It truly is the ultimate trust-building exercise.
Ironically, the fact that Tantric love is not focused on desire results in more pleasure. The deep mind-body connection you experience leads to stronger orgasms that last longer. What's not to love about that?
The Possibility Of Multiple Orgasms For Both Men And Women
In Tantric love, both men and women work to postpone their orgasms, which has the result of longer and more frequent orgasms for both partners. Where men usually climax fairly quickly and feel drained of energy in the aftermath, the practice of Tantric love allows them to continue making love and experiencing pleasure for hours.
Improved Mental And Physical Health
The lengthy and frequent orgasms that result from Tantric lovemaking alter your brain chemistry, resulting in a host of proven benefits for your mental and physical health.
- Easing or preventing depression due to the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain
- Alleviating pain because of the release of these same chemicals
- Strengthening your immune system
- Giving you a more youthful appearance (experts think this is because your skin has a more elastic appearance due to the release of human growth hormone)
- Helping you sleep better
- Making you live longer (yes, it's true; one study found that middle-aged men who have frequent orgasms die early at half the rate of their counterparts)
Any one of these reasons is a powerful incentive to incorporate Tantric love practices into your relationship, and you can use the following tips to get started.
Practical Strategies To Get Started With Tantric Love Practices
While you can't deny that it seems like a great idea, Tantric love may seem way too complicated, especially if you're not even familiar with other practices like yoga or meditation. Luckily, you don't have to be an expert in the art of Tantra to incorporate these powerful practices into your love life. It's quite simple to introduce Tantric love into your routine with a few easy and practical changes.
Set Your Intentions At The Beginning
Spend time talking about your relationship and the journey on which you're about to embark. Be clear about what you're offering and what you hope to gain, both as a couple and individually, by merging your energies. This unified goal-setting will make the experience more of a bonding opportunity.
Spend Time Just Being Present And Connecting
Before you even begin the act of lovemaking, meditate face to face in a shared space. You may wish to sit cross-legged while facing each other or with your legs wrapped around each other. Be sure to maintain steady eye contact and honor the divine creative force within each other. While you meditate, synchronize your breathing, so you're inhaling and exhaling together. Engage in these practices with your clothes on first, and then again with your clothes off, naked and vulnerable. This will set the scene for a powerful lovemaking experience.
Approach Each Other's Bodies With An Attitude Of Reverence
Show that you're fully committed and present with slow, worshipful Tantric massage. Try bathing each other, feeding each other, and just touching each other with reverence.
Have Zero Expectations
Drop the perception of lovemaking as a linear act that ends with orgasm. Simply enjoy being present in the moment without any expectation of what's going to happen.
Check In With Yourself And Each Other About How You're Feeling
At its heart, Tantric love is about mindfulness. Be aware of how you're feeling at each stage of the experience and communicate your feelings to your partner. Tune in to how he or she is feeling, too.
It may feel counterintuitive to hold back from orgasm (especially for men), but postponing the climax makes the pleasure last longer, and the orgasm will be far more powerful when it comes.
Are you interested in Tantric sex, but you're nervous or unsure about implementing these ideas in your relationship? Are you uncomfortable bringing up the subject with your partner? In the right environment, you can explore these issues and learn how to be vulnerable by talking with a counselor or a therapist.
Research shows that online platforms are valuable resources for people who want to address issues with intimacy and sex. For example, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that online therapy helped increase female sexual arousal and fulfillment. The report mentions that online therapy is a more private forum for discussing sensitive topics, such as sexuality. Researchers mention that it is also cost-effective and easily accessible. All of these findings are similar to those from a number of studies that have found online therapy to be an effective form of treatment for many types of mental health issues.
With BetterHelp, you can meet with a licensed counselor online at your convenience, from the comfort of your own home or wherever you have an internet connection. A licensed counselor can guide you and your partner on the path toward becoming closer sexually and emotionally. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people in a wide range of relationships.
"Stephanie is a gem! She's very thoughtful, thorough, honest, insightful but most of all helpful. This is coming from a person that never wanted to do counseling and just "knew" I didn't need it. She's been key in helping my wife and I find our better place. She made us grow as a couple and individually. Thanks Steph!"
"Karen has helped me to be able to look outside the box to find how to find possible solutions to my sex life with my wife. A most insightful approach which I had partly recognised before but not taken seriously or realised just how I felt about it."
With benefits like deeper connection, more pleasure, and better health, it's hard to find a reason not to try Tantric love practices in your relationship. A lasting and fulfilling relationship is possible—all you need are the right tools. Take the first step today.
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