How can you use the techniques of tantra in your everyday, busy life? How do you get off the “getting off” grid when it comes to sex, and find deeper, more satisfying connection with your partner? What is “relaxed entry” – and how can that revolutionize your sex life? In this episode, we receive a return visit from Diana Richardson, one of the world’s experts on tantra, and author of The Heart of Tantric Sex (among many other books on tantra). We talk about how to make tantra practical – along with a discussion of “relaxed entry” – which can revolutionize your sex life whether or not you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction. We talk about tantra in same-sex relationships, how to have sex without it being focused on “excitement” – and…much more!
If you’re interested in hearing my earlier episodes with Diana Richardson, please check out:
Cultivate body perception: Our overarching cultural education teaches us to be mind oriented, and thus, detached from our bodies. We engage with our bodies mostly from a place of negativity- focusing mainly on feeling what isn’t working. When was the last time that you simply observed how you were sitting or standing? We must begin to engage our capacity to perceive our integrated selves through re-anchoring our awareness in our own bodies. Once we have some control of where our attention goes, we can then start to feel into our sensations and truly ask ourselves ‘what feels good to me? What might feel better?’. A relaxed body has the capacity to allow for an expansion of energy/life force/vitality- and this is the basis of tantra. In order to set this foundation start to tend to your inner awareness, checking in with your physical self several times throughout the day so that you can truly sense that you have a body and you can sense into where it is holding tension, where it is relaxed, where it needs some extra attention, etc.
Feeling on a cellular level: Paired with our detachment from our physical selves is also an addiction to excitement. Culturally we have this belief that sex requires the production of something. Most people are addicted to excitement and are often having sex that is so over stimulating that they undervalue the nuances and subtleties that could lead to greater pleasure, connection, and fulfilment. What if sex was less about building things up to climax through stimulation than it was about actually feeling what it is we are feeling? Tantric sensuality is founded on the concept that the greater our capacity to feel ourselves on a cellular level the greater our opportunity for deep pleasure is.
From sensation to sensitivity– Many of us have come into our sexuality believing 1) that climax is critical, 2) intensity equals satisfaction. The drive and strive for climax is mostly a mind-led directive, and can further disconnect us from our body intelligence. While intensity of sensation can feel great at times, the truth is that the more we rely on sensation in our sexual experiences, the less sensitive we become, and then the body will require more sensation to produce the same results. This overemphasis on stimulating sensation ends up decreasing our sensitivity. What is the difference? Sensation is extroverted and is situation-dependent whereas sensitivity is our intrinsic perspective on the feeling of our body at any given moment.
Slow shifts through continual reflection: In order to reorient ourselves back to our sensitivity we have to increasing our ability to be embodied. This training of our awareness back into body memory and knowing will not be quick – however the more you can incorporate this practice into daily life the sooner you will see yourself shift. Go inward and do a body scan while driving, cooking, talking, etc. Ask yourself “where am I holding unnecessary tension? How can I shift myself to promote more relaxation and softening?”. The more you can widen and soften your physical self the more access you will begin to gain into your more subtle internal experiences- those that become doorways into deeper sexual experiences.
Do more with your own body! Want more access to pleasure in your body? Start seeking activities that provide opportunities for you to experience the joy of being a being in a body! Book somatic experiencing sessions- massage, cranial sacral, floats, facials, and more. Find trusting professionals to help you connect to yourself through safe touch.
“Let’s put the bodies together and see what happens” Sexuality without shoulds is WAY better! What if masculinity were not tied to erection? What if you could silence the shoulds and be with what is, how it is, when it is… When you move away from a preconceived notion of what sex is supposed to be like or look like or feel like and move towards a perspective of ‘let’s put our bodies together and see what happens’ you enter into a playful, spontaneous, surprising, authentic and usually delightful and informative way of relating.
One way couples can practice entering this space is to begin exploring relaxed entry. This is when you use loads of lubrication to guide a non erect penis into the vagina with the intention of just moving around and allowing for sensitivity and exploration. Once the penis is entered without erection, you can rest and see what happens, or move around, but do not push – just enjoy the feeling(s). This is not only often very pleasurable for both in itself, but it is another way to tune more deeply into nuanced body awareness. Together allow yourselves to see how your parts awaken to each other, and let the process unfold in an organic way. Meanwhile, allow all the feelings – including the non-feelings! Often when you tune in you realize how much you have been missing by simply focusing on erection and climax.
Containing the energy: While orgasms are great- there are many different ways to get there. When we pump and contract and work to build up sensation we tend to discharge the energy. What happens when you don’t chase it? What happens when you bring curiosity, playfulness, and a surrendering to doing things differently? As you each get to know your bodies in more subtle and deeper ways you will learn to drive your attention to different places, and to actually choose to contain the sexual energy and charge and divert it into new places, and more places.
Bring awareness to yourself as you are making love and being with- If you only have 15-20 minutes available, dedicate this time to laying together and being together. Hold each other’s eye gaze. Land in your body. Allow your physical selves to just be in proximity and notice together what arises. This being-ness and then noticing and naming is what will help pave the way towards reclaiming your sensitivity.
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Learn more about Making Love retreats led by Diana Richardson here
Read Diana’ Richardson’s books including Slow Sex: The Path to Fulfilling and Sustainable Sexuality
Listen to Diana Richardson’s other episodes with Relationship Alive:
Episode 2: neilsattin.com/tantra
Episode 10: neilsattin.com/tantra2
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