Tantra is a Sanskrit word that means “woven together”. Buddhist meditation practitioners use sexual union as a metaphor for weaving the physical together with the spiritual; weaving man to woman, and humankind to the divine. Sexual Tantra is a form of sacred sexuality in which a couple shares slow, non-orgasmic intercourse as a prelude to an experience of bliss and emptiness. So yes, Tantric sex is an erotic practice that you and your partner can explore. But remember, the purpose is to become enlightened, not to win an Olympic medal for carnal gymnastics.
Here is an introductory tantric exercise. Begin by facing each other and gazing deeply into each others’ eyes. And yes, start with clothes on. It’s most powerful to focus on one eye; this keeps you intimately exposed (some people look back and forth between the two eyes to reduce the tension but that’s cheating!). Eyes are windows to the soul, so you are gazing into your lover’s soul, they into yours. Next, synchronize your breathing: breathe in together, exhale together. Then move into breath exchange: you inhale when they exhale, then exhale when they inhale, as though you’re breathing each other. Practice this for ten minutes, an hour, all day…
To take this intimate communion into sexual Tantra, try the same process but with clothes off. Sit on your lover’s lap, face to face, and wrap your legs around their waist. Take the breathe exchange into kissing and caressing. In time, begin slow intercourse. Here is where things get interesting; as you become more proficient in these practices, you can develop the ability for extended orgasm. For both women and men, this is a variation on multiple orgasms, where you remain at the peak of ecstatic pleasure without actually “coming”. In Tantric practice, this leads to profound sexual and emotional merging.
Practicing Tantric sex can enhance your relationship and your sexual pleasure in several ways. First, emphasizing breath and connection creates a deep level of intimate contact. In our modern overscheduled lives, we rarely stop and intently focus on our partner. This alone can open your heart to feeling closer, more loving, and more forgiving. Second, the slow pace of Tantric lovemaking will allow you to explore the sensual range of your bodies and minds. Surveys indicate that the average sexual encounter lasts an astonishing 7 minutes; and that is from nudge,nudge,wink to snore. Making love for an hour or more turns a fast food burrito into an epicurean feast. Both satisfy your hunger, but the feast turns the act of eating into pleasure, delight, and profound satisfaction. Same with Tantric sex versus a quickie. Third, while you may balk at the idea of avoiding ejaculation, these practices can help you both develop sexual ecstasy far beyond that of a typical orgasm. Instead of just saying “Oh God” at the point of orgasm, perhaps you will actually merge with Buddha nature. It gives the term the second coming a whole new meaning.