Few sex practices have received as much buzz in recent years as tantric sex. People from all walks of life have sung the praises of this unique form of intimacy. For those of you who've ever wondered: "What is tantric sex?" allow me to illuminate you. To better understand tantric sex and why it's become so popular, I spoke with Tantric sex expert and founder of Atlanta Institute of Tantra & Divine Sexuality Amina Peterson.
"Tantric sex is somewhat of a misnomer, as the Sanskrit word ‘Tantra’ can refer to a philosophy, a set of beliefs, even a yoga practice," Peterson tells Elite Daily. "However in common usage, 'Tantric sex' is referring to a ritualized and sacred sexual practice that places the lovers on a path to liberation." So, how does this approach to physical intimacy differ from everyday intercourse (however you define that)? According to Peterson, Tantric sex aims to expand intimacy outside of the realm of a purely physical or genital focused act. "Sacred sex shifts sexual practices from the genital-specific Sacral Chakra (the body’s pleasure center), and into the entire body’s spirit, expanding intimacy and providing a space for healing."
Ultimately, this "expansion" can encourage partners to become more in sync with each other, while also facilitating deeper levels of love and trust, explains Peterson. And let's be real, even when a relationship's going well on an emotional and physical level, continuing to grow as a couple and deepening your connection is never a bad thing. "Tantric sex also creates space for the orgasm to expand out of the genitals, allowing all lovers to experience multiple, full-body orgasms — which is extremely important in a world where only 20 percent of women are having orgasms regularly," says Peterson.
Since the art of tantric sex is considered "yogic" in nature, it can also result in similar benefits as practicing yoga, explains Peterson. "[It can help you] reduce anxiety, improve flexibility, and find a bit more peace through breath control and body awareness," she adds. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in trying, experimenting with tantra in the bedroom is pretty straightforward. If you're single, don't fret, tantric principles can also be incorporated into a self-love sesh too.
"First, set an intention before moving into your sexual practice, and prepare the space with fragrance, flowers, crystals, and candles," says Peterson. "Smudge the area or create a spray. I use a sage infused Kananga water for my sheets and sex toys." Once you're all set up, it's time to explore. "Take time to get to know your body and the body of your partner," recommends Peterson. "Pleasure and body mapping rituals allow you to see and be seen and can offer a non-intrusive way to move deeper into a tantric sex experience."
Eye-contact is another way to experiment with tantric practices, either with your partner or on your own. "Spend time staring into your partner's eyes or your own in the mirror," says Peterson. "I recommend five minutes as a good place to start, sit in yab-yum and gaze away." Ultimately, tantra is about widening the experience of sex to include other spiritual and emotional elements. "Once we accept the entire body as a sexual instrument instead of just the genitals, we can all begin to experience the liberation that comes with deeper intimacy and trust, not just with our lovers, but with our own bodies and our own spirits," explains Peterson.
For anyone who's eager to try something new in the bedroom, or is interested in shifting their sex life in a more spiritual direction, trying tantric sex could be a great choice. Just remember to take your time and don't get frustrated if it takes some trial-and-error before you get the hang of it.