Tantric Sex – How & Why To Practice It With Your Partner

couple hugging intimately in the classic tantric sex positionTantric sex promises the tantalizing possibility of improved sexual connection with your partner, better control during sex and more intense orgasms.

Though the practice has roots in Hinduism and Buddhism, western tantric sex offers an accessible way to reap the benefits without attaching too much philosophical or spiritual meaning.

It’s helpful to be open-minded about the idea of connecting more profoundly with your partner. But you don’t need to go any deeper than that if you don’t want to.

In fact, tantric sex is actually very easy to do. So if you’re looking for something that can truly revolutionize your sex life, tantra could be just what you need.

What is tantric sex?

Tantric sex is basically the channeling of sexual energy. Okay, that might sound a little esoteric, but bear with me. The idea of real tantric sex is that you make yourself intentionally horny, but don’t orgasm.

What?! Why on earth would anyone do that?

Well, there are two ideas at play here. The first is that you create a better connection with your partner, you build intimacy (and science says that intimacy not only makes your relationship better, but also makes you happier and healthier).

The second idea is that all that sexual energy that you’d normally expend through orgasm stays in your body, giving you more energy overall. Neat, right?

To orgasm or not to orgasm?

I’ll be honest with you here. I’m not going to say that you can’t actually have sex at the end of this. I don’t think it’s necessary to only have full-on tantric sex.

But the basic practices of tantric sex are a great way to slow things down in the bedroom, which can make it easier for a woman to orgasm. And it can also help a man to control his orgasm (especially true if you have premature ejaculation).

That being said, if you’re feeling up for it, there are some advantages to not ending in penetration. Importantly, taking sex off the table means less stress and less pressure. And that in turn helps you build intimacy, without either of you having to worry about ‘performance’, ejaculation or orgasm.

The decision is completely up to you, there really are benefits either way. Personally, I’ve never been into orgasm denial, and even if I promise myself that there will be no climax, I usually end up breaking that promise in the heat of the moment!

Whether or not you choose to go full-on at the end, you’ll still need the same initial set up and techniques. Tantric sex is often about doing things a bit differently than you might be used to. So let’s take a look at the fist steps to take.

The set up

Set aside an entire evening if you can. Send the kids to grandma, put the dog out, switch off your phones – whatever you need to do. You’re going to need at least two hours (preferably more) of complete peace.

Now, you need to be focused and you need to be calm, and that means creating the right space. Your bedroom is fine, but the living room works just as well.

One thing that I’ve tried that sounds strange but that really works is to make a tent. Really – just suspend a large sheet over three chairs creating an enclosed space and put cushions on the floor.

You’ll need to clear out all the clutter. Get rid of the books on the nightstand, the remotes on the coffee table, and make your space as clean and tidy as possible.

intimate candles

Create a comfortable tantric space

You’ll want to create a comfortable space with some room for maneuver. So if you’re on the bed, get rid of the comforter, blankets and pillows. If you go with the living room floor, just put down some blankets, with lots of pillows and cushions to make it comfortable.

Candles help set the mood. Alternatively, dim lighting can create the right atmosphere too. And soft, relaxing music at low volume puts the finishing touches to your erotic tantric space.

Of course, this will all go a lot better if you and your partner are relaxed. A long, warm bath is good for this, and maybe even a glass of wine (more than a glass or so might affect performance though).

The basic techniques of tantric sex

There are three essential tenets to tantra, three things that you need to remember no matter what else you’re doing:

  1. Breathe in harmony: we’ll get to the details on this in a minute, but you and your partner need to be connected through your breathing.
  2. Keep your eyes open: you’re creating a connection here, not disappearing off into your own world. That means maintaining eye contact as much as possible.
  3. Take things slowly: perhaps the most important thing here is that everything has to be very slowly, with no sudden movements. You’re potentially aiming for hours of pleasure here, not just minutes.

Keeping those points in mind, it’s time to get into position.

The position

illustration of the yab yum position for tantric sexDon’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to do anything too acrobatic. Tantric sex involves a position called ‘Yab-Yum’ which is Tibetan for ‘father-mother’.

This position is intended to create the best connection between the two of you, and there are three different ways to do it:

  • Sit opposite each other with your legs crossed and knees touching.
  • Sit with one partner’s legs wrapped around the other partner’s waist or torso.
  • Sit with one partner in the other’s lap (facing each other), and both partner’s legs wrapped around the other partner’s waist or torso.

The third position is the ideal one, but it can take a little practice until you feel stable and secure, so feel free to use positions one or two to start off with. Note that there’s no penetration at this point, as tempting as it might be.

Once you’re in the starting position, it’s time to focus on your breathing.

The breathing

The breath is important in Tantra, with breathing a little different from what you might be used to.

You and your partner should try to harmonize your breathing. So to start, take long and slow breaths, inhaling and exhaling in the same rhythm for a few minutes.

When you’re both calm and breathing deeply try to time your breaths so that you’re inhaling when your partner is exhaling and vice versa – almost as if you’re breathing into each other and receiving your partner’s breath.

Don’t forget to keep your eyes open and maintain eye contact!

It might take a few minutes to get this right, but really focus on that breathing and relax into it. Try to spend 10 minutes just sitting still, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, and practicing this breathing technique.

Ready to kick things up a notch?

The next step

Still breathing deeply, slowly and in harmony, still keeping eye contact, you’re now allowed to touch. Caressing and stroking are fine; penetration and kissing not just yet!

Steer clear of the genital area at first. In fact, I’d advise steering clear of anything vaguely sexual for at least the first few minutes. Concentrate on the way your partner’s skin feels. Slowly stroke your partner’s arms, knees, and anywhere else your hands can reach. Your partner, of course, should be touching you in the same way.

After a while, things might become a bit more sexual. But still avoid touching genitals (breasts and chest are acceptable, however).

Breathing, eye contact, stroking, keep it up. Seriously, just keep doing all that for as long as possible. Yes, you’re turned on, but stretch all this out for absolutely as long as you can.

The conclusion


The idea is that you keep breathing, looking into each other’s eyes, and stroking until you really, truly can’t take it any more.

I’m not talking about ‘I want to have sex now!’ I’m talking about ‘I’m literally going to explode if this continues and probably lose consciousness.’ Push those limits as far as you can, all without any penetration at all.

When you reach that absolute limit, if you’re going for true tantric sex, you need to calmly, but decisively end the session. Take all of that sexual energy with you, but don’t use it. No penetration, and no secret masturbation!

The alternative ending

If you’re human (like I am), you don’t need to walk away, of course; you can move on to penetration. But as you do, keep those basics in mind. Even whilst penetrating you need to maintain eye contact, keep that breathing harmonized, and move as slowly as you can.

This can take some practice (at least it’s fun practice), but your thrusts should be agonizingly slow. And really focus on keeping that breathing slow and deep.

The result of all of this should be an orgasm that’s not only easier to control, but that’s also incredible.

Just like always, you’re not necessarily going to orgasm at the same time, so do make sure that your partner is satisfied. If you orgasm first, switch to using your hands to satisfy them (still slow, keeping eye contact, still harmonized breathing).

Final word

I’m not saying that tantric sex is the right kind of sex all the time. But if you like the idea of having new ways to connect with your partner and enjoy sex together, tantric sex can both add variety and improve your love life.

It’s also a potential way to deal with orgasm problems (male or female). By taking things slowly, removing orgasm as the end goal or measure of successful sexual performance, you literally give yourselves breathing space to relax and enjoy each other fully without pressure and stress.

And at the end of the day, great sex is about variety, whether that’s oral sex, a bit of bondage, or even a passionate quickie. Tantric sex might help you solve some problems, but it’s also just another positive addition to your skill set.

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