You’re about to learn how to have tantric sex to experience the most intense, connected, intimate orgasms of your life. This complete guide is going to teach you exactly what tantric sex is, what positions work best and how to use tantra to connect more deeply with your partner.
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What Is Tantric Sex, Anyway?
Tantric sex or tantric sexuality is a philosophy that traces its roots back to ancient India. Tantric sex focuses on awareness of one’s own energy and how that energy interacts with the surrounding world through sexuality.
When practicing tantra, you can visualize sexual energy moving throughout your body to encompass your entire being and even exchange that energy with your partner. Some people describe tantric sex as merging with their partner . The main idea behind tantra, is that through controlling their sexual energy, a couple can ascend to a higher plane of awareness and spirituality.
In tantra, sex is considered sacred (some tantra sects even worshipped the vagina !) and not something that’s sinful or something that you should hide or feel guilty about. Practitioners, also known as tantrikas, surrender to this energy and the power of sex.
The History of Tantra in the West
It was Pierre Bernard, an American yogi, scholar, occultist, philosopher, mystic, and businessman, who is responsible for introducing tantra to the western world. He created the Tantrik Order of America in 1906 [3, 4] and opened tantric clinics around the country. Aside from tantra, yoga was also introduced to the American people by Bernard – whose nephew Theos also had a deep interest in Eastern culture .
Bernard recognized that sex was not only beneficial for an important aspect of our lives. He is quoted as saying.
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In this day and age, when matters pertaining to the sexes are generally avoided, and we are taught that the sexual appetite is an animal craving that should be subdued and concealed it is not surprising that the great majority of persons are blind to the vast importance of the sexual nature [T]hey fail to realize that not only is the cause of our individual existence, but that it is the well-spring of human life and happiness.
Tantric sex has been experiencing a resurgence since the 1960s or so, and many people refer to the modern movement as “neotantra .” In fact, modern implementations of tantra into sexuality can involve New Age religions (although, the association between tantra and religion/spirituality did not always exist [7 p 17, 8]).
However, some people in Western culture focus on the sexual aspects alone, and many people aren’t even aware that tantric sex has anything to do with religion or spirituality at all.
The Purpose of Tantra
Controlling & Sharing Sexual Energy – Nevertheless, the original ideas about tantra and sex focus on bringing together opposites — typically a man and woman — to join sexual energy. Tantra teaches that you can combine your energy with that of the world around you through sex. It’s important to incorporate your heart and body, and not just your mind, to have enlightened tantric sex.
Applying tantra to sex helps to prevent the mass exodus of energy from the body after an orgasm or minimize the effects that the sudden loss of energy can have. The idea of energy loss and sexuality is similar to how Taoists view chi, or qi (a form of energy sometimes described as a vital life force [9, 10]), and tantric sex might be easier to digest if you’re already familiar with Hinduism or other Eastern philosophies. However, many of the practices in tantric sex can work hand-in-hand with other belief systems.
Mindful Sex – Meditation is important to tantra, and while tantric sex may not necessarily involve meditation, entering into a state of heightened awareness, sometimes known as mindfulness, can improve overall sexual satisfaction [11, 12, 13]. Tantric sex might also be beneficial if you have trouble staying in the here and now, even during sex. Tantric sex, like cuddling, can also give a boost to the intimacy a couple of experiences. More on cuddling here.
Tantra ≠ Kama Sutra – Many Westerners confuse tantric sex with the Kama Sutra, another ancient set of beliefs that teaches about advanced sexual positions. The Kama Sutra and tantric sex have similar origins, however, because the Kama Sutra is also originally a Hindu idea. But you can explore both to find a variety of techniques and positions to heighten your sexual pleasure. Tantric sex can also help people to break down boundaries and negative feelings they’ve come to associate with sexuality.
The following terms may be used when people discuss tantra.
- Tantrika – someone who practices tantra.
- Chi – vital life force that flows within and around everyone/everything.
- Chakra – location in the body where energy is centered; there are seven main chakras.
- Kundalini – powerful sexual energy that exists near the base of the spine and can be awakened to help enlightenment; represented by the lotus .
- Lingam – the penis.
- Maithuna – Sanskrit word for sexual union.
- Red Tantra – tantra practices dealing with sex.
- Vajra – penis; means “scepter of power”.
- Yab-Yum – the seated position where a woman sits in her partner’s lap facing him; similar to Lotus sex position.
- Yoni – vagina, a sacred spot that represents the goddess, the “source of all life.’
Location of the Chakras
The seven chakras within the body are the crown (top of head), third eye (forehead), throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral (lower abdomen below belly button), and root (base of the spine near tailbone). The sacral chakra is associated with sexuality and pleasure. Each chakra is associated with a rainbow color, starting with indigo at the top and ending with red. The sacral chakra is represented with orange.
Some practitioners believe that chakras can become blocked or unbalanced, which can lead to physical or emotional problems. Expanding your sexuality is said to awaken and strengthen the sacral chakra.
Why Women Should Try Tantric Sex…
There’s a few reasons you should try tantric sex if you’re female.
It prolongs sex – Tantric sex requires you to slow down, breathe, and get in the moment. During this time, you’ll build tantric energy.
This is important because many women require more time to get into the mood than their male partners. This is because women more often tend to have what is known as responsive sex drives, rather than spontaneous sex drives [15, 16]. If you’ve ever felt in the mood only after sexual activity starts, then you may fall into this camp…making you a perfect candidate for tantric sex as your sex drive needs something to respond to whether it’s a sexual or emotional cue .
Furthermore, spending more time on sexual activity gives your body time to become properly aroused. Blood will flow to your genitals, your vagina will balloon to make room for your partner’s penis, your clitoris becomes erect, your labia swells, and your body will produce lubrication , which makes sex more comfortable. When you’re adequately aroused, you can experience more pleasure and increase the likelihood that you’ll have an orgasm.
Remember that if your desire is responsive, you may only want sex (experience desire) once you’ve become aroused by some trigger . Slowing things down like in tantric sex gives your head a chance to get in the game.
It Keeps You In The Moment – Tantric sex emphasizes remaining in the moment. In modern psychology, this is known as mindfulness, which means:
maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens .
You may have thoughts and take note of them, but you let them go and do not fixate on them. This represents the difference of having thoughts versus being them and enables you to ditch the thoughts and hangups that make it difficult to enjoy sex and become aroused.
Another aspect of mindfulness is paying attention to how you feel, which can further keep you connected to your body and not lost in your head. Women may wind up monitoring their sexual performances rather than enjoying the activity [23 p 50]
The Science Back This Up – Studies have found that mindfulness can help your physical and mental arousal states align (known as arousal concordance) , increase sexual satisfaction [11, 12, 13], and increase arousal/sexual response [25, 26, 27] and desire [28, 29]. Whether you opt for the tantric route or simply follow the advice by modern researchers, anything that promotes mindfulness is good for your sex life!
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Mindfulness takes practice to master. At first, it may take a while for you to notice when your mind has wandered. When you do, you can take a deep breath and think or say a phrase to center yourself once more. You might touch your partner in a certain way to bring yourself back. Touch his arm or breathe his scent to return to the moment.
Focusing on breathing is a great way to keep in the moment, which is why tantric sex and mindfulness go hand in hand. Simply return to breathing if your attention has drifted.
You can also give yourself a hand when it comes to mindfulness by removing distractions. This doesn’t just mean turning off the ringer or locking the door. Have any supplies you might need on hand including condoms or safer sex materials, lube, toys, or more.
7 Practical Steps to Have Tantric Sex
You could move to India and spend six months learning every last aspect of tantra, but that’s just not practical.
With this in mind, here’s your quick-start, practical guide to having tantric sex tonight.
#1 – Create Your Space
Tantric sex starts well before sex. By creating an atmosphere and setting the mood, you’ll be able to remain in the moment and remain ultra-aware of your energy. Start by clearing your room of clutter. Add flowers, candles and even fabrics that will set a mood that’s both sensual and tranquil.
Tantra encourages you to focus on all your senses, so incorporating lighting, scents, sounds, and even temperature into your sexual space will aid your tantric journey.
#2 – Breathe Together
Breathing is key in tantra, and you and your man can use breathing to increase your own intimacy. I want you to use a technique called breathing each other’s breath.
This requires you to face your partner. You then need to breath in as your partner breathes out. Straddling your partner provides easy access, or you could also lie in bed facing one another.
You can practice breathing first by yourself. Inhale for a count of seven before you exhale. Practice exhaling for longer than it takes to breathe in. As you breathe in, you can visualize that breath becoming energy that you can “send” to different parts of your body or even chakras.
If you do this right, you might even be able to use this energy to achieve a full body orgasm.
A tip for your guy – During sex, he should try to exhale when thrusting in and then inhale when pulling out. As he feels closer to orgasm, he should then switch this.
#3 -Make Eye Contact
Tantric sex positions enable you to keep eye contact with your lover. Too often in Western culture, we close our eyes while having sex. Even if your favorite type of sex is intimate love making, you might find yourself avoiding eye contact, especially during orgasm.
However, keeping your eyes locked allows you to remain aware and connected in yet another way. It might be awkward or uncomfortable at first, but keep at it and both of you will be able to relax into it.
Many of the sex positions that facilitate eye contact are great for romantic sex.
#4 – Stay in the Moment – Mindfulness
Yes, we’ve talked about staying in the moment and mindfulness a lot already, but it’s really important to tantric sex.
Conscious touch – If you have trouble remaining in the moment, then the idea of conscious touch can help you to remain grounded. Remain aware of where and how you’re touching your lover rather than going through the motions — literally.
Focus on your intent – It can also help to keep your head in the moment by focusing on what your intent is. Do you want to make him feel good? Are you trying to remain connected? Or does your touch express how much you’re enjoying his lips and tongue on your clit? More on oral sex tips here.
#5 – Get in Position
A bit further down you can read suggestions for tantric sex positions that facilitate breathing, eye contact, and full-body sex. But two practices are commonly employed during tantric sex.
Hand on Heart – One method to connect with your partner and to exchange energy is to place a hand on your partner’s heart and have them do the same. Your free hands should also be touching and can be interlocked.
You can then feel their heart beat as you engage in sexual activity. Alternatively, have your man place his hand over your heart as you place your hand on top of is.
Nurturing Meditation – When the two of you are in spoon position (learn how to spoon), the “big spoon” will place his bottom arm below your neck on the bed and bend it at the elbow to touch your third eye (forehead). He’ll wrap his top arm over your body and lay his hand against your heart chakra. Then place your hand on top of his.
#6 – Stay Still
You probably think that sex requires a lot of movement, but that’s not always the case. There may be times during tantric sex when you’re not actively moving or talking. Although, you may find yourself making natural sounds that come along with sexual pleasure.
In fact, some tantrikas believe you can make love without intercourse when you incorporate aspects of tantric sex.
Don’t race through any foreplay activity. So many people think of intercourse as the main event, but all sexual activity can be rewarding and intimate.
Site Note: One activity that’s excellent for foreplay and connecting with your partner is sensual massage. Learn the secrets of giving a great sensual massage.
#7 – Skip Orgasm
One of the aspects of tantric sex is having sex without an orgasm . Although this may not sound like any fun, remember that an orgasm isn’t the only source of pleasure during sex.
Tantric sex emphasizes control, and this includes control over when and how you orgasm. For men especially, breathing techniques and mindfulness can prolong sex without ejaculation, potentially leading to a more powerful orgasm later.
Men should also consider that being able to control your body may even help you to orgasm without ejaculating, which is the key to multiple orgasms for some men [31 p 27].
Even if an orgasm cannot be stopped, focusing on sex as something you create together and not a quest with an end goal can add a completely new and satisfying dimension to your sex life.
A new focus on foreplay – Because the focus shifts away from orgasm with tantra, sex takes foreplay from a bonus to a necessity.
Of course, foreplay may be exactly what gets you off if you’re like many women (after all, most women find it easier to orgasm with clitoral stimulation ). It just makes sense to take your time and include plenty of foreplay if you want to be fully aroused and sexually satisfied. It’s also a great way to get out of any bedroom rut you may find yourself in.
So, trade in those quickies for a sensual experience that isn’t goal oriented, and you might find your sex life is rejuvenated. You may even become someone capable of multiple orgasms!
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Slow Sex
Tantric Sex Positions
While tantric sex is obviously about more than just the positions, the positions are probably what brought you here. You’ll notice that many of these positions allow you and your man to keep eye contact and breathe each other’s breaths. However, even the positions that have you facing away will allow you to be more aware of your bodies and the connection between you.
The Hot Seat
In this position, your partner kneels and you kneel so that you’re in his lap and your bodies touch as much as possible. Your legs will be between his and he can wrap his arms around your hips or waist or even reach between your legs to rub your clit — tips here. You’ll control the motion with your own hips. You can move your hips up and down or in a circular motion. Feel free to take a break if this effort is tiring.
Switch it up by sitting on his lap with your legs bent at the knee. This will force your butt backward, like a lap dance, giving him a great view and allowing you to grind it against him. Try the backseat driver position on a sofa.
This common tantric sex position requires a piece of flat and low furniture like a table or bed. You’ll lie back and he will grasp you by the butt to lift your hips to his pelvis as he stands. This position is ideal for resting your ankles over his shoulders. In the butterfly position, your back will leave the table, and you can use your arms to brace your body. A pillow under your back or hips can make this more comfortable.
If you close your legs and hold them straight up, you’ll enter the mermaid position, which will make your partner’s penis feel larger.
Leaning on the edge of the counter or a piece of furniture or appliance while facing your partner is the first step to the padlock. Your partner steps between your legs, and you lock them around his waist. Lean back on your arms for leverage and for an awesome view of your partner’s body. This also provides him access to your clit!
The Lotus (Yab-Yum)
Adapt the standard yoga/meditation pose for sex with this move. Your partner sits with legs crossed, and you sit in his lap with your legs wrapped around his waist and crossed behind him. You’ll want to rock rather than thrust in this position. Your arms are free to wrap closely around one another, and it’s easy to breathe each other’s breath and make eye contact in this position.
Both of you can ease stress on your joints by keeping your legs a little straighter rather than crossing them. More info on this sex position in this guide.
Check out more sex positions here.
Tanta During Oral Sex
Many of the teachings of tantric sex focus on connecting your bodies in mirrored/symmetrical or complementary positions (as with Nurturing Meditation). This is often easier with penetrative sex, where your bodies are closer and can be in similar positions. However, you can incorporate tantric sex ideas into oral sex, too!
First, don’t forget to maintain eye contact. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be too “porny.” You can gaze at your partner lovingly as you go down on him and he can do the same for you.
Utilizing your hands is a great way to include the entire body during sex.
Gently breathe on and around your partner’s genitals before using your mouth on him. Whether your hands or mouth is connecting with your partner’s body, you can still visualize the transference of sexual energy.
Finally, keep yourself mindful by not judging yourself as you perform or receive oral sex.
Tantric Solo Sex
Although most information for tantric sex assumes you’ll need a partner, this doesn’t mean you can only enjoy tantra in the bedroom if you’re part of a couple. In fact, you can employ elements of tantra during masturbation, too. This might mean:
- Focusing on slow breaths with long exhales
- Visualizing erotic energy moving throughout your body
- Making plenty of time for “foreplay” activities
- Removing clutter and creating time and space solely for masturbation
- Exploring all of your body
- Letting negative or judgmental thoughts move by without latching onto them
- Accepting your body’s sexual needs and preferences
Some people even practice something known as orgasmic meditation. Find out if orgasmic meditation is for you.
Although it’s not necessarily masturbation, some women use yoni eggs to strengthen their pelvic muscles, for pleasure, and to activate their sacral chakras.
Should You Search For A Tantra Teacher aka Guru
Some people will recommend you find a tantric teacher or leader, often called a guru. This can be helpful if you want to explore a tantric lifestyle and not just tantric sex. However, it’s not necessary even if you want to live tantra in every aspect of your life.
Self-exploration is one option. You can learn about tantra from websites, books, and videos if you’d rather not find a guru or cannot find one in your area.
If you do want to learn from another person beware of scammers or people who would take advantage of the power differential between you, the student, and them, the teacher. Someone who is teaching you about tantric sexuality may want to have sex with you, and there are cases of teachers who use this to have sex with many people for their own gain and not just as a way to spread the word of tantra.
Find a guru who will help you learn what work you need to do yourself to live a tantric life or explore tantric sex. Avoid anyone who promises healing, enlightenment, or a 5-step plan that is a cure-all. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut.
In general, beware anyone who charges exorbitant amounts of money to teach tantra. This act has been accused of commodifying an ancient Eastern practice in a disrespectful way .
Remember that a tantric teacher may be legitimate but may still not be a good fit for you. You may need to meet a few to find your perfect guru.
Tantra for the Cynical Practitioner
Until this point, we’ve made suggestions for tantric sex with the assumption that you’re willing or even eager to learn, but that’s not the case for everyone. What about the cynic who thinks this is all a bunch of new age hogwash?
First, we’d like to remind you that you don’t need to join a hippy commune, have sex with a guru, or even talk to anyone else about tantra and tantric sex. You can explore tantric sex on your own or with your partner.
Secondly, you don’t need to start living a life full of tantric spirituality. You can simply pick and choose elements of tantric sex that work for you to spice things up.
Third, you don’t have to believe in tantra to benefit from tantric sex. You might never “feel” energy moving from your body to your partner’s (this is known as sublimation), but that doesn’t mean that trying new sex positions, making eye contact, or breathing in sync with your partner won’t spice up your love life and encourage you to think about sex differently.
Obviously, tantric sex isn’t something that will work with someone who you just met in a bar. And if you’re got a busy schedule this week, you might not have the time or even energy to take things slowly to reach the heightened state that tantric sex promises. However, trying tantric sex at least once might help you to enjoy sex more, explore your sexuality and strengthen your relationship. Even if it’s not for you, tantric sex can help move your focus from something that you achieve to something you can experience with your man.
The Bottom Line
Tantric sex is a great way to spice things up in the bedroom and experience slower sex. Some people find a deeper, spiritual meaning in tantra, while many simply see it as a slightly more intimate form of sex.
Whatever you hope to experience from tantric sex, my advice is to approach it with and open mind and no expectations.
Better Sex Through Mindfulness is the book in which Lori Brotto discusses how mindfulness can improve sex for women based on her clinical research.
Nik Douglas’ Spiritual Sex: Tantric Software for Love is a guide to both tantra and kama sutra if you prefer a book to reference.
The Art of Everyday Ecstasy: The Seven Tantric Keys for Bringing Passion, Spirit, and Joy into Every Part of Your Life is another book about tantra; although, this one doesn’t focus on sex.
In this article, Isabel Thomson-Officer discusses what happens when tantra goes wrong, and teachers abuse students who want to learn about tantra.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ #1 – Is everyone who practices tantra weird?
You might think of weird sexual communes, and hippies or new age folks when you think of tantra, but you can enjoy tantric sex even if you’re not that “weird.” Incorporate what you like into your sex life and forget the rest. The same goes for all sorts of things. For example, you can try a little kink, but it doesn’t have to become a lifestyle.
FAQ #2 – Do I need to consult a guru to learn about tantric sex?
If you’re not much of a self-learner and want to explore more of the non-sexual (spiritual) concepts of tantra, then it may be beneficial to seek out a guru who can guide you. However, if you find it odd to talk about sex with others or simply prefer to explore tantra on your own, a guru isn’t necessary.
FAQ #3 – Does Tantra make you have stronger orgasms?
We can’t guarantee it, but some people report stronger orgasms from tantric sex. You’ll just have to try it out yourself and see.
What tantra does do is encourage you to try new things, be in the moment, take more time to connect with your partner, all of which can make orgasm more likely/easier and potentially more intense.
FAQ #4 – Is tantra the same as Kama Sutra?
Not exactly, but the two are connected. Tantra derives from Buddhist and Hindu as well as some Indian traditions. The focus of tantra was on education long before the term became associated with religion or sex. Lessons and education were woven into a person’s life.
On the other hand, the Kama Sutra is an ancient Sanskrit text about sex and eroticism that was written by Vatsyayana between the 2nd and 4th centuries A.C.E. It’s not entirely a manual or all about sex. In fact, it’s similar to tantra in that it teaches new ways to think and live, which includes sexuality.
Together the concepts of weaving and sex (“Kama”) make up the essence of life.
FAQ #5 – How important are sex positions to tantric sex?
The sex positions suggested here and in other guides to tantric sex can help you get the most out of tantric practices such as exchanging breath or otherwise moving energy through your body and your partner’s.
However, you can achieve many of these same goals through other positions. It’s more important for you to be tantric minded than to stick to a list of tantric sex positions.
FAQ #6 – Can anyone practice tantric sex?
Yes. There are elements of tantra that can work for most people, even if you don’t necessarily buy into the idea of tantra and even if you’re LGBTQ+, disabled, or single. That’s right, you can incorporate tantra into your solo sex sessions!
FAQ #7 – Does tantra help with sexual trauma or PTSD?
Some people report relief from symptoms caused by PTSD or other conditions when they begin to practice tantra. What may make tantra effective is that it incorporates elements of mindfulness or being aware of the moment. Mindfulness may be helpful in relieving those symptoms  as it has been helpful for people who have borderline personality disorder, substance dependence, stress and anxiety, and major depressive disorder [35, 36, 37].
Mindfulness may also be beneficial for trauma survivors according to one study:
facets of mindfulness such as the tendency to engage in one’s everyday experiences with awareness and nonjudgment of experience are worth continued exploration in trauma populations .
However, some people may find that mindfulness can intensify symptoms of PTSD. If you’re worried, it’s best to talk to your medical or mental health provider to see if mindfulness is the right practice for you.
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