The Hot Science Behind Tantric Sex

September 24, 2016

The idea of having sex for hours on end with multiple orgasms sounds physically impossible — at least in the way some people look at sex.

The Western concept of sex is like a storyline with a beginning (arousal), a middle (penetration), and an end (orgasm), but what if we began to see it without the big “O” as the main goal? Tantric sex, a 5,000-year-old ancient Eastern spiritual practice involving an emotional and energetic connection, may help us become more intimate and reach our own sexual nirvana.

1. Tantric Sex: Sexual Energy and Breathing

Singer-songwriter Sting, a well-known advocate of tantric sex, credits his fulfilling sex life to the ancient art. In 1990, Sting and Bob Geldof did an interview with a rock journalist, who asked how long they could go for. Geldof admitted he’s a three-minute man, while a drunken Sting said he could probably go for hours, boasting, “Well, haven’t you heard of tantric sex?”

Sting’s claims may come as a surprise, as Dr. Harry Fisch, a sexual health doctor and author of The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grownups, explains, 45 percent of men are finished within two minutes. Meanwhile, the average sex session lasts 7.3 minutes.

Tantric sex, then, may help us achieve so much more as sexual beings, without penetration. We have been conditioned by society to believe sex without penetration is “merely” foreplay and nothing more. However, penetration is not necessary for peak erotic pleasure or orgasm. “Orgasmic energies,” the process of arousal that often culminates in orgasm, is a full-body experience achieved by keeping energy flowing through us smoothly and naturally.

Tantra distinguishes many different energy systems within us, known as chakras, which are energy centers in the body between the pelvis and the top of the head. It is through the expansion of the consciousness and the weaving of male (represented by the Hindu god, Shiva), and female (embodied by the Hindu goddess, Shakti), into a harmonious whole, that allows both partners to reach orgasm, without penetration.

Trantric love Ian Burt, CC BY 2.0

“Most people think that orgasm, for both men and women, means a physical climax and/or ejaculation,” Diana Daffner, author of Tantric Sex for Busy Couples: How to Deepen Your Passion in Just Ten Minutes A Day and a teacher of tantric practices for over 15 years, told Medical Daily. “It’s the more subtle neurological experience of pleasure that usually accompanies the physical release. We can learn to separate them, allowing both men and women to experience sustained orgasmic experiences, as well as multiple orgasms.”

The reason why partners have fuller, multiple orgasms with tantric sex is because it delays the actual orgasm by focusing on everything else. It increases our awareness of our own energy and the energy around us. The path that tantra uses to these ends is the exploration of sexual energy.

As the energy flows throughout the body, our breathing is what keeps us relaxed and centered. This tunes the body into physical sensations and often emotional ones. However, “simply breathing” is not really enough, according to Daffner.

“To become tantric, the breath must be spread throughout the body. Although the actual breath enters at the nostrils, of course, the training is to “sense-feel” as if the breath is coming up from the earth and circulating the whole body,” she said.

2. The Benefits of ‘Delaying The Orgasm’

In conventional sex, women tend to narrow their mental and physical focus to help them achieve an orgasm. Men tend to have a speedier pace than women in bed, reaching orgasm within seven to 14 minutes and 10 to 20 minutes, respectively. In comparison, in tantric sex, couples are encouraged to stay present with each other and focus on the journey rather than having an end goal, which helps them go at a slower pace. This is what helps sex last longer than the average 7.3 minutes.

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