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I tried tantric sex to see if I could reach a whole-body orgasm

WORDS BY HANNAH COHEN

Master the art of the O.

When it comes to browsing the wonderful world of intimacy for something to spice up your time in the bedroom, tantric sex is a sexual practice often lumped into the ‘not for me’ pile by many who are unfamiliar with it.

Up until conducting some hands-on field research (wink wink) for this article, I was firmly in camp ‘sounds a bit woo-woo’. I’ll admit, I was guilty of perceiving tantra as something primarily reserved for Gwenyth Paltrow’s sex repertoire, alongside her assortment of goopy ways.


For more sex-related stories, head to our Life section.


After plugging the term into good ol’ Google, I found the first definition that came up a little jarring (probably because, like many of us, I’ve been conditioned to have a more conventional, heteronormative understanding of sex).

Having “slow, meditative form[s] of sex where the end goal is not orgasm, but enjoying the sexual journey and sensations of the body” is a stark contrast to the almost prescriptive sex routine many of us are familiar with – kissing, undressing, foreplay, penetration, done.

However, after picking the brain of holistic sex therapist and tantra teacher Elisa Caro, I learned that there’s far more to the world of tantra than meets the eye. Naturally, my curiosity was piqued so I decided to up the anty a little by giving Elisa’s expert advice on tantric sex a test run.

Intrigued? Read on, my horny friends, to get my entry-level summary of tantric sex sprinkled with a tried-and-tested review of Elisa’s favourite tantric magic tricks.

What is tantric sex?

“Tantra is a philosophy or a way of life that goes way beyond just the topic of sexuality. [Tantra] is actually more of a path towards enlightenment, so it’s really about helping people to wake up,” she explains.

In the holistic world of tantra, sex is considered sacred, shameless, and according to the philosophy’s teachings, is a key pillar that needs to be addressed on the path to enlightenment. Tantra is about celebrating the immense power of sexuality. It views sexual intimacy as something that can be both a healing experience and an emotional release.

“Tantric sex is deep. It’s connected, it’s really orgasmic, it’s healing, it’s sacred, and it’s a very holistic experience. The reason why tantra has developed so many tools and practices around sexuality is because it considers all of life as a tool to the divine,” she shares.

So how does tantric sex work?

Elisa tells me that tantric sex is best understood by first learning about the five bodies framework because all of her tantric techniques are grounded in this. When you have tantric sex, you’re experiencing and engaging with so much more than the physical. Yes, one of the five bodies is the physical body, but there are also the mental body, the energetic body, the emotional body and the spiritual body.

When properly activated, each of these bodies provides opportunities for heightened pleasure during sex. “When you activate all of [the bodies], the sexual experience is so much better,” says Elisa. Breaking it down for me, she explains that activating the physical body leads to more tangible sensations and can be practised by, “pelvic contractions, moaning and movement”.

Experiencing pleasure via the mental body is all about presence. “You know, it’s so annoying when you’re thinking about a hundred other things when you’re making love. But actually, when you’re feeling that clarity and have cleared that space, the mind can be very pleasurable. So we want to bring that to the sexual experience,” she says.

When it comes to activating the emotional body during sex, Elisa describes leaning into feelings of vulnerability and opening your heart to whatever emotions might arise during intimate experiences.

“Pleasure in the emotional body feels like deep surrender and opening, rather than feeling guarded and disconnected. It’s this deep sense of connection, just letting go and loving… that’s your emotional body opening up.”

Elisa describes tapping into the fourth body, the energetic body, as experiencing a “sweeping sensation of tingling and warmth” during sex. “It feels like waves throughout the whole body, and it’s the one body that we need to activate the most in order to have a full-body orgasm.”

Before describing the fifth and final body, the spiritual body, Elisa prefaces that tapping into this body might not be everyone’s cup of tea. How you engage with this body may depend on your personal beliefs and level of spirituality.

“The spiritual one is about a bit more mystic… a bit more intangible, and about feeling each other’s souls with a deep sense of devotion and stopping of time and space. There’s like this deep sense of ego death, but that’s a bit harder for most people so using just the other four bodies is great.”

How can I give it a go?

Now that we’ve established what is essentially the skeleton of tantric sex, it’s time to flesh it out by learning how to put it into practice by activating those five bodies and unlocking all they have to offer.

Elisa was so generous in sharing her extensive wisdom with me and even went so far as to equip me with a step-by-step tutorial on the basics of tantric sex, which is based around tantric sex’s three core pillars: intention setting, soul gazing and achieving a whole-body orgasm.

Before I give you the rundown on my experience trying to have tantric sex for the first time, I will give a brief disclaimer in clarifying that I, a humble newbie to tantric sex, am no expert.

I gave the techniques below a good beginner’s crack, but for best results, Elisa recommends easing these techniques into your sex life gradually and at a pace that suits you. The mindblowing, orgasmic sensations may not flood in all at once, but by keeping at it, you can master the art in due course and eventually, reap all the pleasurable rewards. Without further ado, here’s a recap of my tantric escapade.

Intention setting

Based on what is traditionally referred to in tantra as ‘consecration’, setting positive intentions with your partner before engaging in sex is a crucial step in priming the mental and emotional body.

Examples Elisa gave me were phrases like “May I feel more connected with my body, heart and spirit” or “May I let go of limiting beliefs, mind-chatter and doubts that are holding me back from fully embracing my sexual self”.

So, before my partner and I got down to business, we took a breath, looked at each other, and stated exactly what we planned to receive from the sex we were about to have. It had been a long day and we were both feeling a little grumpy, so I set my intention as “May this uplift my mood and make me feel less annoyed”.

To be completely transparent, my partner’s intention was “May I be able to help Hannah with her article by doing this – but also allow us to connect deeply”. Aww.

While this practice may sound a bit cringeworthy, establishing exactly what we wanted to receive from sex helped us both to shake off our hectic days and be more present with each other – something we can all use from time to time.

Soul gazing

Soul gazing is all about allowing the physical attributes of ourselves to melt away for a moment, and trying to focus instead on connecting via the soul. The purpose of soul gazing is to shift the energy we pour into worrying about physical appearance and move our attention towards a soulful connection with our partner, through a lengthy stare.

The essence of this practice is in the name. You stare into your partner’s eyes for an allocated time frame (or if you’re engaging in solo sex, look into a mirror) and truly see them (or yourself). By this, I mean what lies beneath the surface.

I’m not gonna lie, getting into this practice took a few tries because we had to get over the fits of giggles that erupted on the first run through. It does feel a little weird to just be still and stare into each other’s eyes. But once the alarm went off, I can say with confidence that the practice definitely did something. I felt a little calmer, a little more present, and overall, it was a nice meditative exercise to do alongside my partner.

The whole-body orgasm method

Elisa’s tantric method of achieving a whole-body orgasm outlines a combination of breathwork, pelvic floor contractions and energy shifting movement during sex. She has a bunch of tutorials on her YouTube channel if you’re interested in getting a more specific, detailed rundown.

I found it a little tricky to get my head around employing all of these techniques at once, so I took it upon myself to try the pelvic floor contractions on their own during sex, with the intention to build up to the full combination in the future. Let me tell you, these contractions were an excellent starting point on my journey to a whole body orgasm.

While I don’t think I quite got there, as Elisa assured me, by practising these tantric tools, I’ll eventually be able to master the art and ultimately get to know the most pleasurable pillar of tantric sex a little better.

For information on Elisa’s tantra teachings, head here.

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