What is Tantric sex?Tantric sex is an ancient Hindu practice that has been going for over 5,000 years, and means 'the weaving and expansion of energy'.
It's a slow form of sex that's said to increase intimacy and create a mind-body connection that can lead to powerful orgasms.
Tantric sex - or Tantra as it's often known - can be done by anyone interested in rebooting their sex life and finding new depth to their love-making.
If that sounds confusing think of it this way - if quickie sex is the sexual equivalent of a takeaway, tantric sex is a Michelin-starred meal, slowly and lovingly prepared and all the more delicious thanks to the wait.
Why should give Tantric sex a try?Tantric experts believe that if you extend the time and effort you put into sex, you will reach a higher and more intense form of ecstasy.
And it obviously works, because celebs such as Tom Hanks and Sting have said how great it is. In fact, Sting's wife Trudie Styler once famously boasted that her husband could make love for more than 5 hours at a time!
How to perform tantric sexThe good news is Tantric sex isn't 'goal oriented', which means you don't have to work hard at learning what to do.
The trick is to take your mind off your orgasm and instead focus on making foreplay enjoyable and rewarding until you're ready to take it to its natural end.
This is easier said than done of course, so to delay orgasm Tantric sex experts use a variety of methods including meditative techniques, breath control and massage.
What to doIf you want to give it a go, try the following:
- Start by turning down the lights and shutting out the rest of the world
- Loosen your body: Tantra is about moving energy through the body, so expert Louise Van Der Velde suggests 'shaking your limbs vigorously to energise and unblock your system before you start'.
- Stay off the bed: This will trigger the sleep button in your brain, which, according to Louise 'means you'll be settling for a quickie romp instead of deep connection and loving sex, which is ultimately what Tantra is all about.'
- Get comfortable: Try lying down with your partner on the floor and slowly start to touch each other, taking your time to leisurely make your way around their body.
- Experiment: Try a variety of touches - firm massage, light feathery touches, and gentle stroking. The aim here is to heighten his senses in a slow and intense way so that you're building him to a peak but not taking him all the way and vice versa. Performed in the right way this can prolong sex and your pleasure for hours.
- Think about breathing: If you find your mind starts to wander, re-focus on your breathing. Inhale as your partner exhales and vice versa - it can help improve the connection between the two of you and keep your mind on what's happening.
- Don't give up: If you don't last beyond 10 minutes, try again. Tantric sex takes time to get to grips with because we're all used to sex in a western way - this means we expect sex to have an obvious start, middle and end.
With practice you can let go of this idea and enjoy sex without thinking about the conclusion as well as be able to control your body so you can delay climax and increase the strength of your orgasms.
Tantric sex exercisesAs Tantric sex is all about intimacy between two partners, the following exercises can help you get a hang of Tantra:
1. Try the heart breath to tune into each other. Stand opposite one another and look into each other's eyes placing your left hand on your partner's heart. He should then place his hand over your left one and you should try to match each other's breathing for at least two minutes.
2. Sit face-to-face (this works better if you sit in his lap). Wrap your arms as tightly around one another and press your body against each other. This kind of skin contact promotes greater feelings of intimacy.
3. Ensure you move and breathe slowly during sex (it can help to avoid any position that you know makes you orgasm easily) and work towards a gradual build-up of pleasure. The more slowly you can allow your feelings and sensations to build up, the more intense your eventual orgasm will be.
How to get your partner involved in Tantric sexIf the mystical element of Tantric sex puts your partner off bear in mind that 'Tantra is like yoga,' according to Val Sampson, author of Tantra: The Art of Mind Blowing Sex (Vermilion). 'You can add the spiritual side or just do the exercises. Many people choose to do Tantra, not because of the mysticism but because the sex tips are better.'
If that doesn't work try telling him that Tantra is also good for men as it removes the pressure to perform.
Top Tantric tip'Slow your breathing down as you approach orgasm,' says Val Sampson. 'Most women breathe more quickly as they feel themselves peaking and tense up trying to bring the orgasm on, if instead you relax your tummy, and take slow deep breaths into your stomach, the orgasm will last longer and be more intense.'
Tantric sex is good for you if...- You're looking for something new to do in bed
- You want to become even more intimate with your partner
- You want to try to reconnect with your husband or boyfriend
More help and advice
- Get more Eastern sexual promise with our Kama Sutra positions
- Quiz: How sexy are you?
- Read our guide to oral sex
For more information on Tantra workshops go to:
- Tantra Sex
- Heart Tantra
- Diamond Light Tantra