Have you noticed how many Tantra workshops are now being offered worldwide? Descriptions for them are usually quite vague and I have always wondered what are these magical tools that can “make you a better lover” in just one day. Exactly what happens in a Tantra workshop for beginners?
Back in 2013 I had the pleasure of going to my very first full-day Tantra workshop in Bali and would like to share exactly what we learnt so others may have an idea of the topics and exercises. This workshop was for absolute beginners and this is just a collection of my notes. Since then I’ve gone on to doing many more workshops and tantra festivals, and even teaching tantra myself. Please note that every workshop will be different, so don’t expect to learn the same stuff. For example, here I posted a video of a full-length introduction to Tantra talk by someone else, where you can hear about very different topics and it is much less focused on the physical side than this one I went to. And here is an article about a totally different kind of tantric workshop, more for those who have some experience in this field.
Firstly, there are often many exercises that you will do in couples, so if you aren’t comfortable with being paired up with a stranger, then that may be something to think about and come with a friend. During this particular workshop 90% of the people were couples. However, during most others, there were a lot more singles.
Secondly, these workshops are not about getting naked or touching each other inappropriately. The most physical thing we did was a partner massage. Also, not all Tantra workshops have to be about sex, however, it is a rather popular aspect of Tantra.
The history of Tantra
Our teachers did not give us much history or philosophy, if you would like to find out more about where Tantra came from, you can read about it online, there are many resources.
The basic principles of Tantra
TAN = instrument
TRA = for expansion
Tantra is meant to expand our consciousness – its a celebration of life. It is used to deepen intimacy with ourselves, our partners and the entire Universe.
Tantra is not a religion and it’s not just about sex (out of 64 ancient tantric scriptures, only 10% is about sexuality), that it is a spiritual framework for life and can be used in many aspects of it.
Tantrics believe that if you’re going to do something, whether it be eating or making love, make it explosive. Celebrate your sexuality.
1-3 hour-long orgasms are a very real thing, but Tantra is not about having an incredible sex life, it is about being fully present in the now, experiencing every sensation, completely detached from the past or future. Next time, try noticing what you feel as you orgasm, are you thinking about work, dinner, that crack on the ceiling, or if your mind is totally blank?
Is it true that they teach you not to ejaculate?
This is a subject that is debated a lot in the tantric community. Many promote the idea of separating your orgasm from ejaculation. In other words, you still feel everything that you would feel during an orgasm, but you will now show it physically, so technically yes, you do not ejaculate.
The reason behind this is that you lose energy as you ejaculate, which can be used for other things. Sex should not give you an emotional hangover, it should give you energy and not deplete it. Notice how you feel after ejaculating next time. If the thought of retention puts you off, don’t be afraid, personally I know people who can ejaculate and still maintain their energy, so it is not a requirement, but our teacher did go on about it for quite a bit. He said, if you choose to ejaculate, do it up the spine.
However, MANY tantric teachers don’t practice this or recommend it, they believe in letting the body do what it naturally does. So after many years of being in this world now, I would personally recommend to just do what your body feels happy doing, don’t force yourself to do anything.
How to use your sexual energy
They didn’t tell us exactly what to do with our energy, which I think is absolutely vital. They briefly mentioned the breath of fire – it will send your energy right up. I might write a separate blog post about what to do with sexual energies – they certainly do talk about it in more advanced Tantra workshops.
Tantra and chakras
What I found quite interesting was the way they explained chakras. I have learned so much about chakras since I was a teenager, but have never heard of it from this perspective before. Our teachers explained that sex is different depending on what chakra is most active in a person. In our physical 3D world, not many go beyond the heart chakra.
- Root chakra: animalistic sex, loud, rough, women tend to need longer to finish but are very explosive
- Sexual chakra: wet and sloppy, lots of wet kisses, licking and sweating, romantic, creative, fantasies, based on lust and physical attraction
- Solar plexus: domination, S&M, scratching, fiery, passionate, wrestling
- Heart chakra: angelic, sensual, not needs-based, it’s all about service, universal love, friendship, soft and intimate
- Throat chakra: pure, delicate, connected to astrology/space/time, mysterious, goes beyond the physical
- 3rd eye chakra: no longer physical, symbols, meditating on images, going into an ecstatic state without touch
- Crown chakra: samadhi, total unity
What kind of tantric activities and exercises did we do?
Questions – At the beginning, we were asked to move around the room, and when the bell rang we had to stop in front of a random partner and each answer the question that the teacher gave us. Some were simple, like “what attracted you to this workshop?” and some were more personal, such as “describe your most profound lovemaking experience”. It helped people get to know each other and become more open to talking about sexuality.
Kegel/PC muscles – quite a bit of time was dedicated to squeezing our PC muscles (though I must admit, in the hundreds of workshops I’ve been to since this one, not a single other one mentioned this, apart from workshops on Jade Eggs). We experimented between contracting the front (the one that you use to stop peeing), the back (the anus squeeze) and the point in the middle (perineum). We varied speeds and positions, such as sitting up and lying down with knees bent and lifting your tailbone up (bum still on the floor) as you exhale and squeeze. It may feel more logical to squeeze on the inhale, but it actually feels better if you do it on an exhale – try it! There are also gadgets that you can buy to help you with this. At this workshop, we were told to do this everyday, but in others that I have been to since said that kegel exercises were actually bad for us…do I honestly don’t know who to listen to, just see how your body reacts to it I guess.
Eye contact – this is probably now a standard in any kind of spiritual workshop – sitting in front of a partner and looking into their eyes. This is a very powerful exercise and can really help bring you closer to your significant other and even your friends. Notice how you feel when you do that, is it easy for you or is it uncomfortable? Try doing this before, during, and after lovemaking too.
Sensual chakra massage – this was the most fun exercise. We had to massage our partner (lying face up) based on the different lovemaking techniques of the chakras. We had 3 minutes for each chakra, finishing at Vishudha. I would really recommend you to try it, so I will describe the technique below:
- Root chakra: use slow, hard movements, pressing firmly on your partners legs, arms and chest.
- Second chakra: use steady flowing movements (still apply pressure, don’t use fingertips), allowing as much of your body to touch your partners. Imagine it like a water flow.
- Solar plexus: go crazy, scratch, bite, pinch and spank your partner (this one may need some boundaries set up beforehand).
- Heart: very light, gentle strokes using your fingertips. You can use other soft, tickly items, such as your hair or a piece of cloth. This is a very sensual experience, allow yourself to let go and let your hands flow.
- Throat: this is the last chakra and is done above the body, no touch is involved. Imagine yourself sending your partner love through your hands. This can be an incredibly powerful experience if the receiver is open and relaxed.
Lovemaking ritual – don’t get excited, no lovemaking actually took place! Our teacher recommended that when we go home and get ready to make love, we do a ritual to first spend time (20mins) preparing the space and yourself (light candles, put flowers around, shower), followed by eye contact and a mutual meditation. Lovemaking is next on the list, followed by another mutual meditation to finish. At the end, they recommended physical separation to sit in our own energies, which will make us want our partners more. We did everything apart from the showering and the physical lovemaking, though personally I thought this exercise was a waste of time to do in class, but the idea was nice, and we did do it as “homework”, which I must admit, took my relationship to a different level.
Some other interesting bits from the beginners Tantra workshop
As homework we were told to be each other’s slaves for a certain period of time, be it an hour or a whole day, and the slave cannot do anything without the partner’s instructions (even going to the bathroom). It is supposed to help find out more about each other and our needs. Sexually, of course, it will help you find out what your partner likes best in bed and what they like less of.
Polarity: don’t dilute your time together, sometimes you need time to yourself. Instead of spending the whole day together not being present, go out, do what fulfills you, then come together and be present with each other. You can increase polarity by taking a break from each other, sleeping in separate beds once in a while (go away for a weekend with your friends) and by spending time with energies most similar to yours (e.g. if you’re feminine, spend more time with feminine people to increase polarity).
Don’t forget about courting, go on dates and bring some romance into your relationship, surprise your partner, even if you have been going out for a long time. See the divine in your partner, don’t see them as just a man or a woman.
Is it worth going to a 1 day Tantra workshop?
Depends on how new you are to Tantra, my partner and I were very familiar with all of the techniques described during the day, but it was still nice to hear it all again, and we did pick up on some new things. Personally, though I think a 5-day retreat would be much more worthwhile as then you will get more hands-on techniques that you can try, immerse yourself deeper in the practice. I would definitely recommend going to a festival, but you may want to familiarise yourself with tantra first, so you don’t get shocked 😀
If you do decide to go to a 1 day workshop, even if you know of the techniques, it will still help bring you and your partner closer…plus all those exercises will get you mega horny so you can expect a very fun night after the workshop 😉
If you’re curious about it but not comfortable yet going to a Tantra workshop in person, why not try an online Tantra course or two? I’ve done many and I absolutely love them! The first one I did was a lingam massage one and it was the best thing I’d ever spent money on, it’s truly transformed my sex life.
Here’s a review of a vastly different tantra workshop, just so you get an idea of the kinds of things you may expect from different teachers.
For all my articles on tantra, click here.