I have been been getting increasingly aggravated by adverts for workshops teaching the physical aspect of tantra. There has been a whole lot of not signing up on my part. They leave me uneasy. Recently, the penny dropped - its all about the integrity of approach... Perhaps if I knew nothing, it would be different, but there is an inherent tension between my inner knowing and experience, and what I see in these adverts. Nothing has spoken to my soul.
If I see a stock photo of a glamorous-looking couple, or a sultry female model used to promote what they are teaching, before I've even read anything I am in a state of tension. Tantra is about relaxing and accepting who you are, going within, and here someone is getting me to look at someone else (looking outside myself) in order to sign up to their stuff. We already know what 'selling sex' looks like - it's all around us all the time teaching us to be consumers. And then, here it is again somewhere it shouldn't be.
Tantra with a partner is about relaxation, allowance, not having to 'perform' or achieve anything, total compassion for self and ones partner, acceptance, a state of childlike innocence, playfulness, devotion.
Being naked? Yes, but in the metaphorical sense, of removing your masks, going back to that Garden of Eden state of innocence, of feeling it's the first time every time.
So, if someone tries to sell me tantra by listing the number of different types of orgasm that are possible, they are already trying to sell by pushing subtly into the realms of 'performance'. Comparing my 'performance' to something else and creating a perceived lack. Guess what? My molecules simply aren't responding. Part of me is thinking: 'You were itemising? You must have been really carried away with that experience'.
It's often about the tone: compassion v. aggression. This can be very subtle, but if there is a testimonial saying someone achieved the 'best sex ever', we are uncomfortably in the latter, and to me it's not tantra.
Visually, the tone often looks rather 'adult'. Ranging from burlesque to private sex shop to Moroccan harem. You can do what you like in your own time, but this speaks to me of imposing your own vision, which is the opposite of putting me in touch with my own inner self and allowing something to evolve.
I have one book which includes friendly, innocent, line drawings of a range of different types of couples. The tone throughout is warm and compassionate, take it or leave it, try this or don't, do all of these techniques or just one. It stands out from the crowd, and so far alone, in terms of integrity and the amount of love which oozes out from its pages (message me if you want to have the recommendation).
Why is no one talking about joy? lightness? absolution? Where is the humour? Are you breaking into song, writing poems, spontaneously dancing, creating works of art? Are you allowed to feel a bit daft?
If you can do all of those things, you might convince me that you have something to offer.
If not, I think I can probably manage.
confidence - freedom - passion