What if the answer to finding a healthy relationship with sex wasn’t getting rid of pornography, but rather embracing tantra?
Pornography obviously doesn’t always encourage healthy sexual attitudes. Tantra, however, does—and as similar as some people may find it to porn, it’s essentially the opposite when it comes to attitudes about sex.
Let me explain: Porn is all about sex. Tantra, on the other hand, is all about connection…connection that utilizes sex, but is about much more.
Consider the following ways in which porn affects our attitudes about sex, and not for the better:
Appearance is everything
Porn teaches us you have to be young and fit, and that your body has to look a certain way or have certain attributes, or else how could you possibly be a good lover?
This results in all sorts of self-worth issues. For one, how can you be good at sex if you don’t have a large penis, or perky breasts, or aren’t young and fit? And even if you have one or more of those attributes, is it enough? Porn emphasizes dissatisfaction by always reaching for another ideal.
It’s all for the orgasm
Now, don’t get me wrong: Being able to pleasure your partner is important. But if bringing your partner to orgasm is the only goal, what happens if they don’t orgasm? Does that mean your sex is a failure? This leads to performance anxiety, and deemphasizes the act of making love in favor of the big bang.
It’s all physical
Nothing about porn emphasizes intimacy. Instead, it’s all about the physical action. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the physical action, porn ignores that it can be so much more by ignoring the connection between the people making love and instead focusing on the physical act.
It defines sex
And in doing so, limits it. Porn says these are the types of sex you can have, and this is what orgasms look like, and that’s that.
But the truth is, there’s a lot more to good sex, sex that includes real intimacy and connection between participants.
Porn is like limiting yourself to seven letters, rather than using the whole alphabet: There are a whole lot fewer options if that’s what your definition of sex looks like.
Tantra knows that sex can be so much more.
In the anology above, embracing tantra is like going from those seven letters to the whole alphabet.
So how does Tantra change all this?
Tantric sex shows us we are more than our bodies
Unlike porn, which emphasizes the sizes and shapes of various body parts, tantra emphasizes the connection between those bodies, the sensual. What your body looks like is irrelevant to Tantra.
Mutual pleasure is more important than an orgasm
Tantric sex is about listening to your partner’s body, and then offering them what might be pleasurable. When you give them pleasure, they give you pleasure, and it is pleasurable to see them pleased. This keeps you both in the moment, and is about the action—which is far more important than the climax.
The emphasis is on connection
Humans are meant to connect with each other, and we don’t do well when we can’t find any of that connection with others. That deep-seated disconnect may be known as neediness or desperation, but by any name, it isn’t good for us.
Tantra works in opposition to that disconnect, and helps us emphasize our connections to our partners. When we connect with our partner, we feel contentment, happiness, joy, a full presence in the moment and with each other.
This connection comes first, and is the foundation of all tantric sex. We must fully connect with our partners for the rest to flow from that connection.
Sex is not one-dimensional
Good tantric sex isn’t just physical, unlike porn. Instead, it’s emotional, mental, spiritual. It requires all of our senses, our intuition, our full attention.
And there are no tricks involved. It’s just about making a connection with your partner, and then embracing and expanding that connection.
So Tantra means the end of porn, right?
Probably not. People love having sex, and while tantric sex (and other sex built upon connection) is clearly better sex, that isn’t going to change people’s desire to have sex (or watch sex) even without that connection in their lives, unfortunately.
Instead, though, we can embrace tantra in our real relationships with our love, and find ourselves drawn to deeper connections than we knew possible.