Tantra, a set of practices based on Hindu and Buddhist philosophies, explores just this terrain. Lately, there’s been quite the buzz about it in my self-enhancement-loving crowd. Its aim is to help you achieve better union with a partner, yes, but also to set you on the path to communing with something more profound, like the great cosmic universe. Of course, the sex part gets all the press.
My friend Dawn Beck, along with her partner, Gerard Gatz, recently completed level-one instructor training with the Muirs. She explains that we all have issues with sex–feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and shame from childhood, or relationships gone sour–that limit our capacity for intimacy. Acknowledging and getting past such issues is one part of tantra. Learning about uncharted territories within the geography of mind and body–spots, of course, but also practices, like deep breathing and quieting the mind–is another.
And there’s this: Dawn mentions that with practice, I could achieve an orgasm of such duration, intensity, and scope that delight would reverberate from one coast of my body to the other.
The prospect makes me a bit nervous, but I decide to go ahead. Yet I don’t quite know what to expect: skill drills? A tangle of naked bodies in a big puppy pile of sensation? Weeks pass, and I cancel three times before finally going through with it.
The day of the session, Dawn and Gerard explain that there will be meditation, massage, and chanting of words that resonate with the chakras (the so-called energy centers of the body). I’ll also experience some scene-setting (low lights, background music) to help me, the goddess of the session, relax before learning about that sacred spot.