Sex is different things for different people, at different times in their lives. It's potentially casual. Fun. Penetrative or not. Passionate. Intimate. Intentional. Performative. Obligatory (cringey but yes). Religious. Spiritual. Boring. Sex is transformative. Sex is a love language (physical touch). Necessary. Goal-oriented. Freaky. Healing. Loving. Or...Tantric! And in many instances, they are a compilation of these things, and definitely some that weren't listed here, as in the case of the very last adjective that I listed "tantric sex".
At least, that's the impression I get from my own deductive reasoning skills, but what do I know other than what American Pie taught me? But my curiosity is piqued and I'll bet yours is too, so Tantric Holistic Therapist Prandhara Prem clued us in on exactly what tantric sex is and how we can have more of it. First things first, she answers the obvious, more glaring question: what is tantric sex? Prem describes tantric sex as "a meditative form of sex, which has the ability to heal the individuals performing the act of sex. It is a process of expansion through breathing techniques and sexual positions that allow you to be present in your body."
She continued, "It is a beautiful experience in which the couple increases their intimacy and connection through being in the moment and focusing on each other and the journey with no end goal in mind. Tantric sex takes away the pressure of having to perform or have a certain outcome." Furthermore, "Tantra is spiritual, thus tantric sex is sacred."
Though both tantric sex and Kama Sutra share the sacred element that allows for the exploration of "desire, intimacy, liberation, expansion, and curiosity", they differ in that Kama Sutra is sacred texts that shows specific sex positions for pleasure, expansion, healing and growth. Kama is the Sanskrit word for sex." There's less of an emphasis on the meditative parts such as breathing and sensual touch that reduces the stress that may come with goal-oriented sex.
Although the practice of tantric sex is for anyone -- she means that literally as you can practice tantra via solo sex, in monogamous hetero or homosexual partnerships, and ethically non-monogamous relationships as well -- it's important that you truly and authentically commit to the art of this practice. "If you are going to practice Tantric sex, learn the history and as much as you can and honor where it comes from. Honor the sacredness behind it," she advised. "The best way to not colonize or appropriate is to simply appreciate and pay tribute to its roots and not take it as your own. Make sure to not just have tantric sex just for fun or to get your rocks off. It is not about that at all. Maintain the sacredness and integrity of the practice."
If you feel capable of honoring your own curiosity while also honoring, respecting, and uplifting the cultural elements of this practice, move your Candyland piece a little closer to the winning end for more information on the "how" of it all.
We’ve got the who, what, and the why of tantric sex but, as promised, here’s more on the how.
Prem compared tantric sex to a reflexology massage, further explaining: "Our genitals have reflexology points just as our feet, hands, ears, and eyes do and so when we have conscious tantric sex, we can heal and balance the energy in the organs that are located on the genitals." If we, "think of it as having a reflexology massage...through conscious sex, we could massage those points thereby releasing the traumas and blockages within the genitals and body."
Prem recommended for those interested in the practice to begin by taking a course led by a practitioner or teacher whom they're comfortable with and reading Urban Tantra by Barbara Carrellas. But reading or taking a class means nothing if you don't practice. Prem urged us to put the techniques from books and classes to practice. Retaining this information requires more of a hands-on learning approach than we're used to, but I imagine these are the types of homework assignments all of us dreamt of in high school sex-ed. Though keep in mind, that reaping the word comes with doing the foundational work. It's like our expert says: "It is really all about practice, breathwork, and being open to experience new sensations."
Prem also recommended two other reads,The Heart of Tantric Sexand The Art of Everyday Ecstasy. She reminded us that while "most of the times you will see examples of heterosexual couples, you can modify the positions and techniques" based on sexual orientation and such. Also suggested was finding community through platforms such as Facebook and/or Instagram in order to find classes and the like.
Here are 6 steps to introduce tantric sex into the bedroom, per Prem:
1. Mood Setting
"Tantra is about expanding the senses so it really stimulates the senses through incense, soft or sensual music, candles, pillows for comfort, and dim lighting."
2. Proper Breathing
"This is important to get you grounded and centered. I recommend to my students to breathe in a nice, deep breaths through the nose and expand the belly to get a full breath. Next, exhale slowly and deeply through the mouth. The more you practice breathing, the more it becomes natural and automatic. Most of us breathe incorrectly with short, shallow breaths."
3. Eye Contact
"Trataka which is the Sanskrit word for eye-gazing. Eye contact will help you both feel more intimate and connected during sex. I tell my students to choose one eye to look at to prevent the eye movements which can be a distraction."
4. New Positions
"Sit in Yab Yum position and breathe together. This is a position in which one of the partners sits cross-legged and the other sits on top. In traditional heterosexual relationships, the male sits on the bottom and woman on top. In homosexual, you can have the bigger of the two on bottom or the one with more masculine energy on the bottom. Whichever feels better to you. Simply breathe together. As one breathes in, the other breathes out and vice versa. This helps to align the chakras and energy within the two of you."
5. The Foreplay
"Sensual or erotic touch or massage. A woman needs at least 20 minutes to open up and relax so the longer you can prevent penetration the better. It's also important to redefine sex so that it is not just the penetration. All of these steps are a part of having sex. Practice asking for what you want and saying how it is feeling. Many people think this will kill the mood, but it does the opposite. It takes off the pressure from your partner from wondering if they are pleasing you."
6. Open & Happy Endings
"You can actually end here and cuddle or introduce penetrative sex. These positions can incorporate the Kama Sutra positions or specific tantric sex positions. I teach specific positions which are different from Kama Sutra."
Though Prem has provided us with a ton of wonderful information and resources in order to get our feet wet, please be mindful that at some point you will need a teacher in order to grow your knowledge. Similarly to how a gym trainer ensures we're using proper technique, Prem suggested a teacher at some point in order to provide guidance and proper technique.
Last but absolutely not least was a gentle reminder from Prem: for those of you looking to journey, "the most important thing when it comes to tantric sex is to be open and trust the process. Surrender, open up, and have fun. Enjoy the journey. Tantra has to be lived and you can't be in your mind. Like tantra, tantric sex is all about the experience."
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Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
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Sabrina Dhowre Elba Admits To Not Initially Knowing Who Idris Elba Was When They Met
Model and entrepreneur Sabrina Elba recently recalled the intimate moments surrounding the fateful day she first encountered her husband, Idris Elba.
The couple, who have been together since 2017, met at a jazz bar in Vancouver when Idris was working on his film Mountain Between Us. Years later, in April 2019, following a whirlwind romance, Sabrina and Idris would tie the knot in Morocco.
Since then, the pair's love story has become "couple goals" among many for various reasons. The list includes the numerous times Sabrina and Idris have showcased their love on social media. Another factor contributing to the duo's likability is that Sabrina and Idris have displayed over the years that being with the right partner can elevate one's career or passion in life.
Sabrina and Idris have collaborated professionally in several businesses, including their Coupledom podcast and skincare brand S'Able Labs. In a June interview on Jemele Hill's Unbothered podcast, the 34-year-old opened up about the events leading up to when she met Idris and how she initially didn't know who he was.
Sabrina on Meeting Idris
Sabrina, who was living in Vancouver at the time, said that the same night Idris was in town, she went out to a jazz bar for an event called Slow Jam Sunday for a friend’s birthday.
Around that time, the model was getting over a breakup and claimed she wasn't interested in a relationship because of how badly her previous one ended. In a past interview, Idris revealed that he, too, just went through a breakup before meeting Sabrina.
"This is so funny. I [had] just gotten out of a really bad relationship, so I was not this person. I was like 'men are trash. They suck.' I'm literally ready to switch it on up or something because I was so over it," she said. "I come to this party with a night off at work that I prebooked because I was working literally every weekend. But it was my girlfriend's birthday party, so I was there kind of by chance."
Sabrina also revealed that, coincidently, the night she took off for her friend's birthday celebration was the same night Idris had the day off and was convinced by his stunt double to attend Slow Jam Sunday.
"Slow Jam Sundays is an amazing night in Vancouver. It's the one night I would probably go to, but you wouldn't see me out often because I was a weekend worker. I was working at restaurants and service industry, your weekends are taken up," she stated.
"Idris was filming this film in Vancouver and had one night off in Vancouver because most of it was filmed sort of up north in the mountains. His stunt double convinced him to go to Slow Jam Sundays. By chance, we were both there."
Further into the interview, Sabrina disclosed that her friend was interested in Idris at first and went to flirt with him. However, the Daddy's Little Girls star dismissed the friend's advances because Sabrina had caught his eye.
When Sabrina's friend informed her about what happened, she admitted that although she tried to put up a front for her friend's sake, the S'Able Labs CEO was happy because she thought he was also attractive. Following the discussion, Sabrina and her friend went to the section where Idris was, and the couple realized how much they had in common, from the music choices to their background.
"So I go over, and we have like one of those conversations that you just feel like you've known this person for ten years because we're singing the same songs. When a song comes on that I love, he's like, 'I love this song.' I'm like, 'what?' Like I just had this like cultural connection. He's African. I'm like,' Where are you from?'" she said.
Sabrina On Not Knowing Who Idris Was After Meeting Him
As the topic shifted to Idris' celebrity status, Sabrina explained that she didn't know who he was until after it was brought to her attention by a few people she met outside of the bar.
"When I went outside, I realized because there's a group of people there, they're like, 'Oh, you're talking to Idris Elba,'" she stated.
When asked about how well-known the actor was when they met, Sabrina shared that Idris was widely famous in America but not so much in Canada and that the one film she saw him in was the 2009 thriller Obsessed.
Sabrina would add that even after being told who Idris was, she couldn't recollect where she knew him from until her friends mentioned the movie.
"Well, so the film that I had seen was Obsessed... I feel Idris Elba now he gets recognized so much. In that moment, unless you were kind of in that zeitgeist, he was definitely a lot more popular in America," she said. "I don't think I would've known it even when they said that was him. I was trying to remember, like, my friends were like, 'yeah, he's from Obsessed.' We're like, 'Oh, yeah.'"
After figuring out who Idris was, Sabrina shared that when she re-entered the venue, she doubted a relationship would form between them given his occupation, the short timeline he would be there to shoot his movie, and the constant temptation that could flock around him due to his status. But despite Sabrina's uncertainty, they would exchange numbers before she left.
"So I went back inside, we started chatting some more, and he was like, 'Let me take your number.' I was like, 'Alright,' and then I left," she stated.
The model explained the reason why she left the event was that her friend, whose birthday she was celebrating, wanted to check out other spots. When the night was coming to an end, Sabrina hailed a taxi to go home when she received a phone call from Idris. The entrepreneur revealed that the Takers star stopped her from entering the cab and urged her to get in the car he was driving, and they spent the whole night talking until 8 a.m.
"I got in his car, and we spoke till like 8 a.m. easy. It was probably like 2 [a.m.] at that time. We just had the most intense, amazing conversation," she said. "It was the first time I ever connected with someone to the point where I was like, I went home the next day called my friends, I was like, 'I think I found my soulmate.'"
Sabrina revealed that from that fateful night, she and Idris became inseparable. The couple would be long-distance for a brief stint of their union until they acknowledged how difficult it was to maintain that type of relationship. Sabrina ultimately decided to move in with Idris although she was skeptical at first, she claimed it was one of the best decisions she's made because she found her "soulmate."
Sabrina Elba's First Night with Idris Elba Sounds Like a Romance MovieModel and philanthropist Sabrina Elba joins Jemele to discuss her marriage to actor Idris Elba, and their heartwarming, love at first sight origin story.SUBS...
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Feature image by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Space NK