Opening to trust
Last month armed with only Margot Anand’s ‘The Art of Sexual Ecstasy’ and a slightly reluctant husband, I investigated ‘Awakening the Inner Lover’ with somewhat mixed results. In this issue we will learn how to create an environment that fosters closeness, honesty and respect, establish a heart-to-heart connection with our partner and move beyond resistance with open hearted communication, even when it means exposing our deepest, darkest fantasies!
Creating sacred space
Creating sacred space is surprisingly easy to do. Take one bedroom add some big squishy cushions, a soft throw, some incense and light candles – lots of them. Music can really set the mood and our choice was ‘Loves Deepest Calling’ by Peru the Singing Woman. A combination of slow, dark beats and Peru’s sensual deep throaty voice, singing about divine union between man and woman – simply delicious!
Note: With all of the following exercises first set up your sacred space and then begin and end with both the heart salutation (HS) (discussed last month) and the melting hug (MH). You will sit face to face without touching and maintaining eye contact throughout the following exercises unless instructions say otherwise.
I really enjoy creating sacred space and we created a lush boudoir with very little effort. The music and candles went a long way to making me feel more sensual and open to the exercises. I also liked dedicating our room to our tantric practices as it got me out of my normal head space. At one point I did find myself wondering if I was going to suddenly rename myself Lilith Yoni-flower and stop shaving my armpits. We ended the practice, with a heart salutation. All in all a lovely relaxing experience.
I found that setting up the room for the tantra exercises made me think more about sex and so it had a sort of focusing effect on us both. We knew that the reason we were doing it was because we were setting aside time to make love. It gives a man hope!
The Melting Hug
Begin with standing HS then walk slowly towards each other maintaining eye contact, as you get near wrap your arms around each other. Allow the full length of your bodies to touch, including your pelvis, keeping your legs relaxed. Surrender yourselves to the hug, allow yourself to give and receive these simple loving sensations. End with another HS.
I don’t come from a demonstrative family and so I sometimes get a bit uncomfortable with my hubby’s hugs. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, it’s more that I worry that if I relax into it, he will expect it to lead to sex. I also find it hard to let go and be present enough to enjoy a hug. I’m always thinking about all the other things I have to do. Despite this instinctive resistance, I found this exercise lovely once I just let go into it.
Kat’s been much more physically distant since our daughter was born and I have missed that physical contact with her. So it was nice to be able to just hug her properly without her worrying that I was trying to seduce her.
Moving Beyond Resistance
True ecstasy can only be achieved when both partners are able to truthfully express their feelings to one another. This means being willing to share our truth without fearing that it will damage the relationship or hurt the other person. This practice allows you to identify and release sexual fears and to deepen the level of trust and intimacy you share with your partner. Try not to get upset or defensive, simply listen and give your total attention to your partner.
Allow 15-20 minutes for each part of this three part exercise.
Partner A: Asks “Tell me what you are afraid of.”
Partner B: Discuss one sexual fear with your partner for 5 minutes. Try to define the fear in one or two sentences if possible. Then share your most recent experience of this fear. (Partner A keeps time).
(Common fears for men are often around premature ejaculation, clumsy lovemaking skills, penis size – for women it’s more to do with orgasm, asking for what they want sexually, body issues.)
If A runs out of steam before the time is up, B can ask ‘What else are you afraid of in sex?’
Reverse Roles. End practice with melting hug and HS.
I was absolutely dreading these exercises. I honestly wasn’t sure if I had any sexual fears, apart from this one! If I’m honest, I probably played it a little safe and waxed critical about my assorted doughy, crêpey bits including my back fat and bingo wings. I didn’t feel quite ready to delve any deeper so early into our exercises. We’ll no doubt come back to this one again.
Performance anxiety. Kat and I have discussed this before and yet I still struggle with it. There was nothing new discovered by our discussion tonight but it was good to be reminded that she loves me (and isn’t judging me) no matter what I think my short comings might be. I wish I could resolve this issue once and for all but it’s my Achilles’ heel.
Describing Sexual Fantasies
Many people are understandably nervous about sharing their sexual fantasies. They may feel ashamed of the content or they may not want to offend their partner with the suggestion that they are ‘not enough’. Tantra fosters a full, unconditional acceptance of each other, including those things we might ordinarily repress or keep secret. Though it might be difficult at first, sharing your fantasies, no matter how bizarre or explicit they may be, may well open you to greater enjoyment and play in your sexual life.
A: “Tell me a sexual dream or fantasy that you have had.”
B: Share fantasy in vivid detail for 5 minutes.
Reverse Roles. End with MH and HS.
Ye Gods – must I? I am not someone who fantasises at all (unless Viggo Mortensen in a bath of chocolate counts? And even then, I think it’s actually the chocolate that gets me), so I didn’t really know what to do with this one. In the end I came up with a spot of surprise seduction in the manner of Mr Darcy. You know, a bit bossy and dominating. I also filed a couple of Hubby’s away for fun special occasion ideas! I know – ‘special occasion sex’ – it’s very sad but I’ve got a child and a business to run!
A lot of guys might think talking dirty is great, but this exercise had me feeling a bit anxious. I guess I was afraid that Kat might be offended, but because of the ‘unconditional love’ preamble, it was okay.
Describing a Peak Sexual Experience
Examine a particularly enjoyable experience of sex with your current partner – how and why it worked – as a way of creating similar conditions within your relationship.
Note: If you feel shy, face away from each other. The person talking can lie down close to their partner but with their eyes closed.
Begin exercise with a HS followed by a MH.
A: “(Name) tell me about a peak sexual experience you have had.”
B: Relate experience in vivid detail – what happened, the unusual and pleasurable aspects of it, why you think it was so good and what bits were similar to other experiences you have had.
Reverse Roles. End with MH and HS.
I revisited a wonderful fairly recent love-making experience which was, for me, all about how we spiritually and emotionally connected in a much deeper way than normal. It was more erotic and satisfying than normal because of how tuned in to him I felt. Recreating it is more likely to come about as a result of this work as I simply need to feel emotionally open and connected to him.
I went back to something in the early days of our relationship. We had the most intense and passionate sex that resulted in a very long, intense orgasm for me. It’s hard to pinpoint why that particular time was so full on, so it’s a difficult thing to recreate. Maybe it was just that everything was so new.
Next Month: We get initiated into the art of ‘sensory awakening’, develop skills to enhance intimacy and indulge in a spot of soul gazing.
Kat Skarbek is a writer and Head Honcho of The Divine Feminine specialising in unique events for women.
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