Tantric relationship – how is it different from other relationships?

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A tantric relationship is a balanced, healthy, sexual partnership with a deeply committed, conscious, loving and open-hearted bonding connection, resulting in a higher chance of longevity.

A tantric relationship is a conscious creation – where both actively choose the kind of relationship they desire to create. Both decide what it looks like, remembering that the only ‘normal’ in any relationship is the setting on the washing machine. Where they’re willing to include all aspects of the self – personal, physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and spiritual. For tantra is about union, not just union of two people into one, but all aspects of the self into one. It is also about union through acceptance, through saying yes to all of who we are – our messy bits as well as the perfection we show the world up front. Tantra says your messy bits aren’t wrong, they are the pathway.

It gives the relationship more strength and support

This intention forms a very powerful container, created from a triangle rather than a couple – a triangle of you, your partner and the relationship itself. So when challenges come up the couple looks at not only what is good for themselves as individuals but at what would most serve the relationship. The relationship holds the balance of power making it easier to juggle the individual needs and desires of the couple. Because it takes the focus off the two individuals competing with each other and places it on the relationship, when the relationship’s needs are met, then so will the needs of the individuals be met.

It takes courage and commitment to explore relationship this way as both of you need to get clear on what it is you desire and have the skills to create it. This challenge is deepened if you believe that we unconsciously choose the perfect partners to heal our unique individual wounds – our personal expert button pushers. Yet it also offers the greatest potential for creativity, freedom and satisfaction.

It starts with relationship with the self

As you can see, a tantric or spiritual-sexual relationship is simply a relationship that belongs to those people who have a damn good relationship with themselves as well as their partner. A tantric relationship is a balanced, healthy, sexual partnership with a deeply committed, conscious, loving and open-hearted bonding connection, resulting in a higher chance of longevity.

To put this bluntly, we are born into this world as spiritual, sexual, loving, open-hearted human beings, and this is our birthright. As we grow up, our unresolved childhood wounds, unmet needs and social conditioning oppose this open way of being. We unconsciously create patterns of protection around these hurts that close down our authentic self. The first casualty of this is a limiting of our heart sexual connection. A heart sexual connection, where the heart equals love, and sexuality equals power, is the key to a grounded and open sense of self.

At some point we all want to connect

This may not be too big an issue if we choose to live on our own in a cave and meditate every day for the next 20 years. The challenge happens when someone moves into that cave with us and starts demanding that we clean up our stuff! This is the beginning of in-your-face self-awareness, as nothing will teach you about yourself as intensely as some one who is sharing your cave. So, what are you going to do when your mate is sitting right in front of you, staring deep into your eyes? There’s no escaping. There’s no place to hide. Intellectualising is a waste of breath. There’s no ignoring your divine mirror. They know all of your faults, even better than you do. In spite of these, they still love you. Now, we’re really talking about acceptance. This doesn’t mean agreeing with or putting up with the others’ bull, but seeing and accepting the truth of it as the first step to dealing with it. Being willing to be real.

Tantra is not exotic

Most people are surprised when they hear that tantra and spiritual sex are a perfectly normal part of being human, and that the most important aspect to learning it is simply self-awareness. It takes self-awareness to connect with those parts that you where born with, but have chosen to put walls around; so what we end up with is the wisdom and intelligence of the adult with the openness and availability of the child.

From fear to love

In tantra this demand of the other to clean up their emotional cave comes not just from the ego but from the heart and the relationship container that supports it. As this container is ultimately for our spiritual growth, it usually asks of us the exact things it is most challenging for us to grow into; for us to face our deepest fears. This is how tantric relationship demands a deep relationship with the self as well as the other. The more fully we experience ourselves the more we experience union with another and with our sense of the world.

Pleasure is part of the journey

As we discussed in previous articles about tantric sex for men and women, the most important aspect of tantra is self-awareness, and being selfish about claiming and owning your own pleasure from this place of self-awareness, for, as you are becoming more self-aware in your pleasure, you will realise that your pleasure deepens and becomes more full-bodied the more selfish you become. When two people are in lovemaking and being ‘selfish’ from a place of self-awareness, their presence with each other is greatly heightened, without shame, with love and expanded pleasure. For a man this place is the pathway for him to experience his heart – sexual connection in ways he never dreamed were possible. So too for a woman.

A tantric relationship is simply a relationship that is self-aware, that can experience all of this and not flinch away from why they are together. In this place, the good stuff becomes sensational and tantric practices will bring each person deeper into themselves and create a middle ground in their intimate and sexual relationship that is beyond words.

Tantric relationship is like a large tapestry. Instead of just looking at the back where all we see is the chaos of beginnings and ends, apparently without logic, we move into the weave in order to step through it and experience the beauty on the front, while knowing the two are an inseparable part of each other.


Annette Baulch & Graeme Sudholz are facilitators from Oztantra, a relationship resource offering sessions for couples near Byron Bay, NSW, and by phone.

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