3 Tips for Tantric Sex Newbies

Potential TMI alert: Steve Jobs was into tantric sex, according to the new book The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life With Steve Jobs, which hits shelves later this month. In the book, Chrisann Brennan, one of Jobs’ exes, reveals some pretty juicy tidbits about their relationship, including Jobs’ affinity for tantric sex (and the fact that he relied on the pull-out method—not cool).

Not quite sure what tantric sex is all about? Here’s a primer: Tantra is a meditative approach to sex that emphasizes being in the present moment without distractions—including distracting thoughts about whether your partner’s feeling satisfied right now, how close you are to finishing, or even how much laundry you have to do later. “There’s all of this noise, this kind of static that goes on while people are making love that really degrades the experience of sex,” says David Yarian, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist. “This is the genius of tantra, to provide methods for putting the brain in neutral so that the body can fully experience all the sensations of sexuality.”

Ready to give tantric sex a try? Yarian shares his three best tips for beginners:

Come to Your Senses
The next time you’re in bed, pay attention to what your partner feels like, tastes like, sounds like, and looks like right that second. “Think about what it feels to move bodies together,” says Yarian. And try not to judge anything you notice or compare it to other experiences you’ve had—just focus on what you’re feeling in the moment (as opposed to, say, thinking about the orgasm you’re hoping you’ll have in a few minutes). “This is a way of putting the brain in neutral and letting go of the thinking,” says Yarian. It’s also a great way to ensure you don’t miss out on all the spine-tingling pleasure that happens before you get to the finish line.

Just Breathe—Together
Here’s a tantric exercise you can do when you’re not even having sex—in fact, you’ll be keeping your clothes on for it. The idea is to stand facing your partner, holding each other, with one hand between your partner’s shoulder blades and the other hand at the base of their spine (they’ll put their hands in the same spots on you). Start by focusing on your own breath flowing into and out of your lungs, and then begin to synchronize your breath with your partner’s. Do this for about five minutes a day (Yarian recommends setting a timer so you don’t have to worry about how much longer until time’s up). “This joint meditation really is a wonderful way to practice paying attention to sensation, which then can be brought into the sexual practice,” he says. Because you know what they say—couples who breathe together finish together (or, uh, something like that).

Take Turns
Another exercise Yarian recommends involves switching off giving and receiving pleasure. For instance, you might ask your partner to give you a foot rub for two minutes, and then you would do whatever your partner says they’re craving for two minutes. During your turn, give your partner feedback (for example, “To the left,” “A little more pressure would be great,” etc.). Then, when it’s your partner’s turn, encourage them to do the same. “This is a way of practicing an element of love making very intentionally as a way to learn—learn how to be the best lover possible for our partner,” says Yarian. And vice-versa, of course!


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