Your 7-Step Guide to Nailing Tantric Sex on the First Try

You've probably heard about tantric sex before but don't really know what exactly it entails. Or maybe you have a vague sense that it involves prolonging a dude's erection (which it kind of does). But tantric sex has actually been around for thousands of years and has origins in the same teachings as yoga.

"Tantra is an ancient Hindu practice, translating to the weaving and expansion of energy, that promotes deeper intimacy by using breath, slower touch, energy, and delayed orgasm," says Dawn Michael, Ph.D., certified sexuality counselor, clinical sexologist, and author of My Husband Won't Have Sex With Me. "It's not orgasm-focused, so it works for individuals who may have anxiety achieving an orgasm too fast or not at all," says Michael.

Perhaps the best part of tantric sex is that it benefits everyone. "Tantra can help men suffering from premature ejaculation because it slows down the process of sex and removes the pressure to perform," says Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. licensed psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author of Getting the Sex You Want.

"For women, learning to relax and be in the moment can help with orgasmic function as well as building desire," says Nelson. It can also help a couple's relationship outside the bedroom by improving intimate communication.

Sounds pretty baller, right? But how the heck do you go for it? First, talk it over with your partner. Give them the deets on what it is, and why you want to try it (you know: deeper intimacy, passion, more satisfying sex, or just for fun). Once your boo gives the thumbs up, start incorporating the art of tantra into your sex routine with these simple steps.

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Turn the heat up, turn off your phones, and put on something…a little more comfortable. "Create your own little sanctuary with candles, music, fluffy pillows, and anything else that promotes a soothing intimate atmosphere," says Michael. "I often recommend couples create a love tent, using sheets and chairs and filling the area up with pillows to form a super-intimate setting." That's right, we're talking sex forts, people.


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Lie on the floor side-by-side, and place a pillow under your head and under your knees. Then, focus on taking slow, long breaths in unison and releasing, says Michael. When exhaling, allow your voice to vibrate as you breath out. This has a calming effect on the nervous system and allows the two of you to slip into a place of deep relaxation.

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Traditionally, tantric practice suggests you look into your partner's left eye, but if you're more comfortable holding their gaze, do that instead, says Carol Queen, Ph.D., sexologist and co-author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone. Oh, and don't worry about blinking or dropping eye contact, just gently move back into it. "The idea here is that you look deeply into each other and set the intention to continue doing so throughout the rest of your sexual experience," says Queen.

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Whether you do this during sex or while sexual tension is building, feeling your partner's heartbeat is a gesture of love and respect, says Queen. "Simply place your hand over your partner's heart while he does the same to you," she says. Then, add eye-gazing and synchronized breathing to turn it up a notch. This aspect of tantra, connecting your hearts together, further enhances your physical and mental intimacy. Will it be weird at first? Probably. But you might actually like it.

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Here's how it works: One partner lies face down, while the other lightly massages non-erogenous zones of the body for several minutes before moving onto the erogenous zones. "If you're the one giving the massage first, use your entire body—hair, breath, tongue, lips, breast, buttocks, stomach, elbows, thighs and sexual organs," says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., sexologist and founder of "The energy of touch supports the flow of blood and lymph, decreases blood pressure and heart rate, and can heal or arouse," she says. (Get extra freaky with this organic lube from the Women's Health Boutique.)

RELATED: Everything You Ever Secretly Wanted to Know About Kama Sutra

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Rough, fast sex can be hot, but tantric sex is the polar opposite of that. Tantric is about moving slower and making sex last longer. (Sex marathon, anyone?) You should be letting arousal build up with the goal of a more intense orgasm. You want to enjoy the journey of sex just as much as the destination (a.k.a. orgasm central).


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The classic position in tantric sex is known as yab yum. "This is where he sits on the floor or bed with his legs crossed, and the other partner sits on his lap, facing him, with her legs wrapped around the small of his back or stretched out behind him," says Queen. You can get busy in this position by having him slide into you. But that doesn't mean you have to get at it right away. With your arms around each other, you can easily talk, eye-gaze, or do hand-on-heart to prolong the sexual anticipation, she says.  You can also try one of these super-intimate (non-tantric) sex moves to stay connected while you get busy.

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