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When East Meets West

IMAGINE BEING 60 and in charge of your sexual energy for the first time.”
Calgary sexologist Dr. Trina Read ex- plains Tantric sex with both a carrot and a stick. “Sexual energy is a very powerful force. But as you age, you have to change the way you have sex. There are not three ways. With tantric sex, there are thousands. If you don’t open up the possibilities, there’s a chance as the years go by, there won’t be any sex at all.” Tantric sex is about the journey. That said, Read says that the end result can be pretty darned good. With dedication to Tantric principles, it is possible not just for women to have multiple orgasms but for men to have multiples, too, with- out necessarily having a full erection or ejaculation. “Over age 50, simply put, you have the time and the imperative to invest in this.”

26 – NOVEMBER 2014

Tantra is about much more than sex, though it has become a buzzword for superhuman stamina. My own preconceived notion was that it was something practised by Sting, who I, like the rest of the world, assumed could have sex for days on end, hold- ing off valiantly until he decreed one monster orgasm. Which is baloney, according to Trudie Styler, Sting’s wife and his ostensible Tantric partner. Styler says that Sting was stung in a drunken interview with Bob Geldof almost 25 years ago. The reporter made a yoga joke, and the singer retorted with an offhand quip about tantric sex. The connection got stuck in the pop culture craw. Other celebrities, from Steve Jobs to Heather Graham to Diddy, have professed an affinity for Tantra. But Sting, a super- star at 63, for all his musical accomplishments, remains the (inadvertent) poster boy for the movement.
We are trend sheep, after all. Now that we all do yoga, isn’t Tantric sex just the next ancient ritual we can plunder? In fact, the Tantra ideology of quieting the mind is related to yoga: using breathing and meditation techniques to free the body.
you decide to slow down. But you need to learn, to enjoy that slowness,” Marlow says. “Tantra is more than sex. It is a lifestyle, a way of being in the moment.”
There is no harm in trying any of the Cosmo-style beginner Tantra tips on the Internet, which include synchronized breathing, kissing exercises, sensual massage, alternating the giving and receiving of pleasure and reflect- ing on sex out loud. For a more holistic and comfortingly mainstream primer try

This is some pretty ancient mumbo- jumbo here. Somewhere in the region of 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, a rebellion against organized religion in India resulted in a movement embracing sexuality as the true path to enlightenment. Some of the sacred positions involved are found in the Kama Sutra. The best definition of Tantra that I have found is from Sedona-based spiritualist Michael Mirdad,    “The stimulants of the who says intercourse can be    city stifle us sexually ... allegory: “Although Tantra
Marlow has the simplest tip of all: get outside. “The props and stimulants of the city stifle us sexually ... to feel our sexual energy, we must have nature.” She talks about Tantra as a tree of life. Which brings us to the hysterical moment on Sex and the City
might appear to be an art of sexual pleasuring and the Kama Sutra a manual of sexual positions, the real goal of kama is to cultivate love and reverence for the person with whom the Tantric pleasure.”
It is the opposite of the Western approach to sex, what Read calls “Get in, get off, get out.” Indeed, this slow- ing down is ideal for those of a certain age, says Mary Anne Marlow, a Toronto Tantric guru. She gives private sessions for individuals and couples, and also does a cable show in London, Ont., called Sex with Dr. Zen.
“At 45 to 50, you find you have been going at warp speed for so long, raising families, achieving at work, then
we must have nature ”
when the gang is in the apartment of two mature married sexologists giving a nude demo of Tantric sex. They hold it together until the wife awakens her husband’s root chakra, which is located in a particularly sensitive area behind his testicles.
That laughter is the real take-away here: sex should, at its root, be fun. And Tantra doesn’t mean that sacred sex has to be deadly serious.

Leanne Delap is a freelance journalist who writes about fashion, lifestyle and, yes, sex.


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