Introduction to Tantra-What is Tantra?

Linda Poelzl

       Tantra is a spiritual practice that originated in China, India and Nepal. While it includes sexual practices, it is not just about sex. The word Tantra comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and means “expansion through awareness.”

        Tantra is a spiritual path and a philosophy that employs practices that use breath, sounds, symbols and movements to calm the mind. When the mind is stilled, practitioners can more easily direct sexual energy throughout the body to reach states of higher consciousness and bliss.

      Tantric practices may also be used to help heal past traumas that may become stored in the chakras and sexual centers of the body. When practiced with a partner, these techniques can help intensify the flow of sexual energy between the partners and expand the love that is felt by the partners for each other. This energy can be used for sexual pleasure as well as for deepening intimacy between the lovers.

     Tantra and Tantric Sex are huge subjects and cannot be explained in a few paragraphs. Tantra is best learned by experiencing the practices so that they can become “embodied” for you and your partner. In this introductory blog my intention is to teach several simple touch activities that can help increase connection between you and your partner.

    Important point:  We are not just envisioning a heterosexual pair with a man and a woman. “Partners” can be a woman and a man. They can be two men who are lovers. Or two women who are lovers. “Partners” can also be three or more people who are friends seeking a deeper connection between each other and other members of a group.

   In my work with couples, groups, and individuals I find that playful and stimulating touch can “break the ice” so to speak, and help partners to connect with the intent of inducing deeper intimacy.

I’ve divided the activities into Stimulating, Soothing, Connecting, Sensual/Sexy.


* Standing Body Brush:  Brush hands down the body from head to toe, front and back.

* Standing Quickie Massage:  Massage (clothed or naked) from head to toe:  squeezing and kneading.  Finish with quick brush down.

* Lying Down Quickie Massage:  Do back of body or front of body.  Finish with brush down.

* Standing Percussion Massage:  Keep wrists loose and pound your partner from head to toe with fists or hands. Enjoy the tingle afterwards.


* Scalp Massage:  Seated or lying down.  Explore pressure and different strokes on scalp.  

Hair Grooming:  with Comb and Brush. Caress hair, run fingers through it.

Face Caress:  Seated or lying down. Gentle touch, light massage.

* Foot Massage:  Start with simply holding partner’s foot. Can leave socks on or not. Simple kneading sole of foot, circling toes. Can do without lotion.  Adding lotion can make it more sexy, running fingers between toes, etc.

* Guided Belly Breathing:  One partner lies on back with knees standing, or pillows under knees.  Other partner places hand lightly on belly.  Encourage partner to breathe deeply and slowly into their belly.  Imagine/feel breath going all the way down to pelvic floor.  Have eye contact, if you wish.  Go in and out of connecting with self and breath and connecting with partner.


* Eye Gazing: Standing or sitting (Yab/Yum) or in chairs. Relax your face, breathe and let your eyes be soft as you gaze at your Beloved. OK to giggle. OK to close your eyes briefly to take a break. Enjoy.

* Eye Gazing with Compliments: Sit facing each other. Look gently into each others’ eyes. Allow a compliment to arise. Keep it simple and “in the moment.” Say your compliment. Exchange.

*Melting Hug: Face each other and ground/center. Gentle eye-gazing, smile. One partner will lead, inviting the other into an embrace. Slowly come together, feeling your body parts touching, breathe. Embrace without squeezing or moving. Simply hold. Notice if there is any place that is tense and relax the part. Bend your knees so your thighs can touch. Relax your hips so your belly and pelvis’ can touch. Let your body melt and relax. Savor this. Take your time separating. Smile, kiss, or bow afterwards.

* Heart-to-Heart: Sit facing each other. You each will put your right hand on your partner’s heart. Cover your partner’s hand with your left hand. Breathe and relax. Enjoy for a few moments. Let go slowly. Put your hands together and bow or simply smile to complete.

* Hand Dancing: One partner is the lead and the other follows. Place palms together. Following partner “sinks” into the hand of leading partner and surrenders, allowing their hands to be moved. Switch.

* Body Dancing: One partner leads with her/his body, focusing on one area (i.e shimmying shoulders). Other partner touches “moving part” and let’s their body respond to the movement. It’s not about doing your own thing. See if you can let your body be moved by the active partner. Try other body parts. Switch. Can be fun to do to music.

* “May I, Will you?”: Take turns asking for touch, a smile, etc. Say “thank you” to end touch. Practice saying NO and hearing NO, as well as saying YES. Practice being as gracious receiving a NO as receiving a YES.

* Spooning/Cuddling: Just lie down (clothed or naked) and spoon breathe for 10 minutes. Switch positions. See how different positions feel.


* Hot Hands: Activate hands by shaking out, opening and closing fists, rubbing palms together, and then feeling the energy by bringing palms together slowly. Receptive partner exposes an arm or a leg or....... and closes their eyes. Active partner brings their hand in slowly and hovers an inch or so above the skin. Ask receptive partner to tell them when they can feel the warmth. Usually, warmth can be felt before direct contact. Run hand very slowly over body part, checking in with receptive partner as to what they are feeling. Make direct skin contact very slowly and glide hand(s) sensually over the skin. After breaking contact, savor the sensation. Repeat as you wish.

* Energy Hands: Both partners activate hands. Bring hands up, palms facing partner’s palms (start at least 12 inches apart). Slowly bring palms toward each other. Notice the sensations. Play with the energy.

* Kissing (other than mouth): Pick a part of the body you might not normally kiss (i.e. arms, shoulders, elbows, hands, knees, feet. back, or face/neck). Take turns giving and receiving. It can be very erotic to kiss all around the face and neck, except for the lips. Take your time, soft lips. Linger. Enjoy.

* A Mindful Kiss: Move slowly into the kiss. Try keeping your eyes open a little longer. Slow it down. Let lips meet and sink into each other. Savor. Add light tongue. Explore, feel. Take a break, relax. Continue, as you like....

* Hot/Cold Breath: Active partner can blow breath hot on partner’s skin by getting close and opening mouth and breathing out. Cool breath is achieved by pursing the lips and getting a little further away. Blow on the skin.

* Breath Bath: Expose some skin (the back of the neck can be very nice). Active partner blows breath hot or cold (or combo) all over the exposed skin. Kisses can be peppered in between breaths. Tongue flicks can be added as well.... Enjoy!

* Back Caress: Standing or lying down. Clothed or naked. Glide hands sensually down the back of the body. Include buttocks and legs.

* Front Caress: Standing or lying down. Clothed or naked. Glide hands sensually over the front of the body. Can start with avoiding breasts and genitals. Then include thoseareas “casually.” Build up the desire.

* Body Contact: Start with back-to-back. Begin to move slowly, rubbing your backs together sensually. Slowly move down to butt-to-butt. Enjoy that for awhile. Turn slowly, rubbing shoulders, then chest-to-chest, pelvis-to-pelvis, faces, thighs, knees. Have fun. Can do it to music.

Tune in next session for: “Grooving with the Goddesses and Gods - Tune in to Your Inner Deities”

Linda Poelzl