Why Tantra Absolutely IS About Sex

If you research traditional styles of Tantra, you will soon come to realize that Tantra, specifically Traditional Tibetan Tantra, is NOT primarily about sex.

Then why does our brand of Tantra (which is rooted in Tibetan Tantric ideology), place so much emphasis on sexual pleasure and orgasm?

Because Tantra at it’s core is medicine to heal suffering- and SEX is one of the greatest areas of suffering on our planet.

The statistics for sexual trauma are staggering, and speak directly to this wounding.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center states that:
* One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old
* One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives
* Nearly one in 10 women has been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration
or alcohol/drug-facilitated completed penetration.
* In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted them

To me these statistics are all symptoms of a much deeper issue, and that is the separation of sexuality from spirituality.

Almost every major religion on this planet teaches that sexual pleasure is not only separate from GOD, but is in fact a denial of GOD.

This absolute falsehood causes an horrific amount of unnecessary suffering, by encouraging human beings to experience sexuality as somehow separate from our very basic humanity.

Imagine if we as a society had the same relationship to food that we currently have to sex.

Imagine how much conflict and pain we would be in if eating FOOD was considered to be a crime against God.

Imagine if every time your body gave you the signal to eat- which is a normal, natural, and healthy function of your body, not to mention essential to your basic physical survival – you were wracked with guilt 3+ times a day by your hunger pains, and believed that every time you ate a meal, you were in danger of condemning your soul to hell. 

How functional do you think you would be as a human being if the very basic function of eating food was believed to be a crime against your creator?

Imagine if you were never taught how to cook. (After all eating is natural. Why would you need to learn how to prepare a meal when it should come naturally?). And you were thrown into the kitchen at 14, 16, 20 years old to figure out how to feed yourself, with no knowledge of how to do anything beyond preventing a kitchen fire, and who to call in case of an emergency.

Note~ I understand that those who have an eating disorder feel a tremendous amount of pain in regards to the topic of food and the process of eating it, and I am in no way trying to minimize or make light of this. The point I am trying to make is- when these issues show up in the context of the examples I am using above, we tend to acknowledge it as a problem. Where as in the context of sex, this type of pain and suffering is considered appropriate and normal.

The separation of sexuality from our basic humanity is criminal. The belief that our humanity is something other than Divine is one of the core sources of suffering on this planet today.

And yet- one of the fundamental teachings of Vajrayana Tantric Buddhism is that every orgasm is literally
a glimpse of enlightenment, and the human nervous system is hardwired to use sexual pleasure as pathway to enlightenment.

We are literally designed so that sexual pleasure and orgasm is the fastest, quickest route to accessing our “universal” consciousness, and Tantra is the roadmap showing you how to get thereconsciously, consistently, effectively.

Tantra is the instruction book for how to actually use this thing called sex- beyond the basic physiological responses.

It teaches how to activate, maximize, and use sexual pleasure for YOUR health, your enrichment, your well being, and ultimately- your spiritual growth.

And the great thing is, when we are in alignment with our True Self, we naturally, effortlessly and joyfully desire this alignment for everyone else- because we feel connected to everyone and everything else.

Tantra is medicine, and that medicine fosters connection. Connection to ourselves and others. Connection is what heals. Connection is what nourishes. Connection is what inspires us to greatness as human beings, and Connection is Divine.

So yes, for me, Tantra absolutely is about sex. Mindful, conscious, connective SEX. Because that is the medicine this planet needs.

4 Comments
  • Sahara
    Posted at 09:33h, 28 June Reply

    Actually I personally know many people who feel guilt even when they are hungry, because of various reasons, mostly the ones that have to do with socially imposed body looks, but also from pleasure guilt, like enjoying food is bad, and so on. So social pressures go beyond sexual shame, they go into food shame also…..

    • Devi Ward
      Posted at 11:42h, 18 July Reply

      Yes! Very true. There is much guilt in this culture regarding ALL forms of pleasure. Not just sexually. Of course we are aware that many people DO in fact feel guilty after eating food. The point I was trying to make with that analogy is that we as a culture clearly recognize this as an eating disorder, not as a normal way of functioning. But feeling guilt and shame about sexual desire is NOT considered unusual, even though it is simply another necessary and healthy human appetite. I hope that makes sense! Thank you for sharing!

  • sigal shoval
    Posted at 11:08h, 30 June Reply

    Hi Devi!
    (remember me, Sigal from Israel?)
    I Loved this post! I’ve started studying Buddhism recently, and this post settled a lot of my confusion…
    There is a thing which I don’t quite understand –
    From what I’ve seen/experienced so far, there are two approaches to tantric studies: either focusing on the physical side of things (teaching you how to ‘play’ with the sexual energy) or focusing on controlling thought patterns.
    How does these two aspects integrate, in PRACTICE?
    Which one should come first – should I learn to control my thoughts first and then enjoy my sexuality fully, or is it that if I get connected to my sexuality, my way of thinking will automatically change….?

    • Devi Ward
      Posted at 11:38h, 18 July Reply

      Hello Sigal! The integration of sexuality with your spiritual path is exactly what we teach. The Tibetan Tantra Teachings give you a clear protocol for weaving non sexual practice into your sexual pleasure practice to create balance in all areas of your life. Hope that helps!

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