Tantric sex is one of those mystifying concepts.
Most of us know it involves some really long sessions of intimacy. Who could forget the hoopla surrounding Sting when he talked about having sex for eight hours? Allegedly, he was joking about the length of time but he believes strongly in the act.
“The idea of tantric sex is a spiritual act. I don’t know any purer and better way of expressing a love for another individual than sharing that wonderful, I call it, ‘sacrament’,” he told James Lipton during a 2014 episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio.
Without knowing a lot of details, tantric sex sounds like a fulfilling way to connect with another person. But its most vocal supporters are heterosexual people. Is the practice of tantra applicable to gay life? And if so, how do we learn about it? International coach and trainer Armin Heining has all the answers.
What Is Tantra exactly?
Before we can dissect Gay Tantra, we need a basic understanding of tantra. Tantra is a Sanskrit word meaning “weaving”. But not your grandma’s weaving. This is about weaving opposing aspects of a thing or person into a whole. Therefore, tantric sex is about unearthing different parts of your personality to create a more complete and enjoyable sexual experience. This isn’t sex for recreation. This is intercourse for connection, development, and personal exploration.
The very nature of tantric sex is what keeps it from becoming a widespread activity. Sex is often viewed as a practice that’s either geared toward procreation or it’s for enjoyment. Reaching one’s full potential through sex sounds foolish, and even shameful, to many. Whether it’s strict religious code or community values, viewing sex as a means of growth isn’t widely accepted.
Mindbodygreen offered a crash course in tantric sex. Not quite 101 but enough information for those who want to dip their toes into the tantra pool. Regular sex rarely requires much beyond a willingness to engage in the act. Tantric sex requires preparation of your space (dim light) and preparation of yourself (open heart and mind). From positioning to breathings, you and your partner engage in building your sexual energy. (This is the part that pushes tantric sex past the normal few minutes.)
This all sounds fun, but it’s about merging masculine and feminine energies.
What Is Gay Tantra?
This is where Heining and his teachings come in. He started teaching his signature brand, GAY-TANTRA, in 1992. That’s 25 years of gay sexual exploration but he still considers his application a “young” one. Tantric sex is an ancient practice, so two decades is nothing compared to thousands of years. But also, the level of mainstream acceptance gay men have found has been short-lived. So, GAY-TANTRA is similarly new in that respect.
Heining pulled inspiration from SkyDancing-Tantra, a tantric concept developed by French author Margot Anand Naslednikov (bka Margot Anand). Anand is known as the “world’s leading authority on Tantra”. It’s safe to say she’s got some serious source material. Like the original interpretation of tantric sex, SkyDancing-Tantra focuses on merging energies between man and woman. But what sets it apart is its foundation in Buddhism. Also, SkyDancing-Tantra’s brand of “weaving” involves visualization, music, light, movement and alignment of the chakras.
GAY-TANTRA interprets Anand’s practice without distorting it. As Heining’s website reads, “GAY-TANTRA associates itself to the translation of this path into the world of loving men of the same sex. It does not instill or promote contradictions to the surrounding field. Indeed, contrary to that, ecstasy and enlightenment are beyond sexual preferences, which often can restrict humans to the sexual part of their personalities.”
And Heining isn’t just qualified because of his understanding of Anand’s practice. He’s a well-respected authority on tantra in his own right. He’s a pioneer and former Benedictine Monk who’s well versed in the art of massage and the benefits of body contact. He’s turned GAY-TANTRA into his own tantric business empire complete with trainings, seminars, and educational DVDs.
How Do You Get Involved?
You’re sold on the concept of long, passionate, rewarding sex that makes you a better person. Who wouldn’t be? But once you look at Heining’s website, you’ll quickly realize he’s Berlin-based. You’re not. Where does that leave you?
Don’t worry. He’s bringing his teachings stateside in a series of teachings at Vermont’s premiere gay oasis Frog Meadow. From June 9-11, he’ll immerse attendees in the art of the sexual energy massage, a workshop which aims to open new levels of your consciousness. He’ll offer this workshop again September 8-10.
Some of the concepts you’ll learn during these workshops include body awareness and movement, active and silent meditation, and understanding how genital touch and massage send fire through your body’s chakras. There’s no doubt this will be a sexy, fun time, but you’ll also learn a lot.
If you can’t make it out to Frog Meadow, there are additional workshops across the country in Berkeley, Seattle, and Chicago. And if you find yourself in Germany, Heining teaches ongoing workshops throughout the year. You can sign up online. And get a proper intro to his practice via a series of YouTube videos.
For those guys who prefer to go it alone and learn the basics of GAY-TANTRA in the privacy of their own home, choose from Heining’s 11 DVDs to get started.
You Still Have More Questions…
You don’t need convincing to sign up for this training. But part of you wonders what the experience will be like? You have no idea what to expect. And you’re not so sure about learning these incredibly intimate lessons in front of strangers.
Don’t worry. That apprehension is normal. Head into the class with an open mind and there’s no limit to what you can learn. You stand to gain a lot from sticking through it. Heining has led more than 5,000 of these workshops over the last quarter century. So, you’re in good hands. He frequently has students who come back for classes after 15-20 years. That’s the definition of impactful.
It’s okay to be nervous. Anyone would be. But don’t let that distract you from taking full advantage of this opportunity. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever done before.
Is This the Only Tantric Class for Us?
The market isn’t exactly spilling over with gay tantric resources. If you dig a bit, you’ll find a few things. The UK hosts its annual Tantra4GayMen Festival in Glastonbury this August. Gay matchmaking website PaulAngelo.com offers a guide for tantric massage for gay men. But it’s a very concise walkthrough considering the complexity of tantra. There are even gay tantra meetups happening in select cities around the world.
But if you want a thorough introduction to tantra from a knowledgeable and pioneering resource, nothing beats GAY-TANTRA.
As you push forward in your journey of sexual exploration, think about what you stand to gain besides a good time. Sex can be a source of growth—the key to unlocking parts of your being that you never knew were there. In essence, the experience could be completely different and engrossing every single time.
And we’re lucky enough to have a dedicated teacher help us out.