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I’ve been determined to explore tantra as one of my missions, but the only morsels my Melbourne forays unearthed were a thinly veiled prostitution service, in which Tatiana offered to touch me all over while we were both naked for a mere $250, and a website for Tantric Dave, who lies stretched out with one thigh positioned over his ‘wand of light’.
Then I found a less salacious lady in Sydney.
The reason I’ve been determined to try this is because it sounds so excruciating. I mean, tantra’s all about spirituality, eye contact and effort, isn’t it? I doubt Sting saw his virginity as an indignity to be got rid of fast, or treats wanking like an aggressive formality.
My tantra teacher today is Brazilian, and therefore well placed to laugh at the sexual repression of the English. She greets me in leisurewear, but then produces a couple of skimpy kaftans. A room of her apartment is decked out New Age-style, with candles, incense, cushions, didgeridoos chorbling away and the heat up stiflingly high. Let me just open my kaftan a notch…
We start off with some pelvic floor exercises to get the blood flowing to the nethers and to learn how to, you know, sort of massage a man.
Breathing deeply through our mouths, we clench away, and Beatriz suggests I move my hand up my body to help me visualise pulsing the good feeling right up to my heart. It’s no use, though – try as I might, I can’t extend the warmth beyond the physiological vicinity of my reproductive organs. I feel like I’m swinging a hammer at a test-your-strength machine and not pushing past ‘puny’. Meanwhile, Beatriz is clearly dinging the bell.
Next, we sit opposite each other on cushions and take turns musing on “what touches my heart”, while staring into each other’s eyes. I know what you’re thinking – belt up the kaftan and run – but by now I’m so comfortable with Beatriz and her good vibes that the excrucio-factor is zero.
Beatriz talks about sexuality and how Gen Z girls are expected to recreate porn scenarios while so liquored up they can’t feel anything anyway. Tantra’s a method of being aware of your body and its every nuance. But anyway, on to the masturbation.
Sitting side by side, we slide our right hands down onto our sexual chakras, with our left hands over our hearts, where I find mine is opportunistically having a sly tweak of my nipple. Beatriz starts rocking in a figure of eight, arching her back in and out of the yoga cat pose. “It’s okay to moan,” she gasps. We’re supposed to be visualising a golden sphere of light, but thanks to years of an oppressive male regime, I’m only able to picture a massive cock.
When she’s done, Beatriz gets me to lie on my front and she skims my hair, then places her hands gently on the top and base of my back. They feel like they’re burning hot. I’m so relaxed I could just melt into this authentic Balinese mat.
Then it’s time for the strokes. Leaping up impishly, Beatriz pulls a phallus out of a drawer and lies down on the floor, holding it above her groin by the balls. She demonstrates a variety of imaginative ways to stroke it – ways other than furiously choking it, I mean – and gives me a go as well. I can now pop a cork and firestick someone with no worries at all.
That’s it for our session, and I’m feeling really good. There’s definitely something to be said for taking the time to acknowledge and nurture the sensations you’re feeling. Although, problematically, the idea of a bloke being into tantra makes my ovaries deflate.
David Glück (aka ‘the Evil Skeptic’) of Skeptic Friends pointed me towards this nine-minute animated opus by comedian Tim Minchin about a New Age chick he meets at a dinner party. On a separate note, Glück has offered to be the voice of reason whenever I find myself wavering. Which is this week, if you read on.
Unsure: Healing, auras, live blood analysis, kinesiology, reiki, EFT, EMDR, palmistry, crystals, homeopathy, personal vibration, biodynamic energy
No way: Angels, spirit guides, clairvoyancy, runes, past lives, tarot
I once wrote a blog called Hey Man, Now You’re Really Living, in which I tried something new every day for a year.
While this included non-spiritual things like Wielding a Chainsaw, Shooting Glocks, Magnums and Rugers, and Blowing Shit Up, I was moved to include a fair few New Age activities, like Getting My Aura Read, Hugging Cows and Healing My Embittered Soul With Song.
I began to get suspicious as to just how many New Age activities were creeping on to my list. Was it solely for me to expose practitioners as frauds, flakes and charlatans, to feel the rage bubble up from my guts and then, as so often happened, torrent out of my traitorous tear glands? Or did my unconscious have deeper plans afoot – plans to sign me up and insist on being addressed as Bindi?
I reckon I’d better check.