“Was that good for you?”
Well, to be honest, no; it was quite mediocre, but of course it was difficult to say that the first time having sex with a new person. So I settled for, “Mm-hmm.”
My high school ex used to joke, “Well, as long as I get mine” in response to climaxing before I did. Let’s be honest, whether it is a one-time drunk hookup or a long-term relationship, sometimes sex can be just plain bad or become dull and boring. Though the Big O is a wonderful feeling that helps your glowing complexion, it can be a fleeting and sometimes-empty experience. And finally, when it is over, I am like a guy in the sense that I really do want to move on with my day and have a good sandwich.
But what if you could have a continuous “Big O” and hundreds of metaphorical (or literal) sandwiches during just one intimate encounter?! I am talking about the art of tantric sex, or tantra. Tantra, in a sexual context, is a way of rethinking sexuality.
I had the wonderful, unique and semi-awkward experience of interviewing Mystica Andreoli, a student, teacher and avid supporter of tantric sex and meditation (and my grandmother’s good friend). And yes, older people have sex too. Try not to think it is gross—that’ll be us someday, and I know I would like to be getting some action when I am a grandmother. Andreoli began to seek out the art of tantra many years ago because, as she explains, “I suffered a lot [in life] and wanted to come out of suffering to feel good…in whatever way possible. Tantra was one of [my] ways of meditation.”
Intermission (INT): So what is tantra?
Andreoli: Usually people have sex from a goal-oriented [perspective] …[as in] “I have to have an orgasm.” It is temporary. The orgasm is very fleeting.…Sometimes many cannot even have an orgasm. It’s like a “wham bam thank you ma’am” [level]. Tantra, however, is a way to go from sex to something much higher than that, where the orgasm is a constant thing…where the bliss is not temporary, it is a constant state of being.
INT: Well, many would argue that orgasms are great; what do people miss out on when they are just goal-oriented toward sex?
Andreoli: They are missing out on the connection and the intimacy [with another person].…You can have sex with someone and it can be empty.…Goal-oriented, you might as well [just] do it yourself. What do you need someone else for? The essence of tantra is [essentially] yes to everything. There is no right, no wrong, no goal; it is a much more relaxed way of having intercourse. Sex is fantastic…but it is even more fantastic when it has sensuality and touch.…Touch is a forgotten language. People have lost the art of touch because they are so goal-oriented and hormone-fueled toward the orgasm. This is a natural thing, but it is impersonal.
I was with an ex-boyfriend, with whom I had never had trouble climaxing before, but one time, for one reason or another, I just could not climax. Instead of just relaxing and exploring each other’s bodies, I became irritated and wanted to rush to make it happen. The more I wanted this end goal, the less it came. I became upset and my partner grew anxious, too.
For men and women alike, especially at Stanford, where our lives are stressful and busy, we can become emotionally and mentally distracted, rendering us unable to become aroused or reach a climax. But don’t panic—medical conditions excluded, this is totally normal and common.
Don’t overthink it, and instead try to just relax, be in the moment and enjoy your own sexuality and your partner’s company. The more you stress about it not happening, the more you will enter a vicious cycle that pretty much guarantees it won’t happen.
Personally, I was sold on this mind-bending promise of blissful sexual awareness. With a tantric sex experience, imagine an orgasm that radiates through your whole mind as opposed to just your body.
So how do you get started? First, you should ask yourself, “Is my sex life really fulfilling?” If it is, that is great—we are all jealous and pretending to be happy for you. If it’s not, or if you seek something more, begin to delve into the possibility of new and different things, and try checking out tantra.
Read some books like “The Heart of Tantric Sex,” “Tantric Sex for Men: Making Love a Meditation” or “Tantric Orgasm for Women” by Diana Richardson, and share them with your partner (or at least with yourself)! With the holiday vacation coming up, what better way to take a break from awkward family gatherings with your crazy uncle than to go read a book on tantra?
Editor’s note: This story was written by the student who is currently the “Tree” of the Stanford Band. The views expressed here do not reflect those of the Stanford Athletic Department, Stanford University or the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band. They are the opinions of an undergraduate student who requested some anonymity but allowed The Daily to identify her as a significant campus figure