8 Things You Can Learn From People Who Have Sex For 8 Hours Straight
When you think of tantric sex, you probably think of Sting’s famous marathon sex sessions.
But Tantra isn’t just a way for new-age musicians to screw like the Energizer bunny. For the uninitiated, tantric sex has its roots in ancient Indian principles.
It’s a form of meditation—a way to connect to both your partner and yourself in a more intimate way. Rather than focusing on recreation, it emphasizes the same mindful techniques that can slash stress and increase your focus—both of which can lead to more pleasurable sex. Ready to find a bedroom and relationship bliss? Take a few lessons from tantric sex’s mindful practices.
DITCH YOUR EXPECTATIONS
When you hang onto what you think sex should be—how it should feel, how long it should last, what positions you should hit, and so on—your pleasure doesn’t stand a chance, says Barbara Carrellas, author of Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century.
Those expectations are probably founded more in TV and movies than they are in reality. But when you let go of those comparisons, you can truly tap into the sensations you’re experiencing, as opposed to what you think you should be feeling (and how slowly or quickly you can get there).
KNOW YOUR BODY
The better you know your body, the more connected you feel to yourself—and the better you can make requests to your partner during sex, says Elsbeth Meuth, director of the TantraNova Institute in Chicago. And that’s a big part of tantric sex: exploring your own body to better understand (and articulate) your pleasure points.
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional quickie. But if you really want to use sex to connect, call off the race, says psychotherapist Barnaby B. Barratt, Ph.D., and author of What Is Tantric Practice?
Your move: During intercourse or foreplay, aim to make three strokes for every 30 you typically would. It sounds impossibly boring, but the opposite is true: Every sensation will stand apart so you can fully enjoy it.
EXCITE YOUR SENSES
Sure, sex feels great, but what about your other senses? “Tantric sex is about creating a fully sensual experience,” says Carrellas. Dim the lights, dip strawberries in chocolate, or invest in a set of 1,000-thread-count sheets.
Catering to all of your senses will help get your entire body and mind in on the fun.
OPEN YOUR EYES
What good is mood lighting if you’re going to keep your eyes closed? Open your eyes—and better yet, look into hers.
It might feel weird at first, especially if you’ve never seen your partner mid-kiss before, says Carrellas. But try it and you’ll feel more turned on—guaranteed.
FOCUS YOUR THOUGHTS
If you ever get distracted during sex, you compromise your connection, says Carrellas. “When you notice your thoughts trailing off, focus on what you’re feeling and experiencing in that moment,” she says.
Limit distractions like technology: A staggering 1 in 5 people even check their phones while doing the deed, according to a recent survey by Harris Interactive. Two words: airplane mode.
APPRECIATE YOUR PARTNER
One aspect of tantric sex involves “worshipping your partner,” but don’t worry—you don’t need to build a shrine to show reverence.
Just think through the things that make your wife wonderful to you: Maybe it’s her generosity, how she supports your dreams, or the way she cares for your children.
And say “thank you.” Researchers found that expressing gratitude was associated with relationship satisfaction, as Preventionreported in Gratitude Keeps Your Relationships Going.
Don’t lock sexual intimacy in the bedroom. “No matter how long or short intercourse is, the desire to connect remains,” says Northrup. “So expand your definition of sex. It’s not all about the genitals, and it’s not all about orgasm. It can be foreplay, massage, hugging, flirting—anything that heightens your sexual energy.”