There must be something about my “energy” that is radiating out in the world, “I want a Tantric lover.”
I have a completely bizarre (or amazing) tendency to attract Argentine men who on our first meeting sit across from the table from me and tell me–at length–about their knowledge of Tantra. This has now happened twice in a row in one month. I hardly know what to say. “Great!” “We just met!” I know they are trying to impress me but it feels fast. They want me to know I know they are not like all the other Argentine men. Typical Argentines, they say, want to score with as many women as possible to prove their masculinity.
A male tango teacher used the word “horny” to describe Buenos Aires. “Sexy” would be nice, but “horny”? “Horny” sounds like a city of teenage boys. Everyone is on the prowl for sex, but I get the sense (especially from talking to these chaps) that the norm for sex is traditional and fast. It’s a macho culture.
These non-macho men tell me about how most heterosexuals orient sex toward men’s needs. Until men realize that women have more sexual energy then men, and orient sex around women (learning how to make sex slower and more sensual, and to delay ejaculation), women will not be satisfied and men will have a cheaper version of sex than what’s possible.
Their analysis is spot-on. The kind of sex we see in porn is completely oriented around men, and that’s the only sex education that most people get these days. I have my own experiences with non-Western approaches to sex that are much more satisfying than the jackrabbit sex that rushes to male climax as the goal. Not with Tantra (I actually find that term to be confusing–it seems to be mainly about slowing down and breathing together), but Taoist sex, which is clearly described in this wonderful book, and with orgasmic meditation (or OM), a 15-minute partner practice to cultivate an alternative kind of female orgasm that both partners can feel. There is so much more to sex than what we think of as sex. I am writing about this in my upcoming memoir.
I’m a fan of Naomi Wolf’s latest book Vagina: a New Biography that argues that the vagina can be a pathway to enlightenment; that there is a connection between the cultivation of female sexuality and creativity; and that for a man to satisfy a woman, he needs to be “far more inventive, creative, and attentive than the conventional model of heterosexual sex scripts him to be.” And that in fact this kind of sex satisfies both men and women more deeply.
The latest guy told me it is the women’s responsibility to educate their men about the kind of sex they really want and to refuse to have sex with men who want to have sex that does not draw out female sexual energy. He thinks only “feminine” or “alternative” men will seek out alternative ideas around sexuality, so women will need to push their men to change. That’s probably true. But men need to want to change.
And women need to know that another kind of sex is possible. And to learn how to articulate their desires and needs. That’s a big deal. It’s what the practice of OM teaches. Even when we are getting a massage it can be hard to tell the massage therapist how we like to be touched. It is a skill to learn what you like, what you want, and how to communicate it to another.
And at the end of the day it’s about love, understanding, and a spiritual connection. The best sex (when practiced with Tantric or Taoist principles) can only be sustained when there is real love. And this kind of connecting sex can also sustain real love and keep communication going.
The second non-macho Tantric man asked me for my definition of love. We settled on this: “Caring for the other, acceptance of the other, wanting the other’s growth, not using the person as a resource for your own needs, understanding, really taking on another person’s point of view, and wanting the best for him (or her).”