Friday, January 22, 2010
Awakening The Inner Tantrika - Part Four - Enhancing Intimacy
This month we get back into the groove after a house move, a back injury and the stress of the fire season up in the hills put paid to most of our weekly practices. We reconnected by exploring the skills for ‘Enhancing Intimacy,’ with some really surprising results.
Many people believe that sex is the quickest way to achieve intimacy, only to be disappointed when their partner is still distant after love-making. This is because in reality, it is not sex that opens the door to intimacy, but intimacy that enables us to experience really wonderful sex. The following three exercises are designed to sharpen your senses and help you to expand your ability to achieve true intimacy.
The Sensory Awakening Ritual
In this ritual, you will learn how to create a ritual of sensual delight designed to awaken all of your lover’s senses in a gentle, tender and delicate way.
Note: With all of the following exercises first set up your sacred space and then begin and end with both the Heart Salutation (HS) and the Melting Hug (MH) (both discussed in the Jan/Feb edition).
Partner A (PA) is active, Partner B (PB) is receptive. (You will eventually swap roles but don’t try to do two of these rituals on the same day).
PA needs to prepare a special tray containing the following items:
A sprayer with scented water (a few drops of essential oil added to pure water will suffice)
Your favourite essential oils – start with peppermint as it cleanses the palette.
Music – soft, sensual music works for all of these exercises but remember to observe a minute of silence to mark a transitional period between each of the five senses.
Musical Instruments - anything musical will do but go for harmonious sounds such as bells, mini cymbals, flutes, maracas or Tibetan singing bowls.
Touch – collect several items for sensual touching – peacock feathers, faux fur, silk scarves, beads etc.
Sensuous food – seedless grapes, strawberries, small chunks of fresh pineapple, chocolate, ice-cream, a shot of a favourite liqueur.
PA blindfolds PB, telling them that there is no need to talk. PA says, “I am taking you on a journey to an ancient Tantric temple, far away, in another time, another space. You will have nothing to do but breathe deeply, relax, enjoy and receive.” Lead PB into the sanctuary you have created for them and sit them down. Now begin to fully awaken each sense.
Starting with peppermint, slowly waft each oil under PB’s nose (making sure it doesn’t touch the skin), telling them to breathe deeply and slowly. Allow a minute of silence before beginning the next part.
Begin by introducing one sound which should be steady and continuous – ring a bell, play a Tibetan singing bowl, sing a single note. Add more sounds as you go along. You can circle your partner as you play them. End with a minute of silence.
Now we are going to initiate your partner into the sensual delights of taste. Take your time with this, tease your partner with each morsel of food – try dipping a grape or your finger into the liqueur and paint their lips with it. End with a minute of silence.
Use your array of tools to touch and caress and tease your partner’s naked skin. Try different pressures and techniques, surprising them with touches on different parts of the body. After a moment of silence, sit behind your partner and gently rest your hand rest over their heart. After a while, whisper your partners name and say, “You are beautiful. I love you.’ Or anything that feels good. Maintain this loving contact for at least 5 minutes to allow your partner to relax into it and then move into a hug, breathing together and feel how connected you are to one another.
Slowly remove your partner’s blindfold. Avoid talking. Hold each other’s gaze for a while in total silence, allowing them to enjoy the sacred space you have created just for them. End with a MH.
If you feel so moved, enjoy gentle and sensuous lovemaking, taking the time to really enjoy the touch, smell, sight, sound and taste of each other.
As PA, I went through this entire exercise with a huge grin on my face. I really enjoyed focusing solely on hubby’s pleasure and there was something powerful and deliciously naughty about him being blindfolded and totally at my mercy.
As PB, I loved all of my other senses coming alive. It was comforting, sensual and (at times) very, very funny.
At first it felt a little bit like a game of ‘guess that object’ but after a while my senses became slightly heightened, I noticed not just the taste of something but how it felt in my mouth. As PA, it took a while to get everything ready but it was worth it. It’s not often I get my wife in a blindfold.
Dark Goddess Dancing
The Dancing Gods.
In this ceremony, we get semi-naked and vulnerable while expressing our ‘self-love’ through dance. I know it’s daunting, it takes great courage to dance in front of another but before you run for the hills dragging your cellulite behind you, remember that pushing through your fears to enjoy ecstatic lovemaking is why you are here. Even if you feel insecure or unattractive, your willingness to try deepens your shared sense of intimacy, trust and playfulness. Don’t take it too seriously. Be willing to laugh at yourself and offer yourself, imperfections and all, to the dance and to your lover.
Prepare your sacred space. Both partners need 15-20 minutes of music to dance to (I know it sounds like an eternity of embarrassment) and should wear something sensual and comfortable. If you feel so inclined it can help to adorn yourself as a goddess or god.
A word to the spectator: Give your partner your full attention and watch with unconditional love and acceptance. Remember it will be your turn next!
The Dance of Shakti (female)
Standing, offer him a HS. PB can return the HS from a sitting position.
Start the music, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Allow the music to move you and really let the power and seductiveness of the feminine flow through you. End with another HS and then share your thoughts and experiences of the dance.
The Dance of Shiva (male)
Follow the same steps as above but try to explore the full range of masculine energies with your dance. End with another HS and then share your thoughts and experiences of the dance.
You can, if you wish, end this session by dancing with each other.
End the ceremony with a MH.
There are many things I stubbornly resist - the vacuuming for example, but despite my (extreme) reluctance I dragged up some courage and danced for my hubby as I have never danced for another human being in my life. I offered him, without shame or anxiety, all that makes me who I am and that, my friends, took more courage than facing a swarm of angry bees naked and covered in honey.
Note to women: dressing the part with a little theatrical flair really helps.
Watching my husband dance for me was really surprising. Rather than the amusing spectacle I was half expecting, I was moved by his grace, his strength and his amazing sensuality. I watched with a sense of delighted wonderment and not a little awe.
We were both totally dreading this, but it was surprising in a lot of ways. I loved being able to watch Kat dance – it was tantalising and sensual, but also honest and vulnerable. I was embarrassed to follow it with my own dance, but it flowed easier than expected, I didn’t feel too self-conscious and, dare I say it, enjoyed it.
Soul-gazing is a simple exercise but not necessarily an easy one. Normally people are very uncomfortable about holding one another’s gaze as it can feel like an intrusion. So, in this meditation you may be confronted with places in yourself that do not feel comfortable. Simply observe the resistance without judgement, focus on your breathing and continue to hold your partners gaze. Devote five minutes daily for five consecutive days to it. Then you can gradually increase the time to ten, fifteen and twenty minutes. You can also practice soul gazing alone, in front of a mirror.
Create your Sacred Space. Sit facing each other but do not speak throughout this exercise. Relax and breathe deeply.
Begin with the HS. Touch each other in a relaxing way, such as holding hands. I place my hand over my partner’s heart and have his over mine but do whatever is comfortable for you. Spend a few minutes quietening your mind and deepening your breathing. When you are ready, and keeping your gaze relaxed, look into the left eye of your partner. (The left eye is considered to be the receptive eye which allows the energy of the other person in). Gradually harmonise your breathing until you are breathing in and out together, let go of any passing thoughts and simply focus all of your attention on this divine being with whom you are sharing this amazing journey. End with a HS.
I always have to fight the urge to laugh or make jokes but once that passes, I get quiet and relax. Soul-gazing allows me to remember why I fell in love with my hubby him in the first place. I feel this gentle flow of loving kindness between us and wonder why we don’t do this more often.
It’s always nice to reconnect with each other (once we get past the first few minutes). And I finally found out it’s the left eye I’m supposed to be looking at!
Next Month: We Honour ‘The Body Ecstatic’ as we explore the art of erotic touching.