It can be convenient — as well as a wonderfully enriching bonding experience — for a couple to begin studying Tantra together. In addition to the positive experience of exploring something new as a couple, you will also learn an assortment of great sexual techniques and romantic rituals that you both will enjoy. In the end, most couples find this to be a rewarding journey, as well as an intimate bonding experience.
A Romance Refresher Course
The sad reality is, most people stumble through relationships blindly, at least for the first few times. You are not born knowing how to be a good lover, partner, or companion. At most, you skim through a few sex articles, whip out a candle or two, and hope for the best.
Many children and teenagers today are required to take sex education classes as part of their mandatory school curriculum. This is, of course, important from a safe sex standpoint. But these classes never cover the romantic side of intimacy — and, of course, students of that age aren't all that interested in hearing about strengthening their romantic connections.
Unfortunately, adults are not required to take any type of “Intimacy Instruction 101” course. This is really a shame, because virtually all adults could benefit from this type of education. Even those who consider themselves fairly well informed when it comes to romance are probably shortchanging themselves and their partners by not taking advantage of techniques like those practiced as part of sacred sexuality rituals.
This is where Tantra (especially Neo-Tantra) can save the day. Tantra encourages people to study the sexual arts and open themselves up to learning ways in which they can improve their intimate relationships.
And since Tantra encourages couples to learn together, the partners take turns being the teacher and the student. This in itself can be a powerful bonding experience, as each partner has the chance to teach as well as to learn from the other.
Are Your Needs Compatible?
You and your partner do not necessarily have to be seeking the same exact thing from Tantra. Your specific needs or goals may differ slightly from your partner's, and that is fine. The important thing is that your needs are compatible, and that you both respect the other's motivations for this endeavor.
Perhaps you feel overburdened by stress and are worried that you have become too concerned with the material trappings of life. You pursue Tantra mainly to benefit from the relaxing aspects of Tantric yoga, breathing routines, and meditation. Your partner, meanwhile, is more interested in the sensual side of Tantra. He wants to master the secret of sacred sexuality, so as to enhance the special relationship the two of you share.
As you both respect and support the other's motivation and are receptive to sharing in each other's newfound knowledge — and, even better, if you are open to accompanying each other to Tantra workshops and events — this can work out just fine. Although you each have separate and different goals, in the end you will both benefit from the overall experience, thanks to the stronger relationship you will have as a result of this learning process.
In contemplating what you hope to get out of Tantra, it is important to acknowledge what Tantra can and cannot do. While it can — and often does — greatly enhance a loving relationship, it is not a magic wand. If your relationship is on the rocks, it's unrealistic to hope Tantra can be a magic cure that solves your romantic woes.
On the other hand, if you plan to study the history and roots of Tantra because you have a burning desire to absorb some of Tantra's spiritual legacy and adopt the traditional beliefs, but your partner thinks all of that ancient stuff is a bunch of make-believe mumbo jumbo, this could be a problem.
Depending on how serious you are about studying Tantra, and how critical your partner is of your interest, at some point you may need to decide whether you want to pursue a relationship with someone who does not respect your attempts at spiritual growth.
When Your Libidos Are on Different Levels
Mismatched libidos — sadly, it is a common problem in many relationships, especially if the partners have been together for a while and have settled into their individual “default” settings once the frenzied “honeymoon” period has passed. Oh, how wonderful it would be if couples' libidos magically synchronized when they got together, ensuring they would always both be in the mood at the same time. Yes, that truly would be a secret to eternal bliss.
Alas, that does not happen in real life. It is rare for two people to be totally in sync when it comes to their sex drive. Even the most sexually compatible couples generally have at least moderately unequal levels of sexual desire. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about. The best way to deal with it is just to “go with the flow,” accepting and even embracing your different libido levels.
When discussing differing libidos, we mean that one partner's desire for sex in general is lower than the other's. This is not a reflection of their desire for their partner specifically. However, if one person does become less interested or aroused by their partner, causing the “playing field” of passion to be uneven, that is a more serious problem.
When you are starting out learning about Tantra, do not feel that your libidos must be in perfect harmony in order for this endeavor to succeed. Tantra recognizes that each person has his or her own unique needs and levels of desire. While Tantra encourages you to come up with creative ways to get your partner's engines revved up and give his or her libido a boost, it also stresses the importance of recognizing your partner's feelings and respecting the fact that he or she may not be interested in sex at a particular time.
As long as both partners can respect and understand each other's feelings and be supportive of sexual differences, things will be fine. Perhaps when the person with a lower sex drive is not in the mood for sex, he or she can encourage the other to seek alternative means of pleasure, such as masturbation or the use of sex toys. Or, as partners, you may be able to come up with some other kind of creative solution or some form of compromise. As long as it is something both parties support and are happy with, it will work just fine.