What Are Your Needs?
It is important to spend some time evaluating your needs, considering your reasons for studying Tantra, and clarifying your goals. What do you hope to get out of it? Are there specific benefits you seek, or things you hope to gain? Give particular thought to areas in which you feel your life is lacking something, and ways in which Tantra might be able to help fill those voids.
If you are in a committed relationship, think about whether your partner will share your interests — and if so, how this shared journey can affect you and your partner, individually and as a unit. This is important, as a joint Tantric learning journey can be a wonderful experience, as long as both partners share the same interest.
Do not rush this process. Take your time, and really ponder your main priorities in pursuing Tantra, and what you ideally hope to gain.
You may want to create an informal Tantra chart to give you a fresh perspective on a situation you are facing. List things you feel are missing or lacking in your life, or things about yourself you would like to improve. Then jot down a few ways you think Tantra may be able to assist in making those plans/goals a reality.
Purpose of Self-Evaluation
There are really no right and wrong answers to these questions. Each person is different, with a unique situation. This self-evaluation is not to determine whether your reasons for studying Tantra are “good” or not. Nobody — especially your fellow Tantrics — will feel like they have the right to judge your motivations. People will have many different reasons for pursuing this knowledge. Your answers are for your knowledge alone and will simply serve as a guideline as to how you should proceed.
This assessment and evaluation process is important because Tantra is such a vast philosophy, covering a broad spectrum of material and ideas. In addition, there are several different varieties of Tantra — mainly the two “branches”: traditional (Eastern) Tantra and Neo-Tantra.
If you seek spiritual enlightenment and are open to exploring an entire system of beliefs based on thousands of years of tradition, then the Eastern version of Tantra is probably what you seek. However, this type of Tantra involves abstract ideas and considerable history, so it isn't the kind of thing you can learn overnight.
On the other hand, if you mainly want a way to spice up your sex life or strengthen an intimate bond with your partner, you should focus on studying Neo-Tantra. Remember, your decision is not carved in stone. You will not be “locked in” to one type of Tantra for the rest of your life. Many people start out studying one type of Tantra and later end up studying another approach, either in addition to or in place of their original choice.