Neo-Tantra: What It Is and Isn't
Neo-Tantra is a term used to refer to the modern-day version of Tantra. It is also known as “New Age” Tantra or “Western Tantra.” Neo-Tantra practitioners don't adhere to all of the traditional Tantric beliefs and techniques. For example, many Neo-Tantra fans don't view all sexual encounters as a ritual, as is common with traditional Tantra. That is not to say that one practice is better or more respectable than the other, but rather that they are different and that the terms are not interchangeable.
There are many characteristics that set westernized Tantra apart from traditional Tantra. Take the guru, for example. In traditional Tantra, the guru is the ultimate authority and treated with utmost respect. This spiritual master is essential to assuring a positive and enriching spiritual experience. In traditional Tantra, the principal interests are the guru-disciple relationship and ritual discipline.
There is significant difference between Tantric and Neo-Tantric philosophy in regard to the importance placed on orgasm. For example, Buddhist Tantra views the orgasm as essentially an irrelevant event, as it is believed that this energy should be used toward spiritual awakening. In Neo-Tantra, however, the orgasm (albeit, often an enhanced or prolonged orgasm) is encouraged as a way to increase pleasure, both for the man and the woman.
In westernized Tantra, on the other hand, the guru is not an important figure, as each person in the relationship acts as the teacher. In westernized Tantra, both people in the relationship assume the position of the teacher and the transmitter of truth. Each person learns from the other and experiences spiritual truth through their union.
Neo-Tantra and Sex
In traditional Tantra, sex was seen as just one piece of the puzzle. The pure, traditional Tantra philosophy stressed total-body happiness — spiritually, physically, sexually, etc. With Neo-Tantra, however, sex takes center stage. Things like male multiple orgasm and female ejaculation — which are not really stressed in traditional Tantra — are given much more attention in the westernized version. Also, Neo-Tantra tends to stress the “G-spot orgasm,” as opposed to the full-body orgasm of traditional Tantra. Many modern Tantra fans are primarily interested in the sexual aspects of the philosophy. They may know almost nothing about the background and lessons of Tantra — they simply want to learn how to use its techniques to improve their sex life.
In Neo-Tantra, couples generally use the ideas of spiritual peace and other elements to enhance their relationship. Whereas with traditional Tantra it's somewhat the opposite — the goal is to use the relationship as a tool to attain higher levels of peace and consciousness.
Neo-Tantra brings sex into the light, making the practitioner more sexually aware. It gives you the opportunity to expand your limits of pleasure, to try new positions and techniques, and to delve deeper into intimacy. It helps you to have better, fuller orgasms and deeper, more meaningful communication in the bedroom. By bettering the quality of your intimate relationships, you better yourself, your partner, and those around you. Not to mention, every aspect of your life is bound to benefit when you achieve a greater sense of peace, balance, and harmony with the world.
In essence, Neo-Tantrics believe pleasure has spiritual value; pleasure is a path of spiritual practice. Neo-Tantra deals more with increasing intimacy, having better orgasms, and deepening relationships. Neo-Tantra can help fill a void that many people may feel in their personal lives. It adds a deeper dimension to one's sex life and therefore one's love life, and possibly even has the potential to affect one's outlook and lifestyle in general.
What Neo-Tantra Is Not
Neo-Tantra offers many benefits to those who follow its techniques, and is also a good way to introduce some Tantra beliefs to those who otherwise may not be willing or able to study Tantra. Still, it is important to note that Neo-Tantra is not the traditional, ancient version of Tantra. It is not “pure”
Tantra. Indeed, many Tantra purists take a negative or critical view of Neo-Tantra. However, Neo-Tantra may be more attractive and suitable for many people in this modern age, especially in the United States. Many people just don't have the dedication or interest to study the traditional Tantra lessons. However, if you choose to study Neo-Tantra, it is much better to incorporate at least some of the Tantra teachings into your life as well, rather than none at all.
If you are interested in learning more about Neo-Tantra, there are plenty of groups, workshops, and related resources available. However, use caution and do your research. Some unethical and unsavory groups have taken to using the term Neo-Tantra as a way to lure unsuspecting people into “clubs” that are thinly disguised escort services or other objectionable endeavors.
Here's a little secret: Even if you start out only interested in learning about the sexual aspects of Tantra, you will almost inevitably learn about many other aspects of the philosophy. Ideally, this book will provide a blend of the best of both worlds — the sexual and sensual advice you want, but the spiritual and informative material that will also prove very helpful. And maybe once you read this book on Tantric sex, you will be inspired to do further research on the topic of traditional Tantric beliefs.