A Clean Slate: A Tantric Perspective on Sex in the West

A Clean Slate: A Tantric Perspective on Sex in the West
Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Welcome to America 2015, a society that is still sexually repressed.

Humor me, for I realize that at first this seems entirely inaccurate. As individuals of society, sexual content is thrown our way on an hourly (at the very least) basis. Countless examples can be easily found in the media, a force that depicts overwhelming amounts of sexual content. Consider music videos—each of them highlighting men and women alike, pining over the idea of sex, the thought of it. They sing about sex, they move as if they’re having sex, stimulating the minds of viewers. Close-ups highlight partially naked and oily skin of actors that are either hyper-masculine or hyper-feminine.

Without sexually arousing imagery, most media just wouldn’t “make it.” Magazines are no different. Countless publications highlight the idea of sex: specific ways to pleasure your partner, how to make yourself more sexually pleasing, and tips on technique.

Yes—there’s a whole lot of sex in our world and the idea of “America” and “sexual repression” in the same sentence still sounds crazy, right? Start to consider each of the examples I just gave (and the countless others I didn’t mention). They all have one thing in common—they’re all visual, all ideas that encourage the viewer to ponder sex, all images that you can ruminate in your mind and dwell on. In an essay by Osho, in which sexual connection is considered, a great point is made about the state of the individuals in our society when it comes to sex.

“People…go on thinking about sex,” he begins. “They enjoy thinking about it, reading, seeing pictures, pornography. They enjoy this, but when the actual moment for sex comes they suddenly feel they are not interested…They feel vital energy when they are thinking. When they want to move into the actual act, they feel there is no energy, no desire. They feel the body has become dead.”

He relates this inability to do, as a result of fear. In a society ruled by outside stimulus that influences the chattering, inability to do is the result. People are afraid of loosening the mind’s reins over the self. We are relentlessly flooded by fictitious accounts of sexual behavior, visually stimulated by false portrayals of the body, and images that tempt the viewer with an unnatural “ideal” that is much easier to think about than to be a part of.

It gets even more twisted, though. In a society that is primarily built on Judeo-Christian values, children are raised with the idea that sex is bad and that they shouldn’t talk about sex, much less do it. They are shamed and scolded when caught exploring themselves and are trained to ignore their own natural drives to be sexually connected with other individuals. They are rarely taught about their sexual organs, the natural law of attraction, or that their desire to commune with other humans is completely inevitable, deeply wound into our DNA. Instead, our society has taught to experience an “intense sense of guilt attached to sexual matters.” The Tao of Sex, Health & Longevity, by Daniel P. Reid, goes on to say that from the perspective of Eastern thought, this is “one of the most unpleasant and incomprehensible aspects of Western culture.”

Where has all of this shaming and confusion got us? Many never break through this suppressive idea of “purity.” If you have broken through the original delusion that sex is bad, that it’s something to be ignored or kept a secret, you may still be frustrated at all of the unrealistic sexual stimulus in society. These “ideals,” you realize, simply aren’t palpable and they’re keeping us from experiencing a real, rich and mindful sex life. As our society becomes smarter, moves toward realizing our natural evolution, the natural drive to sexually commune with other humans, we are still confronted with our society’s sexual ideal.

Rarely can we find a partner that can see us for who we are in the moment of the sex act. Rarely can we connect deeply, for so much time has been wasted considering sex, listening to the chatty-minds, minds with reels of imagery that take away from the person in front of you, from the act of truly committing body and soul in communion with a partner.

So much more could be said on this topic. The underlying point I hope to make, though, is that we must forget everything we have been taught about sex in order to make space for the new.

“Forget about all you have heard about sex, studied about sex, all that society has told you: the church, your religion, the teachers,” Osho says.

To fully experience, to lose control, and to be in the moment during connection with another, forget about the ideals and rules that the media has imposed on us. Move away from sexual repression and into sexual curiosity and freedom! Tantric ideas urge us to move in sex meditatively, to continually check in with the breath and to let the mind go. When we connect with the now we transcend the act of sex. “Become the body, become the animal…forget the end completely, be whole in the warm beginning,” Osho says. In practicing this, sex moves from a shameful, taboo idea into an art form, a surrender of the mind for benefit of the body.

Without the interference of the mind, we can truly “weave” ourselves with our partners and “expand” our energy and consciousness into the other. We should aim to find partners that are also willing to forget the rules and ideals that a sexually repressed society has imposed on us; only then can we get involved in totality. Allow deep, creative, and conscious connection! Be whole in the unique expression and exploration of encountering oneness with another being.

Categories: Music