Let’s talk about sex
06 August 2012 | KULANI NKUNA
“Sex”. Even in adulthood that word still conjures up giggles or apprehension whenever it is uttered. The three-letter word has become a symbol of pleasure and derision.
Often viewed as sacred or distinctly otherwise, depending on your belief system, people still find it hard to discuss matters of the bedroom in public or even among themselves. Some of the world’s ills and marital disharmony can be attributed to this lack of openness, making people’s discomfort in discussing the matter utterly preposterous.
Tantra seeks to address this reluctance to communicate, and teach how the spiritual is linked to the sexual.
The teachings of Tantra originated in India, Tibet and Nepal, covering every aspect of life: religion, diet, exercise, philosophy, and, of course, sexuality. Most observers have chosen to highlight the sexual side of things, but the principles of Tantra are universal and can apply to most aspects of life.
“For me, the defining principle of Tantra is the idea of awareness and consciousness,” says Jonti Searll, a Tantra teacher, sensualist and founder of the School Of Tantra Evolution.
“South Africans are conservative when it comes to sex, but on the other hand, we are hungry for knowledge. We live in a country with an enormous amount of sexual fear,” he says.
“Many people are not actually getting sexual information, so we grow up with guilt, shame and embarrassment about sex. There are a lot of myths and misin-formation that causes a lot of problems.”
The form and practice of Tantra still remains very much a sub- culture locally. This is changing, with more conversations taking place on the web. Another aspect of Tantra Evolution is the healing part of the philosophy.
“We do a lot of healing with people, so it is not just talk therapy,” says Tantra teacher Anne-Marie Clulow.
“A lot of practical work is involved, because a lot of things have happened to people that is negative about their sexual energy.”
Tantra does not necessarily have to involve sex.
“The biggest misconception about Tantra, is that it always has to involve intercourse,” agrees Clulow.
“It involves sexual energy, which is a different thing. Sexual energy can be independent of having intercourse with somebody.”
“One of the things we have realised on our journeys with people is that Tantra has everything to do with sex and nothing to do with sex,” adds Searll.
The roots of how we relate to the world and view ourselves can also be traced to our sexual energy.
“Our sexuality reflects everything that we are,” explains Searll.
“So our personal power, our creative energy, our self confidence – they are all aspects of our sexuality. It is the basis of our definition, and you need to have a strong base in order to function well.”
Pleasure and intimacy with your partner is one of the major focuses of Searll and Clulow’s workshops.
“Tantra can give you the possibility of deepening the intimacy that you have in your life, or increasing your pleasure,” says Searll.
“So many sexual problems would disappear if we were honest about our sexuality,” he says.
We can all have such wonderful pleasure and such awesome relationships without fear. We need to see sexuality as an aspect of life like any other. So we need to talk about sex”.
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