There’s a reason “have tantric sex” doesn’t appear on many daily agendas. Despite a growing awareness of the ancient practice of tantra, it remains mysterious and intimidating to the uninitiated. And if the only thing you know about it is that it leads to mind-blowing orgasms but takes four hours, it’s a tough thing to schedule. If you want to try it out without having to take a day off work, here are three basic sex positions even absolute beginners can do.
Tantric Sex For Beginners: Try A Different Attitude
The main difference between tantric sex and regular sex is the attitude with which you approach it. Dawn Cartwright, tantra instructor and founder of the Chandra Bindu tantra Institute, tells Cosmo: “Tantra views every facet of human experience, including sex, as potential for personal transformation and self-actualization … Every activity — eating, drinking, breathing, dancing, making love — can be entered into with awareness.”
So by merely slowing down and really looking at your lover, you’re already having tantric sex. If you want to deepen your practice, you can experiment with conscious and deliberate breathing, eye contact, and an unbelievably slow pace. Maybe it’s not four hours slow, but definitely slower than you’re used to. You can also create a meditative space for your lovemaking using pillows, incense, and soft lighting.
Or you could just try out some traditional tantric sex positions before committing to the whole thing. If you like what you experience and want to go deeper, lucky you! There are thousands of years of material on tantric practices to dive into. Get a taste with these simple starter positions.
For more ways to blend yoga and sexuality, read Downward Doggie Style (Turn Your Yoga Practice Into Hot Sex).
Eight Beginning Tantric Sex Positions
1. The Delight
Sometimes referred to as tantric missionary, this position is basic and easily performed but allows for deep intimacy between partners, even without penetration. The receptive partner should sit on the edge of the bed while the penetrating partner stands before them. The seated partner wraps their legs around the standing partners torso (they may need to kneel down to make this work) and lies back.
The standing partner can remain upright or lean forward onto their hands. This position promotes mindfulness, as both partners can easily see the other’s face and stroke their body. Remaining in this position for a while before any penetration enables the connection to be very strong when and if you go for it. As with any tantric sex practice, it is the connection which elevates the sex to the level of communion with the Universe through one’s lover.
2. Plated Spoon
Lie on your side and spoon or be spooned. Hang out like this for as long as you both find it pleasurable. Remember, this is tantra. There’s no agenda. Touch each other. Enjoy the sensation of fingertips on flesh and hot breath on skin. Revel in your lover’s scent. Then, when you’re both ready, the partner in back may penetrate or stimulate the partner in front. Or you could just rest in this position, continuing to breathe and caress. Feel free to find your own way.
When and if thrusting feels like the right idea, thrust slowly. See how long you can enjoy the ride. As always with tantra, orgasms are optional. The goal is pleasure and connection. This position is great for those who get giggly during eye contact.
The most fundamental tantric sex position, this looks like the cross-legged Lotus position that is what most people picture when they think of yoga. Partners sit facing each other. One of them – the woman if you’re a hetero couple, whoever feels like being on top if you’re not – wraps their legs around their partner, embracing their torso. This can be the end or the beginning. It’s entirely up to the two of you.
If you’re feeling patient, stay here. Look into your lover’s eyes. Try to match their breathing with yours. When and if you’re ready, ease into intercourse. The key word is ease. This position allows for incredible intimacy and the slower you go, the deeper you bond. See how slowly you can move together and how long you can make it last. And remember there is no right way to do this. There’s only what the two of you do together.
4. Reverse Seated
This one is a hair more advanced, but still doable for people who aren’t yoga teachers. Assuming your couple is guy / girl, have the guy kneel behind the girl, who should kneel with her back to him and her legs touching his. If you’re not guy / girl, explore whatever version of this position feels right for both of you. But if penetration is on the menu, it’s best to have the penetrating partner in back.
Now, you guessed it, do nothing. Just enjoy the feel of skin on skin and the access to each other’s bodies.
When you’re ready, you can penetrate or be penetrated in this position. Just have the person in front back up onto the person in back. The person in back should help support the weight of the person in front by embracing them. You may have to experiment to find the version of this move which works for both of you but it’s worth the effort. This position allows for lots of skin contact and fingertip tracing and neck nuzzling.
This one promotes balance while allowing you both to bond. The name says it all. You are both lying on your backs, legs intertwined, sex organs pressed against each other, heads at opposite ends. While you are joined at your energetic center but extending outwards, you both act as conduits for the energy flowing through the universe. It is drawn into and through you both, colliding and exploding at your shared love core. Or it might just feel really good. Either way is a success.
This position is great for lovers who enjoy foot play. As one partner’s leg will be on top, cresting over the crease of their groin, the partner on bottom can easily reach it for stroking. The feet can be massaged or kissed. The toes are in easy reach of the mouth. As arousal builds, you can stimulate each other by grinding without letting go of the legs or feet. And if penetration is on the table, having sex while someone sucks your toes should be on everyone’s bucket list.
6. The Merger
The name sounds corporate but this is a sex position which promotes extraordinary intimacy, as it allows for sustained eye contact, conversation and caressing. It also allows either partner to control the depth and speed of penetration, thus enabling you to take turns driving.
The penetrating partner sits with legs extended, while the receptive partner sits on top, straddling and facing them. It’s similar to Yab-Yum but the legs are stretched out rather than crossed. Once seated, each partner leans back, putting their weight onto their hands. It may feel more comfortable to bend the legs at this point.
Spend as long as you like in this pose, spiraling gentle finger strokes over each other’s torsos, backs, or faces. Or just hold each other’s gaze, breathing together. If penetration feels right, go as slow as you can stand to. That’s the whole point of this pose. Experiment with seeing how deep or shallow you can go. Speed up gradually and synchronize your thrusts so that you’re both flowing into each other. Listen to your lover’s cries. Breathe in their scent. You may see stars.
7. Sky Dancing
In Buddhist tradition, “Sky Dancers” were passionate people who vigorously pursued enlightenment. In this position, you and your love collaborate on your shared enlightenment, joining your bodies and blending your consciousness. It’s also a wonderful position for unleashing a woman’s sensual drive, as it allows her to be in control while her lover lies passively beneath her, to be used in service of her joy.
This looks like your traditional woman on top position. When she leans back she affords her partner a view of her yoni (tantra speak for the female sex organ). She can show her love how she wishes to be pleasured. She can lean forward to kiss their lips or pour hot breathy whispers into their ear. When she wants to, she can take them into her body, thrusting and undulating at her own ideal pace until passion takes her to the breaking point. This is the sky dance.
8. Shiva Worships Shakti
The divine couple of tantrism lend their names to this ecstatic lovemaking position. The mood is one of devotion and acceptance of devotion. It is both intensely spiritual and overwhelmingly erotic. And it’s easy to do.
Traditionally, it is the lady partner who is to be worshipped by the male partner in this position. If you are not a hetero couple, you will have to decide which of you will play the role of Shakti, who will lie on her back with her knees bent and feet flat on the bed. Shiva then kneels before his love and places his knees under her, so that the lengths of their thighs are touching.
In this pose, Shiva can see Shakti’s everything. Facial expressions, the expanse of breath, the curve of the body, the warmth of the skin – they are all on vivid display. Revel in that. Gaze upon her. Run hands over flesh. And when it feels right, if it feels right, penetrate her. This position is super hot because it’s exquisitely slow. Go in. Come out. Take a break. Repeat. Hold off on rapid thrusting until your passion has built to the breaking point. Then break.
Remember that penetration is always optional. This position is about enjoying the sight of your lover or allowing yourself to be enjoyed. It is extremely bonding and can bring any couple closer together. Straight couples should feel free to change it up and have the woman take the Shiva role. Grinding your pelvis into the underside of a man’s balls is a very loving thing to do.
After Your First Tantric Sex Session
After sex, whether it ends with both people climaxing, just one, or neither, sit together. Hold each other. Talk about how this made you feel. Don’t stress if it’s awkward. It is for a lot of people when they start. That doesn’t mean it will always be. If there was anything about it that you liked, share that with you partner. Think about what made it good and how you can get more of that into your lovemaking.
If you both want to move further into tantra, you can easily keep learning about it for a lifetime. If you decide the positions are enough for now, that’s fine, too. Anyone can benefit from slowing down during sex. Anyone can increase their pleasure and that of their lover by giving their full attention to lovemaking. You don’t have to be a yogi to work some tantra magic into your love life. You just have to be willing to try it.
If you like this article, try the rest our tantra series: read A Beginner’s Guide to Tantric Breathing, How to Be a Tantra Goddess, Solo Spiritual Sex and Downward Doggie Style (Turn Your Yoga Practice Into Hot Sex).