For Couples Only: Tantric Intimacy

Do you want to feel closer to your partner? Want to rediscover and expand the magic and romance? How about more of that special, snuggly, affectionate connection? Most couples I know would answer “YES!” However, many couples are challenged with finding time to reconnect intimately. We can get caught up in all the day-to-day “busy-ness.” And we somehow forget that deepening the intimacy in our relationship can be a continual evolution and expansion.

Intimacy implies having a close, familiar, affectionate or loving personal relationship. We sometimes confuse intimacy with sexual connection by using the phrase “being intimate with” to refer to sexual activity. True intimacy means so much more.

I prefer to see Intimacy as “In-to-me-see.” Looking at the concept this way implies a closeness that comes from such deep caring and trust that we could allow ourselves to be truly seen by our partners as who we really are…all beauty and all warts, all strengths and all vulnerabilities. And what a delight and celebration for our partners to honor us by allowing us “In” to see who they really are. This is a real heart-to-heart connection, with respect, love, trust, and a sense of understanding and being understood. Intimacy.

There are many paths to greater intimacy. One of these is Tantra. Many have heard of “tantric sex” which can be one aspect of Tantra, but the practice of Tantra is so much more. Tantra is an age old Eastern spiritual practice requiring no belief or faith, but rather an openness to our embodied experiences (i.e. our experience as human beings in human bodies in the present moment). It is a personalized path which allows for the duality of being human, and at the same time, being part of a Divine energy.

Tantric intimacy is not the same as tantric sex. Western views of sexuality typically focus solely on the physical body experience. Tantra adds much more by including emotion, sensuality and “spirit,” all as part of intimate relationships. Truth and authenticity are central to Tantra. By inviting us to be completely authentic with our partners, Tantra can open the door to improved communication, understanding and compassion in our relationship. All of this increases intimacy and can add a deeper dimension to your relationship.

Energy and Our Senseschakras
To apply some of the tantric wisdom to our Western relationships, we need to be somewhat open to the experience of subtle energies within our human bodies. We all have energy flowing within and around us, and there are also energies flowing between two people in relationship. Tantra invites us to realize our own divinity by attuning to our natural energies. Such energies are usually brought into our conscious awareness through our human senses: Breath, Movement, Sound, Visualization and Touch.

Thus, practicing “sensate focus” (deliberate and conscious focus on your physical body senses; being “sensual”) is one way of connecting more intimately with your partner. Sensate focus requires taking time to notice what you sense when you hear your partner, see your partner, touch your partner.

Try This…

Just sit silently with your partner for 10 minutes, holding hands, noticing what you sense and feel. If you feel uncomfortable or silly after some time, just notice your discomfort and then breathe and keep sitting with your partcouplehappy-stencilner. We’re not used to slowing down and sensing like that. Just BE with your partner. Notice how your hands feel. Notice how your partner’s hands feel. Notice what else you sense in your body. Notice your breath. Silently send loving thoughts and energy from your heart to your partner’s heart. Recall a fond memory of a loving time you and your partner shared. Take turns touching and exploring each other’s hand, noticing what your partner’s hand feels like…the skin, the fingernails, the knuckles, the curves, the lines on the palm of the hand. Notice how it feels when your partner touches your hand. Remember what it’s like to look deeply into your partner’s eyes. What do you feel and sense? This is tapping into tantric wisdom on the way to creating greater intimacy and “In-to-me-see.”