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What is tantric massage?
Tantric massage is a full-body massage where sensual, pleasurable, loving touch is given mindfully with presence. The massage can include every part of the body, and the receiver gets to experience loving touch in a relaxed and soft, yet powerful way.
This type of massage can be seen as a form of mediation, where both the giver and the receiver can access deep states of consciousness.
The receiver will be naked, lying down on a massage table or a mattress on the floor, and will receive a massage on both the back and front of the body. Often, the masseur will use the underarms and upper body as a tool for the massage in addition to the hands. It is also possible to use tools such as furry gloves, feathers, etc. to get different types of sensations.
What is included?
conscious intention for the session. The giver will need to transfigure and see the recipient as Shiva or Shakti for the massage to be tantric.
There are different opinions about how tantric massage should be done. Some teachers suggest that you should not use music because it disturbs the receivers inner experience. Other teachers emphasize how music helps the receiver enter a meditative state. Sometimes the giver is naked, sometimes the masseur will wear soft light clothing. Bottom line: it is a varied practise!
What is tantric massage not?
Tantric massage can easily be confused with erotic massage, because in some ways they can look the same as both involve naked bodies covered in oil. Erotic massage has the intention to satisfy sexual desire by giving pleasure. There is often stimulation and arousal, focus on erogenous zones and genitals, eventually often leading to orgasm. There can also be love and affection involved in erotic massage, and it is itself a wonderful practise, but the difference with tantric massage is in the intention.
Tantric massage can also involve arousal, erogenous zones and be orgasmic, but that is not the goal of tantric massage. We work with the same energies but for different reasons. In tantric massage, we go beyond the sexual stimulation and physical pleasure to raise your vibration to higher states of consciousness. Tantric massage often does not have to include the genitals. In that way, tantric massage is different from lingam massage and yoni massage which mainly focus on the genitals, and dearmouring massage.
Benefits of tantric massage:
Increasing body knowledge and self-love
The human body is a temple worthy of admiration. Tantric massage allows the receiver to experience touch in an environment free of expectation so they can experience the sensations in their body in a less goal-oriented way. This can help the receiver feel their own body more intimately and awaken the senses.
Tantric massage will help the receiver open to a broader range of experiences. When this is done in a setting where you can also open your heart to a deep connection, it can help to reclaim your body from shame and increase self -love and appreciation of your body and self.
Deepening connection between partners
Tantric massage can channel sexual energy into a deep and loving connection between partners. It can increase intimacy. It is also helpful for couples wanting to explore preservation of ojas, as they get to experience their erogenous zones without the expectation of orgasm. To achieve this, it can be good to avoid transitioning from the massage to sex every time, so that the massage is allowed to be its own form of pleasure and not “just” as foreplay which can create expectations.
Increasing your connection to your life force energy
Tantric massage works with the sexual energy because is such a powerful force, and it is useful for people to be in touch with this energy for other purposes than sex. It can charge your batteries with power you get to carry with you out into the rest of your world afterwards, making it easier to achieve your goals and get other things done.
Relieving sexual challenges
The receiver is purely receiving, without expectation of giving back. This can be liberating and diminish pressure to perform, which can be beneficial for people with sexual challenges which are psychological and not physical, like some types of erectile dysfunction. Emotions may come up, and it is a big part of the givers job to offer a safe space for this to happen in a safe way. This is also why there is typically often a conversation before and after the massage to prepare and wrap up. Such a healing session may enable the receiver to connect to their true, well-functioning self. Often this is a process over time and not cured in one session.
Tantric massage offers a safe sensual touch
We live in a society where many people are touch deprived, longing for quality touch. Many of us are so used to thinking of touch as a balancing act; you do something for me and later I will do something for you. A tantric massage offers a setting where there is nothing you need to do except to receive. This frees you up from having to think about what comes next or what you will do in return. Now, that is not to say that this is necessarily easy. We are seldom used to “just be”. By being present and focused, the practise becomes a meditation. The more you stay focused, the deeper you go into a spiritual state. But there is a fine line between staying present in the present moment, focused on the sensation, feelings and the connection you have with the other person, and losing yourself to sexual arousal. The aroused energy can be transmuted by focusing on the present moment and really feeling the sensation.
But there can still be many thoughts swirling around in the receiver’s head, which takes us to another benefit of tantric massage.
The sacred space that is set up, pleasing to the senses and distraction free, can make it easier for the receiver to be in their body in the present moment. Experiencing this can make it easier to connect to their centre and access a mindful state also in other areas of life later.
Tantric massage goes beyond touch.
It is indeed a physical experience, but it can also affect you emotionally, energetically and spiritually. The focus and the intention is to raise the vibration and to create an atmosphere of deep spiritual state of consciousness. Both the giver and the receiver can experience this. It is also possible to experience a unification where the giver and receiver feel connected in a deep spiritual merging where you feel as one.
Pitfalls of tantric massage
The concept is not always understood and is also misused by some practitioners. For instance, it is often advertised for by practitioners also offering sexual services. Customers may come wanting and also expecting more. So as someone offering tantric massage, it is important to be clear in your description of the service and your boundaries, have good communication, and take precautions to provide for everyone’s safety.
And as the receiver it is important to practise discernment in choosing which practitioner to go to. You need to know if you trust them, if you feel comfortable about this and what your boundaries are.
You can also feel if the other person is distracted or loses their sense of presence. It can still be enjoyable, but it breaks the tantric atmosphere of consciousness. The tantric massage requires presence, respect and sacredness from beginning to end.
The legal side of it
Many practitioners offer genital massage as a part of a tantric massage, but it does not have to include genital massage. In fact, in some countries, massaging the genitals is viewed as a way of selling sexual services. In some countries, legit practitioners offer tantric massage without including the genitals, which is totally possible. In some ways, it might even be easier, because it makes it easier for the customers to understand that it is not a sexual service, and to be open to feeling sexual energy in their body even when it is not a sexual setting.
Tantric massage in relation to our chakras
Tantric massage is a way of channeling energy through your body. When you are stimulating the body together with another person, it may be relatively easier to go into a tantric state of consciousness, because you are helped by the other person and the polarity between you. As you become relaxed, the body releases the tension and the energy may flow more freely through the chakras. Sometimes, the massage will begin by moving energy in the 3 lower chakras. As the massage progresses, one can often feel that the energy and consciousness moves and changes away from intellectual experience into a more heart centered, loving energy. The love, attention and presence can expand the heart chakra. When that happens at the same time as the sexual chakras are aroused, the love and heartfelt connection becomes a bridge for opening the higher chakras. As the massage progresses, thought is slowing down and you feel expansion of energy, kundalini energy may naturally awaken and move up in the body. This may open up a spiritual experience where you expand into a unification with higher consciousness, like a very deep meditation.
Inspired by ancient tantric texts
Let’s look briefly at an old tantric scripture, which makes it possible to think of tantric massage as a western practise that is derived from classical tantra.
“The Vijnãna Bhairava Tantra” is a text from around 850 C.E, which translates as the scripture of the Bhairava, who is consciousness. This text mentions a merging of the five senses:
“Meditating of the five spaces as the colorful circles of the peacock’s feathers, one entres the heart, the supreme space”. The translation is done by Christopher Wallis, who is a sanskrit scholar and practitioner of tantra. He interprets this to mean that the five spaces most probably relate to the five senses. In that way this verse talks about merging the senses together.
Even though the quote does not talk about tantric massage specifically, it does talk about the importance of meditating on the five senses. Tantric massage involves pretty much all senses coming together in the same moment. Ideally you are focused on all the sensations, enjoying them, merged in them, present and going deeper. Then the chakras can open up and you can go into a deep state of consciousness.
In this way, there is so more to tantric massage than naked bodies covered in oil.
Christopher Wallaces translation from the ancient text, The Vijnãna Bhairava Tantra
“Tantra Illuminated” by Christopher Hareesh Wallis, Mattamayura Press 2012
«Divine sexuality – the joy of tantra» by Ma Ananda Sarita, Findhorn press 2011
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