Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is a large-sized paperback book originally published in Britain that covers some of the basics about Tantra, offering accurate information on this ancient, extensive, and often confusing topic. The book features full-color photographs from the Tantra sutras, connecting the reader with Tantric history. The author, Indra Sinha, focuses on the ancient paths of Tantra: the goddesses associated, sacred sites, mantras, and meditations, as well as explains the many misconceptions of Tantra as presented in the West. Sinha was a Sanskrit scholar at Cambridge and also wrote one of the popular modern translations of the infamous Kama Sutra.
The reason I like Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is because it touches on so many important topics of Tantra but in manageable pieces, perfectly combined with the photos and visually-friendly layout. The photographs are taken from various primary sources – the Tantra sutras, and incorporate various symbolic aspects that the ancients readily understood but may seem shocking or just weird to the modern viewer. Some of the iconography includes blood-covered goddesses, wriggling serpents, and a plethora of yoni (vulvas) and linga (penises). The book also features centuries-old Tantric drawings and paintings that depict maithuna (sexual union), so this book is “Not Safe For Work” and might be best for readers aged 21 or older.
This book touches on so many important topics in a thorough but easy-to-grasp manner that it makes a perfect beginner’s book to Tantra. I heartily recommend Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy as a primer for Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine by Andre Van Lysebeth, Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by Dr. David Frawley, and Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga by Sally Kempton. As the umbrella over all the yogas, including hatha and kundalini, Tantra is a shamanic science present in all forms of yogic practice, but the majority of Tantric gnosticism regarding sex is rarely presented at the average yoga studio while being hypersexualized in most New Age Tantric books and workshops.
Another book with a similar cover is Tools for Tantra by North Indian musician and writer Harish Johari, an excellent introduction to the yogic mandalas, Sanskrit mantras, and visual yantras used in Tantra. However, this book is a bit of a dryer read, and so Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is still a better opener to Tantra.
As one writer has said, a book without Tantra’s yantra is not really a book on Tantra. Therein lies the great problem with researching Tantra. It is difficult to sort through the numerous books available to ascertain which one will have the best, most reliable information. Finding a teacher versed in real Tantra is even more difficult. Tantra is a way of life, not an hour-long yoga session Monday-Wednesday-Friday, nor a collection of kinky sex positions. Tantra literally means a “tool for expansion” and is thought of as a “web”, a connected yet expanding consciousness, bridging the microcosm with the macrocosm and back again, cyclically.
The author, Sinha, writes on page 15, “The basis of all Tantrism is the worship of Sakti and Siva, the female and the male principles…. Without Sakti, there is no Siva, and no Siva without Sakti.” Sinha states emphatically in the previous paragraph, “Siva and Sakti cannot be separated.” (14-15) This very specific religious and spiritual foundation is probably the reason most Tantrism in the West has been secularized, stripping the “foreign” and non-Christian aspects to make Tantra and sexuality more palatable for sexually-repressed Americans. While I personally, do not subscribe to Sanatana Dharma (“Hinduism”), I appreciate the energies anthropomorphized as the balancing principals of Shakti or Shiva. Sinha has included the “foreign” bits and ancient spiritual practices for the Tantra newcomer.
The photographs of the ancient depictions of Tantra, her goddesses, and the sacred symbols can be jarring at first. The modern observer may find it odd to see detached penises and flying vulvas included in sacred sexuality. I will admit, that it does seem a bit “J. Alfred Prufrock’ed” at times. However, like all symbols, they are meant to jog the memory of the mind, the heart, and/or the subconscious self, not to be the whole story in and of itself.
Intriguing to some and perhaps shocking to others, Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy helps diminish the hypersexualized celebrity of Tantra and add fact where fiction has reigned in the popular consciousness. Sinha perfectly synthesizes centuries of teachings into a helpful, 154-page book, including an impressive 9-page bibliography and index, that informs but does not overwhelm the senses. Anyone looking to dip her or his toe into the expansive waters of Tantra would do well to start with Sinha’s Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy.
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Copyright 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.
*Read Part 1.*
The fourth time with the new toy was a mixed, weird, confusing experience. Suffice it to say, this guy requires lube — lots of lube. I had already done a blended orgasm with my new glass toy (more on that later) to prime my vaginal opening, get the juices flowing, start stretching the vaginal muscles inside, etc. As before, the head took a couple of tries to fully enter, and as the head/corona passed my prostate, I felt a slight sting, but it wasn’t as bad as the first few times. I thought, “Great, I’m adjusting to him.” Then feeling the shaft enter, I was breathless again at the feeling of being so very filled and stretched.
Since I’d started my session early, around 10:30 a.m., I felt no rush to finish with Bob. In fact, over the next couple of hours, I would do a round of sliding him in and out slowly for about 15 minutes, then pull him out, and relax in a blissful stupor for another 20 to 30 minutes, having nipple orgasms, sheet orgasms, clit and spontaneous O’s, then I’d reach for Bob again for another slow and easy go of it.
Each time, I did not bring myself to climax with Bob, just enjoyed the orgasms from the slow and steady pace and the occasional hard and fast thrusting and pulling out to float in that bliss for a while, then starting it all over again.
Around 2 p.m., I began again, knowing I was wet from the other orgasms, I didn’t lube Bob this time. I noticed, he wasn’t moving as smoothly as he had before. I needed some lube. Then Stupid Me showed up and totally screwed this whole experience up. The feelings in my vagina were the same as when I endured friction sex while married. Though my ex-Asshole isn’t nearly this wide, he hated me getting too wet. This dry, friction feeling was then “familiar,” and being a little lazy, I thought I’d just put up with it because I really wanted the great orgasms I’d had the other few times with this toy.
Every time Smart Me said, “Man, I need lube,” Stupid Me overruled that inner voice with, “You put up with it when you were married, put up with it now and finish.” As the friction got to be too much, Smart Me won the debate, and I put a little bit of lube on the toy and re-inserted. I felt immediate stinging, more stinging, then being filled by the shaft, and then a surge of heat — not in a good way. I continued on, now that he was properly lubed, imagining my Dream Man, and long story short, I finished. Yes, the orgasm was great… but it was… weird… but it was beautiful… but weird.
I felt a strange emotion — yes, I cried, but there was something else. During that last bit, I had a realization of just what this toy represented for me. The images and feelings conjured during this session were so intensely powerful, I instantly knew who he was. The experience had become emotional during the session, and now, afterward, I wanted to give him a name, a sacred name. And I did. And I cried some more. I lay there for a while in my reverie, feeling a new awareness of completeness.
Knowing I needed to get up, I realized my fingers felt a bit strange, so I looked at them. My hands were covered in blood. I wasn’t on my period. I looked at the toy, and he was bloody, too. I got up and went to the bathroom and opened my legs up to the full-length mirror. My labia and thighs were bloody, and I had an immediate flashback to when I was raped at 21, after which I bled for 4 days. I remembered a couple other times I bled a little after friction sex.
As it so happened with this fourth time with this toy, I bled that night and the next day, but that was it. I have not noticed any blood or change in vaginal discharge. I never felt any pain, aside from the uncomfortableness in the moment of the “friction sex” before I re-lubed the toy.
In fact, in the couple days since, today now being 03-03-13, I have enjoyed all my usual orgasms and my new gentle-touch prostate orgasms. Everything is functioning perfectly.
Which leads me to an esoteric interpretation… In the very emotional moments of that last part of the session, I had a very clear vision of my Dream Man. He was absolutely clear to me. He is a feeling and an energy. I knew him so well, I called him a sacred name for the very first time, and I subsequently bestowed that name on the toy who is his physical representation for me.
Blood has a life force. Blood used to be an important part of rituals and taking oaths. To this day, Christians symbolically ingest the blood of Jesus when they participate in the ritualized cannibalistic practice of Communion/Eucharist. As a pagan witch, considering who and what this energy/feeling began to represent — my Dream Man, I’m not surprised that blood would have manifested as a sort of initiation with this new, clear vision — a consummation, as it were.
And yes, I know I sound crazy — I’m an artist, I always sound a bit crazy. Most people are so keyed in to the physical side of sex or climax, they miss subtleties of energy or awakenings that may be present. This vision I saw is no different than imagining a scene in one’s mind to help the arousal process along, but the difference here is that he appeared to me, and I knew him instantly.
Esoteric interpretations aside, I will have to see how using “Bob” (no, that’s not his sacred name!) goes tomorrow or the next day. I did not bleed the other 3 times, so I’m hoping that with plenty of lube, Bob and I will be hunky-dorey in our future rendezvous sessions.
Seriously, though, this experience was powerful for me, and though the blood had me a bit worried for that day, I’m hoping it was just a fluke… or an initiation.
Aroused and pondering the possibilities,
Copyright 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.
Recently, I wrote a mild-mannered review of one of my newest additions to my orgasm accoutrements, the Adam PleasureSkin Cock. I tried to keep the review on point, but I wanted to elaborate a bit here. I’ve now used this toy 4 times, so I can adequately recommend this guy with some hindsight and careful considerations — though, I still whole-heartedly recommend this toy for those who are experienced large toy/large penis aficionados.
The toy, which I’ll just call “Bob,” is made of “PleasureSkin” and has an insertible length of 6.5″ and a width of 2″.
I was concerned that 6.5″ would not seem like that much as the shortest real penis I’ve ever had was 8″. Noting that in the Amazon reviews, a few women (and a couple men) mentioned how long it took to get the thing in, I definitely went slowly and used more than my usual amount of lube. I also spent extra time beforehand on yoni massage to warm up the skin around my vagina’s opening since a large penis can stretch the flesh uncomfortably (read: excruciating pain!).
The conical head slid in part way, then stopped. I brought him out, then tried again, giving an extra little push. There was slight pain — more like a stinging sensation — at the anterior wall where my prostate is. My first thought was, “I’m surprised the pain isn’t at the fourchette (the “bottom” of the vaginal opening), so I must have done enough yoni massage — good.” My next thought was, “Anything that upsets my prostate gets thrown in the dumpster.”
It took 3 very slow tries to get the head in, each time stinging. Once the head was in, the shaft did not have the same effect on my prostate, so I proceeded. I made the mental note that a prostate-based orgasm before using this guy might not be ideal since my prostate swells with fluid and the tendrils of the prostate “poke through” into the vagina during arousal. (That feels much better than it sounds!)
Once in, I was taken aback by just how full I felt. Like other reviewers, I thought the sheer width of this thing had issued me a challenge, and I was determined to win. It took a good 10 minutes of repeatedly slow, methodical entry and withdrawal for me to get this thing even a few inches in. And even after using “Bob” 4 times now, I haven’t gotten him more than about 4.5″ inside. (Yes, I felt like less of a woman because I couldn’t take any more of him in. I must have more issues to deal with. Dammit.)
The width is absolutely delicious. In fact, just thinking about how this thing feels inside…. I… I………. I……… OH MY FUCKING GOD, YES! This is the most wonderful-feeling toy I have ever tried!!! Even more than the feeling of the toy inside was the feeling of the toy between my fingers of my right hand as I slid him in and out with my left hand. This toy absolutely feels like a real penis to the touch. Even running my fingertips over the balls was so incredibly familiar, I began having a surreal moment in which I didn’t have to imagine a man in my man’s eye, this thing made the man come to life in my body and my mind. To say nothing of the sensation of the balls against my butt… delicious!
I moved my hand over my clit, and she was swollen like I’ve never felt her — my entire mons pubis seemed more swollen than ever before. With my hand on top of my mons, I could actually feel the different parts of the toy as he slid in and out — especially on the out. Bringing him all the way out with a little “pop” sound, my clit and mons pubis felt the same as when they’re normally aroused. Once he was back in, she was so swollen again, I was amazed on how full she felt from the outside. I tried to focus on both feelings at once — my full clit and the gentle push past my labia as he re-entered… I couldn’t focus on both. It felt too good to focus on any one thing, actually.
The first time I used him, I experienced a huge climax. I was left emotional, crying, panting, writhing, back arching, legs kicking out, until another round of orgasms hit, and I was moaning all over again. Finally, I couldn’t maneuver this thing anymore, and my hands went up over my head, and more emotion, more crying, breathless panting, and uncontrollable writhing. Then began the after-O’s, a series of progressively smaller orgasms that usually last about a half hour that eventually taper off to simple hip movements and glutes clenching, until even that subsides, and I’m in a type of vertigo bliss.
The second time I used this guy, I made the mistake of changing my hand position in the middle of the hard thrusting — instead of just holding it, I tried an over-hand hold to lessen the weight on my wrist. Big mistake. Changing technique in the middle usually spells disaster for arousal, and sure enough, I felt the instant drain of sensation as my nerve receptors switched gears. It took a couple minutes holding it the regular way to get back to that level of arousal and then finish. I made the mental note not to make that mistake of changing in mid-stream again. The climax was fantastic, though.
The third time I used Bob, I spent over 15 minutes just moving him in and out very, very slowly. I cannot describe how sublime this felt. (I don’t think most men appreciate the slow approach or slow sex, which is a darn shame. This was heavenly.) My inner labia grew even more sensitive to the feel of him as I progressed, until the nerve endings in my labia were all lit up, giving extra sensation to the motion. But he was getting heavy in my hand, and I knew I wanted to finish fast and hard. I almost hated speeding up because I could have stayed in that “neutral” zone for hours, however the bliss was electric and emotionally stirring.
The fourth time with him was a mixed experience… and completely unexpected…
* Read Part 2. *
In The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling’s loveable bear, Baloo, doesn’t want much out of life. He prefers a simple, uncluttered, unfettered existence. In the Disney film version, Baloo sings a fanciful tune about “The Bare Necessities.” This prompted me to write about what I like from a sexual union, a night of ecstasy, and the promise of wanton desires fulfilled. (With all the hooplah about what people are supposed to do to “create” a romantic evening — what we should wear, what we should say, what techniques we should know, what doo-dads, gizmos, and whizbangs should be at the ready — I simply must offer my two cents.)
In “The Bare Necessities,” Terry Gilkyson’s lyrics go like this:
Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old mother nature’s recipes
That bring the bare necessities of life.
I want the bare necessities when it comes to sex. No pretense. No acting out a scene from a movie. No bullshit. Just being a real person with another real person enjoying a real moment together.
What does this mean?
I hate lingerie. I don’t want rose petals on the bed. No candles. I don’t want a steak dinner beforehand. I don’t drink. I can’t stand perfume or cologne. I despise “romantic” music. I refuse to “talk dirty.” I won’t play “dress-up.” I don’t do S&M (or bondage or dominatrix/submissive crap). I don’t like kink.
I’m fat. Why kill perfectly innocent flowers? Can you say “fire hazard?” Who wants to fuck on a full stomach? Alcohol tastes gross. Allergies. Cheezy city! Don’t bring your porn fantasies to me. I do theatre for a living. Solve your “mommy issues” on your own time. It’s weird.
Now that that’s all clear… here’s the reason. I don’t want my partner focused on all the peripheral “stuff” when he or she should be focused on me. And likewise, I don’t want to be in a panic trying to get everything ready. Again, dealing with “set dressing,” lighting, and sound is what we theatre pros call a “tech rehearsal” or a “hang and focus” in the theatre biz. I certainly don’t want to do that when I’m supposed to be getting aroused, anticipating the events to come.
Mainly, I don’t want to feel like I’m putting on an act, pretending to be something I’m not (more theatre). I want to walk into the room naked, body flaws and all, and that be okay because my partner sees me, the person I am, my heart, my soul, my being, instead of all the ways I don’t meet the American standard of beauty. My mind should be filled with a million thoughts of how I can touch him — not wishing I could afford lipo.
So here’s the recipe for having sex with me:
- Don’t be a moron. (I’m afraid I must insist on this.)
- Be prepared to be naked immediately. I don’t do bullshit / tease / “foreplay” on the couch. We’re heading to the bedroom post haste.
- The lights will be low and minimal, but definitely enough light to see everything. And I mean, everything.
- Speaking of seeing everything, make sure you shave your balls — and wash your ass crack.
- The music will be a meditation CD of my choosing. Get over it.
- The sex starts with talking for an hour or longer…
(Okay, I know I just lost the male audience, but “bare” with me.)… If I haven’t been with you before, how can I know what you like? Should I assume what you like based on what my last partner liked? Or the guy before him? Do you really want me remembering them while I’m with you? Didn’t think so. So start gabbing. Of course, we can touch, silly. Did you think we would only talk? If that’s the case, then let’s braid our hair and do our nails!
Why spend so much time on talking and experimental touching? If you’re familiar with the concept of positive and negative poles of the body, then you’d know a woman’s breasts (in line with her heart chakra) are the positive pole and the true entryway to the vagina (her sex chakra). For a man, his positive pole is the penis (no pun intended) which is his sex chakra that leads to his awakening in his chest (his heart chakra). It seems the old adage really is true, the way to a man’s heart is through his penis, and the way to a woman’s vagina is through her heart.
Do I have favorite positions? Of course. The Kama Sutra, Tantra, the Tao, and Kundalini teachings are filled with ideas for sexual awakening, soul connection, and heart chakra fulfillment. That doesn’t mean they’ll work with you. Or vice versa.
A shorter penis works well for women on top, a longer penis is great for side-behind. A curved penis is great for She Spot stimulation like having one leg over his shoulder (Splitting the Bamboo) position. Breast worship is a prerequisite to yoni massage or any genital yoga. Lingam massage and oral ecstasy are two of my specialties. Then there’s one I named the Reverse Rockingchair. (Don’t ask what it is. There’s only one way you’ll ever know what it entails.)
Seriously, though, communication is vital to the partnership, whether it’s for one night or a lifetime. If all you want is the quick screw, then you’ve definitely come to the wrong place. I expect this to go for hours, and while I suspect there will be orgasms a-plenty, I’d rather have a connection with another human being than a race to the finish. After all, I don’t need a man for orgasms — I do that amazingly well on my own, thank you very much.
Therein lies the problem. I don’t need a man. I want a man. I don’t need sex. I want sex. There is a difference. I don’t need a man in my life to take out the trash, mow the lawn, change the brakes, or fix the leaky sink. I can hire tradesmen to handle repairs around the house or on the car. As a 21st century post-feminism empowered woman, I don’t look to a man to fill “necessary” roles the way 19th century women needed men to be able to accomplish certain tasks for the upkeep of the farm or homestead.
I don’t “perform” in bed (more theatre intrusion). I don’t want you to have “performance anxiety” either. I want to sit together, and touch, and kiss, and experiment. I want to caress, and nibble, and coax, and cherish you. And I want you to want the same of me, for me, and with me.
I realize that by asking for something so simple and “deconstructed” I’m asking for quite a lot. I’m asking you to leave your ego at the door, along with your preconceived notions about what I want or how I want it. I’m asking you to give up your innate goal-oriented competitiveness, the ingrained score-keeper, and the death-grip on your self-worth and masculine identity. I’m asking you to give up the enculturation of patriarchal propaganda. I’m asking you to just… be.
I know exactly what I want and how I want it. I can tell you, and I can show you. All you have to do is pay attention. Ask questions. But to do that, you have to focus on me, the real me, and not keep a running tally in your head, comparing me to the other women you’ve been with. Be here. Now. Be in the moment. Be egoless. Nothingness. Non-attachment. Just feel. Be.
I like my sex simple — bare — stripped of the illusions put forth by Cosmo sex quizzes and Victoria’s Secret catalogues and the myths perpetuated by porn and skin mags. Sex should be a spirit connection not just mutual masturbation. Otherwise the orgasms will only be physical. And I’m not interested in that. Make me fly — fly upward above the earth, across the universe, through the veil, and let’s bask in the energy of cosmic orgasm and our union with the cosmos.
That’s not asking too much…
Aroused and baring all,