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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The newest addition to my collection of toys is the Immortal Jade Glass G-Spot Dildo 10-Inch. While I really like the glass prostate toy I already have, the Jade caught my eye and has now won my heart… or at least, my prostate’s undying devotion.
My main problem with most toys (of any material) is the lack of a handle. Knowing my vagina will lengthen to about 5 inches at the absolute most, I thought the Jade would give me plenty of length to hold on to for ease of use.
Choosing to get the Jade was based on several factors. The toy is curved, so it would definitely stimulate my She Spot (what I call the G-Spot) as well as the rest of my female prostate. The end is bulbous so it covers more surface area than a fingertip but is still smaller than a penis head. The glass is super easy to clean and keep hygienic, and the Jade is also suitable for anal play. One major reason for getting the Jade is to finally achieve full female ejaculation.
The Jade is slightly heavier than I’d thought it would be, but using it does not wear out my wrist or my shoulder. Due to the curve, holding the toy at a specific angle is not necessary — it reaches the prostate on its own. The Jade is only 1.5 inches at its widest point — the bulbous balls at the end of the “shaft.” I couldn’t get the fist “ball” inside me, but feeling it at the opening of my vagina felt great.
The shaft has perpendicular glass ridges that seemed to stimulate my perineal sponge while the tip worked my prostate. Nothing can replace the feeling of being filled by a penis (or my new penis toy), but the Jade seems to hit several spots simultaneously.
The three times I’ve used the Jade have been deliciously wonderful experiences which I’ll write up soon in a DailyOJ post. I can say that the orgasms seemed to keep going, and the sounds I made were… unique. When the orgasms began, I didn’t throw my arms over my head as soon as I usually do, meaning I could keep using the Jade to stimulate more orgasms. For the after-O’s, I felt a strange “rippling” effect in my prostate that I don’t remember feeling before — ever. As the full-body orgasmic waves kept hitting all over, microcosmic waves rippled and rippled at my prostate. While I have not ejaculated in gushing form, I did did produce a lot of fluid during the session that flowed out continuously from the mid-way point onward.
For a prostate toy, the Jade is an excellent choice for many reasons. Frankly, I can’t think of any other prostate or glass toy I will need for a while. Perfect for the male prostate or female prostate, vaginal or anal play, the Immortal Jade Glass G-Spot 10-Inch is a great choice for your next toy.
After searching high and low for a new penis-shaped dildo, I had almost given up when I came across this guy on Amazon. For some reason, it has become very difficult to find a dildo that is exactly what I like — guess I’ll have to start making sex toys now.
I like good width, easy maintenance, and no vibration. Sounds easy. It isn’t.
The selling points listed for Adam’s PleasureSkin Cock are that it is very wide and feels like real skin. It boasts a width of 2″ (inches) across and 6.5″ insertable length, with realistic veining on the shaft and balls. It also features a suction cup for riding or use on the shower wall (or fridge door… bookcase… dining table leg…).
I perused several different dildos that were similar width and length and no vibration. In my current collection, I have a glass toy for prostate stim, my purple hard-silicone friend Sparkles, and another wide toy that is so heavy I can’t use it… so I’ll donate it to the local Catholic mission.
For my latest toy, I wanted a toy that was realistic in form and feel. I wanted him to be around 2″ wide, and most importantly, I wanted a toy that wasn’t too heavy — my wrist gets tired lugging a heavy toy around.
I read the reviews on Amazon:
- “This thing is HUGE.”
- “…amazing details… so realistic…”
- “…it was HEAVY… I have NEVER seen such a big penis.”
- “…it took a WHILE to get half way down, and it was DELICIOUS!”
- “It didn’t flop over it stood proudly… It is firm, and handles like a ‘real’ penis.”
- “It felt like I was having sex with another human. So realistic.”
- “…my orgasms are just as good if not better than the ones I get from my vibrator.”
The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and even the naysayers were complaining about the very thing I was looking for in a toy (“too huge”). The two negative aspects they repeated were the chemical smell and the fact that this toy is not for the inexperienced. After reading all the reviews on Amazon, I decided to get the PleasureSkin Cock which comes in the delightful shade of Cinnamon.
I’m a member of Amazon Prime so the parcel arrived in two days. As I lifted it out of its discreet packaging, I was amazed at how life-like it looked. It must have been molded off an actual penis because the asymmetry was perfect (if this had been made by a human, the artist would have tried to make everything symmetrical). This toy is based on an uncut penis (which I did not know at the time of purchase but was a pleasant surprise), but neither the frenular delta nor the ridged band are overly pronounced (darn it).
The veining is awesome, and the testicles are in the up-and-tense position and include a particular favorite of mine — the testicular raphe. The head is conical, not bulbous, which I usually prefer, and I would have preferred the head to be bigger (or so I thought). I’d also prefer the corona to be more pronounced with a deeper sulcus, but I liked what I saw. My biggest fear came true — this thing is heavy, but with the suction cup option, I assumed I’d use it more passively than “hands on” (or so I thought). I’ve yet to ride on top of this guy, but that is on my to-do list very soon!
Feeling the “PleasureSkin,” I have to say that it did not feel like real skin to me, and yes, there is a chemical smell. My opinion of the PleasureSkin changed as I was using it because once it is lubed up, it feels amazingly realistic to the touch. The texture of this PleasureSkin toy is firm in the center but “gives” under touch the way real penises and flesh do. Holding the shaft in my hand and feeling how it gave slightly under the pressure has cured me of ever getting a hard silicone or plastic toy ever again. Just feeling him in my hand feels so good and lifelike, and yes, he really does stand at attention — no flopping over at all!
Cleaning the toy is easy with mild soap and warm water, and the smell is only noticeable if you hold it directly to your nose. There is no offensive odor wafting in the air during use. To avoid getting furries and lint on him, I keep this toy in plastic rather than velvet — though I do wash him (and all my toys) before and after every use.
Overall, I cannot recommend this “PleasureSkin Cock” enough!!! If you are experienced with sex toys, like ‘em wide, and have a strong grip, absolutely nothing can beat Adam’s PleasureSkin Cock in Cinnamon. For anal use, be sure to use a condom… and when I get brave enough to try this thing for anal penetration, y’all will be the first to know.
The only thing better than this toy is an actual man (who also does laundry and vacuums). Seriously. Get this guy!
Stay tuned for my upcoming DailyOJ wherein I describe in detail how my first (and second and third) meeting with the PleasureSkin Cock went…
Now… what should I name him?
OM is the clitoris-centric practice brought to the masses by Nicole Daedone, author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm. In her TEDtalk, “Orgasm: The Cure for Hunger in the Western Woman,” Daedone explained how she came to OM-ing and how it changed her. She says she’s not a New Age “woo-woo” person, but I won’t hold that against her. :) Daedone is obviously passionate about getting this revolutionary information out to women, and so am I!
Speaking for myself, I find clit-only stimulation and orgasms to be extremely boring — or I did, before OM. Having discovered my She Spot over a decade ago, I’m rather an aficionado of blended orgasms, stimulating both my She Spot and clit simultaneously to achieve both the full-body waves of the vaginal orgasm and the fireworks’ explosion of heat of the clitoral orgasm. Since becoming acquainted with my prostate last fall and making peace with my breasts, I have been on a path of rediscovering my body now that I see it as truly mine — not a man’s plaything or a child’s source of nourishment.
I hesitated to even try the OM technique, which only lasts 15 minutes, because it is a couple’s practice, and I’m single. I tried it the first time and didn’t get much out of it, but that was completely my fault. After years of blended O’s, stimulating just the clit was weird, made even weirder because the fingering technique is not the hard and fast circles of friggin’ off women are so used to seeing in porn and doing on themselves. The OM touch is a gentle, subtle touch that I didn’t appreciate at first.
Clitoral orgasms are typically localized to the clitoral area, with an explosion that doesn’t leave any lasting orgasmic contractions the way vaginal orgasms do (for me, anyway). The clitoris is itself much more than just the “rosebud” visible from the outside. Also, after years of being on the vibration bandwagon thanks to effective marketing that makes women think “assisted” orgasms are better (they’re not), I had absolutely no feeling in my clit at all, unless I used a vibrator. My clit was dead. Having thrown my Hitachi Wand in the dumpster a year ago, I had to give my clit time to heal from the nerve damage while I began my new life as a Recovering Vibratoraholic. It was then I realized that by using a vibrator on my clit and a g-spot vibe inside to orgasm, I hadn’t actually touched my lady’s loins in a damn long time — this was exacerbated by my new life and new stresses as a single mother. The past year of bodily and orgasmic explorations brought me back in touch with the amazing textures, capabilities, and ever-changing environments of my genitals. I only WISH I’d known about OM-ing a year ago!
My second go with OM-ing was late at night, when I was in bed and generally feeling very Zen — i.e., lazy but not sleepy. I was too tired to drag out a toy and expend the energy that would entail, so it seemed to be the perfect time to try OM again. Thoroughly relaxed — a rarity for me, I allowed myself to have a goalless, non-attachment philosophy toward OM-ing. OM is simple and unpretentious, similar to how I like my sex. After all, OM is a technique to make orgasms better, not necessarily to orgasm at that moment — which was good because the thought of a lackluster clitoral orgasm wasn’t appealing. (I was tired, not crazy.)
I set the timer alarm on my phone for the requisite 15 minutes. As I lay there in the dark, with my nightly meditation CD playing, I began the finger technique on my clit — a very precise technique on an exact part of the clit — and began to have the most amazing sensations. Heat began to rise up from my clit and circulate like spirals of arousal energy snaking up my body and down my limbs. (You don’t have to subscribe to chakras and chi to get the benefits of this mojo either.)
I could have lived in this energy forever, and knowing I wasn’t trying for an orgasm seemed to take some pressure off, and before I knew it, a huge, full-body orgasm hit. My back arched, my legs kicked out, and I made my moans that I love so much. It was incredible. Actually, it was multiple. I kept up the precise fingering, and the wave/explosions kept hitting.
It was like having two separate experiences at once: #1: an in-body experience of the orgasms and feelings themselves, and #2: an out-of-body/observer experience that was shocked that I’d just had a full-body O via clit-only stimulation — and not the frantic circle stim either, but the soft, light, unassuming OM flick of the index finger across my long-unappreciated clitoris.
Then the 15-minute alarm sounded. I have never hated my phone more than at that moment!
The next surprise was the tears. Since finding my true orgasmic potential, my orgasms are always multiples, and the denouement is always emotional. The harder the gut-wrenching sobs, the stronger and more numerous the orgasms were. Crying after a clit-only session was definitely a new one for me!
Since then, my clit has been more responsive to touch and required less stimulation during my other orgasmic pursuits. I’m still learning about clitoral and vaginal orgasms and how they differ due to the different major nerves that feed feeling to the separate areas.
The only downside I can see to OM is that men may view it as yet another practice in which they do all the “work” while the woman gets all the “benefits.” These insecure men probably wouldn’t appreciate the subtle genius of OM anyway. ***NOTE: Since the clit and the head of a man’s penis are synonymous, I would theorize that the OM technique could be quite delicious on the man as well, just re-set the 15-minute timer. :) ***
Yes, OM recommends a particular set-up or sacred space called “the nest” to create atmosphere as well as comfort. It also requires a specific position for both the woman and her partner. However, I don’t like the idea of the man’s leg laying across the woman’s torso. For any woman who’s been sexually assaulted, this might bring up previous trauma.
The practice takes 15 minutes. But once the OM-ing is done, you can both hit the bed (or the diningroom table) and continue with the merry-making. And for those who are woo-woo-minded, Tantra and other sex practices acknowledge that it takes 15-30 minutes of stimulation to get a women fully aroused and in the multiple orgasm zone. OM-ing is a great way to spend that 15 minutes.
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