Tantra has been the target of a lot of misconceptions in the last century. Imported from India into the western world, it was quite difficult to present it in its true spirit because of the cultural differences and also because of its somehow confusing exterior aspects. Many believe that Tantra has a lot to do with group sex and magic; and to many Tantra represents just another weird sexual practice and nothing more.
In fact they couldn’t be further from the truth and they have no idea what they are missing. It is true that some Tantric practices involve lovemaking but lovemaking is not the only goal of Tantra and it is not its finality. In fact in Tantra, love is much more important than sex and lovemaking without love has nothing to do with its ways.
An ancient Tantric maxim says that “What made many others fall because of their lack of self control, can make the Tantric advance on his spiritual path. What is for some people a vice, the Tantric can turn into a virtue”. Lovemaking was banished by many religions because they considered it as impure and incompatible with the pursuits of a spiritual life. On the other hand, Tantra takes a different approach here : it says that uncontrolled sex is a cause of decay BUT the use of sexuality in a controlled manner, in accordance with the golden rule of SEXUAL CONTINENCE is a way to make great spiritual progress.
Yes, not every kind of sexuality is damaging for spiritual evolution, only sex followed by ejaculation and respectively an explosive discharge in the case of women. This is a radical attitude because it turns lovemaking from an enemy of spiritual life into a friend. Instead of running from it, Tantra embraces it.
As you know, by seeing lovemaking as impure many religions created a state of unnecessary tension. Lovemaking is a natural act, it is a basic need for any human being; the role of sexual continence and Tantra is to remedy this situation by showing how both sexuality and spirituality can coexist and enhance one another.
In Tantra the sexual potential (i.e. sperm and sexual secretions) are considered a vast energy source. This energy is clearly perceived by anyone when he/she is sexually aroused, it comes as the sensation of sexual pleasure. The transformation of the sexual potential into energy is called transmutation.
When transmutation of sexual fluids takes place, matter is converted into energy. We all know that basically all matter is energy (Einstein said that E=mc^2, remember?). A huge amount of energy is compressed in each atom, each electron and photon – but Tantra says that humans can tap into this extraordinary source at will if they follow a correct and constant practice.
The practice of sexual continence is not that easy but we all know that no valuable achievement in life is easy to come by. Tantra can be a real pleasure but still, you have to work for it and this is a demanding undertaking. However, the end results are beyond any imagination.
Imagine a nuclear plant. In the reactors, matter is converted into energy, then transformers are used to convert this energy and wires are used to transport it anywhere there is a need for it. The same process, analogically, happens in the human body. The SEXUAL FLUIDS are the source, the NADIS are the paths for the energy through the subtle body, and the destinations are the seven plans of the human being : vital, sexual, willpower-related, emotional, creative, mental and spiritual, as described by the yoga system.
When you practice SEXUAL CONTINENCE consecutively for at least a month you will start to perceive great positive effects in your body. Your health will be improved and your vitality will be at its peak. You will be full of a radiant force and constantly be in a very good mood. All your complexes and fears related to sexuality will be banished and you will feel completely free. When making love, you can make it last many hours on end without ever becoming exhausted. After making love you won’t feel tired and drained of energy any more but you will experience exactly the opposite – a very powerful inner force. After making love you will not be less affectionate to your lover but you will feel a deep state of love which will deepen with each Tantric sexual encounter.
Practicing sexual continence will make your loved one very happy, even if she does not practice sexual continence herself (and this is true for both sexes). You will quickly find your lost happiness that you had in the beginning of your relation and any feelings of boredom and loss of interest will disappear.
But the biggest advantage of sexual continence is the use of sexual energy as a power that will amplify your feelings of love, your mental power, your will, and ultimately, your spiritual force. This is why Tantra uses sexual energy instead of letting it be wasted, turning a potential enemy into the greatest of allies.
Everybody wants to be happy – this is the ultimate wish of any human being, but problems appear when people try to define happiness. What is happiness for some is indifference or even suffering for others. Even if all seems relative, the spiritual paths found out that some types of happiness are more enduring and profound than others. With regard to sexuality, Tantra found that sexual continence is the way to achieve the deepest most enduring happiness in a couple.
The relation between Tantra and lovemaking is not one of sweet comfortable abandon but one of hard work, knowing that the end result is worth every effort.