We interviewed Leon this week to help us understand what incorporating tantra looks like from the male perspective. 

Leon is in his early-30s and embarked on a Tantra voyage last year while he was single to bring more consciousness to his sex life.

Leon! How did you get into tantra?

Initially, I explored tantra when I was single with the intention that, if I found it good outside of a relationship then it could only lead to good things in one. I also wouldn't feel self-conscious stepping into 'woo' while my possibly skeptical partner is there thinking I'm a crackpot for dragging them along! It turned out I loved it, and learned enough to fumble an introductory workshop with my future partner.

 Have you ever bought up the topic of tantra with a new lover? 

I brought it up from week one inviting my partner along to a tantra workshop. She couldn't attend but it got the conversation started. I explained that for me, tantra is primarily about building connections emotionally, physically, sensually, 'energetically' and that I was interested in exploring that with her.

I spoke about my learnings of it, what I understood it to be, and what I really liked about it. I explained some of the practices (yab yum, eye gazing, and yoni massage, lingham massage). Nothing in tantra happens quickly, so there is always room for checking-in regularly without sensitivity to the context. 

My partner really loved the open dialogue and it helped to talk about pressure and touch, clearly articulating what we both liked. Even still, we've decided to do a weekend workshop later in the year.

How would you describe tantra to a curious friend?

I've had many friends ask me! I'd describe it as a series of tools that help us communicate better not just verbally but physically, sensually and 'energetically'. There are things that you don't realise you can do when only guiding your thoughts and your breath. I would also say that while tantra is frequently spoken about in a sexual context, it means 'to expand'. So the ideas flow from our sexuality to other areas of our life.

Another question I've received is: All the books I've looked at talk about hetero-centric tantra. If I'm gay does it still work?

Yes, absolutely. Tantra addresses male and female 'energies' in all of us. I've known gay guys to do courses and love it and also try it out with their partners!

(see our Erotic Lingham Massage Workshop coming up for non-gender-specific education)

What have you found the most challenging parts of learning tantra?

Vulnerability. I can't speak for all men, perhaps its a female thing too, but we're generally not taught that being completely submissive is okay. There are huge pressures to be responsible, powerful and in charge. Gender roles are changing but many are deeply entrenched - inside and outside the bedroom. Tantra teaches the flip-side that is equally important. Sometimes we can be completely in charge and other times we can absolutely let go and give full control to our partner.

Tantra doesn't place a great expectation on physical or intellectual strength, but it does require space and patience, something I think our modern lives don't really place a lot of value on. Expecting a 2-3 hour session on a whim, or on the regular, might be difficult. Planning is not as mood-killing as you might imagine, rather the opposite.

What have you found the most rewarding parts of learning tantra?

It taught me to be more perceptive.

It gave me a deeper understanding of what I like and the confidence to communicate this.

It gave me a deeper understanding of what my partner likes and knowing they have the language to tell me.

Not being goal oriented created space for subtleness when so much of our lives are built around things that must happen obviously and efficiently.

And lastly, I enjoy and appreciate the journey and breadth of sex more, that it does not always need to culminate in orgasm for me to feel nourished and satisfied.

Check out our range of tantric sex books here.
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