Advice

Sex Advice From Tantric Buddhists

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Douglas, 60 

What has being a Tantric Buddhist taught you about sex and dating? 
Sex can be a way to realize the natural openness of bliss beyond conception and attachment. Dating is a kind of foreplay to arouse yourself and your partner, which will intensify your mutual experience of bliss. 
 
What’s the best reason to date a Tantric Buddhist? 
You will be able to experience the ultimate sexual experience and spiritual realization. 
 
What’s the best way to pick up a Tantric Buddhist? 
You should take Buddhist refuge and Bodhisattva vows, receive "awakened mind" instructions from your guru, complete the preliminary Vajrayana practices and begin to do a Yab-Yum visualization practice. In addition, you should have a karmic link with your potential consort and be open and compassionate and full of passion. 
 
My boyfriend and I come from different spiritual backgrounds. While I don’t see this as a dealbreaker, what’s frustrating to me is the way he keeps trying to get me to come to all his church events, when I’ve already told him I’m not interested. Should I just bite my tongue and tag along or stand my ground and risk having a huge argument? 
Why waste time with him? Life is short, and you won’t be young and attractive forever. 

My ex-girlfriend and I are super-close, and it's driving my current girlfriend crazy. I've tried my best to reassure her that nothing's going on, but every time I hang out with my ex, my girlfriend grills me when I get home. Do I have to stop seeing my ex? 
If you want to keep your ex in your life and keep your current girlfriend too, somehow they will have to become friends. Introduce them; they might just have a great time together talking about you.

My boyfriend and I have been together for five years and things have gotten a little monotonous in the bedroom. What’s the best way to liven things up? 
Make a special time with each other, bathe together, drink some wine, and tell each other how much you love each other. 
 
My new boyfriend is an awful kisser. I really want to keep dating him, but it’s gotten to the point where I avoid anything more than a closed-mouth kiss. How do I teach him to kiss the way I like? 
Just be direct and tell him and show him exactly what you want. Be patient and give him a little practice time. I find this is good advice to a woman who wants anything from her man. Men are teachable, and explicit instruction is usually the most effective.

Julia, 26 

What has being a Tantric Buddhist taught you about sex and dating? 
It’s made me realize that you can’t use either sex or dating for comfort. When you practice being open to emotions, it becomes contradictory to be dishonest in even the subtlest ways – with yourself or with others. All of your motives become transparent. 
 
What’s the best reason to date a Tantric Buddhist? 
They’re using everything as practice and if you’re both on the same spiritual path it’s a really magical and intense way of getting constant feedback and remaining open. Nothing is considered a waste and relating with obstacles really enriches your practice and view altogether. 
 
What’s the best way to pick up a Tantric Buddhist? 
At a retreat or after a practice session when everyone’s all blissed out. You’re less hesitant, you see clearer, and you're inspired to remain settled in a raw and open energetic space, so your interactions are more genuine and less full of conventional conditional bullshit.  
 
Is the sex better if you’re a Tantric Buddhist?
 
Yes. You can use any emotion or experience as part of the spiritual path. Meditation practice puts you acutely in tune with your body and humanness and less in your head. 
 
I recently signed up for an online-dating site and while I was browsing the profiles of women in my area, I came across a profile for my best friend’s girlfriend. Should I go to her first, just tell my friend and let them work it out? 
I think it depends on the personalities involved, their relationship, and your relationship to them. I think you find out who your true friends are when you’re honest, but I would tell my friend before approaching his girlfriend. 
 
My boyfriend and I have been together for five years and things have gotten a little monotonous in the bedroom. What’s the best way to liven things up? 
What? Monogamy gets monotonous? Talk about opening up your relationship, inviting someone else into the bedroom, or each going on your own to a bathhouse, then sharing your experience. If you do, pinky swear on some ground rules and to be honest about where you’re at. On the other hand, bedroom politics often reflect how you’re feeling out of the bedroom. Make sure your body isn’t just in tune with your intelligence and shutting down because of some unresolved issue. Resolving an issue openly with mutual respect can inject awesome energy into your sex life. 
 
I'm embarrassed to have my parents meet my current boyfriend. He's very artistic, flamboyant, and doesn't censor herself. While I love this about him, I'm afraid it will rub my conservative parents the wrong way. My boyfriend really wants to meet them, soon. What should I do? 
Bottom line: your ‘rents aren’t dating your boy. Don’t torture yourself by thinking you can own their feelings for each other. Get them together and try striking up conversation that will flatter both parties or expose things they have in common. Better yet, do something that is a bonding activity as opposed to sitting around and talking.

My ex-girlfriend and I are super-close and it's driving my current girlfriend crazy. I've tried my best to reassure him that nothing's going on, but every time I hang out with my ex, my girlfriend grills me when I get home. Do I have to stop seeing my ex? 
Sometimes we dislike most what we don’t know. Suggest you all hang out together to get rid of the privacy aspect and show your girlfriend how much you love her in front of your ex. There’s nothing to hide, right? In the end, sometimes you just can’t have your cake and eat it too. Have some compassion for your girlfriend and how painful it feels to be jealous, but tell her how the grilling makes you feel.  
 
My new boyfriend is an awful kisser. I really want to keep dating him, but it’s gotten to the point where I avoid anything more than a closed-mouth kiss. How do I teach him to kiss the way I like? 
Ugh, that’s the worst. The only way to deal with this successfully is to instruct in the moment. Say, “kiss me ___er,” or just do it to him! I’ve found more often than not that guys are happy to switch things up or to discover what is pleasing to you.

Nyima, 25

What’s the best reason to date a Tantric Buddhist? 
Buddhists may be just as likely to go off on delusional ego-trips as anyone else, but they're much more likely to come back. With Tantric Buddhists, you'll find a lot less fear of touching on the scary places in each others’ lives. If you can work through your fear of being touched that way, it offers a safe place to have deep sexual dialogue, lovingly indulge in each other's kinks, push boundaries that need to be pushed, and my personal favorite, burst out laughing during sex.  
 
Is the sex better if you’re a Tantric Buddhist? 
That depends on how you define better, doesn't it? In Tantra, like in foundational Buddhism, we are trying to see things as they nakedly are, and in Tantra we further work to not be afraid of the intense energies in life. Sex and relationships are intense, and they can often spin us out of our right minds. If better sex means having the Ripley’s Believe it or Not orgasm, then I don't think a Tantric person has a leg up (or a leg down) on anyone else. But if you consider sex as an experiment in exploring yourself and others without fear of the possibilities and energies that will arise, then I'd say that sex with, or as, a Tantric person can be much better. 

I recently signed up for an online-dating site and while I was browsing the profiles of women in my area, I came across a profile for my best friend’s girlfriend. Should I go to her first, just tell my friend and let them work it out?
Don't make trouble. You have no idea what is going on here. Maybe they're looking for a third together. Maybe she hasn't used that account since she and your friend got together. Maybe, if you’re taking to just her, mention it in a way that isn't an attack on her. That may be helpful, at least to calm your own bubbling imagination. But if you go in to this with the belief that she has already done something "unfaithful," then you're going to just find pain and drama. Avoid witch hunts. 
 
I'm sort of embarrassed to have my parents meet my current boyfriend. He's very artistic, flamboyant, and doesn't censor herself. While I love this about him, I'm afraid it will rub my conservative parents the wrong way. I want to hold off on introducing them, but I don't want to piss off my boyfriend. What should I do?
Will it really piss him off? It sounds like you are sure that it will affect you parents, and that it may or may not affect your boyfriend. That seems an easy choice. Not every relationship needs to be the same. Some people you bring home to mom and dad, and some you just don't. I went out with someone for several years once, and only saw her parents for more than thirty seconds two or three times, and I'm sure it was for the best. Part of me felt a little hurt, but I understood that it wasn't about me, it was about her relationship to her parents, and that that was more important then me feeling confirmed every moment of my life. 
  
My new boyfriend is an awful kisser. I really want to keep dating him, but it’s gotten to the point where I avoid anything more than a closed-mouth kiss. How do I teach him to kiss the way I like? 
This is something that you need to act on now. If you tell him weeks or months from now, he will really be hurt. On the other hand, if you engage this now, it could be a wonderful litmus test for communicative compatibility. The only other thing I would encourage is to avoid framing the conversation as "you're a bad kisser and we need to fix you." Then you create a fun space where you can tell him that you really like someone kissing you firmly/softly/not-like-a-dog/etc. 
  
I’m in my first lesbian relationship and I’m totally in love. The only thing is, when we first started dating, my girlfriend and I decided to keep things open. Now, I’m so into her I don’t want to share her with anyone else. How can I ask her to be monogamous? 
Contemplate whether digging your heels in and giving an ultimatum is actually helpful. I have been in open relationships with a partner who doesn't want to be with anyone else. In our case, she knew I wanted to be with other people, and that I didn't want to do anything to hurt her. First, there were other partners, which were disclosed immediately. Then, we brought other women in to our bedroom, which kept us away from leading double-lives. In the end, we were almost entirely monogamous, with just a few exceptions here and there. If my girlfriend had said that she wouldn't stand for me to be with anyone else, she would have never seen a time where we were together monogamously, and I would have foolishly lost her. I'm grateful that she made the space for something to take shape. Jolly good luck!