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I Did It For Science: Tantric Sex
HWSDI: How would Sting do it?
By Grant Stoddard
To enrich the sensual awareness, sexual well-being and pleasure of me and my partner, vis-à-vis the principles of tantric sex.
State your hypothesis in the form of a prediction that can be verified by the results of the experiment.
When I think "tantra," I think hokey Eastern mysticism, I think myopic retirees sporting kimonos and ponytails. I think instructional videos featuring people who look like your parents sitting cross-legged with their partners, smiling moronically at each other in the forest. I think of Ian from High Fidelity, I think of Steven Seagal. I think of gallons of unnaturally stifled seminal fluid welling up into the bloodstream of the tantric male, poisoning his brain and making him wear hemp and patchouli. Nevertheless, some tantra devotees look smug enough to make me think that maybe the stigma is a construct designed to deter weekenders like me. (I mean, how could a small minority of Californian fiftysomethings be wrong?)
Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).
Tantra instructor (Italian, radiant)
In this portion of your report, you must describe step-by-step what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.
Sting, the rocker turned pompous Muzak god, famously boasted that he could have tantric sex for seven hours. I can't imagine what would be worse: being trapped under a sweaty Sting in a candlelit room, the sounds of pan-pipes heightening your senses for an afternoon — or listening to Fields of Gold on repeat for the same duration. Both could result in feelings of being intimately violated. But to his credit, Sting, in a rare show of humility, made one of the most memorable rock-star retractions of all time. Years later, he said those seven hours "included dinner and a movie."
I met my girlfriend, Erica, in early February. After swapping information about what we did for a living, the conversation swiftly moved, as it tends to, to weird sexual shit "that I really ought to try." Turns out Erica was curious about tantric sex. "Do you know about it?" she asked. I was about to launch into a routine about how utterly ridiculous — not to mention time-consuming — I thought it was, when she said, "I think it's so hot — just teasing the fuck out of each other for hours!" Now, bear in mind I was doing my best to get this girl's number. "Oh sure," I said. "I've been meaning to give that a whirl for ages."
So I got the number, we started dating, and soon I was on the trail of Tantra practitioners. One of the first organizations I approached was Butterfly Workshops, a.k.a. "The place where people fly." Its founder, Laurie Handlers, spent forty-five minutes on the phone with me, explaining tantra in the most abstract sense possible. She suggested I attend her "Ecstasy Workshop," a four-day extravaganza held somewhere in the ass-end of Virginia. There, in a cabin in the wilderness, couples harness their chakras and become "Gods and Goddesses." (In the email invitation, Laurie encourages attendees to bring their own "God and Goddess wear" like "Mayan pants, a vest, a headdress or a crown." Another cryptic suggestion: "We recommend that you take this time before the course to cleanse yourself. This is not mandatory, but staying away from some of your particular "hot button" substances might be a good way to prepare yourself for experimenting with no time, no space, no gravity.") As intrigued as I was by the prospect of defying time, space and gravity — while trying not to bust ass — as I talked to Laurie, it became apparent that no actual boning was going to occur. From the few bits of information you didn't have to be high to understand, I gathered that her course was about capturing sexual energy and using it for other stuff. Presumably vacuuming, yard work, advanced trig, etc.
My assignment was to have tantric sex. After a few more chats with Tantra buffs, I found an instructor based in nearby Queens: Carla Tara from Tantra New York . She offered me a discount for a two-hour session, with one requirement: that I be a "good, honest person." She would determine this, she told me, by looking into my eyes.
The next Thursday after work, Erica and I got on the train and made our way into deepest, darkest Queens County. We turned up a half hour early in a part of Queens so Irish, Conan O'Brien would be described as "swarthy" by the locals. After a quick beer to steady our nerves, we jumped into a gypsy cab for the final leg of our journey. Our destination: enlightenment. Even though this whole procedure was Erica's idea, she was starting to express some reservations. "Will she touch us?", she asked nervously. "Will we have sex right there in front of her?" As I understood it, the session would involve actual sex between me and Erica — not us and Mother Earth, Odin or any other heavenly deity. But other than that, I was pretty much in the dark.