Gender, Sexuality, and Relationship Diversity (GSRD)
Content: Gender, sexuality, and relationships are all given a high level of importance in 21st century western culture. We’re generally asked to identify ourselves on the basis of our gender, sexual ‘orientation’, and relationship status on forms and on social media, and there are moral panics over those who step outside the perceived norm in any of these areas.
Understanding of GSRD
• Gender to refer to whether a person is a man or a woman.
• Sexuality to refer to whether they are straight or gay.
• Relationship to refer to forming a lifelong monogamous bond with a person of the opposite/same sex to whom you are both sexually and romantically attracted.
Who practice Tantra are called Tantrikas. They view “tantric energy” as a divine, all-encompassing life force that sleeps within the individual, permeates the universe, and affects everything they do from birth to death. As sexual beings, humans have the ability to raise that energy within themselves and use it to directly experience alternate states of consciousness.
It is generally believed that females are capable of having three types of orgasms-clitoral, vaginal, and blended–and males experience a single, more general type of orgasm. Tantra introduces a different type of orgasm available to both males and females–the “energy” or “heart” orgasm. Tantra preaches being “in your heart” at all times, meaning that you are aware of the positivity and erotic energy inside of yourself. The teachings suggest that it is possible to transform these blissful feelings into a full-body orgasmic state of being. Initially, Tantrikas experience this form of orgasm after prolonged sessions of tantric lovemaking, but with practice, they are able to bring themselves to this state using nothing but breathing and focus. No physical touch or ejaculation is necessary in this orgasmic phenomenon, often referred to as “thinking off.” This solo sexual experience can be incorporated into lovemaking with a partner, so the different types of orgasms merge, and the couple is able to transcend all previously experienced pinnacles of pleasure.
Wheel of Consent
The Wheel of Consent is an idea from the awesome sexologist and intimacy coach Betty Martin. I was introduced to the wheel of consent during my first tantra session by a good tantra teacher. So at Tantrism Sexualitatis the “wheel of consent” forms the a explosive understanding tantric sexuality.
So I thought I’d write a bit here to try and explain it because it can be complicated to get your head around. I’ll also say why I find it so helpful.
The art of Tantra teaches followers to revere their sexual partners and to transform the act of sex into a sacrament of love. Tantra places no moral judgment on sexual preferences. The focus is not on whom sexual acts are engaged but rather on how they are performed. Understanding consent during sex and sexual acts is import.
So taking the example of a kiss, here’s what it might be like in each of the quadrants:
Taking: ‘May I kiss you?’ you ask, and when they nod enthusiastically, you take their shoulders firmly in your hands, and press your lips up against theirs, invading their mouth with your tongue, feeling the heat and excitement rising up inside you.
Allowing: ‘May I kiss you?’ they ask, and when you whisper ‘yes’ they step towards you, tilting your head back and bringing their lips against yours. You open your mouth and let them take it over, knowing how much it’s arousing them to do so.
Serving: ‘Will you kiss me?’ they ask, blushing a little at their boldness. ‘Yes,’ you agree, moving slowly towards them in order to judge their response. You bring your lips against theirs, softly at first, tuning into their movements and breathing to judge how your kiss is being received. This is all about giving them pleasure. After kissing them for a while you pull back to check in. ‘How’s that?’ you ask. They flush further ‘Amazing… Please will you do it even harder…’
Accepting: ‘Will you kiss me?’ you ask. ‘Hell yes,’ is their immediate response: so keen to serve. They put their arms around you and begin to explore your mouth with their lips, tentatively at first. You make appreciative noises, and pull them into you, to show them exactly how you like it done.
Hopefully these examples illustrate both what it’s like to be in each of the zones and how consent works in them. I’ll now say a bit about four reasons why I find the wheel – and the three minute game that’s based on it – so useful. For me it’s about hotness, matching sexual preferences, self-consent, and other-consent.