Yes, You Can Have Tantric Sex By Yourself

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Despite its overblown reputation as Sting's favorite bedroom pastime, tantric sex is about more than marathon orgasms and sustained, seemingly pointless, eye contact. By prioritizing sensory pleasure and emotional release over instant gratification, tantric principles frame sex as spiritual act, one that will make you feel more aware of your own body, both in and out of the bedroom. "It's bigger than sex, and it's more expansive than getting off or scratching an itch," says tantric embodiment coach Maisha Najuma Aza.
When practiced with an open mind and heart, tantric sex can lead to better communication, a deeper connection between you and your partner, and, yes, better sex over all. But, as beneficial (and very fun) as tantric sex can be with another person, you can adopt a similar practice all on your own. And, given how personal tantra can be, certain aspects of it are actually well-suited to a solo session.
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"Tantra, to me, is about being conscious of your connection to your soul, your body, and your connection to love," says Aza. She adds that tantric practices involve mindfulness, self-awareness, and a willingness to listen to how one's body responds to touch and sensation.
In other words, tantric sex is an exploratory process that takes a lot of time — and at its heart lies a need to be in touch with yourself and how you experience pleasure. Incorporating tantric elements into your masturbation routine can be an excellent step toward better understanding who you are as an erotically embodied being, as Aza puts it.
And, given how personal this practice can be, there's no one-size-fits-all guide to tantric masturbation. "Each person is different and they will each need something different given their unique erotic constitution," Aza says. If you really want a personal set of recommendations, you'll need to make an appointment with tantric consultant (for what it's worth, Aza offers sessions in person and via Skype).
That said, if you're a total beginner, and you're ready to dip your toe into the deep, luxurious waters of tantra, Aza offers a few tips to get you started. Read on to learn more about tantric masturbation and how it can take your self-love to whole new heights.
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Think about your goals.

"Your intentions make a difference," Aza says. Do you want to build more body confidence? Do you want to pinpoint your most powerful orgasm? Are you just trying to get more comfortable with masturbating in general? You don't have to set a hard and fast goal if all you want to do is play, but having a general end result in mind can help direct your actions and choices (or, at the very least, what kind of lube you pick).
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Set the mood.

Sure, a scented candle and comfy bed are no-brainer elements of a pleasant masturbation experience, but you can get even more specific, says Aza. "Ask yourself, 'What kind of atmosphere do I need in order to deeply connect with myself for this delicious and pleasurable time?'" That means no detail is too small, from locking your door to choosing the right music to turning off you phone. Consider how you might make this a great experience for all of your senses — and how you can ensure you won't be interrupted.
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Experiment.

"Masturbation is absolutely not just about giving yourself a hand when no-one is available," Aza says. This is your chance to explore, and to take note of what you find most stimulating or downright fun. Feel free to test out a few different types of sex toys or get to know your body's various erogenous zones. There's no "wrong" way to go about masturbation and, as Aza says, it can be an opportunity to deepen your relationship with yourself and your body.
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Let loose.

Masturbation is the last activity where you should censor yourself. Don't worry about that face you make when you orgasm or how squeaky your mattress is. This process of self-exploration will ask you to leave your inhibitions behind (or at least set them aside for a little while). And Aza says embracing your whole self — sexy-funny sounds and all — will have major benefits: "Giving yourself permission to explore yourself, your moans, your orgasms, your pleasure, your erotic power opens your life up to more dimensions of yourself."
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Stick with it.

"You never stop learning about yourself," Aza says. "Learning more about our sexual selves, needs, and desires helps us grow and has the potential to change our feelings and views about sex and sexuality." So, keep an open mind and allow your body to surprise you. You don't have to utilize tantric principles every single time you want to masturbate, but maintaining that mindset will only allow more opportunities for self-discovery and, ultimately, more pleasure.
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