Have you experienced the DEER-IN-HEADLIGHTS scenario when it comes to spicing up your sex life? You might feel overwhelmed by all the options, and frozen by the pressure to perform one of them perfectly.
But adventurous, fun and exciting sex can be messy, awkward, and even scary. Because of that, it takes a little bit of courage and a LOT of curiosity to create the sex life of your dreams.
We created Sex Adventure Monthly to help take the shock out of your sensual explorations … and expand the aaaawwwwweeee. Giving you options for exploring with your partner (and yourself) that excite your sex life, deepen your intimate connection, and vivify your sexual energy!
The Tantric Bathing Ritual
I was 17 when I experienced my first Tantric bathing ritual.
At that time in my life, I was fascinated by the world of sensual Tantra. I joined a super underground secret Tantra group that studied sensual applications of Ancient Tantra, Vama Marga.
Our little group was made up of about thirty individuals that lived all over the world. We were so scattered that the entire group had only a few opportunities throughout the year to get together. But a few of us lived clustered in the Bay Area. And so we would create these little micro-explorations and workshops whenever we had an opportunity.
One day, someone from the group asked me if I’d like to experience a Tantric bathing ritual. I excitedly said YES!
Bathing was always a joyful experience in my childhood. As a kid, I saw the bath as an extended playground where my friends and I would play for hours.
But what I would experience as an almost-grown-woman in a bathing ritual was something much more subtle and deep.
I followed her into the bathroom, pacing my steps to the sound of Tibetan monks chanting. The scent of frankincense, rose, and myrrh carried by the steam of the water wafted all around me. The tub was a regular-sized and not very big, but the water was sprinkled with clusters of bubbles that looked like little dollops of whipped cream and red rose petals. Candles lined the rim of the tub and created a beautiful, warm and flickering ambiance.
As I stepped in and reclined in the water, the first thing I noticed was the sensation of openness that washed over my entire body.
She waited for me to relax back, and then kneeled down on the outside of the tub and began gently massaging my hands, chest, breasts, shoulders, belly, legs, and inner thighs.
As she massaged me I went into a state of incredibly deep relaxation. And with each stroke and touch, she was breathing deep full breaths to remind me to breathe deeply, too. She visually guided my experience of relaxation deep inside of my body, prompting me to relax my clit, my vaginal canal, pelvic floor, my anus, and my ovaries.
I remember being surprised that by mentally requesting these areas to relax, they did! I was used to meditating and doing a lot of artistic expression, but the world of embodiment practice was still very new to me. This reminder to consciously relax unexplored areas of my body created a new kind of connection to my body that I hadn’t known before.
Using a pitcher, she poured water over my pelvis, my throat, my belly, and my heart center, inviting me to breathe deeply into those spaces.
As the bath went on, I felt swallowed up by the experience in a very blissful way. So much so that in the future I would dub my version of this experience, the Bliss Bath.
At that point in my life, I was delighted with my body. I was amused and honored to be touched. Every time someone touched me I reacted to the electricity inside their body and their hands, not the physical touch. My experience of sensuality was truly electric.
And that particular sense of building up electric sensation is part of the reason I appreciate the bath so much. The experience wasn’t about rubbing my clit, or poking inside of me, or trying to get me to climax. It was only about expanding sensation and electricity inside of my body in a subtle yet profound way, and every move was choreographed with relaxation in tandem to support the experience. There was no focus on a climax.
As a matter of fact, during the bath ritual, she warned me to stay within a reasonable scale of arousal, not to get too hot.
You see the bath is considered a transition ritual in Tantra. It’s not the entire experience, it’s the beginning of a new experience. The bath is meant to relax your nervous system and your muscles, and invite your body to open to whatever experience of sensation will be coming next.
The bath was also my first official encounter with consciously delaying my climax (the bath is the *perfect* playground for practicing delayed climax).
The bath is extremely beneficial for people who experience premature ejaculation, or for people who find it difficult to connect to the sensation of orgasm during sex.
The Tantric bath ritual is blissful, and I dare you to try it for yourself.
THE TANTRIC BATHING RITUAL (STEP-BY-STEP)
- Decide who will give and who will receive the bath. You can swap turns, but I don’t recommend doing this on the same day. If you choose to swap turns giving and receiving, schedule separate days for your bath experiences.
- Decide on a date and a time that the bath experience will take place. You can do the bath a la carte. But I recommend tacking it onto the beginning of a different and more intense sensual exploration where deep relaxation will be beneficial (that’s pretty much any sex experience!).
- Preparing the bath: Make sure the temperature of the water is perfect. Not too hot and not too cool. Sweating a little in the bath might be okay, but too much sweating can feel exhausting. So make sure you are very picky about the water temperature. Make any adjustments to the temperature after the receiver gets in the bath. Just ask what they would like, cooler or warmer. See the TIPS area for more info on what you can add to the bath, and bathroom ambiance.
- Positioning during the bath: The receiver should lie down comfortably. You can use a bath pillow, or use a rolled-up towel under the receiver’s neck to make it more comfortable and relaxing. Depending on the size of the tub, the giver can get into the bath, kneeling between the receiver’s legs. Or, the giver can kneel just outside of the bath.
- Begin by asking the receiver to close eyes and breathe deeply into their belly (you can put the flat of your palm on their belly to remind them where you want them to inhale into). Ask them to feel the sensation of the water and bubbles while they breathe. Ask them to focus on the scents. Then ask them to listen to the sound of their breath deep inside of the body.
- Then you can start massaging hands, shoulders, belly and upper thighs in whatever order you would like. I like to use salt scrub to scrub and massage the hands and upper chest. You can also use bath gel as a way to help you manipulate their body a little easier.
- Use the pitcher of water to pour water all over the body. Pour one full pitcher of water over each area: base of the throat, the heart center (between the nipples), the upper belly, the upper pelvis, and the genitals. Pour a few more times in different ways over the genitals.
- Continue by feeling your partner’s body all over. Notice any places that feel tense and help bring awareness to those spaces with your touch and deep breathing. Just keep allowing the receiver to move deeper and deeper into relaxation.
- In and out of this focus on relaxation stimulate the receiver’s genitals by gently sliding your palms over. Don’t specifically touch her clit or the tip of his penis. Indirectly touch those places so the focus can remain all over the body.
- Next, ask the receiver to slowly sit up. If you weren’t in the tub before, this is a great time to enter the tub with the receiver. Gently wash and massage the back. Then massage and scrub the back with salt scrub. Rinse by pouring water over the neck and back.
- Lastly, as the giver, lie back and ask the receiver to lie against your body. Now ask the receiver to relax their breath, and you match your breath with their breath. Breathe together like this for about 5 full minutes. Then it’s time to exit the tub.
- As you exit, have a warm bath towel ready. Ask the receiver to stand, and you gently dry their entire body.
TANTRIC BATH RITUAL TIPS
- Ambiance, ambiance, ambiance. The ambiance of this experience is SUPER important.
- Make sure to have the right lighting. Consider using candles instead of overhead artificial lighting.
- Consider the smells. Make sure your bathroom (toilet, sink, floors and especially the tub) is clean. Use scented candles, incense, and/or essential oils in the bath to create lovely smells.
- What sounds will the receiver hear? You want to make sure that the receiver can hear your breath and your voice above whatever background music you have playing. Low or no percussion music is best. Meditative music.
- What kind of texture? Bubbles, flower petals, salt scrub, pouring water are all ways to create more texture in the experience.
- What kind of sensations are you going to offer? Plan out the different kinds of sensations you can explore during the bath. Consider what kind of strokes you will use. Will you use your nails? What place will you massage, and how will you manipulate the different parts of the receiver’s body?
- Don’t stare at the receiver’s face. It’s awesome to observe the receiver’s body throughout the experience because, as the giver, you want to notice any places that look like they are holding on to something … tension (see below). But be careful not to stare directly at the receiver’s face searching for facial expressions that give you a clue as to how they are feeling. Give them a little privacy during this ritual by focusing on feeling into the body, not staring at the face.
- Focus on YOUR EXPERIENCE as a giver, as much as possible. It’s funny, but the more you focus on how their body feels to you, how it relaxes and opens to your touch, and how much you enjoy the connection, the more pleasurable the experience is for the receiver, too. So take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy your experience and the creativity that you’re sharing.
- Observe tense places … and relax them. Focus on tense places a little extra, and remind the receiver to breathe deeply into them and relax them.
- Remind the receiver to breathe regularly, deep, full belly breathing. A deep and full breath is a precursor to pleasure sensation. If you’re not familiar with why breathing is important and how to do it, feel free to check out this blog post we wrote about orgasmic breathing.
- Genital stimulation ONLY if it’s relaxed. It’s super easy to become overly focused on genitals during the bath. Just remember that orgasmic climax is absolutely NOT A GOAL DURING THE BATH. Instead, include genital stimulation to help enhance all the other sensations happening during the bath. Don’t overly focus on genitals or the bath ceremony will lose its integrity and purpose. Remember, it’s purpose is as a transition ritual, not the means to an end.
UNIVERSAL SENSUAL LESSONS + TECHNIQUES
In Tantric bath ritual, one person gives and the other receives. This, very specifically, creates polarity which then feeds sexual energy and attraction! Notice how desire builds up in your body as you go through your bath experience.
TOTAL CONTROL THROUGH RELAXATION
The idea that the more efficiently you are able to let go of something (this could be anything: muscle, thought, belief, judgment, idea, framework, relationship, etc.) the more control you have, and the stronger you are.
Tantric truth: strength is measured by one’s ability to completely relax and let go.
So this means that being able to experience your greatest potential, sexually or otherwise, is directly connected with your ability to let go in that area of your life (or in that part of your body).
Relaxation is the physical form of this. But cognitive flexibility is also a form of this: being able to let go of one framework in order to replace it with another (or, create another). Neuroplasticity is another form of this.
The physical ability to relax against a muscle’s desire to contract. In the pelvic region, this is sometimes called, barring down. Again, your ability to relax a muscle efficiently equals your strength in that muscle. More efficient relaxation, stronger muscle.
A conscious practice that supports the separation of the climaxes of orgasm and ejaculation. When delayed climax is practiced it helps to create more powerful orgasmic sensation, and a deeper connection to one’s body and sensation (in general).
DEEP BELLY BREATHING
The kind of breath that expands the belly and upper pelvis on the inhale and relaxes back to a neutral position on the exhale. Deep belly breathing promotes expanded blood flow and BIGGER pleausure!
Other than a bathtub (on the larger side is better), here are a few suggestions for supplies. You may consider
- Essential oils: use a few high-quality essential oils that you love the smell of and incite relaxation.
- Bath gel is particularly useful to massage with.
- Bubble bath: Bubbles make the bath more inviting and fun somehow as they provide a different texture.
- Flower Petals: Roses are lovely, but flowers of all kinds work great. Lavender blossoms are also lovely in the bath.
- Bath salts: You can use pink bath salts, regular salts, whatever you like. Bath salts make the water a little more slippery so it’s easier to massage and manipulate the body.
- Salt scrub: I like making my own salt scrub with sea salt, almond oil and essential oils. But you can purchase nice salt scrub almost anywhere. Be mindful that the ingredients are all-natural.
- A large pitcher that will be easy and comfortable to lift when it’s filled with water. Be cautious about using glass in a bathing ceremony. Use plastic, preferably, for safety.
- Soft music: Meditative music is really nice during the bath, it helps the receiver get even deeper into relaxation.
- A bath pillow or a rolled-up towel under the neck (not too bulky).
- Candles: scented candles are nice, but make sure they are not too overpowering (and make sure they are natural). Votives and tealights are nice.