The Dangerous Reality That is ‘Tantra’

I’ve reached a boiling point with the ‘Tantric’ discussion. It’s time for a conversation of awareness and self care to awaken in society. Somehow we’ve come to idolize Porn Stars as the epitome of what it is to be a human being. Porn Stars as human beings are people and their choice is theirs I don’t shame them for it. What I’m speaking to is the sex addiction in our society that we have come to praise the sex industry as if it is a symbol of freedom and sexual empowerment or even the ultimate way to be. It is neither, nor is it even original. The sex industry in my experience is a black hole of pain that hurts people yet exists as a bandaid in society for what I believe we all contribute to in our own unconsciousness.

So called ‘Tantra’ which is not actually Tantra it is the bastardization of an ancient tradition that I myself am not schooled in. Listening to those who have actually been schooled in Tantra and are pure in knowledge and coming from my own experience in the sex industry, what I see being paraded as ‘Tantra’ is nothing more than very sneaky porn.

What’s even a bit more twisted is the flowery language and gaslighting that is being used in the name of ‘spirituality’ in the ‘Tantric’ conversation. Often in the name of the ‘goddess’. Primarily men are spoken to as if they are not good enough for women and they must be fixed to serve women. The sacred masculine is hardly if ever addressed and when he is, it is only to shame him for ‘patriarchy’ and somehow he must atone for his seemingly original sin of being born male. It is done with much bravado and in the guise of ‘helping men’ to be ‘better lovers’ while completely dismissing the hearts of men and that men are full beings beyond their bodies. These ‘Tantric’ conversations feign caring about men and making men happy when actually they treat men as a tool to make women happy and disregard their own happiness. It doesn’t ’empower’ male sexuality, it dominates male sexuality. Only men can say what feels right for them sexually and not just sexually, from their hearts. Enough of the conversations that objectify men for their sex while ignoring their hearts. It’s a violation of their boundaries and a man’s ‘No’ matters. His boundaries matter. Men are not here to ‘serve the goddess’, which is a paraphrased way of saying to ‘serve women’ as if men’s needs do not also matter. A man’s needs matter, he matters, his heart matters. His ‘No’ matters. Men your sexuality is not lacking for being a male, your sexuality is important and beautiful as is your heart, mind and soul. I honor all that you are. You are not just a body to be objectified and I am sorry that as a society we have fallen behind on honoring you in all of your glory. I see a change on the horizon, however.

As for the ‘Tantric’ approach towards woman, it relies heavily on shaming women for not wanting to have their sexual boundaries violated. These ‘Tantric’ retreats shame women who do not want to be naked in front of people or groups or have their bodies touched or filmed for the sake of ‘education’. These ‘Tantric teachers’ use the word ‘wounding’ to refer to women who do not wish to be naked, touched, or have group sex. As if they must ‘graduate’ to their sexual freedom by having sex with or performing sexually in front of a crowd. The amount of pressure and shame that is placed on these women for not getting naked and the wounding that leaves on them is abusive. There is nothing wrong with a woman saying ‘No’ to taking her clothes off. No one can measure a woman’s sexual empowerment. That is the woman’s choice and hers alone. Her boundaries matter. It is completely healthy to not want to get naked in front of a group of strangers. That’s healthy and very normal and yet we in our society treat it as if it’s the opposite. Women, you are not ‘wounded’ for saying ‘No’. You are not ‘wounded’ for trusting your boundaries including your sexual boundaries. You are not less than sexually or otherwise for keeping your clothes on and I am so sorry as a society we have told you otherwise. I include myself and the part I’ve played in leaving women questioning their sexual wholeness for not choosing to divulge their bodies to strangers. You are beautiful just as you are right now in this moment and I honor you in your entirety.

These ‘Tantric retreats’ are on the rise.

Men and women who have returned from said retreats after the high dies down often are left feeling violated for doing things in the ‘tantric retreat’ environment they would not have done otherwise. Such is the disregard for the individual outside of the ‘Tantric Guru’s desire to fulfill their own personal fantasies. There are those who have committed suicide after these retreats. This is a very serious matter.

The honeyed words that are used by ‘Tantrics’ to really get into the persons head to manipulate them quickly shifts into gaslighting and pressure to be ‘sexually free’. This is the catch phrase used in our society to promote violation of one’s boundaries. Sexual freedom does not mean having sex with a group of people, or getting naked in front of people. It is extremely rare this is the case for a human being. Most of what is being shown in society as ‘sexual freedom’ is actual sexual repression and sexual addiction. I was a sex addict and there is nothing ‘sexually free’ about it, quite the opposite. It’s like a noose around the neck. It’s an addiction. In my sexual freedom right now I acknowledge my boundaries, tenderness, connect with my own energy, self love and self care regardless of the times I am sexually active or not. There is no self care in sexual addiction. Sexual addiction for me was also a body disconnect. I was so disconnected from my body that whatever I did sexually was ‘OK’. Sexual addiction was sexual repression as I was not being authentic in my sexuality, I was disconnected and not being present with myself or the person I was with. Having lots of sex does not equate to sexual freedom. I was repressed in that I could not be with my sexual energy and I was avoiding my sexual energy by acting out what I thought sexual freedom meant. But it was a painful act and I did not get to actually relate with my own sexual energy. In my sexual addiction I was actually running away from my sexual energy. The hyper sex drive also had fear infused in it. Fear of sex so hurry up, have it, run away and pretend all of that was ‘fun’ or ‘wild’ to try and prove to myself I was free. There is no freedom in sexual addiction. 

I’m not a therapist and I believe my sexual addiction was rooted from the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. With therapy and self care I now have healthy boundaries, self worth and self value and just would not get naked in front of strangers. Nor would I allow anyone to touch my body for even so called ‘sexual education’, nor would I go to one of these ‘Tantric retreats’ and watch other people do this. In the sex industry I violated a lot of relationships by giving space for the person to cheat, both men and women. I had to face that in myself and get honest with the space I created. In all of this I was unconsciously hurting myself and drank heavily to numb myself to the fact I was violating my own boundaries. I also left women questioning themselves for not doing what I did, as if they were not capable women or as if they were not sexy for not being nude in front of strangers. I supported men feeling like they had to pay for kindness and the appearance of intimacy. I left men in pain and addicted to coming back to see me for a temporary ‘fix’ from their pain. Ultimately after all the money they spent I just left men feeling lonely.

I healed my sex addiction and now feel whole and at peace within myself. I am the woman that would be called ‘wounded’ by one of these ‘Tantric gurus’ when in fact I have actually come to a place of healthy boundaries, self care and self love. I would be called ‘wounded’ for saying ‘No’ to showing my naked body, for saying ‘No’ to group sex, for saying ‘No’ to being filmed and touched. I would be shamed as ‘wounded’ for coming to a place of health within myself but I would have been heralded for staying a sex addict and hurting myself. I would have been praised for taking actions rooted in my sexual abuse as a child. Do you see? This is exactly the twisted fallacy I am speaking of that is used to shame women and men to see themselves as ‘broken’ when actually they are taking very good care of themselves and value themselves and their boundaries.
Please take care and trust your own wholeness and what feels right for you. I was in the sex industry for over a decade and I can share that these ‘Tantric’ retreats are just as dangerous and abusive. These ‘Tantrics’, are doing the opposite of what a good therapist could achieve. There are sexual therapists- and as in anything one needs to weed out those who shame or objectify male and female sexuality- who are actually equipped to support people in sexual discovery. Sexual therapists who are trained in their field to support a person as an individual and support their sexual boundaries in ways that are healthy for the individual. These ‘Tantric teachers’ do not take the time to be with each individuals needs, they have a cookie cutter way of approaching sexuality and dismiss all others as ‘wounded’. Which is a farce that I have just shined a light on here.

Men and women, you are sacred. Mind, body, heart and soul. Your boundaries are beautiful. Trust yourself. You are a treasure. Please be safe, I implore you.

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16 thoughts on “ The Dangerous Reality That is ‘Tantra’

  1. Great article. My general understanding was that Tantra was a way of building energy, or Qi, if you will, to be used for a variety of other spiritual rituals. I’d read that Tantra was even applied to reduce a connection to the physical, as such. Intimacy was the means, but not quite the goal; the energy was banked to be used for other purposes.

    I smell more postmodernist deconstruction here, for reasons I’m sure you’re quite aware of and have more than sufficiently stated- besides ‘serve women’ (as postmodernists feel men have been served enough), the implication is ‘Eastern ways are superior to that of the West’. Textbook stuff.

    And that’s the paradox, I think. I was thinking how Isaac Newton reportedly redirected his libido to avoid distraction and detraction from his studies, to keep that energy there. He did dabble in mysticism and pseudoscience; as historians have noted of late. Not all pure reason (probably to the chagrin of the Realists), but I say it because it really does seem like even more postmodernist deconstruction of the Enlightenment. Never mind if Newton was following a similar path of Tantric yogis in celibately banking libido energy- he was a white man, and guilty of imperialism, patriarchy, etc., the things contemporary postmodernists rail so fervently against. Bizarre, really- bastardization of Tantra indeed.

    Finally, as a philosophical Taoist, it seems to me this is an effort pushing against Yang energy, maybe even to attempt to consume it. Kali unleashed without a Shiva to step in. I’m not sure if Lao-tzu and other scholars saw it, counseling to “cling to the feminine”, but it seems an imbalance of Yin energy, so to speak. The postmodernists want to “flip the script”- a hedonism for females to take revenge upon the Puritan, and more specifically Victorian notions of sexuality. *sigh* Never mind that Queen Victoria was quite the lusty lady, even if she intended such to be quite private.

  2. William says:

    Hi Kristal, brilliantly written, open, informative and raw …… thanks for sharing this, it influences my perspective, William

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