Bringing Tantra into your Sex Life

Bringing Tantra into your Sex Life

  Tantra is a ritual that each person comes to with intention.

Tantra (not the ancient yogic spirituality, but what is know as ‘neo-tantra / new tantra) is a practice of making sex sacred. Instead of focusing on arousal or orgasms, the focus is on connection, mindfulness and the movement of energy.

Set aside a time for Tantric sex in advance. Set the space beautifully. Play some music. Burn incense or oils. Prepare some fruit.

Sit facing each other cross legged. Hold Hands and hold gentle eye contact for 3 minutes before moving into sexual interactions. While sitting, you may want to set an intention for your ritual. Eg. ‘To express my love for you’. ‘To open our hearts’. ‘To feel energy moving through my body’. Don’t overthink it-become sexually intimate in ways that feel good to you both.

Become very present to the information coming through the 5 senses of touch, smell,taste, sight, sound and taste. Be as ‘one’ with the moment as you can. If you get distracted into thinking, come back to the body through the senses. You may feel orgasm building. When this happens, do not clench the body. Instead, undulate and move the body, following the sensations around the body with awareness. Do not try to ‘push out’ an orgasm. Relax and keep feeling and letting sensations flow.

You might like to imagine energy moving from your heart, down to your genitals.

Imagine the loving energy moving from your partners genitals and flowing up into your heart. Send it back out of your heart into your partner’s heart, down to their genitals and back up into your heart. Continue focusing on this cycle for as long as you like.

You can also imagine the flow of energy in the other direction. Imagine sending loving energy out of your genitals, into your partners genitals, up into your partner’s heart. Recieve this loving energy into your heart, and feel it flow down to your genitals and back out again. Focus on this cycle for as long as you like. Penetrative sex is not needed for this visualisation. It is a powerful visualisation from Taoist Tantra.

Once the session comes to a natural stillness, stay connected in whatever way makes sense for you. Imagine that beautiful spiritual energy, or love is flowing through you.

You can imagine sending this to each other’s hearts. Or you can focus on your intention again for a few moments. Hold each other’s gaze again to finish and ‘honour’ each other in some way.

If you would like more exercises and practices, I have created an online course that is full of exercises to try, details below.

5 Powerful Ways to Show More Appreciation

5 Powerful Ways to Show More Appreciation

If all couples increased the amount of appreciation they showed each other, I would not have many relationship counselling clients!

It doesn’t matter how good your communication skills are, how practiced you are at speaking without yelling and regulating the tone of voice you use towards each other. If both people in a relationship do not feel really appreciated by the other, resentment is eventually going to build and you will not be happy.

Conversely, if you work really hard to make each other feel truly and deeply appreciated, bad moods, insensitive comments and disagreements will not have the same ‘punch’. You will be able to get through them easily because you have a lovely buffer of good feelings about each other and the relationship.

A great concept to consider when trying to show more appreciation to your partner, is Gary Chapman’s ‘Five Love Languages’.

His idea is that we each have a main way that we like to give and receive love. All of the styles are nice, but there is one that if you had to live without it, you would feel deprived. If you would like to know your main style, you could try this QUIZ.

If you want to drastically improve your relationship, without spending money on counselling, I encourage you to do at least one of the below every single day.

Say thank you a LOT!

I know that you are each doing your best, and neither really ‘deserves’ a thank you for doing what needs to be done to manage your lives. But saying thank you is polite, it’s free and it feels good! If you paid someone for a job, you would just expect them to do it right? But you would also say thank you.

Touch your partner as much as you can.

Whenever you cross paths as you go about your day, stroke their back, give them a friendly little pat. When you are next to them, place a hand on them. When you leave or come back- hug them! I know some people are less ‘touchy-feely’, so work with what you and your partner is comfortable with, but try to increase the frequency of touch throughout your days.

Show them you are thinking of them when you are apart.

This is called ‘object permanence’ and in adult relationships, it is the safe and secure feeling of knowing and trusting that you are in your partner’s mind and heart, even when you are not together. You can do this through texts, sending a photo of something you saw that you thought they would like, grabbing their favourite thing when you’re at the shop, sending them a song you heard etc.

Plan things!

A way to show your partner that you really appreciate them is to plan something ahead of time. This could be anything; date nights, activities, planning some childcare, purchasing a book online that you know they would love, holidays, getting ready to go to bed early to spend time together. It is about showing that you have put in effort ahead of time.

Do little things for each other.

Really happy couples in long term relationships keep up those cute little things that most couples do naturally early on. Leaving little notes, wearing something nice, making something for each other, bringing each other things like a cuppa, doing tasks like putting petrol in the car or washing the other’s car.

Chores that are Bores, and the arguments they create

Chores that are Bores, and the arguments they create

No-one is going to be surprised to hear that allocation of household chores is a common gripe and cause of arguments, and a hot topic in couple counselling sessions.

I always let couples know that there is no ‘correct’ or ‘fair’ way to manage things, beyond what genuinely feels fair and good to both parties. It is also helpful to point out that the whole thing is a bit of a set-up. Capitalism and the modern cost of living means that for most couples, both will work out of the home, maybe with a short break for child-raising for those who chose to have kids. Add in pets, fitness, socialising and there is not much time left for anything. There are just not enough hours in the day to feel that both partners are coping easily with all that!

Times have certainly changed since 30- 40 years ago when one person could work in the home and manage all the cooking, cleaning and childrearing and the family could still afford to purchase a home.

However our mindset has not totally moved on, and it often falls to the female partner in a heterosexual relationship, or to one person in a same-sex relationship to manage the mental load.

The mental load is the concept of knowing mentally, all the different things that are needed to run the household and lives of a couple or family. It is not the ‘doing’ of the tasks, which are more often split fairly in modern households, it’s the ‘thinking about’. For example, information such as when the pet needs worming tablets, when laundry is needing to be done to ensure fresh undies for everyone, dates of parents / in-laws birthdays and thoughts about present buying, when ‘insert theme’ week is happening at your kids school and what sort of dress up is needed. Etc, etc, etc.

I’ve met many heterosexual couples where the male partner takes on this role too, but much more commonly it is a female partner feeling so overwhelmed, exhausted, unappreciated and resentful of this massive burden, that it has brought them to counselling. Her male partner might wonder why his wife is no longer interested in sex? Let me tell you- there is often a link.


Most of the time, this is not because the male partner is uncaring and wants things to be unfair. It is a set-up from a patriarchal society that we still haven’t totally moved on from since the 1950’s. It is so normalised many people don’t question it or realise there is an issue.

Image: Emma Clit (

If you’d like to understand a bit more about the Mental Load, I highly recommend having a look at these cartoons by French Illustrator Emma Clit. Cartoon about the Mental Load. Cartoon about ‘Gender Wars of Household Chores’.

I’ve also created a free resource for couples who may want to reassess how things are delegated in their relationships.

You can download your free copy here; Examining the Mental Load of your Household.

Mindful Masturbation for greater Ejaculation Control

Mindful Masturbation for greater Ejaculation Control

Ejaculating within the first few ‘thrusts’ of penetrative sex can be frustrating!

Clients attend sex therapy looking for a way to ‘last longer’ as they might be experiencing distressing feelings of shame, frustration and even avoiding sex. They have googled ‘premature ejaculation’ and can’t find the help they are looking for. 

Clients often tell me that during non-partnered sex they are able to experience sensation for a longer time before ejaculation. The pressure that they put on themselves to last longer during partnered sex creates anxiety, the anxiety takes them out of the moment, and leads to the ejaculation that they were trying to avoid.

During a session of sex therapy, we explore factors that may have contributed to a habit of ejaculating fast. For example, most teenagers discovering masturbation ensure they are not ‘caught’. So even if your family of origin was quite sex positive, there could be some shame and a subconscious need to ‘rush’. We also explore what is happening in your relationship (if you have one). Is your partner supportive of taking the emphasis off penetration so that you can both enjoy some leisurely, intimate time together? 

  Often when asked, people say that the motivation to have partnered sex is not ‘to have an orgasm’ they usually say something like ‘to feel close, to feel special, to express love’. The orgasm and ejaculation can be achieved alone, after all. It can really help to get rid of all that pressure by stopping penetrative sex for a period of time. Then a quick ejaculation won’t be a problem, because the play can continue as long as everyone involved is having a nice time. There is no reason for sexual exploration to stop once one person orgasms. Bringing your partner to a session of sex therapy can be supportive, so you are both ‘on the same page’.

To work on gaining more control over how quickly an ejaculation occurs, mindful masturbation is suggested.

The first step is to make sure you are ‘Deep Belly Breathing’ and doing so correctly. I made a video to demonstrate here;

Mindful Masturbation:

You are encouraged to dedicate yourself to a masturbation practice 3 times a week (or you might like the phrase ‘self-pleasure’ better- as masturbation can sometimes be linked with feelings of shame or ‘hiding’). During these sessions, slow down your breath, slow down your touch, bring your awareness to the feelings in the penis and other feelings in the body. Notice if you are clenching your bottom, belly or your jaw (or anywhere else). If you feel this, slow down even more. If ejaculation comes, enjoy it!

The practice is about gaining awareness of the climb up your arousal hill, not trying to ‘beat the clock’.

Many people that ejaculate quickly feel arousal build from 1, 2, 3 then straight to 9- point of no return and then 10- ejaculate. This practice is teaching you to feel your ‘4’.. to pause.. go back to ‘3’, see if you can stay there for a little bit longer. It is common when practicing like this, to lose the erection when slowing down or pausing. That’s no issue, just enjoy any sensations that are available with a less erect penis, a firmer erection may reappear, or it may not. It’s all part of gaining awareness. Make sure you use a dry hand and no pornography (nothing wrong with porn, but it will distract you from the awareness of feelings that you are trying to learn). If after a few weeks or months of regular practice you are happy with the time until ejaculation, use a little bit of lubricant or spit which will feel more like penetrating a partner. You may need to practice a few more weeks / months to regain the same level of control. My colleague Cam Fraser is a wonderful sex coach, and unpacks premature ejaculation in the following podcast episode.

Do your best to approach the practices with an attitude of curiosity and pleasure seeking.

If you get frustrated and stressed, you are just learning that sex equals frustration and stress and nothing will change. If you feel like this, skip the practice and come back to it with a fresh attitude a bit later. Some people find that they need more support than these practices. Some ongoing therapy using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) can help people to shift negative beliefs about themselves that are perpetuating the issue. It can also help to process past experiences that are keeping them stuck. Find out more about EMDR with Ella

Ejaculating faster than you would like to is a common experience. A sex therapist will have talked to many other people each and every week who are going through similar thoughts and feelings as you might be. Reach out if you need support.