About that Tantra edition of Planet Waves FM

I would really love to hear your feedback on that conversation (posted below). Thank you –ef

18 thoughts on “About that Tantra edition of Planet Waves FM”

  1. Thank you so much for this interview, Eric. Your guests’ and your insights and sensitivity into the nature of masturbation and sexual energy as healing/transgressive are welcome and so very necessary given the prevailing sociocultural taboo milieu. For sure, we need a new menu, new views on this subject all around, what with all the history, secrecy, and mind control and social conditioning running abundant. It IS truly amazing that we have been largely trained to despise and shun porn. Porn, which is simply the “cover word,” the tool many of us use, for masturbation. Again, you have touched on and brought forth some powerful stuff here. As ever, thank you. [{(*)}]

  2. Further thoughts of appreciation on this episode: experimenting with the material presented by Patricia and Michael, (and embellished by Eric’s inquiring mind) I can report that going for the 30 plus minutes of waves of pleasure can easily yield deep, transformative bio-chemical experieces and a prolongued feeling og heightened well-being.
    I simply added their clarity and certainty to my many years on Tantric study and OMgoddess–what a delightful leap forward–EXPANSIVE and helpful. Tan-tra–tools for expansion. I’ve only listened once to Part 2, but I love the way it places technique within the tantric cosmology. Works for me!!!! Thanks again.

  3. To repeat myself, Eric, I was delighted and affirmed by your show with Patricia and Mark. They made many wonderful points so gently, and with subtlely.
    I think you have to look at this show within a much larger conversation, or as you said “look around the edges”. Many of the delights of life in the tantric lane were only implied, the joy of cooperating with rather than fighting our sexuality, the growing capacity for bliss–I’m sure Part Two will be even more wonderful. I love the definition of “Tantra” as a tool for expansion, as expansion is the only word in my vocabularly. It’s great to know I chose a path so closely associated with expansion–both personally and cosmologically. Thanks, Eric! More! More! More!

  4. Eric,
    Thought to your last comment, “…for example, the feeling of disgust or guilt that many people experience, rather than just fatigue or sleepiness”

    ….not to mention, fear. Fear (and all the other emotions steming from) leads to depression, chronic illness and ultimately (dare I say it, toxic biochemical emotions) even causes disease and death. Seems we’re back here again – ‘Attitudinal Healing’ holds a key.

    So to the Tantric discussion, and in working with the positive, imaginative creative flow is to greatest potential. The Taoists practitioners perhaps had it backwards “…decreasing the frequency of, or totally avoiding, ejaculation in order to conserve life essence”. Instead consider quality of one’s state of mind is what leads to the damage of vital life force, Qi/Jing, and not- as often interpreted, other way round.

    As Patricia and Mark comment/conclude “…and so much of Tantric practice is about developing and refining the capacity to be present.” Ultimately holding/experiencing the emotion of Fear is not being in the moment-present. Fact!

  5. I loved this! Really looking forward to part 2, too.

    I’ve personally found two things that make a substantial difference to a sexual encounter. The first is eye contact. I’ve been with partners who are able to share eye contact, and those who do not, or cannot. It is a deeply intimate, intensely vulnerable experience, but I’d rather we were in a situation where we can meet each other’s gaze and feel exposed, than one where a sense of the presence of the other is absent; I would rather feel vulnerable than disconnected. The more I disappear into the other (and I this is one of the few times I can think of where losing oneself in the other is a good thing), the more vulnerable I’m able to feel. I have a way to go, but it’s a start.

    The second is breathing. Wow! Just wow. 🙂

  6. Eric and Patricia and Mark,

    Thank you so much for your replies and expounded observations. Rightly said Eric…there is a lot here! I look forward to coming back to the topic with my friend.

    Regarding the bodily fluids relating to energy this is a very interesting discussion. P & M, I will definitely take a look for your book The Essence of Tantric Sexuality, and hope to hear more dialogs unfold here and in your second interview. Eric in regards appreciate your comment connecting the emotional to biochemical. It seems to answer to their teacher’s comment, “The inner essence of the teaching is that the vital force lies not in the gross semen, the fluid ejaculate; it lies in a subtle energy that we call ojas, meaning ‘strength or power.’

    Then Patricia and Mark, tapping into your teachings of creating and holding open imagination, ‘visualization in the process’…I understand this becomes the center piece in healing, increasing growth consciousness – this I would like to know more about. Or for specific purpose, seems to me, would have to be tied to, and devoted in, the bringing of higher consciousness in practice.

    I tried last night on my own, but my mind went blank at height…I see it will be a work in practice! Which got me to thinking about the practice of holding open space, seems to relate to a receptive state for what may be coming in. How does inserting something here work with this? May need to sign up for one of your seminars and definitely look forward to a good partner who is open to greater understanding and practice of many *magic* sex sessions. I do believe being with an aligned/open partner could help expedite the process. In prayer anyway, when there are 2, 3, or more, practiced through *intercession* creating and generating greater power in healing is shared.

  7. Great interview!
    Thoughts about “experiences” from a old(er) Scorpio Stellium with Venus conjunct Sun:
    But first a suggestion for a futre interview: Betty Dodson and Nina Hartley…together.

    Tantric is a difficult achievement for couples; because it is the process that combines the Life Force of the individuals into a Oneness that quite frankly usually scares the crap out of one or both of the participants. Even though Tantric is described as a sexual function; it is really the “Marriage of the Bride and Bridegroom”. A Spiritual experience which many are afraid of. It is much more than a mutual and enhanced orgasim….it is Intimacy…it is the melding of not only the individual’s male/female characteristics; but also the ‘couples’…

    Which is probably why the conversation turned to masturbation; as that is probably the “safest” place to practice it. And since Reiki is in some form a tantric process; is why many middle aged women flock to Reiki circles…not quite as threatening as the bedroom….or because it is more fulfilling? LOL.

  8. All emotions are biochemical; the senses are biochemical. When I describe something as emotional, I am talking about a point of access rather than the the only underlying cause. However, whatever the ‘source’ of the feelings, when you stick with them you will notice that there is a lot going on in there, which cannot be ascribed just to brain chemistry. Or that is what I have noticed. The emotional components of libido drop vary widely in their various elements, feelings and so on — for example, the feeling of disgust or guilt that many people experience, rather than just fatigue or sleepiness.

  9. We’d like to respond to the question about ejaculation. Eric is right that non-ejaculatory sex is more closely associated with Taoism than with Tantra. That said, the idea that men lose their vitality when they ejaculate exists in many cultures, including our own. There was a time when boxers were supposed to refrain from sex during training for this reason (of course that also probably made them meaner), and for all we know this still may be part of some pre-fight regimens. Some Tantric and Yogic schools adhere to this idea, which is also part of the Ayurvedic tradition. Our point was that it is not an intrinsically Tantric approach and is, as we discussed, it is inconsistent with both the deep history of Tantra, in which sexual fluids were central to the ritual, and to our understanding of what Tantric sexual practice is about (of course contemporary safer sex considerations are important in this context, whether ejaculation is involved or not.) If you are focused on “control” and avoiding “energy loss”, you will be unable to surrender, which is, as we see it, a major component of the experience.

    From the standpoint of energy, some believe that the loss of erectile capacity and the post-coital sleepiness relate to a loss of life force, or that ejaculating is actually physically depleting. There’s no evidence that the latter is true, and as we see it, the former confuses bodily fluids with energy. Our first book, The Essence of Tantric Sexuality deals with this issue directly, based on our teacher’s words. “The inner essence of the teaching is that the vital force lies not in the gross semen, the fluid ejaculate; it lies in a subtle energy that we call ojas, meaning ‘strength or power.’ The whole thing is imagination, hypnosis if you wish. As Einstein so famously observed, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.'” We go on to describe a process of visualization whereby the energy is drawn up the spine to the brain and recirculated. We also point out that if you believe you are losing vital energy through ejaculating, you will almost certainly have a subjective experience in which that is exactly what happens.

    In more conventional, Western terms, if you sustain a state of relatively high sexual arousal for a half hour or more, the chances that you are much less likely to feel fatigued after sex, because you will have changed the pre- and post-orgasmic neurochemistry. And it’s important to note that some of what Eric mentions as male behavior is not just emotional but also physiological. Prolonging and building arousal (and using breath and visualization) can counteract this feeling of depletion, even if it has no impact on detumescence.

    Having said all this, we want to reiterate that learning to separate the orgasm and ejaculation is a very useful thing to do. Full-body, non-ejaculatory orgasms are a delightful addition to anyone’s sexual repertoire, but turning non-ejaculation into a goal or assuming that one kind of orgasm is “Tantric” while another is not are likely to take you out of the moment and the experience, and so much of Tantric practice is about developing and refining the capacity to be present.

  10. Eric, I really enjoyed the discussion about Tantra because it clarified and demystified this ancient practice. I also liked the way the speakers explained how to applysome of the tantric concepts to modern life. I look forward to your upcoming programs!

  11. This comment is offered with gratitude to the three of you. I like
    This interview, with more to come!, is so rich. I will have to listen several times, with notepad. What you bring to the conversation, Eric, explodes the topic sacred sexuality to the nth degree. Considering all these points will seed my own thinking, writing, and teaching for months to come.

    The thread that is most valuable to me on this first listen is masturbation liberation. Not freedom of masturbation, but liberation of the individual through masturbation. The first program people enter with me is a self-love initiation. The first principle I teach is You Own Your Sex. It is the same as saying You Own Yourself. I’ve not had a person seeking healing or information that did not have to learn this principle, and for some it is a tough one.

    You own your Sex, not your partner, your relationship, absence of relationship, your parents, your religion, the state–all the entities that have been controlling us since conception. In utero may have been the only time we masturbated without shame.

    This conversation give me a lot of new angles to consider, and a bunch of inspiration to be bolder in my teaching, and speaking out about sex with Self and masturbation liberation as a sacred practice. Your point of Self-Acceptance is enough. Keeping it simple. The Self is sacred, therefore Sex is Sacred. We western humans struggle with both.

    My tradition is not Tantra, and I haven’t done a Tantric practice, though I have some exposure, most colleagues do come from the Tantra world, and most of the reading available in Sacred Sexuality is Tantra or Daoist based. I have heard the word Tantra translated as “technology”. Also as “weaving”–the warp, the weft, and the loom.

    I operate from the premise that sex touches everything, sex permeates everything about us, our lives, what we do, who we are. If it’s healing or transformation you seek, approaching it through sexual energy is the most effective and efficient way.

    At the same time, I am very much on the path of embodying what I teach. My defaults absorbed in infancy run my behavior more than I like. I catch it all the time, except for when I don’t. This interview shined a bright light on some of my own blind spots. This weekend I am setting aside sacred space to listen again. Will part two will be out by then?

    Still healing and growing.

  12. Agent provocateur! Eric, you have the midas touch when it comes to discussing themes re sexual pleasure and sexual healing. Keep them coming.

  13. Hi P Sophia

    I will do my best to explain this, and I’ll pass the question on to Patricia and Mark and to a few other people for additional thoughts and fact checking.

    What Mark explains is that not ejaculating is Daoist practice — not Tantric. So it has a basis in tradition, though the question is what tradition, and why. That’s explained in this Wikipedia page.


    Notice how it’s framed:

    “Many Taoist practitioners link the loss of ejaculatory fluids to the loss of vital life force: where excessive fluid loss results in premature aging, disease, and general fatigue. While some Taoists contend that one should never ejaculate, others provide a specific formula to determine the maximum amount of regular ejaculations in order to maintain health.”

    The above article does seem to give a balanced view of this. I have not analyzed it word for word, but reading it over, I see that both sides of the issue are prevented, including the fact that there are cautions against this by modern sex theorists.

    In one book saw a little table that covered how many times a week a man could ejaculate based on his age, the season of the year and his state of health. I’ve seen the statement that once a man ejaculates 5,000 times, he dies. Others associate non-ejaculatory sex with immortality.

    The first point is that this has nothing to do with tantra, which does not follow rules like this. Such practice might be part of someone’s tantric practice for a while, though it’s not the law.

    Without writing a book here — not yet, anyway — I would point out two things. This kind of practice might reveal to a man who is trying it that there’s a difference between orgasm and ejaculation. Most of us assume the two are the same, or that they are inseparable. They are different, and there are many kinds of male orgasms possible, with and without ejaculation. One problem with the usual non-ejaculatory sex thing is that the usual method requires a man to hold back at the moment his instinct is to let go. This is a pretty serious issue.

    Once a man connects to his kundalini he can have full orgasms without ejaculating and without holding back. This takes some training and practice. I have a resource that at the moment I cannot find; when I do, I’ll share it.

    Second, in terms of debunking the jing theory, “coitus conservatus” (a Western term) only works until the semen constantly produced by the male body ends up in the bladder and thus, unceremoniously, next to a tree or in a urinal. It has to leave the body; it does not magically evaporate.

    I think that the thing that most men who do this are chasing is some kind of solution to libido drop — the sense of emotional let down after an ejaculatory orgasm. And they might learn something about this, though I would point out two things: one, women can experience this too. It’s not merely the “loss of semen” that causes this. It’s an emotional response to the experience of orgasm and sex and the particular circumstance. That proves it there. We could get into the theme of bodily fluids and what they represent — though we would need to consider all of them.

    Many people who consider this stuff are just as concerned (for example) that condoms prevent men from absorbing vaginal fluids and prevent women from absorbing semen, which I do find troubling myself (oral sex to the rescue, to some extent, with that one).

    Second, I don’t think that not ejaculating will address the underlying emotional causes of the sense of let-down or as one woman described it to me (talking about men), “I love you till I cum.” Again, we have an emotional response that can be explored and understood outside Daoist concepts, which are truly from another place and time.

    I think it’s vital that we understand what’s going on with that response, however, and not try to blame it on the loss of vitality through the loss of jing/semen but rather through actual self-understanding. Intimate sex and fully conscious masturbation can helpful here, though it takes some real awareness to get into the particular emotional zone associated with “I love you till I cum” (which many men also experience as “I love myself till I cum”).

    This requires a state of inner contact and communication that fully qualifies as non-ordinary consciousness, it takes practice and honesty, and I have found that it’s necessary to explore the region of sexual shadow (shame, guilt, jealousy, need, anxiety, homophobia, etc.) to map out that territory. Usually it’s glazed over. The door to the experience opens, the opportunity is there, and then ordinary consciousness can cover it over pretty quickly and it’s forgotten till it happens again.

    I will illustrate with a point that may be familiar, describing events in a heterosexual frame: How many women have had a man ejaculate in her mouth, and then tried to kiss him? What is the response you typically get? And women — how many times has a man gone down on you and then, first thing, kissed you with a wet mouth, expecting precisely the opposite reaction?

    There is a lot in here.


  14. Eric, thank you for this I love your voice and interviews on planetwaves FM!   Appreciate your insightful lead-in offering in-tune, on the current astrological aspects re: Vesta and Jupiter to Chiron.   ‘…an invitation to heal our relationship to existence; wisdom in practice!’   I had a very symbolic, relevant dream to this last week, that showed me the parts of myself that were ‘in screen action’, quite literally, aiding my spiritual evolution and healing.  It felt so real and comforting to know on some level this is actually actualizing.

    Regarding the interview, very interesting discussion, but i need to listen to again, it left me wanting.. I’d like to hear more on the topic (look forward to part two).   Question: looking at the root meaning/translation, Tan- expand, Tra- tool i.e., embodiment of holding open, creating conscious expansion, a friend coincidentally bought up the subject of Tantra practice to our conversation just tonight.   His view was abstaining from ejaculation in order to retain male power/energy.   I believe prolonging is part of the practice, but is’nt the ‘new’ discussion of Tantra, that was touched on in the interview, in learning to use the sexual power/energy to create more?   I would like to hear more about your thoughts you brought up re, liberated space (assuming found in letting go).  But this seems to contradict my friend’s and believe the traditional Tantra view, which sounds from him more like control?  I liked Patricia’s and Marks comments to discovering the feeling of connecting with pleasure, and also connected with your comment; awareness getting you to higher healing consciousness.  Yet at same time can’t he ultimately get off too?…and not feel this as losing power?   Appreciate your insights for Rebuttal.  Ps


  15. the relationship between, for want of clearer words, art and the more extreme/essential forms of spirituality becomes obvious.

  16. Like most of PW content, I’ll give this interview another listen. I am taken by the notion of creating on the waves of pleasure. This idea explained for me why Reich claimed the orgasam acted as resistance against the State. I know I suffer under the hetero-normative ideal of sexuality. I approach my mid-fifties, a single woman, and I struggle against the idea of youthful, beautiful people as the ones who are active and (unfortunately)deserving of a rich sexual life. The discussion draws back the curtain on that lie for me. So many ideas became clear and as lies melted, I listened with pleasure. I take to heart making sexuality consciously part of all of me and what I do. I am happier and lighter today as a result. Looking forward to next week. BTW, The fade out in the middle of a beautiful point made me giggle. Playful teasing, Eric!

Leave a Comment