Leora Lightwoman's perspective on Tantric Massage

The Tantric massage for women including yoni massage is a beautiful ritual to share between lovers, and practitioners offer this opportunity to those who are not in a couple, or whose partners are not Tantrically inclined, to receive a delicious, sacred sexual and emotional experience.  This is good.  Tantric massage can be profound.

I am, however, concerned about the reputation of whole field of Tantric massage, as it is clearly not regulated (and how could it be? Except from within the field by way of clients taking the time to educate themselves and research their practitioner).  Anyone can call themselves a Tantric masseur. 

What's the difference between a tantric massage and an erotic massage?

The difference between a Tantric massage and an erotic massage can be nebulous, even to those in the field, and I would see it more as a continuum.  Some factors to bear in mind in terms of the distinction are:

1.  That the practitioner truly enjoys what they are doing, and cares about the client.

2.  Whereas the client may be attracted to the practitioner, the client's focus is on their own real experience in their body, rather than on the practitioner as a sex object.

3.  The practitioner is empowering the client, guiding them to receive, open up and grow in new ways.

4.  The client is allowing sexual energy to travel through the whole of their body, in a relaxed way.   The focus is on aliveness and presence rather than release.

5.  The practitioner can receive and contain the client's emotional expressions, in a context that is in service of the client.

6.  The energy of arousal is in service of bringing more keenly to the surface the client's inner world, and directing them to new places beyond their previous experience.  It does not override sensitivity, emotions or interpersonal intimacy.  It is not compulsive, tense, disconnected or shameful.

7.  There is a quality of innocence.

As someone who practiced Tantric massage in the past, I often question the motivations of those who choose this line of work.  People's overt reasonings - such as wanting to celebrate Sacred Sexuality, to love and honour the other sex, often have a deeper layer of significance too.  Offering a sexual service - be it a sacred or mundane one - can be a re-enactment of past events - it can also be an unconscious attempt to heal or resolve them.  It may also be a means of receiving love and approval and sexual attention from the other sex.
If the practitioner is not conscious of these hidden motivations (which may be hidden from the practitioner themselves) then this will affect the client.  The client will often feel and want to feed these desires, and the client can become attached to the practitioner, investing their sexual energy and fantasies in that person, in such a way that diminishes their availability for intimacy with a love partner in their lives.  In this way the client is empowered to a degree, but trapped in another.  On the other hand, if the practitioner is self-aware, highly trained and skilled in working with these erotic feelings, in service of the client, then magnificent opportunities exist. The only way I believe to work effectively in these circumstances is if the practitioner has some therapeutic and training and ongoing supervision.  In addition, this level of clarity and integrity is exceptionally difficult to achieve unless the practitioner themselves are in a fulfilling intimate relationship.

Is there any tantric massage in Diamond Light Tantra workshops?

In the groups that I run, the yoni and vajra / lingam (Tantric words for penis) healing massage is offered in Level 6 of an ongoing training, in a closed group of participants.  This means that the same participants commit to working together for the period of approximately 7 months, and get to know each other very well, developing understanding, trust and respect.   These people have already worked with me for the preliminary levels, and met pre-requisites, and been vetted on several parameters.  The workshop is facilitated by highly trained facilitators (I have been teaching for 15 years, and my co-teacher, Mark is a Psychotherapy trainer and supervisor with over 14 years' Tantra experience).  The group are prepared in such a way that the psycho-emotional context for touching a woman's yoni is deeply embedded in them.  It is a profound act to massage a woman's yoni with healing intent.  It is a sacred act of devotion, and there has been nearly a year's preparation for this.  Yoni and vajra / lingam healing and it may bring to the surface past trauma, from more everyday concerns such as insensitive pelvic examinations or unpleasant sexual experiences from the past to traumatic childbirth and sexual abuse.  Participants have been prepared for this to occur, and are ongoingly supervised by the facilitators and assistants.  The outcome is usually deeply transformational and often blissful. 

In the Diamond Light Tantra trainings, the massage is only offered 1:1 by couples, to their beloved.  Individuals work in 3s, where one person is the 'guardian of yoni' and the other the 'guardian of the heart' and the two of these people are purely in service of the one receiving the massage.  This diminishes the intensity of the relationship element of this intimate exchange, and yet even in this situation powerful feelings, often attraction and deep love, will emerge both ways between the givers and receivers of such a massage.  The training that I offer is constructed in such a way that those feelings are talked about and contextually explored within the group.  This group, incidentally, have signed a training contract that no individual participant in the group will have sexual intercourse with any other individual course participant for the duration of the training.  This is in service of containing and understanding the deep erotic forces that come into play when sexual energy is awakened, especially where this involves direct genital contact.  These attractions and feelings can be harnessed in service of the intention of Tantra - directly experiencing Love, Truth and Oneness - by means of specific Tantric meditations.

What is the difference between tantric massage and the tantra courses Diamond Light Tantra runs?

What I offer differs from Tantric massage in that I'm a teacher, rather than a practitioner.   I offer facilitation - transformational guidance in the realm of the deep inner work of awakening intimacy in relationship, integrating sex, love and meditation, and embodying the principles of Tantra in one's life.  Tantric massage can open the door.  It can take you to previously unknown realms of expansion, love and aliveness.  In order to step through that doorway and claim this experience as yours, to celebrate Tantra as a way of life, and integrate it into your relationship, then deep transformational work is required.  So there's no competition, just synergy.

Diamond Light Tantra workshops are constructed in Levels, from 1 to 8 or 9.  Participants learn stepwise principles of becoming orgasmic in the whole of their body and being, becoming more still, sensitive, present and connected with their partner, experiencing their energy body by means of the chakra system, giving and receiving honouring touch.  Touch is one element in a whole cocktail of what Tantra can be.  Exercises and meditations are interspersed with space for participants to share their experiences and to ask questions, and to receive guidance in terms of their own unique relationship to the material.

The proliferation of companies providing Tantric massage does not undermine the work that is taught in bona fide Tantra schools, as there are clearly so many differences, as described above.  However, it does confuse people's association of the word Tantra with sexual services.  Economically there is no competition as a)  people who are genuinely on the personal growth path and who want to be empowered, if they encounter and enjoy Tantric massage, will be drawn to its source and will seek out Tantra tuition in order to be able to live the bliss and ecstasy that Tantric massage can provide for themselves, in their own love relationship and in their lives.  Also b) those who do not seek expansion, growth or empowerment would not have been drawn to tantra courses anyway!

I recommend approaching an established teacher and school.  Look for:  How long have they been practising?  What training have they had?  With whom? Do they have any written / spoken materials - books, CDs, DVDs, to give you a flavour or their approach?  Search the web for testimonials and dialogues.  Attend an introductory course. 

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Leora Lightwoman

Leora has been leading Tantra workshops and facilitating Tantra sessions with couples and individuals since 1995. She is celebrated for her lively and playful, and yet sensitive and grounded approach to spiritual sexual-loving, and for the safe and honouring space that she holds. Read more...