Gross misuses of the term “tantric massage” abound today as it conjures up a ‘happy-ending’ massage or crass sexual release.
However, the role of massage in Tantra runs much deeper. A massage for mere sexual pleasure is best called an erotic massage, leaving the term “tantra massage” to encompass another realm of experience and expertise.
What is a tantra massage?
Tantra is itself a vast, total life path of spiritual awakening. Ancient tantric texts like the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra contain hundreds of methods of awakening; i.e., eating in a mindful way, meditating upon the sensation of a fly walking upon your skin or meditative sexual union (maithuna) methods.
This ancient text includes the meditation of touch: Shiva says to Shakti, “Sweet Princess, whilst being caressed, enter the caress as everlasting life.”
Can touch be a portal to the eternal? If you enter the caress totally, can you access the realm of eternal life? Can you glimpse Eternity beyond your present impermanence? How does this transition occur?
Tantra is the union of opposites, the meeting of yin and yang. Not only the meeting, but also the divine union that transcends apparent separation. Thus, Tantra invites apparent polarities to dance together. Tantra massage is this invitation through the bodily form, touch, all five senses and flows of energy.
Tantra massage differs from normal massage as it involves both yin and yang energies. Regular therapeutic massage focuses only on the relaxing yin energy. A tantra massage includes both yin relaxing energies and yang arousing energies. A tantra massage master can skillfully weave between relaxation and stimulation just as seasoned music conductor builds up and breaks down a masterpiece symphony. This weaving, dancing, meeting and uniting of polar energies invokes fulfilling sense of wholeness and profound peace.
Because tantra massage works with energy, it is possible to give one without even touching the sexual organs. Yin and yang energies can be stimulated and rested through the spine and through the energy body. People can even attain full body orgasmic experiences fully clothed! However, achieving orgasmic states is not an essential component of tantra massage.
￼However, if the client choses and the conditions are suitable; i.e., relationship status, then the genitals may be included to unify the sexual organs with the rest of the body. Too often we treat the sexual organs as separate, and then they feel energetically cut off from the rest of the body. It is extremely hard to have a full body orgasmic experience when the genitals are feeling separate from the whole.
Tantra massage facilitates the union of sexual organs with the rest of the body, and thus the union of sexual energy with all other life force energy flowing through us. Even if the receiver does not have an orgasmic experience during the actual massage, they will find that it positively impacts their energy flow the next time they make love. Many couples have received phenomenal benefits for their love life through such healing.
Sexual organ massage can also help release past sexual traumas, when performed by a highly skilled therapist. The therapist’s ability to create a safe space supports the receiver’s healing process. The tantric masseuse is not actually healing the receiver, rather, they are facilitating the reciever’s healing journey.
To wit, key to tantra massage’s healing benefits is being able to surrender into safe space. After all, the tantrika is not a lover so the recipient can safely relax into a state of comfort. Meanwhile, interactions with a lover differ as lovers who exchange energy also engage in a complex web of karma.
A well-trained therapist, on the other hand, will simply hold clear space. They may observe the client’s flow of sexual energy, but not engage with it or exchange energy with them. This lets the receiver surrender in a much deeper way in order to access their deepest level of vulnerability. To engage with a receiver in such a vulnerable state violate the therapeutic relationship Thus, you should find a massage therapist with clear boundaries on this issue.
Sadly, this field of massage is poorly regulated. When you book a tantra massage, you never know what you will get!
Follow these guidelines to find a suitable practitioner:
Ask the therapist if they have their own tantric practice. They may practice tantric yoga, qigong or tantric meditations. Any such practices will enhance their ability to give a true tantric transmission.
Ask the therapist about the aim with of sexual energy in their massage. If they talk about having an orgasm or being pleasured until release, this is erotic massage. If they talk about “help you relax around sexual energy and let it flow throughout your entire whole body” or “to feel totally relaxed and natural in your whole being body”, this is likely a tantric massage.
Check the nature of their boundaries: Ask, “Do you engage in sexual relations with your clients?” The tantric therapist with clear professional boundaries will always refrain from this as it will impede trust which is essential for a state of surrender to occur.
A female can choose to receive tantra massage from another female, especially if she has suffered trust issues with men in the past. This would be the ideal way to go at least for the initial treatments.
If you cannot find an appropriate therapist, attend a workshop on tantra massage with your beloved or close friend. Such workshops teach participants how to give and receive tantra massage. In this way, you can still reap the fabulous healing benefits.