The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#73: To Come or Not To Come

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, May 06, 2013

 Photo by Mahrael Boutros from Pexels

One of the main differences between 'standard' modern sexual practices and the more alternative, spiritual sexual practices is the attitude to orgasm.

In the mainstream, orgasm is generally considered a highly desirable, usually necessary, part of sex, and generally the bigger the better and the more the merrier.

In the Tantric/Taoist approaches there is a strong emphasis on not having an orgasm. Which to many modern Westerners seems crazy, especially for those who think the whole point of sex is orgasm.

So, who’s right? Should we or shouldn’t we? Is it more healthful/spiritual/ecstatic/pleasurable/fulfilling to come or not to come?

Well, to me it’s less about whether you come or not, and much more about how you come.

You see, nothing in life is black and white, particularly when it comes to sex.

To believe that we shouldn’t come is as limiting as believing that you have to come.

I certainly encourage everyone to move away from the mindset, firmly entrenched in the Adolescent Male Masturbatory Model of Sex: that sex is about a sexual... read more

#67: Breathe Together - It's Tantric Foreplay

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, January 14, 2013

Breathing together is one of the best ways to sync in and get in the mood for some loving. Here are five breathing activities to do:

For all these activities, you sit opposite each other and I suggest you play some cool music and do the activity for one song (two if it requires you to take it in turns).

Alternate Breathing

As one breathes in the other breathes out. You feel the breath travel across from one to the other. If you’re having trouble noticing the breath you can place your hands on each other’s chest.

Sound the Breath
As one breathes out, the other makes a sound. It could be a simple ‘aaahhh’ sound, or something more song-like. Do this for one song, then swap roles.

Name the Breath
As you breathe out, say the name of your partner. You can take it in turns to do this, with one breathing and saying the name of their partner for, say, five breaths and then the other doing it for five breaths. Another version is when you both do alternate breathing while saying your partner’s name on the out breath. This way you alternating saying the partner’s name while you are alternating the breathing.

Fire Breath
As you... read more

#64: Teaching Sex Therapists Tantra

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, November 05, 2012

I recently ran a pre-conference workshop at a national Sex Therapy Conference on incorporating Tantra into Sex Therapy. I was a little nervous as it was the first workshop I’d ever run for other professionals, till now all my workshops and retreats have been for the general public. It was very well received though, with excellent feedback. I could see that a lot of people were sceptical initially, but over the day they got into it and could see why it is effective.

I started without much introduction by telling them to remove their ‘therapist hats’: “Tantra is not something you can just talk about, you have to experience it. We’re going to get you out of your busy, analytical therapist heads and into your bodies…”

So I dimmed the lights and over the next few hours I got them breathing to their bellies, feeling present in their bodies. We had what I light-heartedly called “tantric group sex’ by simply gazing into the eyes of every other person in the room. I led them on a guided meditation so they could experience an inspiring first sexual encounter, and then experience how that would feel if their whole life had been similarly positive encounters. We played with the yin and yang of sexual energy, giving and... read more

#53: Tantric Kink

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, May 28, 2012

I love Tantra and I love elements of kink.    The two combined are what I call Sensual Kink, and I don't think it gets much better than that. So with the current interest in kink that's been generated by the overwhelming popularity of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, I thought I might share my thoughts.

To me, Tantra and Kink are at one end of a spectrum; and the alcohol-fueled model of sex, along with porn and raunch culture, are at the other. The former are about depth and connection, resulting in ecstatic and altered states of consciousness; and the latter is about superficiality and a performance-style sexuality that has little if any positive outcome from what I can see.

I know my kinky side has been there since I was a five-year old getting turned on by a cartoon of Donald Duck pegging his nephews by their tails to a rotating clothes-line and spanking their bottoms as it turned. I didn’t even know what that feeling was, but it’s etched into my memory. You could also claim that my years of martial arts training, spending hour upon hour being belted into the floor and feeling elated from it, was a form of sadomasochism. But I didn’t truly discover my kinky side until I... read more

#49: The Tantric Quickie

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, March 19, 2012

There’s a misbelief that Tantra takes a long time, that it requires hours of sensual, ecstatic pleasuring. It can be, but it can also be quick.

Tantric sex is not about the amount of time that it takes, it’s about the presence that it’s done with. When two people come together with mindfulness, when they are completely present with every movement, when their love-making is a flowing dance - it doesn’t matter if it’s a gentle snuggle under the sheets late at night or early morning, or if it’s a rough and vigorous ravishing, or indeed hours of sensuality, it’s the dance and flow of connected energy between the parties. (This applies just as much to solo sex or group sex.)

If you are new to the Tantric or mindful approach to sex you may need to take time to truly connect, engaging in breath and sensual touch activities to allow yourself to ‘sink in to sync in’.

If you are experienced with this work then you may need no preparation at all, the sinking in to yourself and the syncing in between you happens in moments. Personally I love it in the morning when my lover rolls over to cuddle me and I invite his penis in with no preparation, often it’s not... read more

#44: The World is Waking to Conscious Sex

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 has long been declared the year of change, some seeing it as the end of the world, and others as the end of our old, limited ways of thinking. I’m sure it’s the latter.

I’ve spent my whole life exploring spirituality and consciousness (of which, you well know, I believe sexuality to be an important component). I used to have to do it almost in secret and was considered odd if anyone knew about it. In my undergraduate science degree I was scoffed at by the lecturers, yet now I’m constantly reading books by scientists and academics on spirituality and science, and the unfolding knowledge around consciousness is so exciting, really bringing together ancient wisdom with modern scientific knowledge.

I do believe the overall consciousness of humanity has reached a level where enough people are of a sufficiently high level that real and lasting positive change can happen here on Earth. More and more I notice people coming to me, knowing there has to be more to sex, somehow intuiting that sex can be an integral part to a life lived on a higher plane of consciousness. That sex can be creative, that making love mindfully enhances life and makes one grow.

And I am so... read more

#43: Try A Little Tenderness

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, December 04, 2011

So much of my work revolves around enabling people to come together with real intimacy. I’m blessed to be able to see this in private sessions and in the workshops and retreats that I run. Seeing couples sharing their love and intimacy so beautifully is an awe-inspiring experience, but it’s also sadly rare in our society.

It’s not that smooth and easy for all couples though. For very many people intimacy is bewildering and perplexing, and it’s very often extraordinarily confronting to ‘meet’ each other in this way. The barriers have to come down. You have to meet each other with deep, calm, slow tenderness. There needs to be a slow dissolving of the edges. The woman needs to get a place where she can welcome her man into her, invite him to enter. That entering is a place of beauty and relaxation and letting go for the man. She needs to be able to allow that. He needs to be able to hold her so well that she can get to that place, so that he can enter her and the entering becomes a coming together, a merging into unity.

When a couple come together in this way, they are exploring the exquisiteness of the “valleys” of sex -... read more

#36: Breathe Well: Live & Love Well

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, July 25, 2011

Breathing (like sex) is one of things we do in life that is considered ‘natural’ and so we believe it should function automatically without any attention or conscious effort on our part.

However, without this attention, breathing (like sex) generally worsens over time, becoming less effective and therefore less supportive to your health and wellbeing.

When we are little babies, we naturally breathe deep into our torsos, down into our bellies. When a baby is lying on its back you can see it’s little tummy going up and down as it breathes in and out. As we get older though, our breathing tends to get shallower and shallower. With some people their breathing gets so shallow that they are barely breathing lower than their shoulders, barely using their lungs at all. For the great majority of people the breath doesn’t get much lower than that, just the upper chest is used to breathe.

Take a moment to observe how deeply into your torso you breathe. Is it the upper chest, the full diaphragm? Or is your breath going deep into your belly, so you can see your abdomen rising with the in breath and falling with the out breath?

... read more

#31: Teaching Tantra in Thailand

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, May 09, 2011

I ran a Tantra workshop last night, here on a permaculture farm in northern Thailand.

It was magical. The fact that the lights blew just as we started and we had to rely on candles added to the magic.

Twenty of us sat in a circle, alternating men and women, in the open-aired pergola which is the hub of the farm. The night was still and the candles cast a soft flickering light around the group.

To bond the group we shared yellow energy from our left ears, passing it through to the right ear of the person on our left, till the whole group was connected through our ears by this yellow energy.

We then moved into breath work. This is the basis of all energetic and spiritual work, sexual or otherwise. Bringing your breath deeper into your torso, so you’re breathing with your belly, is fundamental to linking your entire body and being able to circulate energy freely.

Then we worked our pelvic floor muscles. This girdle of muscle in our pelvis needs to be toned to keep us strong physically and to be able to move energy.

From there we practiced moving energy, circulating it around our bodies, following the Microcosmic Circuit. Using... read more

#26: The Core of Tantra: Real Sex

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, January 30, 2011

I’m going to share a little about myself here, to give you some insight into why and how I work the way I do.

A number of years ago I realised that my experience of sex was very different to most people’s. Extended sessions of love-making, multiple (or should I say endless) orgasms, ecstatic states of altered consciousness were the norm, even with small children and babies, years into a relationship.

At first I thought it was something special about my husband and I, but after our marriage ended I discovered that, nope, it was me. I went through what I call my ‘research’ period, investigating sex with a range of different partners and the response was pretty similar: “Wow, that was different”, “You really like sex don’t you”, “You need to teach this to people!”

So I set out to find out why I was different. That led me to find out more about Tantra, and I realised that although I’d never studied it formally, my years of martial arts experience, decades of yoga, meditation and mindfulness had led me to experience sex, and probably life, in a very pure, present and energetic way. Which is when I realised my true calling – to tune modern people back into the real nature and... read more

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