I did this women's training programme because I always believed there was more to sex than the personal intimate encounters I'd wearily grown accustomed to. Didn't matter how in love I was with my partner, how much sex I was having, there was always something missing. I felt a vague dissatisfaction, a longing for something 'more'. What that 'more' was, though, I couldn't quite put my finger on (no pun intended).
The confidence I feel in my sexuality, the fullness I feel in my womanliness, ay, ay, ay, it's delicious. I feel vital, centred, 'juicy’.
But aside from talking with girlfriends, surfing female-friendly porn, reading books, magazines, who can we ask questions of regards sexually-oriented issues? Questions, for example, such as 'My new partner wants to jump straight into genital sex ― is it too much to ask that we slow down and explore other ways of getting intimately acquainted first?'
'Is orgasm-oriented, penetrative sex the be-all and end-all?' 'Is it insensitive of me to stop my partner mid-action and say, "There's no pleasure in this for me now; I’d enjoy it much more if you [insert sexual preference] instead"?' ‘Are there really men out there who take the time to ask what women want, what our pleasure is, and then listen, stay present, and respond on a moment by moment basis and take great delight in that?' (No, no, no, and fuck yeah!)
I'm also aware there are women who'll be thinking, ‘Yeah, yeah Thea, this Tantric malarkey all sounds well and good, but just what is it you all do? How can I trust you? You're not telling us anything.’
That's right, I'm not. It is a mystery school, after all, in the tradition of the ancient Greek mystery schools, say. But consider this: do you insist on knowing exactly how a relationship will pan out before you embark on it? Do you demand a full run-down on how another will treat you sexually before you tumble into bed with them for the first time? Well, I’m sorry to break it to you but there are no guarantees in life. When all’s said and done all we ever take are 'educated guesses' (or not). Do this programme, though, and all you'll wonder is, what took you so long to do it.
So has my sex life improved? Never mind my sex life, it's improved my whole life. The confidence I feel in my sexuality, the fullness I feel in my womanliness, ay, ay, ay, it's delicious. I feel vital, centred, 'juicy’. I was dead from the neck down before. No more.
I no longer look at my body through the lens of a culture hell-bent on distorting the image we see staring back from the mirror. Where I used to pick and criticise and never felt comfortable, never felt 'good enough', today I cherish my body, revel in the skin I'm in, enjoy my erotic self with or without a lover. To borrow a line from Madonna's Justify My Love, ‘Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another’.
If you have something critical or bitchy to say about my body or anyone else's, as far as I'm concerned, that says more about you and your relationship (or lack of) with your own body. If you were happily rooted in the ground of your own being, you'd be happy to let everyone else just 'be', too.
When you're able to receive all the parts of yourself, especially the previously unloved parts, you're able to receive and celebrate the 'other' in all their magnificent, flawed humanness, too. In fact, my appreciation of, and love for men has gone through the roof since I did this programme. I relish their 'otherness' in a way I didn't before. Not consciously anyway. The polarity, the difference between us (men and women), ups the sexual tension for me. Probably why I'm turned off by these primped, waxed to within an inch of their cracks, metrosexual types. Give me a Jon Hamm man any day.
So no-one will think you’re ‘silly’ or ‘stupid’ for asking those sexual- or intimately-oriented questions you've long harboured but have been too afraid to voice. I doubt there's anything that could shock or surprise my teachers ― they’ve been doing this work a long time and are bottomless wells of experience, patience, and compassion.
When you rock up at level one (Women's Invitation), you'll be with other women who are in the same boat as you (shy, nervous, a bit awkward perhaps) but who’ll fast blossom and bloom in ways that have blown the socks off me.
In fact, I’ve never known a workshop spawn so many entrepreneurs. It seems sexually awakened/sexually empowered women make for more creatively inspired, financially independent women. After the first workshop alone, several of the women went straight out and took back control of their lives, leaving jobs, ending unsatisfying relationships.
They were no longer willing to be rationed on the meagre sexual/emotional/financial handouts occasioned them by insecure/incompetent/power-wielding bosses and/or partners, as though they should be grateful somehow for whatever scraps they got because this might be as good as it gets and/or they may not get any more. They now knew there was more, that they could be more, and, most important, that they deserved more.
So consider this a clitoral clarion call, an appeal to the sexually underwhelmed masses to 'get your freak on’ however you damn well please. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your permission to pleasure: from the down and dirty right through to the mystical, OM-infused end of the spectrum. To quote the late, great William Stafford in his poem A Message From the Wanderer:
Today outside your prison I stand
and rattle my walking stick: Prisoners, listen;
you have relatives outside. And there are
thousands of ways to escape.
Because there's nothing wrong, nothing shameful in wanting to explore the myriad aspects of your sexuality, the subtle nuances of your sensuality; to step into the fullness of your being; to demand more from your intimate interactions; to writhe and cry out in ecstasy. We're here to enjoy our bodies, our intellect and to hell with anyone who tries to tarnish us with their frigidity, insecurity, or fear. Because we're worth it. Because we deserve happiness, abundance, respect, fulfilment.
Question is, do you believe you do?
For more details of the women's training programme, visit shaktitantra.co.uk/women
To read Thea’s experience of each workshop, click on the following:
For more mind, body, and soul tips, follow Thea on Twitter @UrbanDeva
You can read about Thea’s life in her book, Running into Myself, available from Amazon.