Do not be fooled, sacred sexuality and tantra are not exclusively defined by super slow sex and unwavering eye contact. While tantra does invite initiates to slooooow down, drop into their bodies, and evoke intention, that doesn’t mean things can’t ramp up into primal, messy, and dark play.
In fact, consciously and intentionally using BDSM, kink, and fetishes as tools to explore the depths of humanity can be liberating and healing. In my opinion, it is just as spiritual to deep throat cock as it is to meditate - in fact, they’re kind of the same thing, when done intentionally.
A few years into my practice as a tantrika, I started both giving and receiving Shibari, a form of rope bondage originating in Japan. Shibari was originally used a sort of torture and humiliation device for prisoners, but has since been adapted by the BDSM community to make art of dominant/submissive dynamics.
To be tied up in a way that limits or completely hinders mobility requires a very solid foundation of trust in the dominant, and can become an incredibly profound meditative practice for the submissive. The first time I was suspended as a shibari sub, meaning I was bound and then lifted off the floor to hang from a beam in the ceiling, I felt like I was cradled in the womb.
It was not sexual at all - as shibari is not inherently an erotic practice (similar to tantra, it has been increasingly sexualized by practitioners). It had a transcendental quality that initiated ancestral healing. The experience was beyond words, as I find many shamanic practices. In these lineages, it is believed the deeper we explore ourselves, the greater our awareness of the entirety of the universe - as above, so below.
It was this experience that inspired me to bring shibari into my tantra sessions. While I am no pro and certainly will not be suspending initiates into the air any time soon, even very simple ties and wrappings with the rope can invite a profound level of surrender. I knew just who to start with…
I had been working with Robert* on and off for a few years, since the early days of my practice. He was also a dedicated listener of the podcast - he once showed me his Spotify account where Talk Tantra to Me sat right next to Joe Rogan on his “most listened to” playlists. He was in his 30s, very successful, but struggled with his romantic relationships. He credited me to changing his life and expanding his perspective of possibility in the world.
He was one of my favorite clients, but we could only ever go so far. He had a wall up… I could never really get him to fully surrender and receive. So, I suggested we try the ropes. He was very excited about the prospect, but didn’t really know what he was getting himself into.
I slipped a blind fold over his eyes and put on some tribal trance music. I began tieing… using my weight and muscle to hold him up and move him around the mattress on the floor. It was clunky at first as he tried to anticipate my movements and make it “easier” on me by moving himself… but every time he did this, I’d restrain that part of him or move him in the opposite direction. Eventually he began to soften.
I moved slowly and sensually. I felt like I was channeling God, as I lulled him into complete submission. At one point, he was nearly fully restrained (or at least I made it feel that way - in reality he could have easily broken down all of my amateur ties). From this place, we rested, I held him. He felt my breath on his skin. He let out a big sigh. That was it. I slowly began moving again. He was a rag doll of submission. Eventually I unraveled him and slowly took of the blindfold. I get it now… he said.
When we consciously choose to be blindfolded, tied up, ordered around by our lover, tantrika, dom(me), or otherwise we are making a sacred choice - a sacred surrender. We are inviting in pure presence - when we give up control we are able to be with what is… we are literally out of our mind and in our bodies. We are invited to let go and receive with the intention of vulnerability.
A sacred surrender can be a catalyst to expansive states of being, soul evolution, and profound freedom. Surrender can be synonymous with freedom, in that it opens portals to new worlds. We actively surrender each day - by necessity and innate desire, we go to sleep. When we go to sleep, on a very basic level, we are surrendering our sight, but we are also surrendering our connection to time and the constructs of this reality.
Consider all the places your dreams have taken you when you’ve surrendered to sleep. Meditation can create a similar outcome. Anyone who has given meditation a true, honest try can attest to the inward shift that occurs when we close our eyes, surrendering our sight to focus our attention and energy.
Orgasm is a moment of a surrender. It requires letting the body be taken over with pleasure and ecstatic waves. When one door closes - when we surrender a part of ourselves - another door opens… when we let go of control and attachment to an outcome, we invite in space for full body pleasure.
Any professional dominant or dominatrix will tell you, they are not holding all the power in a scene with a submissive. The submissive is in just as much control, if not more. The sub actively gives the power and can take it back at any time. It is this choice - this agreement - that illustrates the power of the submissive. The dom/domme is merely holding the power of the submissive.
But why would we want someone else to hold our power? So we can be free to explore ourselves… without the need to make decisions or facilitate an experience or be at all in our heads, we can be fully embodied. We get to explore the pole of being while being completely held by someone who holds the responsibility for us.
This quality of surrender is a common theme amongst many BDSM, kink, and fetish practices. As a recovering control freak with very real trust issues, surrender is a quality I’ve struggled with, yet learned to love. I used to define surrender exclusively as giving my power away - waving the white flag in defeat. I also disliked the religious context of surrendering to God. I didn’t appeal to the idea of giving my power away to some omnipotent white man who lived in the sky… that didn’t feel good for me, especially when I didn’t wholeheartedly agree with the contradictory and judgy messaging that Jesus loves everyone, but if you sin you will go to hell. I have done a complete 180 on this and now invite God to take over pretty much every day of my life… and a big piece of that had to do with exploring the concept of surrender through BDSM.
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