Energy and Eros: A crash course in tantric breathing, cosmic sex, and genital shapeshifting

I was recently scouring the web in search of resources on the subject of energetic genitals for a client, and was rather disappointed to find good ol’ Google drawing a blank. In this post, I intend to take that blank, and run with it as the perfect excuse to lavish some wordy attention on one of my favourite kinks: Energy fucking.

To do so, I’m probably going to have to address what I mean by “energy” first aren’t I? Drat. This can be hard to achieve outside of a workshop room. On paper, let me see if I can come up with some illustrative examples.

Even if you have no affinity with the new age “woo” crowds who discuss “energy” the way the British discuss the weather, you may have gotten a taste of what I mean in one of the following situations:

  • That feeling we refer to as “chemistry”, when we kiss someone and something akin to electricity courses through us.
  • That rush that hits us when we reach the top of the mountain, or the band comes out on stage, or the crowd rises to its feet as one.
  • The buzz we’re left with after a night of dancing or really engaging conversation, even when we would normally be falling asleep on our feet.

Does any of that strike a chord?

When I talk about energy, I mean the juicy pulse that underlies and connects everything in existence. I’m pretty much talking about the same thing when I talk about God. The stuff I mean is what we access in those moments we describe as “electric”, “magic”, “alive”, and my personal favourite path towards prolonging those moments of access – is sex.

Long before I had words in my vocabulary like tantra, energygasms, breathwork, etc, I had a sense that I could access something exquisite through sex, something that tasted of wonder, magic, even healing – and what I would later come to talk about as “energy”. What I gained when neo tantra entered my field of experience was the concept that I could not only access that energy through lovemaking, I could also learn to invoke, allow, even manipulate it. That realisation, and the practices that allowed me to make it manifest, would lead me into some of the most profound and pleasurable experiences of my life, from accessing erotic ecstasy whilst fully dressed and touch-free, through to wild out of body visions of being fucked by the gods amidst the stars.

Perhaps I do what I do because I feel it would be rather mean of me not to try and share those practices.

Some of the practices in question are going to take up the rest of this post. Because the client who started all of this was curious about the flow of energy between her and her partner, for the purpose of this article I’m going to stick to energy-fuckery with another person; you’ll have to pop along to a Making Love with God weekend to discover more about the power of these sexy energies as a personal practice.

Ok. So we’re going to start simply. If I were to divide this article into steps, this would be step one. And don’t underestimate the simple; my awesome Beloved often talks about how these simple practices can have him falling in love with a whole room full of people when they’re used at workshops.

Stand, or sit in something akin to a lotus position that feels comfortable to you, opposite your partner – just under a foot apart. Have the courage and audacity to simply make eye-contact in silence, and begin to take deep breaths together. Once you’ve gotten through the initial awkwardness and giggles that can arise in the face of the startling intimacy this provokes, see if you can match your breath to your partner’s, finding a rhythm that is comfortable for you both, and allows you to breathe in harmony. This is harder than it sounds, so don’t worry if you slip out of rhythm; smile, sigh, take a breath, start again.

Having practised this for a little while, see if you can begin to alternate your breathing (everybody remembered to brush their teeth before doing this, right?!), so that when one of you breathes out, the other breathes in, and vice versa. You are, in effect, sharing your breath, your life force, with your partner. If you find after a while that your body is moving in time with your breath, or that you feel drawn to make a little sound on your exhale, follow those impulses – they will get the energy moving all the more.

Once you’ve been doing this for a while, just take a moment to notice how your body is feeling.

* A word of warning; breathing more deeply than we’re used to gets energy moving – which is, after all, why we’re doing this – but emotions have been described as “energy in motion”, and these practices can, especially when we first try them, bring up things we’re not expecting. Be super gentle with yourselves and each other if something challenging comes up, ask for whatever care or conversation you need – and get back on the energy-fuckery horse at a (not too) later date.

Speaking of energy – let’s add some. As you’re attempting to focus on who is breathing out and who in, whilst feeling light-headed and wondering if you’re hyperventilating (I said I’d share the secrets of energy-fuckery with you, I never said I’d take myself seriously whilst doing so), why not make things even more complicated for yourself by imagining that energy – which you might visualise as light, warmth, a pulsing, stardust, an electrical current – is flowing back and forth between you. As you breath out, you send energy to your partner. As you breathe in, you receive that energy.

Again, take a moment to notice how your body feels after doing this for a little while.

Then experiment with giving and receiving the energy from different parts of your body. For example, you might give and receive at the heart. Or at the genitals. Or you might experiment with one of you sending energy through your sex, and the other receiving it through their sex, and then allowing it to travel up their body, and sending it out through their heart, so you create a kind of circuit – like this adorable little picture from qabalah.dk.

I did mention about how this can all be much more complicated in practice than it reads on paper? Be patient with yourselves please. There’s nothing to get right, nowhere we’re trying to get to, and if one of you is already really getting into this and the other isn’t – guess what, it’s not a race! We’re just playing.

Ok, so, you’ve tried messing around with breathing, you’ve started visualising energy… what happens when you add these elements into whatever you define as sex? You can think of this as step two by the way, if you’re trying this out with a partner, and step two might happen a while after you first tried step one, once you’ve gotten nice and comfy with it. Or you might be like me, and want to do ALL THE THINGS at once.

Where was I… Ah yes, incorporating these experiments in energy into sex:

You could consciously and co-creatively incorporate them into foreplay – doing the bits that were working for you from above, but with added kissing, or nakedness, and whatever unfolds from there and feels good.

Or you could follow the energy of your lovemaking as it unfolds, and then add the techniques to that to enhance it. Whilst making love, practice bringing your attention inwards, and “listen” or “look” for any “energy” (tingling, heat, belly butterflies) moving in you, or in the space between you and your partner. Then expand on that with your breath, your movement, your imagination. You may find this inspires you to move away from your usual lovemaking habits, and into more of a “flow”; by listening to where the “flow” of energy is taking you, you might find you’re drawn to do things differently, try something new, become more dominant or submissive, and so forth.

Learning to follow the “flow”, rather than any prescribed formula of what you think sex should look like, or what you think your partner is expecting you to make sex look like, can be a revelation if you feel your lovemaking has gotten into a bit of a rut or routine.

If you find that one of you is getting into this energy thing more than the other, you definitely don’t need to rein that in, or pressure your partner to catch up. Instead, I invite you to lie back, and enjoy feeling the firework displays in your body. You can always describe these (and how you accessed them) to your lover later. I often “see” erotic energy unfolding in me in all manner of beautiful colours, lights, even images. Sometimes it feels as though the very shape of me is shifting and changing in time with it.

Speaking of shapeshifting, let’s talk about energy genitals. I promise I’ll shut up after this, as this is getting rather long – but this bit is important. And HOT. And would be step three if I were better at dividing up my posts.

During my first encounter with energy genitals at a workshop, we were invited to pair up with someone of the “opposite” gender, and to explore their body, using all our senses as though we’d never seen a human body before. Then we were instructed to imagine that we could manipulate energy to build ourselves an energy cock or cunt, whatever the “opposite” of what we had was. (If you’re wondering what’s with all the quotation marks, check out this slice of awesomeness from my colleague Hollie Howitt, with which I am in total agreement.) If our partner consented, we were then invited to energetically fuck them; which is to say, if you had built yourself an energy cock, you visualised it penetrating their energy cunt, and vice versa. From the outside, it probably looked ridiculous. And yet, particularly if you’re in a partnership with someone differently genitalled, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you try this. Partly because it is a profound thing to get even a taste of what our partner’s experience as an embodied, erotic being is – and partly because it could be a gateway drug into discovering something you both REALLY enjoy.

Since that training, my sense of my own gender has unfolded in all manner of queer and wonderful ways; I thoroughly enjoy my physical cunt, and my energy cock – and I’ve discovered that, just as there are genitals and genders that don’t fit into either of those binaries, there are energy “genitals” that look nothing like either of those too.

Sometimes I grow a tail… But that’s another story.

My point is… Developing your awareness of the role of energy in sex, and your ability to build that energy with your breath, imagination, movement, and sound, has the potential to expand your concept of sex far beyond the limitations of mere intercourse, and take your experiences of it to unimagined levels, nay, whole new worlds, of erotic, ecstatic, possibility.

*For a more experiential introduction to this energy stuff, check out the weekend intensives here, and, if you are in a committed partnership, watch this space.