During the holiday season, it’s so easy to get caught up in commercialism—we take the spirit of giving and make it all about glossy packaging and designer labels.
What are we really looking for?
For me, I am often longing for the gift of intimacy and connection. But hours spent running after children, dealing with chores, and working all day can be a real passion and connection killer.
It’s so easy for my husband and I to zone out. After dinner is served, homework problems are resolved, and the dishwasher is loaded, we usually end up in front of the television or engrossed in internet searches. The next thing we know, the night is over and the grind starts all over again.
The holidays are no different. The mundane traditions take over and in the blink of an eye, the festivities pass and barely a kiss or passionate moment has passed. This doesn’t make for a very romantic Christmas, and is hardly the stuff of films.
As I was thinking of ways to get the romance flowing this holiday season, the word tantra popped into my head.
I wasn’t really thinking about long and complicated Tantric massages or even Tantric rituals for sacred sensuality. All that seemed too involved, especially when I’m already struggling to find any romantic time with my husband during this time of year. Instead, I was thinking more about what tantra can offer in terms of opening our senses and activating our sensual nature.
With tantra, once the senses are activated, our sensuality naturally stimulates the energy of connection and our sensual self reaches out to touch, to hold, to caress another. Sensuality alone can bring pleasure, without the need to take things further—though it can also be used to deepen the connection during lovemaking.
This Christmas, we can all aim to bring the romance and sensuality back into our loving relationships.
The Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra is an ancient text from India’s Tantric tradition that contains 112 meditations that Shiva gave to his lover, Shakti. Several of them contain meditations with touch, smell, and sound—these are often referred to as the Tantric Gateways and are a vital precursor to intimacy as you need to be present within yourself before you can be fully present with another. They are also vital elements in forming a true connection with our partner.
One sutra, or teaching, captured my interest as it involves a great passion of mine: food. It can be translated as, “When eating or drinking, become the taste of the food or drink, and be filled.” We can use this sutra to reignite the fun and exploration in our relationships by blindfolding our partner and enticing them with sumptuous foods and drinks.
The blindfold allows both us and our partner to feel more vulnerable, but also more taken care of. It’s a great bonding exercise, as well as a fun and sensual practice.
One helpful tip: gather all foods before you begin—there’s nothing sensual about wandering off and rummaging in the fridge while our partner is off somewhere blindfolded.
Here’s how we can begin:
- Gather foods that are delicious, sweet, and soft—avoid hard, salty, or strong-flavoured foods. I found that strawberries, pitted cherries, slightly-gooey chocolate pieces, ripe raspberries, grapes, and mangoes all work well. You’ll need small pieces and only a small amount.
- Once all the food is assembled, find a comfortable and relaxing space to carry out the exercise. Don’t forget to have your blindfold ready.
- Make sure your partner is comfortable—both physically and emotionally.
- Apply the blindfold and then bring a piece of food close to their face, near their nose. Allow them to smell the food. Take your time. Don’t rush.
- As your partner begins to smell, you may notice their lips part. At this point, trace the moist piece of fruit slowly along their lower lip. This should stimulate them to open their lips even more. Observe sounds of pleasure and signs that they are surrendering.
- Once their lips part completely, tease them by moving the food in and out of their mouth a little, but not yet feeding it all the way in. Let them have the pleasure of tasting, licking, and sucking as you gradually build the desire.
- When the time feels right, allow them to eat the entire piece of food. Give them plenty of time to chew and enjoy. Remember, this isn’t mealtime—it’s a sensory experience.
- Once your partner has finished, repeat the exercise with as many treats as you’d like. Be playful throughout the process.
- Allow the intimacy to flow. As the feeding progresses, you can dip a finger into melted chocolate and let your partner lick it. Or as your partner enjoys their food, let your hands caress and stroke their body for pleasure.
- At the end, gently remove the blindfold and take a few minutes to gaze into your partner’s eyes. The biggest challenge I found with this meditation was not rushing and allowing each morsel of food to be savored.
What I learned from this practice is that the art of giving involves really listening to our partner and following their cues. Not only was this a fun and relaxing way to spend an evening, it also helped my partner and I connect on a sensual level—which is important, especially during chaotic times.
May this be of benefit!
Author: Seren Charrington-Hollis
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis