Erica is the Editor of Karma Tantric Magazine and expert in all things Tantra & Tantric Massage. She specialises in helping men, women and couples unleash their sexual potential through her tantra teachings. | Read More
What is tantra, and why should you try it?
Contrary to popular belief, the ancient spiritual tradition of tantra isn’t all about sex. Tantra is in fact a way of understanding and experiencing the world that emphasises the interconnectedness of all things. Tantra teaches that the physical and the spiritual are not separate, but are two aspects of the same reality.
In fact, there are many different aspects of tantra, some of the most common include:
- Yoga: Tantric yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on uniting the body, mind, and spirit. It often includes breathwork, meditation, and physical postures.
- Meditation: Tantric meditation is a way of quieting the mind and becoming more aware of the present moment. It can be done in a variety of ways, but often involves focusing on the breath or on a mantra.
- Sexuality: Tantra views sexuality as a sacred act that can be used to connect with the divine. Tantric sex is a way of slowing down and savouring the experience of intimacy.
Why should you try tantra?
There are so many reasons why you might want to try tantra. Some people find it helps them improve their physical and mental health. Others find it helps them connect with their spirituality. Elsewhere, others simply find that it helps them enjoy life more.
If you’re interested in trying tantra, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- First, tantra is not a quick fix. It takes time and practice to develop the skills and insights that tantra can offer.
- Second, tantra is not for everyone. If you’re not comfortable with your body or with the idea of exploring your sexuality, then tantra may not be right for you.
However, if you ‘re open to new experiences and are looking for a way to connect with yourself and with the world around you, then tantra may be a valuable practice for you to explore.
3 benefits of tantra
- Improved physical and mental health: Tantra can help to improve your physical health by reducing stress, increasing flexibility, and improving your overall sense of well-being. It can also help to improve your mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
- Increased intimacy: Tantra can help to increase intimacy with your partner by teaching you how to slow down and savour the experience of physical connection. It can also help you to communicate more openly and honestly with your partner about your needs and desires.
- Spiritual growth: Tantra can help you to grow spiritually by helping you to connect with your inner wisdom and to experience the divine in all things. It can also help you to let go of attachment and to live in the present moment.
Why learn about tantra from a book?
The most obvious reason to begin to explore tantra through books is you can learn on your own terms, without needing to find a local teacher. You can start your journey of tantra from the comfort of your own home.
Books often present tantra concepts and practices in a structured manner, akin to a roadmap. This gradual progression helps you build a strong foundation and gradually develop your understanding and skills. Plus, given the personal and intimate nature of tantra, learning from a book allows you to engage with these practices privately. Removing any potential discomfort or embarrassment you might feel in a group setting, allowing you to explore at your own pace.
How to choose the best tantra book for you
When choosing a tantra book, several factors come into play, for example your unique preferences, spiritual beliefs, interests, and goals. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed choice:
- Personal interests and goals: Consider what aspects of tantra intrigue you the most. Are you interested in the philosophical, spiritual, or practical aspects? Clarify your goals, whether they involve personal growth, enhancing relationships, or spiritual exploration.
- Spiritual beliefs: Your existing spiritual beliefs may influence your choice of a tantra book. Some books approach tantra from a more traditional or religious perspective, while others take a secular or philosophical approach. Choose a book that aligns with your spiritual worldview.
- Level of expertise: Assess your familiarity with tantra. Are you a beginner seeking foundational knowledge of tantric lovemaking, or do you have some experience of sacred sex and are looking for more advanced teachings? Select a book that matches your current level of expertise.
Our top 8 tantric books (2023 edition)
Urban Tantra by Barbara Carellas and Annie Sprinkle
Barbara Carrellas’ Urban Tantra takes the reader on an easy to follow journey into an understanding of tantric sexuality. Learn about how to relax into expanded orgasmic states, becoming one with the Universe by experiencing a tantric orgasm. The book details dozens of solo and partner exercises that will take you on a journey into the unknown and leave you dizzy with ecstasy. It is suitable for anyone of any gender or sexual preference, partnered or not, and for any erotic tastes. Urban Tantra is a guide to a new experience of intimacy and sexual fulfilment that expands the notion of pleasure from a one-dimensional sexual release to a multi-layered experience of all senses and dimensions.
If you are new to tantra and beginning your tantric journey, we’re sure this book will kick start your learnings and catapult you in the right direction!
Sexual Reflexology: Activating the Taoist Points of Love by Mantak Chia and William U Wei
There is quite a selection of books about tantric sex, but this one stands out above all the others. It’s a classical of Oriental Sexology and takes the ancient Oriental Sexual Techniques and puts them into a form that’s easily accessible to the modern audience. Despite being a humble and unassuming man, Mantak Chia is a genius when it comes to teaching Westerners to use ancient Sexual Techniques to transform their daily lives. He teaches simple step-by-step practices that allow you to heal and channel your sexual energy together whilst making love. Couples can use to learn various positions that allow them to channel energy to specific organs for sexual healing.
This book is a go-to handbook that you and your partner can use to transform your sex life into a magical alchemical healing session that takes you to the stars and back every day.
Tantra Illuminated by Christopher Wallis
This book is a journey into the very heart of Traditional Tantra, revealing its key teachings, foundational lineage, history and transformative practices. Tantra is a stark contrast to the western religions that glorify male over female and shame sexuality. Perhaps this is why Tantra started to take the interest of the western era around 100 years ago. Information available today about Tantra is rife with misinformation and speculation. Tantra Illuminated presents an accessible introduction to this ancient tradition, using translations from original Sanskrit sources, it offers a deep insight into this spiritual practice and it’s powerful teachings, revealing Tantra’s rich history to the western audience.
If you are looking for a perspective of tantra that outlines the true and ancient traditions of this practice, this book is a must read.
4. Best tantra book for women
Tao Tantric Arts for Women by Minke de Vos
Minke de Vos teaches Tantra and Taoist Arts to women all over the world. This book mixes theory with a plethora of exercises and practices to get you understanding your feminine energy. The book covers all stages of life from puberty and youth through womanhood, pregnancy and to menopause. The book is based on the Taoist Traditions of the Yellow Emperor and the three female advisers who taught him all about the art of sexual energy and practice. The practices honour our natural feminine energy: to be receptive, soft, sensitive, intuitive and creative, and to use these qualities as a powerful tool to manifest our destiny. Minke teaches how to channel our natural sexual energy and to heal deep-rooted emotions, so that we are no longer controlled by our feelings and these don’t interfere in our sexual lives.
If you are a woman looking for a complete and comprehensive guide on how to harness and unleash your feminine energy, there is no better book than this.
Kashmir Shaivaism by J. C. Chatterji
Originally written in 1914, J. C. Chatterji’s book is a brief introduction to the nature of ultimate reality and the manifestation of the Universe according to the Trika System of Tantra. Kashmir Shaivism is a mysticism of common sense. It teaches the essential identity of the self, God and the world. It’s a consciousness allowing everything to be in a point of contact with the divine. Kashmir Shaivism accepts the world as it is, pleasure and pain, beauty and ugliness, viewing the world not as an illusion but as a creative manifestation. The world is a joyful expression of consciousness. Every moment in life can be a moment to come into contact with the artist of creation.
This book is one of the most illuminating texts on authentic Indian tantra and and contains absolute treasure trove of insights and learning for anyone interested in learning more about Indian tantric traditions.
Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
This is a classic of Tantra Yoga, giving detailed instructions of how to understand and to open your chakras using simple yogic techniques. It explains in detail the process of energy awakening that can bring us to full Kundalini energy activation through the practice of yoga. Through yoga, you can open your chakras and activate your kundalini energy, the holy grail of Tantra. This book gives a detailed explanation of the asanas (yogic positions) that will help you to open up your chakras, balance your nadis, and activate your kundalini to give you that real life feeling of energy flow that will bring meaning and presence into every part of your daily life.
If you’re someone who is already practising tantra and would like to branch out into tantra yoga (or vice versa), this book will help you diversify your skills and take your learning to the next level.
This book is a more esoteric exploration of tantra, focusing on its spiritual aspects rather than simply sexual fulfillment. It is a good choice for those who are interested in the more mystical side of tantra.
Osho, the author, was a spiritual teacher who was known for his unconventional and provocative views. In this book, he presents tantra as a path to liberation, or enlightenment.
Osho argues that tantra is not about sex, but about the union of opposites. He says that the goal of tantra is to transcend the duality of the mind, and to experience the oneness of all things. He also emphasizes the importance of meditation and other spiritual practices in tantra.
Tantra: The Supreme Understanding is a challenging book, but it is also a rewarding one. It is a book that can help you to understand the deeper meaning of tantra, and to experience its transformative power.
Tantric Love: Feeling vs Emotion by Diana Richardson
We often think of love as an emotion, but Diana Richardson teaches us that it is not. Love is something that is in our nature, as Osho describes it, an “overflowing of joy”. It’s a unity with all that is around us, it’s oneness. Emotions are responsible for the problems in most relationships, so what exactly are they? Emotions are feelings relating to unresolved past traumas. When we learn to connect emotionally, to share and heal our emotions together, not only do we draw in closer to a deeper intimacy than we ever could have imagined, we hold the key to personal healing that allows us to move beyond being controlled by our emotions.
This book can take you to a new place of freedom, love, and the deepest connection of all.
Emotional Detox Through Bodywork by Mal Weeraratne
A definitive guide to Tantric Healing. Tantra is all about energy, and Tantric Healing works by removing blockages to our energy flow. Imagine your body, full of lines of energy, moving information from one area to another. Now imagine an area of tension, a stiff shoulder, and in this area you can see the energy is becoming constricted. This is what pain is: blocked energy. Inside this tension, there is an emotion, a memory. Any emotions and experiences that we have that we do not process get stuck in our bodies. This is called somatising emotions. They will wait there inside our bodies until we process them, and if we don’t, they will make us sick and in pain. Emotional Detox is a guide to understanding these blockages as the cause of both physical illness and inability to move through life as we wish.
Tantric healing is about how we can understand and remove these blockages, not just for better health, but also to allow us to see our way ahead and walk our destiny.
Join the modern sexual explorers and book a tantric massage with Karma Tantric
Now, here’s the thing: while books are awesome, they might not cover everything you want to know about tantric sex. Tantra is like a living tradition, and sometimes you need that hands-on guidance from a real-life teacher. So, think of books as your trusty sidekick – they can help you get started, but don’t be afraid to seek out a knowledgeable practitioner when you’re ready to take things to the next level.
At Karma Tantric, choose from our exquisite selection of professionally trained London-based, tantric massage therapists. We offer a range of specialist tantric massages for men, women and couples performed by certified and trained tantra masseuses.