Tantra. Polarity. Conscious Sexuality. So hot right now. If you’ve noticed the current explosion of the personal development trend, you might’ve also noticed a lot of talk about Tantra.
Now there’s a lot of empowering stuff to be learned from these teachings. And while Tantra may not be specifically a part of my life anymore, Tantric practices and philosophies have helped me to:
- Shift a lot of shame I had around my sexuality.
- Uncover, explore, and integrate different aspects of myself.
- Experience a whole lot more pleasure in my body.
There’s also a destructive byproduct that needs talking about. It’s something I’ve experienced personally, and it’s something I see with a lot of the men who work with me:
“I want to be more in my masculine.”
“I want to last for hours.”
“I want to be a superior lover.”
In and of themselves, these are neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’ things to want. Both men and women have a lot of untapped capacity for pleasure. Sex is a whole lot more meaningful and fulfilling than what we’re usually taught. So yeah, there’s a lot to gain by going beyond the surface fundamentals and exploring your sexual potential.
A Hidden Agenda
Unfortunately the motivations and intentions of exploring Tantra are rarely so innocent. Rarely is it a simple, curious desire to explore sexuality and pleasure. That’s a part of it, no doubt. However there’s often a destructive ulterior motive. An underlying, hidden agenda:
- I NEED this.
- I NEED to be ‘more in my masculine’.
- I NEED to ‘last longer’.
I need to achieve something. I need to prove something.
“… because I don’t feel good enough.”
“… because I don’t feel confident enough.”
“… because I don’t feel masculine enough.”
It’s obvious once recognised. Yet it clearly needs saying:
If you feel empty and unworthy on the inside, Tantra (or anything else) will never be able to fulfil you.
You’re never going to ‘last long enough’ or ‘be in your masculine’ enough to finally feel good about yourself. It just doesn’t work that way.
Because lasting longer or being more masculine is part of a bigger problem.
What’s REALLY Going On
These things become another ‘should’ on you and your sexuality. Another source of pressure, another expectation to live up to, another goal to achieve.
They’re the latest expressions of a concept that has screwed men forever:
Performative Masculinity is the idea that ‘to be masculine’ means to DO or BE certain things (and not other ‘unmasculine’ things.) It’s the idea that you are not inherently a man UNLESS you display certain attitudes or behaviours. (And don’t display others.)
The problem is that when you set rules or expectations on ‘who’ or ‘what’ you’re supposed to be, you perpetuate a vicious cycle of suffering. And Tantra – at least how it’s currently (mis)interpreted, is absolutely contributing to the suffering.
Think about it like this: what happens when you can’t last for hours in bed?
What happens when you don’t feel particularly masculine?
For a lot of men, the sad truth is this:
They judge, reject, guilt, and shame themselves.
I did. For years. If I didn’t last as long as I wanted to, if I didn’t live up to what I had been programmed to see as a powerful, confident, ‘conscious’ man, I’d feel deeply ashamed. I’d get so critical of myself that I would shutdown and plummet into a massive shame spiral. My self-talk and the way I treated myself was unbelievably negative.
Unfortunately I now see the same thing playing out in other men: the brutal self-judgement. The damning internal scorn. The unnecessary suffering.
But it’s all so self-evident, right? If you can’t do those things… If you can’t last for hours or have multiple non-ejaculatory orgasms,… If you can’t ‘fuck your woman open to god’… If the power of your masculine presence doesn’t make her melt with desire…
Then you’re not good enough.
And there’s something wrong with you.
Yeah, not so much.
‘The Conscious/Evolved Masculine’ – the new standard for men to measure up to.
So How DO You Prove Your Masculinity?
The real solution is counter-intuitive. And it’s contrary to what most men’s coaches would have you believe.
The solution is not simply learning how to get ‘better’ at these things.
The solution is not attempting to live up to the ridiculous standards of ‘The Conscious/Evolved Masculine’ (or whatever the latest buzzwords are).
The solution is much simpler, far more challenging, yet infinitely more effective:
It’s learning to love and accept yourself NO MATTER HOW YOU ‘PERFORM’.
It’s learning to nurture and support yourself no matter what you do or don’t achieve.
It’s daring to question the dogma. It’s doing the challenging inner work to recognise the crippling expectations you place upon yourself. (And more importantly – ‘what you make it mean’ when you fail to live up to them).
It’s learning how to reprogram your mind and body, and treat yourself with compassion and empathy. It’s realising that you don’t have to prove your masculinity, and practicing the conviction that SELF WORTH IS INHERENT:
That you don’t need to DO anything or ACHIEVE anything to BE worthy.
Because self worth isn’t found by attaching it to something outside of yourself, then pursuing it.
Far more empowering is to see through the Matrix and quit the chase altogether.
Worthiness is an Inside Job
You’re already worthy and masculine and awesome – even if you can’t control your ejaculation. Even if you don’t have unwavering masculine presence. Even if you’re not on purpose every single second of the day. Even if you don’t feel particularly masculine or ‘superior’ at all (because WTF does that even mean anyway?)
Sure, go learn how to circulate your sexual energy or create more polarity if those things interest you. Learn how to bring more pleasure and fulfilment into your sex life, for sure.
But do it from a place of self-acceptance. A kind of non-attachment to the outcome. With a genuine curiosity that has ZERO bearing on your self-worth.
‘Cause the great irony is this:
Once you take self-worth out of it, you either realise you don’t actually care about achieving the thing, or it becomes a whole lot easier to get.
(Which applies to just about anything in life.)
Don’t let Tantric practices be another test you pass or fail at. Don’t let it be the latest, shiniest – but ultimately destructive – version of “I’ll be happy/healthy/loveable/enough, when….”
Don’t let it be something you chase to prove your worth or your masculinity. To yourself, or to others.
YOU’RE ALREADY ENOUGH.
It should go without saying, but for the record – what I’ve described here is not Tantra. Tantra is not inherently about sex or sexual performance. Neither does it implicitly seek to shame men or their sexuality.
And yet, this is the fallout from how Tantra is currently being (mis)interpreted and (mis)understood. This post is intended to bring awareness to, and start a conversation about these misconceptions. And to encourage a lot more accountability for how the message is being transmitted and received.
Hey, I’m Reece – for the past 5 years I’ve been helping men build healthy relationships, have deeply connected sex, and create lives that fucking rock.
Click here to apply for a free, no-obligation 90-minute online coaching call to discover how I can best support you.