During the last week of October, 1995, Sunrise Center in Corte Madera, California, held an interesting 3-hour tantra workshop. I attended, and i'd like to pass along a little bit of what it was like, for those who are curious about what is meant by sexual training, as opposed to tantric religious practice.
This was a couples-only workshop, consisting of a small group -- perhaps 8 or 10 couples. There were 4 teachers (two couples). The couples all happened to be heterosexual, but the teachers made it clear that the same training would be given to homosexual couples, had any signed up.
We started by giving our names and listing some of our previous experience with tantra workshops. As usual, ages ranged from early 20s through late 50s, and experience ranged from absolutely none through many years of attending workshops or even giving them. Some couples seemed to be mated or married; others, like my partner and i, were simply "training partners" who liked and respect each other and trained together, much as one might with a martial arts training partner.
It was explained at the outset that this particular class would focus on the physiological aspects of the "extended orgasm" or orgasm control techniques popularized through books like "ESO" by Allen Brauer or "One Hour Orgasm" by Bob Schwartz, and that there would be little or no reference to tantra puja or sacred sexuality. The subject would be the woman's orgasm, for the reason that the female anatomical structures are smaller and thus more difficult to apprehend -- and the presence of training teachers would facilitate learning. The same information applies to men, of course, and the women were gently advised to make sure that after the class we would practice on the males as they had practiced on us.
The lecture portion of the presentation consisted of the usual anatomical details of the vulva and clitoris (shown on a large, well-made, silky-satin stuffed-toy-like vulva!) and a discussion of the several meanings of the terms orgasm, climax, contraction, ejaculation, coming, and so forth.
Those familiar with tantra or extended orgasm will not need a refresher on this subject, but for others, the basics are these: the sexual response covers 3 biological systems: circulatory (the blood needed for arousal and tumescence), muscular (the contractions of male ejaculation and female orgasm), and neurological (the sensations of pleasure during arousal and orgasm).
Because there is no specific word for the contractions of female orgasm and because in most males ejaculation and the sensations of orgasm are closely entrained, many people have been led to confuse contraction with orgasm. For the purposes of the class, orgasm was redefined as "anything happening between your legs that feels better than anything else in your body" and muscular contractions were broken down into "peaks," "valleys," and "climaxes."
The demonstration portion of the class came next. The techniques covered were
1. the need for couples to prepare a "research space" in which to undertake the work (separate and distinct from normal lovemaking and/or tantric lovemaking),
2. a recommended comfortable position for extended masturbation of one's partner while doing the work,
3. how to do personal "anatomical mapping" of the receiver's genitals, using mutual feedback dialogue between giver and receiver ("i am touching your clitoris with the flat of my finger"..."now i am rubbing my thumb upward across your clitoris...") to give the receiver some terminology to describe what is most pleasurable,
4. "training from effect," in which the receiver -- who has acquired terminology during the mapping session -- uses a three-step communication process ("that feels good...now please change to doing this other thing...thank you") to gradually train the giver to produce maximal arousal and pleasure,
5. "training from cause," in which the giver self-trains in arousing and pleasuring the receiver by asking simple either/or questions ("would you like this...or that?") and accepting feedback and acknowledgement from the receiver ("do that...thank you"),
6. a few common ways to masturbate a woman, with attention to the personal anatomical mapping of the vulva and clitoris done previously,
7. maintaining the receiver's ascending peaks and valleys,
8. and a novel way to cause detumesense in an aroused woman when bringing a session of research and training to a close without a contractive climax.
One teaching couple demonstrated the first five techniques as the other couple described and added comments. The students then applied these techniques one-on-one while all four teachers went around the room checking us and making suggestions. Later, the other couple demonstrated the last three techniques, which we then practiced while the four teachers again checked us. The workshop closed with a lengthy question and answer period.
I could give extensive details of the training techniques (training from effect and training from cause are extremely useful, and the female detumescense trick was alone worth the price for the course) -- but i do not feel comfortable giving away information which i think is well worth the small amount of money one would pay to the Sunrise Center to learn first hand. The cost for this 3 hour class was only $40.00 per couple, about the price of a dinner-and-movie date. Take the training yourself, if you want the full experience.
The Center runs other types of workshops and their tantra classes are organized under the name Celebrations of Love.
You can reach them at
Celebrations of Love
45 San Clemente Drive, C-200
Corte Madera, California 94925
(415) 924-5483 voice
(415) 924-4212 fax
As usual, i should state that i am in no way connected with the Sunrise Center except as an occasional student and that i earn no money or free training time by reviewing their classes favourably.
I also feel compelled to restate, as i often do, that i believe one could learn just as quickly from books or, if one had a willing partner, through personal experimentation.
The benefit of this training class was that it rapidly and
positively delivered information on techniques that other people
had developed. There are always new wrinkles to this field... and
after many years of practicing karezza, i was happy to realize
that i was not too old to learn something new and enjoy the process.
copyright © 1995-2003 catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.
Send your comments to: cat yronwode.
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