I’M sitting on the living room floor in my sports bra and leggings, my laptop is set up and, as the teacher comes on to the screen, I shout for my partner Ben to come and join in.
We start with some deep-breathing, perform a couple of stretches and it all seems like a tame yoga class until: “Now start to slowly move your hands to a part of each other’s body and hold each other here — drink each other in.”
Today, for the first time in my life, I’m trying tantric s3x.
We try not to giggle as we do what our instructor says and, after the first five minutes of awkward fumbling and deep-breathing over each other, I start to relax into it.
I feel Ben doing the same and, as soon as we give in to the idea that it’s completely normal and totally s3xy to be sitting half-naked together in the middle of the day, between a sofa, some baby toys and an ironing board, it actually starts to feel surprisingly pleasurable.
“Tantra is more important than food,” our s3x coach Lara Anderson says, bringing me back to the present moment.
“You can survive on less food but you can’t live without human touch. The more you learn to connect sexually, the more enriched your relationship will be.”
As Ben rests his head on my chest and I hold on to his back, I feel a calming sense of connection that I rarely feel during regular s3x.
I can feel his breath on my skin and his heart pounding and, unlike when we are usually under the sheets, there isn’t any noise or constant movement — instead, it is silent and still.
Any movement our instructor does introduce is slow and thoughtful and, I have to admit, thinking about where my partner is going to touch me next is strangely arousing.
“Don’t concentrate on getting over the finishing line, it’s all about the sexual journey,” continues Lara, who works at Tantric Therapy in London and has been teaching this for more than 12 years.
“When done properly, tantra bodywork can lead to longer — and more powerful — orgasms.”
Research into tantric s3x has found that unlike during regular s3x which is often rushed, with an orgasm being the end goal, tantric s3x encourages us to hold back and resist that end goal so that, when we do eventually climax, it is more intense and lasts for longer than you have experienced before.
Today, tantra is enjoyed by a long list of celebrities including Sting, Gwyneth Paltrow and P-Diddy, but historically it dates back more than 5,000 years to ancient India.
From its conception to the present day, Tantra has challenged sexual norms around the world and its appeal is now so big that this month it has its own exhibition in London, at The British Museum.
I can feel his breath on my skin and his heart pounding and, unlike when we are usually under the sheets, there isn’t any noise.
Back to our tantric workshop and we are taking a break to discuss our relationship with teacher Lara and her business partner Alexey.
They ask us what we want to achieve from our virtual session which, in pre-pandemic times, would have taken place in their London studio.
My partner then shuffles uncomfortably beside me so I answer on our behalf.
“We used to have a healthy s3x life before we had a baby,” I begin, watching the pair nod in unison on the screen, encouraging me to continue.
“Our son is ten months old but, like most new parents, we are sleep — and s3x — deprived. Our son still sleeps in our room so it’s difficult for us to have ‘adult time’.
“On the rare occasion we do have s3x, it’s usually a quickie on the living-room floor while he naps. As a result, our relationship — and s3x life — is suffering.”
They both take a deep breath, which calms me down after revealing such personal details about our s3x life, and Lara says: “Tantric s3x can bring you closer together in and out of the bedroom.
“We don’t believe in just humming, holding hands and talking about sacred Hindu goddesses.
VERY TURNED ON
“Eastern wisdom on sexuality is a profound source, but Hindu spirituality in a tantra workshop is unnecessary for a modern couple to awaken the senses for lovemaking.
“We are a practical workshop and nudity is beneficial, to explore hands-on skills.”
I feel Ben tense up next to me. We are both thinking the same thing: “Are we now going to have to strip off and have s3x in front of a stranger?”
But as if reading our minds, Lara adds: “It’s at your own comfort level and you can turn off the camera if it makes you more relaxed.”
We breathe a sigh of relief and compete to see who can click to turn off the camera first.
Knowing we are no longer in view changes everything and, when Lara tells us to “lie naked on each other in whatever position you feel most comfort-able,” the feeling of awkwardness has gone.
“Ben, rest your face on Georgie’s chest and put your knee between her legs,” Lara adds.
“Relax and feel the skin where you’ve been touched. Enjoy the feelings of your lover as they flow into you — your shared energies.
“Send each other love from your whole body and from your heart, then move your hands very slowly to another place on each other’s body and stay here.”
With the giggling out of the way earlier in the session, this time, as relaxing instrumental music plays through the laptop speakers, we feel calm and confident.
We work through five “exercises” in total, and each one gets a little more intimate, but we build up to it.
Tantric s3x can bring you closer together in and out of the bedroom.Lara Anderson
We end the session by holding each other down below and gently stroking the area.
“Remember, it’s not all about climaxing, just enjoy the sensation,” Lara coaches.
It’s an odd feeling touching one another so intimately without breaking out into regular s3x, but it is definitely enjoyable.
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When the session is over, Lara asks: “How are you both feeling?” Despite the strangeness of it all, we are surprisingly very turned on.
In fact, the session has brought us closer together and — for the first time in a while as new parents — I feel our s3x drives might both be fired up at the same time.
Lara says: “If you practise this every day, just for a few minutes, you will notice a difference in your relationship. You don’t have to end up having s3x. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t but that’s not the endgame.”
Try telling Ben that, I think . . . as I follow him to the bedroom.