A word about lights and shadows.
We are all humans and what we call imperfections is often what brings juice an energy in our lives.
The area of shadows is double because if someone challenges you, they will push you to your edge and force you to evolve, test your responses to challenges, etc.
At the same time, these emerging shadows like for instance sabotage patterns, intense mood swings, manipulation verbal attacks might create an unstable, unsafe field inappropriate for deep sensual exploration.
It’s a double thing!
Shadows can be seen as core frictions that bring juice to the experience and take tantric energy to a whole new level or they can be seen as the core obstacle to a great and deep experience.
I think that instead of trying to force a certain experience in the lights or shadows fields, you can simply use the energies that are present.
The unique dynamics created by two beings coming together at a given moment in their lives will create a specific flavor and combination of energies.
This unique experience might be in total alignment with what your spirit must experience at that time.
You might prepare yourself for a challenging exposure to intense fiery explosions and receive instead lots of love and peace.
Or you might expect a gentle holiday like experience with great sex and receive instead blast after blast of anger, irritation or rage from a wild partner.
The point here is that these experiences might be quite different or even radically different from what you expect.
Especially if you dive in this experience with a new partner in a context or space that is fresh to both of you, what will emerge might be a surprise.
The idea is to be prepared and rather than micromanaging or forcing the experience in a certain mood, allow the spirit to guide you in unique ways.
It’s essential as well to recognize that your partner’s strong points might be in the shadows.
They might be wild, free, trigger you, be good at challenging you.
If you try to stop them in their flow and bring them to lighter experiences, you might rob them from their freedom and their unique contribution to this tantric sex experience.
So the idea is to embrace what is, rather than resenting challenges and shadows when they emerge!
When you see a shadow appear either in you or in your lover, you can say “Great! A shadow! Looks like we’ve got some fresh emotional juice coming up”
It is in your power as well to deeply influence and cocreate your experience.
If you can eat delicious food, would you rather have disgusting dishes?
Of course not!
For most people our natural tendency is to have a fun and painless existence!
So, yes if you are submerged by wild emotional fires and you can access some beauty and rest, of course you might enjoy tapping in those.
Or you might see the beauty of these wild emotional fires and decide to explore these flavors for a while and even call them, trigger them when they tend to dissolve.
If you like fire and intensity, peace and nurturing harmonious energies might feel flat and uninteresting to you.
That’s where the mystery and your unique response to shadows lies!
A bitter or unusual taste might stretch your sensual experience to new levels.
Avoiding what’s new and staying within the comfort of predictable practices might rob you from a delicious adventure in unknown realms.
Let’s check some of the possible shadows!
I will simply mention some of them to show you some of the dynamics you might expect and how to shift them if you want to.
Here we go…
In a previous article, I talked about specific shadows, mistakes or pitfalls.
I thought of putting the same ideas in a positive light rather than “mistakes”.
I want to take the exact same “don’t do that” ideas and put it in the form of “do that instead”.
Keep it light and fun
It’s good to laugh, relax, bring lightness and playfulness!
Of course, your retreat can lead you to profound energetic states, incredible mystical breakthroughs and so on but no need to take yourselves too seriously through all that!
You can see this whole retreat as playful experiment!
Be in your power! Be in your truth!
Sometimes instead of being true to yourself and staying free, you will let your lover domesticate you or lock you in controlling frames.
The fact that you share space doesn’t give them the right to control or direct you, unless you are in a session with that specific agreement.
It’s so easy to lose your power by locking yourself in stupid frames just trying to accommodate or be nice.
Have vital fights within sessions not in free flow
Vital fights are totally part of my vital tantra system. This means that when tensions, frustrations or anger arise you can engage in a timed, conscious expression of whatever emotion is stacked in your being.
Instead of just unloading on your partner any time, have a conscious vital fight or vital truth session.
The solution for that one is simple: pause and offer to meet later to have a vital fight session with your partner.
Negotiate money agreements before your retreat starts, not in the middle of it
Talking about money is ideally done before the retreat starts. Figuring out who pays for what before you start is best. Agree on something that matches you both and once you engage in retreat don’t bring it up again or just quickly without dwelling on it.
If you have an original agreement like for instance sharing costs, stick to it. If you decide to take care of expenses, that can work too. But decide before the retreat and then drop it.
Be clear! Make it easy for your lover! Don’t play games!
Deciding for instance that you will have a session together and not showing up or changing your mind at the last minute stops the flow. Yes, it forces your partner in finding the best response. But it is as well an interruption to a core practice that might be precious for both of you.
Same happens if you let your lover take care of all the chores without contributing much or adding your touch to create a harmonious space.
Making food together for instance, cleaning, holding harmony in the space together will usually create a better more harmonious and balanced experience for both of you.
Create complicity and support rather than sabotaging each other
This means systematically undermining your lover’s efforts to facilitate a great experience. You can easily see pathways that create tension and disharmony.
The goal of a retreat like this one is first to be accomplices rather than enemies.
Create partnership rather than competition
Another big no no if you want to build a team. If you see your tantric lover do something fun or great, celebrate their victory rather than resenting them or trying to sabotage their joy.
Be flexible, accept your mistakes and apologize if needed
It’s ok to experiment and make mistakes. And it’s wonderful to sometimes try a certain technique, response, communication tactic or whatever and realize it’s not appropriate in that situation.
Apologizing means “I recognize I tried something and that doesn’t seem to work and I take it back… Here is what I would do if this situation arises again”.
A life experience becomes a mistake only if you keep on duplicating the same unsuccessful action without learning from it.
Voice your gratitude
This one can be super frustrating. Imagine that your lover prepares this delicious meal and you don’t acknowledge that or take it for granted. You don’t need to overdo it of course. Just be present and express your gratitude.
You can as well do that in a more formal way like a daily 5 min gratitude session where you voice everything you like about this retreat, your lover and yourself.
Stay cool, don’t overreact and drop it – Emotions are beautiful but stay drama free
Stay centered and focused. If something triggers you, no need to enter in a live negative feedback loop for hours. Say a couple of words and then drop it. Take it in, feel it. Offer to have a processing or vital fight session on that one at a later stage. Or simply share your emotions the following day at a feedback minute.
Emotions are beautiful but stay drama free.
Be a team player
As a couple or as tantric lovers, you are a team. It’s essential to see when it’s time to contribute or when it’s time to retreat. If you only make selfish choices, this might create disconnection and force your partner to do the same.
Be able to disconnect and go back to your space after a session
After an intense session, love making or any form of processing, you both might need a conscious break. Take time for yourself and give space to your partner to recollect.
Focus on the positives, let go of negatives
If something happens that triggers you, mention it, solve it, drop it and don’t bring it up again.
Stay in the present rather than being too much in the past, future or other relationships
Being on a duo tantric retreat is like being on a long date. Do you enjoy it when your lover keeps bringing up their past relationship when you are on a date? Usually not.
This retreat is about the two of you, not your ex lovers or partners. It is in the present, not something that happened months ago or what could happen in the near future. Stay focused mainly on the here and now.
You don’t have to be strict with that of course. You can make plans. You can mention something about your ex. Simply be aware of this dynamic and bring back the focus to both of you and the present moment as much as possible.
Make practicing together your top priority, no excuse 🙂
The moment deep intimacy kicks in, there is a natural desire or tendency to run away. Why? Because intimacy exposes you. It’s like taking away your skin and allowing your lover to see you from within.
This merging of energies can feel uncomfortable and the natural tendency might be to retreat in the comfort of your own individual self.
Take care of the basics
It’s essential to eat healthy, do some yoga, activations or train. You need to shower, breathe fresh air, relax your mind, get enough sleep. These personal balance guidelines are essential to have a great experience.
Stay centered, confident and in power rather than needy or demanding
Your partner must feel free! They engage in this experience with you because they want to, not because they are forced to! Don’t control them or micromanage them! Set them free instead!
Be positive rather than negative
This one is seeing the negative side of everything and focusing on what’s not working. Taking a small detail and making it huge. Making negative stories.
Entering in self blame or self pity mode is another way of projecting negativity but this time on yourself.
Expressing lots of doubts and fears is another soft way to be negative and not trusting.
Praize, celebrate and acknowledge your lover rather than blaming and criticizing
Accusing your partner, attacking them, trapping them, labelling them, etc.
Sometimes you might not even verbalize but they feel you judging them or criticising them in your self talk. The moment you open your mouth, they never know if you will say something negative positive to them. This creates a sense of emotional insecurity that stops deeper levels of intimacy from emerging.
Stick to the facts instead of making up stories
Getting lost in interpretations, blaming. Saying something like: “because you did this… It means that…”
If your lover has an emotional breakdown, offer your love, care or support. Stay present with them without blocking their emotional release flow!
Create sacred space
Music, fire, incense, candles, beauty, crystals, ritual, etc are all essential aspects for creating a nurturing space. Cocreate this together.
Sustain a high degree of emotional and energetic independence rather than relying too much on your lover
Especially on month long retreats, you must find a sustainable rhythm that suits you both. Ideally, have some single activity you can go back to, whether it’s just surfing the net, doing some work, taking a hike by yourself, doing some training, engaging in your own practice or socializing with others.
Be flexible rather than stubborn or rigid
Allow the natural flow to sometimes modify the course of the day and add new flavors to your rhythm.
Decide how flexible you want to be with timing, with practice, content and with other aspects of any structure you set up.
For instance, you can be flexible with session start times and simply vaguely agree to have a couple sessions a day. There is no need to over rigidify or over discipline yourselfs.
Respect boundaries instead of crossing them without checking in
Decide before you start if you want to be sexually exclusive or not.
- Do you want to invite other lovers?
- Is it ok to have sex with others?
- Is it ok to interact in flirty ways?
- How open exactly do you want to be?
- Is it ok to bring other potential lovers in the retreat space?
- Are you open to three or foursomes?
- Safe sex boundaries?
Decide these boundaries before you start and then stick to them. If something major comes up that requires a boundary shift, bring it up before you take action.
If you engage sexually with others, make sure your come back to the retreat’s intention. Use this energy that you build outside of this tantric partnership to nurture and activate what you have with your primary retreat lover.
In other terms, see your tantric lover as your primary partner for the time of the retreat, otherwise too much energy and focus might leak out of your retreat.
Create freedom, love, space, respect and expansion rather than control or too restrictive boundaries
This could mean getting jealous or upset if you see your lover having a chat with someone or feeling like you can’t send a message to your ex without feeling your lover reacting to it.
It can mean as well not giving them enough space or freedom to do their own thing for a few hours if they want or need to.
Restrictive boundaries tend to asphyxiate your tantric experience.
This means to set your lover free, rather than locking them in limiting and constricting rules.
Open space for each other, expand, create love and respect
Create peace and harmony with your neighbours
Sex can be loud! Vital fights can bring intense emotions but don’t let that spill over to your neighbours. Ideally find a space which is private enough to practice but if you don’t find it, discover ways to not go full volume.
Never physically or emotionally abuse your partner
This one is of course a huge one! I encourage you not to cross that line! Playing with pain and sexual dominance, slapping each other or kicking each other within a session with clear boundaries is a totally different thing than losing it and physically hurting your lover! There is a very clear line here that must not be crossed!
This goes as well to breaking stuff or letting your rage go into self inflicted abuse.
Not good! Stay safe and don’t ever cross that line!
Again, it is often in moments of tension,discomfort or challenge that juice is created.
The goal is not necessarily to suppress these shadows but rather bring awareness to them.
To tell you the truth, I still have sometimes mixed feelings about giving guidelines at all.
Why? because the tantric spirit tends to be free and wild and having too many guidelines and fixed structures might actually interrupt the natural flow and what’s real at any given moment.
I see as well that many of the “mistakes” I mention are immature and poor reactions that make the energy and intensity drop.
So some core guidelines and values might be essential as well.
The key word here is awareness!
For instance, you might be trapped in reactive mode and be dominated by that emotion. Or you can be in reactive mode, witness it and enjoy the flow of anger or frustration coming through.
It looks like the same emotional reaction from outside but one is conscious and the other is not.
So, I don’t have the final answer!
I do feel that a lot of what I suggest in these guidelines are empowering frames, values, attitudes that will add juice and energy to your experience, bring focus and overall bring you to a more successful experience.
You can see as well that you can apply these dynamics to your couple in general, not just a tantric sex retreat.
Let’s stay tuned on that one…
To be followed