HYuj Matters - A Sexual Position Called Presence

Nervously she asked me: “Do you want to know how to make me orgasm?” excitedly I responded “Yes!”, many years later now close friends we spoke of that moment and she relayed to me how I had been the only sexual partner to respond that way to that question. In most cases responses had ranged from defensive to simply awkward avoidance on an issue we often find ourselves in: open and empathetic presence in sexual intimacy.

I knew very little about sex and even less about intimacy when I was in tertiary. Wasn’t well read but had been meditating and looking in on yoga but nothing concrete played out as daily practice. The first book I bought was the Karma sutra felt I’d unlocked the secrets of the universe because I now knew different positions but it lacked one of the fundamental things I have come to note. I realised that a lot of people struggle to be present in their sexual interactions. Presence of mind. Presence of spirit. And ways to access these levels of perception. Please understand that I am not talking about some deep altered psychic trance mode you’d access after taking a mixture of shrooms, LSD and a dash of coke. I am simply talking about being present enough to note physical discomfort in your partner’s body language or to listen to his/her emotional state before engaging sexually and the many different ways we can engage sexually before we get to the physical workings.

This past weekend I was honoured to hang with two best friends and new acquaintances with the purpose of unpacking all things related to the spirit. While floating through different kinds of subject matter we ended up talking sex, specifically BDSM and how even in those circles, presence needs to be quite well tuned. My best friend who’s heavily into Eastern and African spirituality but also has BDSM infused into his sexual exploration, explained how something as simple as the placement of hands when holding down a former lover was something he needed to be cognizant of. His partner had been sexually assaulted and he needed to check which acts would trigger her trauma so that he moved with care while in their sexual charge. Its subtle things like this that I have been learning over the years through Tantra Yoga. Different rituals on how to bring presence into a sexual encounter, how to learn to see past myself in a sexual interaction, at times even speaking directly to my partner’s body parts and bringing worship into the most intimate of spaces.

Tantra means to “weave or expand energy” similar to Yuj which is the root word for yoga meaning to yoke or merge. To sit for five minutes simply breathing with your partner while looking into each other’s eyes or meditating together or blindfolding your partner to engage all five of their senses without touching each other brings awareness into the intimate space. This makes one more aware of their partner, the different nuances in their body language, how to cater to your partner and trust that they too have come to understand the specific dialect of your body’s sexual language. Sexual experience is not a one size fits all kind of world but is as different and unique as the number of bodies on earth. In my studies I have come across a wellness practice called OMing (Orgasmic Massage) whose sole purpose is for your partner to lie down while you stroke her clitoris for 15 minutes and both of you simply: let go and feel. There are actual centres where couples and even strangers meet and undress in a safe space and practise such.

Yoga is varied, has many different ways where we yoke heart and mind, body and spirit and through with emotions threading them all by bringing awareness to our breath to trigger presence.