This was in response to a question about about Tantra orgasm denial.
To me Tantra isn’t about orgasm denial (or maybe I should say that the apparent denial is of ordinary vanilla orgasm) or about tricks that help improve a flagging sex life. The aim in Tantra is to experience something new and unique beyond orgasm, though including it. The denial is aimed at a transcendental experience of ecstacy for which understanding and playing with orgasm is both a metaphor and a practice. The metaphor is that when you feel an impulse to react as you would ordinarily to any emotional situation you hold back that reflex response and wait for a new and different reaction something truly spontaneous. The practice is that in many traditions the great enlightenment (Mahasamadhi) is framed as being the ultimate ecstasy so in away you train yourself to experience increasing intensities of orgasm to prepare yourself for that ultimate experience. If you do this by giving control of your orgasm to a Master/Mistress of the spirit then so be it. Some people’s denial of orgasm results in supression of desire and feelings which as I play it and as I feel it in Tantra is counter productive.
Another aspect of Tantra is related to the role of Martial Arts in Buddhism. Buddhism says all suffering come from either running away from situation and things and/or running after them, fear and desire. The Martial Arts seeks mastery of fear, that is working to a point where fear no longer throws you out of shape. Tantra is about mastery of desire, such that desire no longer throws you out of shape. This not to say that you stop feeling either emotion, it is that you find ways to appreciate, hold and experience, even use them (though that one can be a bit worrying) them as without distorting yourself in the process. It is to know yourself without, or better, beyond fear and desire, that your great than both. The two together bring to a point of being bigger than them whether they a present or not is then irrelevant, simply fun, or maybe diagnostic od something that needs attending to but not something that will drive you to lose yourself.
I have a line that as practiced in India “Tantra is fetish with a spiritual justification, rationale.” They talk about being in the moment and being true to yourself. The way many of us practice fetish and sex positive approaches to vanilla is simply in the moment following your intuitive interests without needing a whole and rather complex cosmology to justify it. Shameless fun and pleasure is a revolutionary act both subjectively, socially and politically. I know plenty of people who have apparently had experiences described by the Tantrics out of adventurousness and sensitivity, following the gut. Just as meditation and contemplation are natural to anyone who explores the nature of their consciousness, even if they are isolated tribesman, Tantra is a natural part of anyone explore the nature or relationships and sexuality, and bliss. The main differences comes down to those whose Tantric practice is about Sex Magic(k), and that is a whole other conversation.
Sorry it got out of hand.. and a little lecturing, I have a passion for this subject. I hope this was of some use…