One of the sad side effects of tantra losing its ecstatic element is that with out meaning to some tantric teachers even end up doing more harm than good. Especially since they are dealing with sexuality and intimacy they need to be extra careful and ideally would have many of the same skills that qualified sex therapists, psychologists, and spiritual guides have as well. When they do not tantra teachers can have their own issues and egos take over. Here are a few examples of how a few tantra teachers who were got their clients into trouble because of this even if they didn’t mean to.
Yogini for Hire.
In this scenario a well-meaning tantra teacher spent a three hour session (for a cost of $1000 no less), guiding a male client through tantra techniques that including validating his body for how it was, teaching him how to pleasure her in a more desirable way, and showing him how to hold his erection for a longer period of time. Overall, the experience was profoundly moving to the male client and helped him improve his capacity for ecstatic sex with his next female partner. However, this very qualified, but very unethical, tantra teacher then “allowed” her male client to do her a lot of favors in the way of marketing and promoting her tantra business all for free of course! Enraptured by the profound encounter he had experienced with his yogini teacher he happily complied.
Over 100 hours of free service later, he began to feel seriously disillusioned and flat out used. Years later he is still processing his conflicting emotions of having had such an intimate encounter with someone who essentially betrayed him by manipulating those very same emotions over a long period of time for her own personal gain. An ethical tantra teacher, much like an ethical therapist, would have known better than to involve “business with pleasure.”
One of the more beautiful teachings of tantra involves the idea that women should be treated as goddesses. Especially when men learn to do this with women, they can become less selfish and more readily able to turn sex into an intimate, playful, devoted, and loving encounter. Women are definately served by this. But, when goddess worship becomes goddess addiction men can turn this same worship dynamic into a new method of “scoring big time” with lots of females. Like Don Juan they come on strong bringing pleasure, affection, and attention to their female partners. Then like Don Juan they leave, on to their next tantric conquest, patting themselves egotistcally for being such great lovers as they move along.
True, if the female partner is honestly left feeling whole, free, cherished, and loved some definite good has come out of this encounter. And, if the male tantra participant has honestly been sensitive, aware, and free from his own ego, good has also probably emerged. It’s just typically, this is not the scenario. Especially since a deep bond is often established in a tantric encounter, the Don Juan exit plan can seem even more wounding. When these kind of intimate bonds quickly forged and then rather quickly broken, the once worshipped goddess crashes from an intense high to an intense low as she is now left to cope with feelings of heart break, confusion, disappointment, and even betrayal. In hind sight, given all the pain mixed in with this kind of pleasure some people may say to heck with tantra practiced in this way and go back to junk food sex. Sadly, junk food sex ends up feeling better because it is intended to be a mostly superficial encounter. Sure, junk food sex offers less pleasure, but it offers less pain. And, for those exhausted with the highs and lows, junk food quickies suddenly seem like a nice alternative.