Money and sex – two topics you should never discuss at the dinner table… or should you?
Sex is something that mostly all engage in and is an innate part of being human and yet nobody talks about it.
In recent decades, sexuality has begun to move out of the ‘taboo’ as more and more advocates and teachers are uncovering the mysteries of tantra, sacred sexuality, and sex.
Sex can be a much deeper spiritual practice than the quick-swiping hookup culture that society has fallen into in the past few decades. Everybody has the capacity to tap into deeper levels of intimacy and connection – whether you are practicing sex with someone else, or solo.
So how does one begin to deepen their sexual practice, connect with their sacred sexuality, or use the sexual and tantric realms to connect deeper in with themselves?
Unconventional Life caught up with Layla Martin, founder of the Tantric Institute of Integrated Sexuality, who has spent over 10,000 hours teaching people how to experience more epic sex. She’s been affectionately referred to as the ‘headmistress of pleasure’, reaching roughly 79 million people through her Youtube videos and with a 200k+ subscriber email list.
For Layla, the disconnect from sexuality as a sacred practice is “the core of what holds women back…this fundamental disempowerment from our spirituality and our sexuality – we can feel like it’s a whole new era for us, but until we repair the damage that got done from thousands of years of denying women sexual sovereignty and the right to say no, the ability to be spiritual leaders and to claim that wisdom, I don’t believe that we can fully step into the full freedom and leadership that’s available to us”
She believes that tantric practices can enable women to step into full leadership roles and become fully empowered, along with feeling a deep connection to themselves and their bodies.
Layla believes one of the best things about tantra is that it’s so accessible to everyone, no matter what lifestyle you lead – “one of the foundational teachings in the tantric tradition is that you can do a spiritual path through life… I think there’s something so radical and beautiful in that for people who are spiritually hungry in the modern age but they don’t want to bypass their human life.”
Here are 3 practices that Layla recommends for those who are eager to deepen their own sacred sexuality, connect with themselves or are just curious to see what the practices of tantra become available to them.
“We can spend a lot of time comparing or complaining or feeling shame about our sexuality or just ignoring it…but the first step really is to have an intention… an hour-long orgasm… I would love to have a more conscious sexual experience… Whatever the intention is, I find that holding that intention is such a great first start. Whatever i want to experience, I can hold a vision for it sexually and then trust that it will fall into place…”
Get clear on an intention you would like to create through your experience – whether that be by yourself, or with a partner – a longer orgasm, a deeper connection to your body, for instance.
Layla advocates any techniques and practices that are designed for “getting out of our heads and critical thinking and into our beingness”. She is passionate about breathwork as one such technique, along with mindfulness and meditation practices.
When practicing during a sexual experience – through self-pleasure or with a partner – ensure to slow down, be mindful of what you are feeling, notice the breath, anchor yourself into the present moment, and your body.
According to Layla, masturbation, and self-pleasure is such a key practice for those wanting to deepen their sacred sexuality and understand their bodies better.
“Something that a lot of people don’t think about is – how does the way that I masturbate impact how I feel about my body? Every single time you masturbate you’re running a neural network you’re creating around sexuality or pleasure or you’re creating a new one… so one of the biggest areas that we have to grow to explore to create new experiences is actually through the way we masturbate.”
Layla offers a few self-inquiry questions for your masturbation practice –
How do you feel and what is the emotional tone?
Do you involve breathwork?
Do you make it safe for your body to go through a healing experience?
How do you speak to your body?
“If you want to take it one step deeper into sacred sexuality, consider does the way I masturbate actually allow me to access higher states of consciousness?”
Layla is offering one lucky female-identified reader two free months of her online program the Vita Woman Membership where the participants undergo sacred sexuality training in an array of different topics and domains related to tantra. You can apply to win here, a winner will be announced next week.
Visit her website for awesome videos, blog posts and courses at Laylamartin.com