I received this message from a female artist and Tantrika and because she addresses questions that are often difficult to ask I thought it was well worth publishing here. Her thoughts and comments speak for themselves and reflect many of the ideas and practices that my own visitors enjoy and that I am pleased to encourage.
‘ Hello Colin,
I read as much as I can find about Tantric practice and as an artist combining performance art with Tantra your blog has me very interested.
I’m located in Toronto and am a bisexual Tantrika, photographer and performance artist. Your descriptions of performance art and Tantric gatherings are so close to my own objectives that I wanted to write and add some of my own ideas and experiences which might interest some of your other readers.
I have found in my practice that Tantra and art combine so perfectly. Visual arts, in whatever medium you choose, including photography, ideally should make a lasting impression on the mind. So to bring art and Tantra together is a most powerful tool. Tantra is about becoming conscious of the body and its energies and so I make my art around the body and its sensual energy.
As I take my massage and Tantra clients on journeys to discover their hidden energies I like to arrange performance art and modeling sessions as often as I can. These sessions become a way of opening minds even further but do raise questions.
My approach is not traditional. I’m trying to do something different from the normal artist/model posing session although there is nothing wrong with that.
In my performance art and Tantric approach I try to capture through photographs and paint and pencil media the individual and group energy of gatherings of people.
For my clients I invite them to come together as a group to be my subjects. I don’t seek a gender balance but usually the balance is 75/25 majority male. Usually I can bring 4 – 8 people.
I hold the sessions in my studio which I love. For me it’s a space of special creative energy. My objective is to encourage people to move beyond their comfort levels and try to capture the energy of that transition as they adapt to the challenges of accepting themselves outside of their normal interaction with the world and other people.
I ask people to arrive at close to the same time. Always they are or have been massage clients so they know me. I start by asking them all to undress exactly where they find themselves.
This is a real challenge for most people. They are in a space that they likely haven’t been previously and among people who they may not have ever met before, so to undress so publicly and suddenly is not what they expected and challenges their comfort levels. At this moment I try to photograph to capture the reactions.
My purpose is completely to raise body consciousness and as people undress I say that we’re here to celebrate bodies, forms and energies and not to hide or conceal and that I want to capture that energy.
It doesn’t take long for everybody to get naked and I ask them to stand and look around and absorb the forms and energies. I am very explicit in my language and tell the men that it is OK to have erections and to be curious about other men and the women.
In my profession as a Tantrika I have had many conversations with men who would really like to enjoy their Tantric time with male as well as female energy but are so worried that this desire might mean that they are gay. I always say that this is not necessarily so, and is nothing negative anyway, but that all people can be attracted and enjoy the energy of both sexes, especially when considered in a Tantric spirit. I often perform massage with a male friend to ease the comfort level. We should not resist giving and taking pleasing sensual and sexual energy when we can. Personally I enjoy the energy and bodies of both men and women and I try to encourage others to also explore honestly their own desires. Many of my clients visit me as well as male Tantric practices and I think this is so healthy. Just enjoy.
For my art session now I will photograph and sketch, looking at the changes in faces and energies.
People soon begin to relax a little seeing that everybody is feeling the same nervousness. I try to encourage people to become conscious of their nudity and not to ignore it for it is the sensual energy that I’m seeking to capture explicitly. The men will often start to have erections and the women will also start to pay attention to others.
For me the fascination is to record the transition that brings in sexual energy. I try to encourage people to begin to explore their own bodies in the presence of the others and then to carefully and respectfully touch and explore the bodies of others. I say to be free to explore people of the same gender however anybody self identifies. Sometimes it will be the first time a male has touched another male in a sensual or sexual way. Sometimes it is the first time that a female has watched men enjoying each other in a sexual way.
This is always within the comfort levels of individuals and nobody is ever made to feel uncomfortable. Nearly always people stay and progress their interest and I’m able to capture so many aspects of this change of sexual consciousness.
As time moves on people become less inhibited and I am able to sketch and paint at a less frantic pace. I would say that so many things can happen at these sessions. I see men enjoying their own bodies and learning about the sensuality of other men. I see women enjoying the same without judging the men. Of course people are free to express themselves and I try to encourage those expressions. As a Tantrika I train that all parts of the body can be centres of sexual energy and as an artist I like to see those energy centres being enjoyed.
When I have described this to others they always imagine that this is like an orgy. It is not a crude orgy in that way but it is an orgy of art and energy and there is nothing wrong when people can enjoy and treat each other kindly in these ways.
For both men and women it is good to see how others can behave sexually and sensually and even artistically.
I am always discreet with the photographs and drawings and after these sessions I take the images that reflect the energy and make the art by joining the images to reflect the energy of the session.
I hope that this will be interesting to you and your readers.
The writer sent me a few images of her work. I thought it worth posting this message and description. The important thing, apart from the artistic approach, is her clear understanding of how Tantric approaches to sensual and sexual energy can quickly create such positive changes in thinking and approaches to sexuality.