Tantric massage is becoming a big thing.
For men, the ubiquitous “happy ending massage” has been around in many societies for a long time, though mostly for relief of built-up sexual tension rather than any kind of tantric experience. So for men to go for a tantric massage is not a big leap of the imagination. It’s simply the next step.
But on the other hand… for a woman to go and receive a massage for her sexual pleasure from a therapist she doesn’t know is a pretty new concept in most places.
Yet it is taking off, and in tantric circles many people have learned some sort of tantric massage technique. It is now reasonably easy for a woman to book a tantric massage in areas where there is a lot of Tantra. In some countries it is legal and can be found in the bigger cities. And in a few places you can even find tantric spas with a full menu of delights (Germany and Czech Republic seem to be the leaders in this respect).
However, because this is a new trend, there is still a lack of understanding and information that can be really important for a woman to know.
Probably the biggest most important factor to understand is that there is a big difference between tantric massage for pleasure and tantric massage for therapy. This is a vital point to consider on ones quest to find a tantric massage.
Tantric Massage for Pleasure
This is the larger category. Many people learn to give massage to bring pleasure to the woman receiving it. Note that massage can be given by a woman or by a man; indeed many women feel safer to receive from another woman.
A pleasure massage is great if you want to learn to relax and feel more in your sexuality. Sometimes women block their own pleasure in their desire to please their partner during sex. So to be able to pay money to simply lie back and receive can be hugely healing and empowering. Many women increase their pleasure capacity by receiving a tantric massage.
However, this kind of massage can be a potential disaster if in fact the woman really needed a therapeutic tantric massage.
Tantric Massage for Therapy
Some women may actually need therapeutic healing rather than just increasing pleasure. For example, any woman who experienced abuse, violation or rape should definitely seek therapeutic healing. This would usually consist of several clothes-on sessions before even moving into removing any clothes (if at all).
There are bodyworkers who actually know how to work with a woman’s body to heal past traumas, even from the sexual organs and intimate areas. Finding blocks and defences that were naturally erected by the body, and clearing them so that the woman can open up her sexuality again.
This work is extremely delicate and really requires a very well-trained bodyworker. A woman might have flashbacks, pain, projections (the therapist might suddenly appear as an attacker) and a host of negative emotions. The therapist needs to know how to work with this. Another things that can happen is the client might start to dissociate and “space out”. The therapist needs to be able to recognize that and know how to bring her back.
When you find a good therapist who can do this work skillfully, their gift is invaluable as a way to help regain a healthy sexuality once more after trauma.
However, the trouble is few people recognize the different types of massage and the different needs. and if a woman who needs therapeutic work ends up booking massage with someone who only knows how to create some pleasure, then they may be opening up a can of worms; creating more trouble than they began with. The risk of re-traumatization is high. And on top of that, the woman may perceive the massage therapist as another attacker and blame him/her for her painful experience.
This is a very delicate area, and even well-meaning people can accidentally cause a lot of damage. Sadly this field is mostly unregulated. There are few official bodies worldwide, and there is a lack of good information available. The potential for healing is huge, but so too is the potential for harm.
What can you do?
If you want to seek a massage first of all decide if you think you need predominantly therapeutic or pleasurable. If you had a past with a traumatic experience, then definitely seek therapeutic. However, in trauma one symptom can be amnesia. So if you don’t remember any incident but you feel a lot of fear around sex and intimacy, then this is also an indication to look for something therapeutic. On the other hand if you feel open and comfortable in your sexuality and just want to expand and explore, then go for a pleasurable massage.
Where to look
There is no simple directory to look up for a massage therapist! However it is usually best to ask around and find a recommendation. Tantra teachers and tantra festivals often have good connections. There are a few official schools and methods such as Sexological Bodywork and Karsai Nei Tsang.
Then ask to chat to the therapist first. You can ask them if their are trained to handle trauma healing, or specialize only in pleasure. Tell them your history and your needs and see if their work really fits or not. If the therapist was a recommendation, then ask your friend whether the session they received was more for pleasure or for therapeutic healing. Remember, there are far more people able to give a pleasurable massage than able to work with trauma.
Trust also your bodily instinct. If someone tells you they can work with trauma, no problem, but you notice that your belly tightens up when they speak…then trust your body. They may simply not be the therapist for you. You do not ever need to worry about hurting the therapist’s feelings…your only duty is towards yourself and creating an experience you can relax into and truly benefit from.
Take your time to find the right therapist. Take your time until you feel a full-body yes. This is your sacred body and your precious sexuality.
Tantric massage can be one of the most healing and transformational experiences. It can also be at best confusing, and at worse re-traumatizing. So take the steps you need to take in order to reach the healing that you seek. The healing is not only for the session itself but from the way you approach it. Sometimes saying “no” IS the healing! And sometimes you might just receive the session that will change your life.
Tantric Massage three-week intensive training in tropical island paradise! With Shashi Solluna, John Hawken and Jenni Smallshaw. Information coming soon to sollunatantra.com