Raffaello Manacorda is an international Tantra teacher and faculty at the International School of Temple Arts (ISTA). Coming from a background of radical political activism, he has been practicing Tantra for more than 15 years and has undergone intensive training in several styles of Yoga. Raffaello believes that the evolution of sexuality and intimacy is a necessary step to heal the planet and create a culture of peace. He is the author of “Conscious Relationships”, a practical guide to evolved intimacy; and the co-creator of the ISTA Practitioner Training, a residential training program for sacred sexual healers.
In Tantra, sex is a way of mobilizing and channeling powerful energies to achieve spiritual goals.
The question becomes whether a “latex barrier” allows for the interchange of energies that the participants are looking for.
While lovemaking, is it possible to awaken sexual energy, channel it and use it for personal and spiritual evolution, even if a condom is used? In Tantric environments, most opinions on the subject fall into two opposing categories:
The Politically Correct Stance states that: “you shall use condoms no matter what because that’s simply the right thing to do, Tantra or not!”
The Carefree Stance states something like: “Hey, making love without a condom allows for a better circulation of energy, and it’s more fun, so let’s just not use it!
The Carefree Stance is based on a couple of risky assumptions:
I’ve found that it’s perfectly possible to have Tantric sex while using a condom – at least one made of natural latex (I have no experience with synthetic condoms).
The channeling and circulation of sexual energy between the partners do not seem to be blocked at all.
Sure enough, a latex barrier stops the interchange of fluids and microorganisms, but why should it block Prana – vital, sexual, life-giving energy? After all, many of us practice Yoga on rubber or even PVC mats – and we can still feel the circulation of energy between us and the Earth.
This can give the male practitioner more time to react when he is approaching the point of no return when the ejaculation reflex is triggered with no way to stop it.
Using a condom can help ease worries about STDs or pregnancy. This allows her to enter a state of relaxation and surrender that is so important for Tantric lovemaking.
So, Should Enlightened People Use Condoms?
This is a very personal decision. While I think that it’s perfectly okay to engage in Tantric lovemaking while using a natural latex barrier, I also value pleasure as an important part of life, and I do feel that sex without a condom feels better.
Hence, I allow myself some flexibility with the use of condoms – obviously having first discuss it with the other person involved.
Should unprotected sex be practiced only by committed, monogamous couples? I don’t see why. The conditions under which it is okay to have unprotected sex are a matter of each individual’s judgment and sense of responsibility.
For unprotected sex to be okay, sexual histories need to be revealed and sexual preferences discussed with full transparency between partners.
Personally, I have broken the Politically Correct stance many times in my life, and I don’t regret it, even though safer sex is the “default policy” – the rule, which makes exceptions possible.
It is possible that the presence of a latex barrier has some slowing-down effect on the exchange, but this does not hamper the process of Tantric lovemaking. In some cases, it can actually be of help.
Unprotected sex, however, does undoubtedly feel better, and I’ve personally found that a combination of a safer sex policy and the freedom to make some exceptions works best.
By Raffaello Manacorda | Edited by Serena Gee | Featured Artist: George Atherton