Conscious Means You Take Care Of You

In the 80s when the risk of AIDS threatened the sexual revolution, we first heard about "safe sex," normally a euphemism for using a condom during sexual union. In the 90s we recognized that there was no 100% guarantee of safety. So the term "safer sex" was coined to recognize that we all have to regulate the level of risk we're comfortable with. Most recently, we've heard the phrases "smart sex" or "smarter sex." Tantra At Tahoe would like to take it a step further with the concept of "Conscious Sex."

Sex with total consciousness is Spiritual Sex.

Honoring your body, mind, and soul is the essence of the tantric path. Our basic Supreme Bliss Tantra training begins with opening all your senses and becoming fully present to the experience. When you learn to create your own energetic ecstasy inside, you won't succumb to the fleeting mood, partner pressure, or hope for that Big O.

Your craving for that elusive high won't be in charge of your sexual pleasure. You will be.

Taking care of YOU is what life is all about. We want each of you to be healthy, playful, sexual, and ecstatic. To be aware of the potential physical dangers from unconscious sex is as important as being aware of the psychological and spiritual risks of unconscious or non-consensual sex.

STD = Sexually Transmitted Disease

This section focuses on the issues we all must face in this age of AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, and other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

If you're married or in a monogamous relationship, you might wonder if this section has any value for you. Even without considering outside sexual contacts by challenging the fidelity of your sacred bond, we can think of two important benefits...

1. You may wish to be informed so you can serve as a resource for your friends or children if you have any, or

2. Your current partner may already be infected with herpes, hepatitis, AIDS, or another STD.

Whether you're playing the field, dating only one, married, or polyamorous, it's critical to realize that some STDs in this country are at epidemic proportions. We firmly believe this is because of the massive sexual repression modern lovers suffer from which makes them ignorant of the realities of modern STDs.

We exist in a world of denial, thinking "it could never happen to me." The repressed mindset we've inherited inhibits, and in many cases prohibits, talking with a new partner about conscious sex, sex history, and protection.

Protecting yourself is a decision to balance effort, attention, and general awkwardness against your willingness to risk. After AIDS hit the homosexual community, elaborate means of protection were instituted by many. As a result, the rate of infection went way down. Then, as humans do, many became complacent and the rate of infection is once again on the rise.

The Facts About STDs

We've divided the STDs into three categories...

Not Usually Dangerous But Treatable

These irritations or at least their symptoms are easily treatable. Some can be health-threatening if undetected and untreated...

•     The Common Cold

•     Herpes (can have complications during birth)

•     Genital Warts (can have complications)

•     Crabs (genital lice)

•     Non-Specific Vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina)

•     Urinary Tract Infection (UTI includes urethritis, infection of the urethra, & cystitis, infection of the bladder)

•     Yeast Infection (not really an infection, but a pH imbalance that allows yeast to grow inside yoni)

To protect against these conditions, be aware of your lover's skin, health, and mouth condition. Yes, LOOK first!

Herpes

If one partner has herpes, special care must be taken to protect your partner during an outbreak. An exposed male would be wise to use a condom several days after the site appears to have dried up. If the female partner has active lesions, be very careful around the affected area and inside yoni by using rubber gloves and condoms. Herpes can be contagious before you see the lesion. The biggest threat of herpes is internal, i.e. inside yoni. Avoid any practice that might put your woman at risk.

Urinary Tract Infection

The urethra, the canal that conducts urine from your bladder, can become infected if unwanted bacteria enters. This can spread up to the bladder. This is less common for men because the length of the male urethra is usually longer than a woman's. The distance from her bladder to urethral opening can be as short as one inch. So be sure to drink lots of water when you're enjoying lots of sex play. And get used to the practice of getting up to pee frequently, especially after lots of in-and-out penetration. Tantrikas don't worry about losing the mood because they know they can recreate it at will. Protect your canals and enjoy the first blush of new arousal more often. We've recently learned of a natural sugar, d-mannose, that naturally combats UTI. Contact us for more information if you experience this is problem.

Yeast Infection

Yoni health is a major consideration for a sexually active woman. Yeast infections can be highly uncomfortable. They're caused by introducing new, unwelcome substances into yoni. So don't put anything inside that's edible: oil, fruit, or chocolate for example. If you do, you can encourage the over growth of the yeast called candida. When you feed the yeast, it throws off your pH balance and disturbs the natural bacteria that live within normally in balance with your system, acidophilus. Acidophilus cultures or capsules, a mild vinegar douche, intra-vaginal cream, or even yogurt can combat a yoni yeast infection.

Health-Threatening But Treatable

These treatable infections are the result of exposure to some sort of germs, typically bacteria, though sexual contact...

•     Trichomonais

•     Gonorrhea

•     Syphilis

•     Chlamydia

•     Hepatitis A

Use of condoms is effective against these in most situations.

Some of these conditions can be very uncomfortable, as Tom Hanks convincingly portrayed in "The Green Mile" or any man who's experienced painful urination from the clap (gonorrhea). Fortunately, they usually respond to treatment rather quickly. Untreated, though, the consequences can be drastic.

The famous Chicago gangster Al Capone reportedly died from syphilis in the days before antibiotics. We understand that chlamydia infection is on the rise, especially amongst young people, because carriers show no symptoms.

The highest risk for Hepatitis A is from anal play. During and after anal play, be sure no fecal matter or juices from the rectum come in contact with the vaginal area. A serious vaginal infection can result. If you enjoy this kind of penetration, you should consider getting the shots that give you permanent immunity against Hepatitis A.

Men, be sure to urinate right after anal sex to prevent urethral infection. Many men prefer to use condoms when playing anally. Of course, thorough washing with warm soap and water is necessary as well.

Health-Threatening But Treatment Uncertain

These blood-born difficult-to-treat viral infections are the result of fluid exchange...

•     Hepatitis B

•     Hepatitis C

•     AIDS (the AIDS virus)

These are by far the scariest STDs. These risks provide the greatest incentive to conscious sexual players to prevent exchange of blood and other fluids.

You can get vaccinated against Hepatitis B. Though some treatments to mitigate the symptoms exist, there are currently no vaccines to prevent against or cure Hep C or AIDS.

What Are The Risks?

Supreme Bliss Tantra says "Yes" to whatever you desire with consciousness. So we may advocate open sexuality in any form you choose, but not in an unconscious or unsafe manner. Serious STDs such as HIV are transmitted through fluid exchange. Other STDs are transmitted through different forms of sexual contact.

We strongly urge all sexual partners and players to pay attention to the levels of risk of the sex practices they choose to engage in. We've adapted the following table of risks from what we learned through the Human Awareness Institute. The RED zone is the highest risk, PINK a little less, YELLOW fairly low risk, and GREEN is the lowest.

It's your responsibility to decide what level of risk you're comfortable with in each and every sexual encounter.

Yes, you can enjoy the green zone without fear of infection. We're comfortable playing in the yellow area with people we know and trust. We don't recommend pink or red until you've undergone two thorough rounds of testing several months apart. Of course, this assumes you both engage in no outside unprotected sexual play in the interim.

A Spectrum Of The Risks For HIV Transmission

 

Red

ANAL
INTERCOURSE without a condom

Sharing NEEDLES without sterilization

BLOOD-BLOOD or SEMEN-BLOOD contact

 

 

Pink

ORAL SEX with a man or woman EJACULATING
in the mouth

ORAL SEX
with a
woman MENSTRUATING

VAGINAL
INTERCOURSE without
protection

 

 

Yellow

Sharing SEX TOYS (vibrators, dildos, etc.)

RIMMING
(using the tongue around the anus)

ORAL SEX on a man without EJACULATING

ORAL SEX on a woman not MENSTRUATING

 

Yellow

URINE
in the
mouth

Mutual EROTIC MASSAGE
with hands

FINGERING or FISTING in the vagina or anus

VAGINAL or ANAL INTERCOURSE with protection

 

Green

Simultaneous parallel
SELF-PLEASURING

FROTTAGE
(body to body
rubbing)

SOCIAL
(dry)
KISSING

FRENCH
(wet)
KISSING

Green

PHONE or
COMPUTER Sex

VOYEURISM or EXHIBITIONISM

HOT
TUBBING

HUGGING or MASSAGING

The Elements Of Safer & Smarter Conscious Sex

What are the elements of Safer & Smarter Conscious Sex? They include...

•     Taking full and absolute responsibility for your health and well-being.

•     Listening to your inner being and doing only what feels absolutely correct for you.

•     Staying in constant communication with yourself inside and your partners outside.

•     Knowing that you, you wondrous divine being, are always at choice.

•     Knowing what the facts are about how to protect yourself.

Take responsibility for yourself. Become knowledgeable. Learn what you need to know to safeguard yourself. Find out more about the health risks out there. Face the realities and decide how you'll look after yourself in any situation.

Trust your inner guidance system, your intelligence, and your wisdom. In the heat of the moment, make your own decision to stand up for who you are, remaining clear-headed and wise. Don't go along with the program, the mob, the easy way out if you're not comfortable. The stakes are too high. Be conscious and deliberate about everything you do in and out of bed.

As a child of the universe, be aware. Know your options, and make your choices from deep within. If something doesn't feel absolutely right for you, right now, then don't do it. You know when you're taking risks. You know when you feel afraid.

Have you have ever taken a test for AIDS? If you do, no matter how sure you are about your health, you know the fear when your mind allows that brief moment to think "what if it's positive?" We update our test once or twice a year in spite of our careful conscious practices, and we still have that flash of concern.

What To Do About The Risks

Does abstinence work for you? It certainly doesn't for full-blooded sexually active tantrikas like us who make love almost daily. It's our spiritual practice and we're not about to give it up. Here are some general guidelines about managing the level of risk you choose to be comfortable with.

Spiritual Sex is all about heightening your senses and opening your subtle energy channels. This takes consciousness and full awareness.

If either partner has any concerns about contracting any kind of infection (even a cold) or getting pregnant, part of that person won't be totally present for any loving experience you may be having.

Fear of pregnancy can rob you of pleasurable sexual experiences. This could happen if a woman is changing forms of birth control or is using a method of birth control that isn't as reliable as others. In this case, the man would be wise to use condoms until both feel confident with the new method of birth control. Of course, even condoms aren't 100% effective.

STD Testing

If you want to enjoy unprotected contact with your lover or you're concerned about infected, it's your moral responsibility to check it out before exchanging fluids.

Your doctor, Planned Parenthood, or county health department can provide you with tests for the health-threatening STDs on the list above. But beware, there are many conflicting opinions about what you should and can be tested for. If what you're offered doesn't make sense and doesn't create a complete sense of security, look for another "expert."

While we're on the subject of testing, timing is essential. When we met, we used protection initially. When we decided we were meant for each other, we got tested for the worst of the STDs, waited six months, and then got tested again. Only after our second clean bills-of-health did we go skin-to-skin with each other.

Barriers Are A Good Thing

To prevent transmission of the most health-threatening diseases as well as most of the others, you need to prevent the exchange of bodily fluids with partners who haven't been tested. Barriers like condoms for intercourse and fellatio, plastic wrap or dental dams for cunnilingus, are universally recommended.

By the way, did you know that massage oil and other oil-based lubricants can compromise the integrity of latex? If you use external lubrication to make genital massage or intercourse more slippery, be sure it's water-based.

If in doubt about the chances of pregnancy or spreading a virus or bacterial infection, the safest protection is to use a condom for intercourse and fellatio and surgical latex gloves for vaginal and anal play.

You may want to experiment with another barrier method of protection while engaging in oral-genital sex or kissing. It can be fun to try for variety and the experience. This involves the use of a plastic wrap such as Saran Wrap or Glad Wrap. Dental dams are recommended by some but they are significantly thicker than plastic wrap, therefore having more impact on sensation.

To experiment with plastic wrap, use a piece large enough to cover the area around both mouths or the mouth and jewels of either sex. We like to double it, just to make it stronger.

Hint: This little trick can prevent one of the most contagious of social transmitted diseases, the common cold.

Valise D'Amour

If you're sexually active and a tantrika, we expect you're not wild and unconscious about who you share pleasure with. But if you're sex positive, you look forward to, anticipate, and welcome the right situation. Supreme Bliss Tantra applauds spontaneity, but that doesn't mean forgetting about the risks of exchanging fluids with someone you've just met. Or even throwing caution to the wind with someone you know when all of a sudden at a restaurant, club, parking lot you both get the urge.

The solution is to carry a valise d' amour, which is French for little love bag. In your valise d' amour, you keep everything you might need to make a sudden or planned sexual assignation comfortable and safer. This includes condoms, your favorite lubricant, massage oil, handiwipes, and plastic wrap for the safe version of oral sex. Guys have been know to include the likes of Viagra and Cialis. But don't include the kitchen sink. You want your valise d' amour to be small enough to carry with you all the time.

Yes, girls, you, too, should carry a valise d' amour with condoms. Remember, you're 100% responsible for your own safety and your own pleasure. If you carry a condom with you, does that mean you're a slut? No, well at least not in a bad way. It means you're prepared if you decide on the spur that the hunk and situation warrants that yoni might enjoy visit from a new vajra.

Carrying protection doesn't mean you're committed, it means you're keeping your options open. And you're declaring to the spiritual universe that you believe sex is good and that you want some when you're ready.

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Slippery Is Good

The right amount of friction in the right place is, oh, so good. Jewel massage and sexual union are way better when these sensitive tissues are really slippery. When it comes to vajra and yoni for sure, the more slippery the better. If the wetness from your yoni and mouth provides enough slipperiness for all kinds of external and internal play, then enjoy your natural lubrication.

If not or if you're curious, we encourage you to explore different substances that you can use in different situations to aid slipperiness. For instance, anal play always requires additional water-based lubrication because nature doesn't provide much.

Many lovers like to -- and some need to -- bolster their natural wetness. Since we guide lovers to make love so much longer than they're accustomed to, we recommend it. Too much friction can rub raw the skin that you want to keep rubbing long after it hurts. Which isn't really a good idea, opening sores to let germs in, and can discourage you from playing again soon.

If you do need to add outside lubrication, don't worry about it. It's not a reflection on your skill as a lover or your level of inhibition. It's just another fact of life that not all women produce adequate wetness for safe, extended, comfortable sex play at all times, especially after menopause.

That's why the Goddess in the guise of sex product manufacturers invented artificial lubricants. Some are even extremely healthy. There are really two ways to go: oil and water. And you're right, inside yoni they don't mix.

Because they don't dry out quickly, we sometimes use massage oil or thicker oil-based products on vajra, clio, and yoni's external lips. One of our favorites is a makeup remover found at many drug stores called Albolene. Another is a bit rare extra-thick massage oil named Charlie's Sunshine.

We know several highly active women who swear by using silicon-based, organic olive, or other kinds of oil inside yoni. But we've found with some women that this is risky. We're extra careful not to introduce any oil-based or bacteria-edible products inside. If you do, it can throw yoni's pH balance out of whack which can be uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and inviting to infections.

Further, did you know that oil-based products are known to slowly deteriorate latex? That makes them unsafe for protection against STDs when you're using condoms.

Water Water Everywhere And So Much Fun To Drink

Never fear, the other major category of sexual lubricant, the water-based type, is great inside. Though it's not as thick and long-lasting as many commercial products, saliva is the most natural, plentiful, and inexpensive. Just don't spit, remember this is Spiritual Sex you're using it for. Drooling on your hand may not sound spiritual but it's better. Kissing, sucking, and licking is the best way to apply saliva.

There are many advantages to using store-bought water-based lubricants, plus a few drawbacks to be aware of. Some are more natural than oils and more absorbent. They merge with a woman's inherent secretions better. Unfortunately, they tend to dry out as the water evaporates. And some have ingredients that overly sensitive yonis can do without.

There are lots of non-saliva choices on the market today. Wet, Astroglide, Probe, Liquid Silk, and KY are some of the more commonly used ones. Jeffre used to prefer the light version of Wet, but her favorite now is Probe. It has a natural fruit-based preservative and is largely tasteless, but some of our friends find it too thick. Others prefer Liquid Silk, but it doesn't taste very great.

Which is best for you? Who knows, you lucky soul, you get to experiment.

Where to get them? Drug stores carry a limited, often less-than-natural selection. Adult bookstores and sex shops have the best variety, but then you have to brave the seamy steamy environment of most of them. We buy ours over the internet, and you're welcome to use our confidential, safe, well-stocked on-line store. Click here for dozens and dozens of options shipped discreetly to your door. http://tantraattahoe.inadult.com/main.link/div/toys/page/searchdes/stext/lube

By the way, spermicide on many condoms and some lubricants, notably Nonoxynol 9, is awfully strong. Some studies have shown it's so abrasive that it irritates the skin and makes it more likely to transmit STD bacteria and viruses. We strongly recommend you avoid it.

Get Ready To Communicate

It's very important for both sex partners to communicate any information that might help them feel comfortable and safe. Having this kind of conversation in advance can return your presence to make an otherwise tense sexual encounter into an ecstatic one.

Start with yourself. Be honest. What do you want and what do you need? Where are you strong and where are you vulnerable? Before you take your clothes off, decide how far you'll go, what concerns you, what level of risk you're willing to take.

Once you know yourself, prepare to talk openly with partners new and old about your sexual desires and fears. In our Private Tantric Workshops, we always teach clients to partner consciously by discussing desires, concerns, and boundaries for each encounter.

Create a little speech to have with your lovers that explains your health status and answers your questions about your partner's sexual health, including things like...

•     What do you want to ask before sex? What do you want to say?

•     Have you had any STDs or recent unprotected exposure?

•     Have you been tested recently or ever and for what?

Practice in front of a mirror. Never be afraid of speaking the truth or hearing it. The sooner the better for all involved.

Mostly, we just don't want to face the embarrassment of having that kind of talk. Yes, it can be embarrassing, but the hurdle only seems insurmountable at first. Fortunately, it gets easier with time. You can ease the tension by remembering that your mind, your body, and your spirit are yours to value above all else.

To help, we drum into all our clients and lovers to discuss the three Partnering Questions before any intimate or sexual play. Remember, this includes explaining your desires and your concerns, which is where awareness of Safer & Smarter Conscious Sex and its risks comes in. As you dialogue about each other's desires and concerns, you can together answer the third question by establishing boundaries for your get-together.

Safer & Smarter Conscious Conversation

Here's our outline of "A Responsible Sex Conversation." Before you go to bed (or to floor or ground) with a new lover, you'd be wise to go into each of these in depth...

1. Brief Sexual History

2. Current Sexual Practices:

a) high risk,

b) protection,

c) multiple partners

3. STD History:

a) HIV, AIDS, & hepatitis,

b) herpes & genital warts

c) chlamydia, syphilis, & gonorrhea

4. Most Recent Test Results

5. Skin, Mouth, & Genital Condition

6. Agreement On Practices

In later encounters, include what makes sense. If you don't take care of you, who will? Well-being begins with self-love and self-protection.

Our Bottom Line

What's our bottom line? We avoid any sexual play with untested partners that would allow bodily fluid, mucous, blood, or ejaculate to contact an open wound, sore, or mucous membrane (such as inside the vagina).

The risk from kissing, particularly deep wet kisses, is a controversial issue. Some experts claim there have been cases of AIDS transmitted through the mouth. Others feel that the normal flora and acidity of the mouth make it impossible.

At a minimum we always inquire about bleeding gums or sores inside a potential partner's mouth. And we would never kiss someone with a cold sore, nor would we let that person perform oral sex on us. Herpes in the mouth can be transmitted to the genitals.

You Are Always At Choice

Choice is your right, all the time. Choice is the result of consciousness. Be aware of who you are and the power that you hold. If what you've been doing doesn't serve you, choose to do something new that will honor your being and your body.

Be complete and authentic with each step you take. There is no place to go. You are already home.

Remember, sex is always available -- with this partner, another one, or with yourself. Even if this new partner seems to be THE ONE, a potential life partner, the stakes of an unconscious choice remain the same.

When you've learned to feel and move orgasmic energy, you truly have the choice of ecstatic safe sex. With our tantric practice, we often have many many orgasms without touching our partner. Sometimes we even prefer the orgasms that result from playing with kundalini energy even with all our clothes on.

Running tantric energy is divine play and it can be yours.

Ecstasy Can Still Be Low Risk

Why is all this important to a tantrika? And what might Supreme Bliss Tantra offer you as you weave yourself through this maze of potential harm?

Supreme Bliss Tantra says approach life, love, and sex with no goal. That means when you begin to engage in love play, nothing is automatic. Kissing, fondling, licking, sucking, sliding in and out, yoni (vagina) play, anal intercourse are only possibilities, not inevitabilities.

At the sexuality conference we just returned from, we met a juicy and experienced new tantric friend. She and Somraj spent three to four hours at a party writhing on the floor and exchanging sublime intense pleasure. Though most thought intercourse was the cause, they assumed incorrectly.

When you can summon ecstatic energy to flow through your body at your partner's touch even with your clothes on, there's no need for you to break your vows to yourself with risky behavior. You can have all the ecstasy you ever dreamed of, be complete in the moment, and stay totally in the present. You don't to need to do anything else, unless you choose to.

To summarize, the safest sex with an infected partner is physical abstinence. When you exchange energy without exchanging fluids, you can still have a whale of a good tantric time. If you choose to be physically sexual in any way, be as safe as you can be, which includes...

•     Be knowledgeable,

•     Be responsible.

•     Know what your boundaries of comfort are,

•     Communicate with your partner before sexual contact,

•     State what you want for pleasure and security and never settle for less, and

•     Be ethical, honest, and hold your power.

•   Have as much latex available as you desire.  

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