The cards and letters continue to pour in.
“Tom, you’re crazy, dude! I couldn’t last a couple of days without coming, let alone a month. How do you do it?”
Actually, I’ve been asked this a lot, and it’s a good question. Here’s some background:
I discovered yoga back in my late teens, and from there went on to read about other, related practices. In college, I had a girlfriend who was as sexually creative and adventurous as I was, and, well, to put it bluntly some of the stories of our exploits and experiments were circulated among the crowd at the small branch of the university that we attended.
Kara, if you’re reading this now, I never did find the you-know-what after we climbed down from the you-know-where.
Ah yes, good times… good times.
Back in those days it was not unusual for the profs to hang out with the students for a few beers, and one afternoon a professor who hailed from India asked if we knew about Tantric yoga. He suggested a few resources, which never panned out, but I continued to look for information. While magazines such as Cosmo and Better Homes and Mechanic’s Illustrated now freely discuss Tantric techniques, back in 1977 it was virtually impossible to find anything, certainly anything written in English.
But eventually I found some items which led me to other items, which led in turn to more useful items. Web surfing in those days was much more difficult; I ended up going to various college libraries and picking through card catalogues. In my travels, I ran across Taoist practices, among which were discussions on the benefit of “orgasmic continence” and the retention of chi and yang energy. I became intrigued. Would I really be healthier and longer-lived if I learned to have sex without releasing my fluids? At 20, it seemed that the only possible result of that would be to end up with swollen, purple testicles… but I was interested enough to give it a trial.
I soon discovered that by withholding my orgasms that I began to focus on the sensual aspects of lovemaking. Oh sure, it was always there, but I learned how to sublimate the desire for orgasm into obtaining more pleasure through the rest of my senses. Smells, tastes, sounds all were amplified and more focused. I discovered erogenous zones that I never knew existed, both on my own body and in my partner. Eventually I was able to achieve an orgasm – of sorts – simply from sensual stimulation. It wasn’t the same as ejaculatory orgasms; my body would suddenly start trembling and I felt transported to some other realm. They left me both drained and exhilarated. It didn’t happen all the time, nor did I deprive myself of the more conventional orgasms; it was just something nice to add to my sexual resume.
This sounds so dry when I write it out, but I can’t stress enough that this was a very enjoyable learning process for me, and it reshaped my entire sexual outlook. This is the period in my life where I realized that sex did not have to be split into “foreplay” and “intercourse.” I developed a desire for the anticipation; or in the vernacular, I began to appreciate the journey more than the destination.
My college girlfriend and I split up, and unfortunately I had a few relationships with women who did not share my ideas on sensuality and sexuality. This began the period in my life where I began to understand that I wasn’t merely sexually adventurous, that most women seemed to regard me as “kinky” if not downright “perverted.” I began to feel ashamed of trying “new” things, and pretty much stopped explaining my ideas and fantasies to my new partners. And while some of the Taoist and Tantric techniques stayed part of my repertoire, it would be years before I would again explore some of the other concepts.