Webinar: “Exploration of Tantric Kink”
Presenter: Fredrick Zal
Air Date: March 3, 2021
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Coffee and cream. Wine and cheese. Masters and Johnson. Some things just go together. What about Tantra and Kink? We may think of Tantra and Kink as incompatible approaches to sexuality. But what if they are more alike than different?
In this webinar, Fredrick Zal introduces us to the integration of Tantra and Kink. They ask us to consider, “What is holistically embodied Tantric Kink?”
Fredrick is an international sexuality educator focused on serving erotically marginalized communities, partnerships, and individuals. Fredrick offers workshops and personal instruction in several areas of Tantra and Kink, such as sexual mindfulness, ritual, rope arts, and consensual communication. You can learn more about Fredrick and their work at their website www.tantrickink.com.
Exploration of Tantric Kink is Complex, Not Dualistic
Fredrick opened the presentation by setting up a safe container and providing a primer on Kink and Tantra terminology. They gave us permission to be curious and experience all the feelings that may be activated as we explore Tantric Kink.
As Fredrick put it, “Sex is about nuance. It’s about the art. It’s about the poetry. It’s not just about where you can put things.”
It’s easy to understand why we think of Tantra and Kink as opposites. Fredrick explained we live in a world with a lot of dualism. Dualism allows us to categorize things as good and evil, white and black. In some areas, such as the law, a dualistic model may be appropriate. But sex is different. Sex is complex and multidimensional.
Fredrick went on to say we are taught, often by the media, to think of Tantra as “fluffy, romantic, and beautiful” and to think of Kink as “taboo, scary, and terrifying.” They suggest we challenge this idea. We can challenge these ideas for ourselves. Chances are, we have sex coaching clients who would appreciate permission to reject a dualistic model and a safe space to explore Tantric Kink in their way.
Mindfulness, Rituals, and Energy
Fredrick pointed out how mindfulness, rituals, and energy are present in both Tantra and Kink. These elements of sex are familiar to sex coaches! When we explore Tantric Kink, it may involve any or all dimensions of the MEBES™ wheel.
Fredrick says one of the key ingredients of Tantric Kink is mindfulness, and “the point of mindfulness is to be present.” Mindfulness means having compassion for ourselves and what we are experiencing in the present moment.
Ritual is another key ingredient of Tantric Kink. As sex coaches, we know rituals can serve many purposes for our clients. For example, we may coach a couple to create an aftercare ritual.
Energy is perhaps the essential ingredient in Tantric Kink. Fredrick underscored the idea that it’s all about energy flow within us and energy exchange between us. At times, our energy level may be high, and at other times our energy level may be low. Fredrick suggested we allow ourselves space to experience it all.
Your Senses and Somatic Awareness
We understand what society says the embodiment of Tantra and Kink are supposed to look like. In images from movies and other media, it’s all about fetish, fantasy, and role-play. Fredrick challenged those images: “But what does it mean for you, you, you. And potentially another person, or twenty people. But it’s really starting with your autonomous self.”
Holistically embodied Tantric Kink is a unique experience for each of us. It may be closer to the wild side for some of us, and for others, it may be closer to the mild side. We may want intense stimulation, or we may prefer soothing stimulation. It’s your right and privilege to explore your senses in any way that pleases you.
We can stimulate our senses in innumerable ways. For example, with sounds, you may be turned on by the snap of a latex glove. Or, it may make you cringe. With smells, you may get aroused by the scent of your sweaty partner after a workout. Or, you may find it offensive. It’s all wonderful. Fredrick used provocative visuals of Tantric Kink to show us how different senses may be stimulated.
Fredrick closed the presentation by taking us through a breathing exercise to help us center and ground. They reminded us that passion and excitement are marvelous, and we also need to breathe and ground ourselves.
In this presentation, Fredrick modeled how to carefully create a safe space to explore Tantric Kink through somatic awareness. As sex coaches, we will likely have opportunities to choose an inclusive, non-judgmental stance and hold space for our clients as they discover what Tantric Kink means for them.