I was out on the weekend with some friends and one of them was telling us about his experience at a tantric sex workshop. My only association with tantric sex is that it’s a place of great honesty. I know a man who, when asked in such workshop what he fantasised about, sweetly responded that he thought about his wife, who was also there. This threw her into such a rage that she called him a liar right there and stormed out. Sometimes flattery doesn’t succeed.
But this workshop wasn’t about intimate fantasies but overt things: genital massages. It’s hard to lie about such matters, especially when the subject is a male.
‘It was a double massage,’ my friend explained, ‘the instructor tenderly stroked his hair while a woman massaged his penis.’
‘Were there a lot of people there?’
‘A good-sized crowd.’
‘And the guy, he didn’t mind?’
‘No, he seemed to find it… uplifting.’
‘Did you all have to stand back at the end?’
‘No, no,’ my friend told us patiently, ‘it’s not about that. It’s about working with your desire. The course convenor kept asking the guy being massaged to rate how turned on he was. He was a four, then a five, then up to a six and then down to a four. It swung wildly.’
‘Not a 5.3?’ said some wit.
‘It’s about the reabsorption of energy and desire…’
I switched off at this point. The phrase ‘ancient wisdom’ popped into my head. That phrase remined me of my grandmother. She believed you could tell people’s personalities by looking at their faces. Though she also believed my brother stole her curtains, so she wasn’t always the most reliable judge. (He denies that he stole her curtains, but he did say they were very nice.)
But I have to say, against my better judgement, that for writers, Facebook is a bit like a premature orgasm in tantric sex: a missed opportunity to build desire upwards. One has an idea, a thought, and the first thing one does is share it on some social media platform. There is no build-up. No quiet reflection. Worst of all, once the idea is out there, the urge dissipates. You’re spent.
Perhaps we need a special tantric sex workshop for writers.