Juno was one of the most powerful deities in ancient Roman Mythology. Alongside Minerva, she was one of the top two Goddesses of the Roman Pantheon. But whereas Minerva was a virgin Goddess, Juno was an expert in sex. She was married to Jupiter, but like Jupiter she often had sexual intercourse with mortals. Juno symbolized feminine power and sexual liberation, and the word “Junoesque” is used to this day to refer to a tall, powerfully built woman.
The image above comes from an Egyptian papyrus called “The Book of the Dead of Henuttawy”, which dates from the Third Intermediate Period circa 1000 BC. The large upper figure is the God Osiris, who is depicted in ithyphallic form – in other words, with an erect penis. As well as being erect, the God’s penis is shown as being abnormally long.
The smaller figure below Osiris is Geb, the Egyptian God of the Earth. Geb is also shown with an erect and abnormally long penis. Moreover, he is indulging in an act of autofellatio – sucking his own penis.
For clarity, the penises of the two Gods have been highlighted in red in this image. For the original version, and more information about the papyrus, see the British Museum website.
In Tantric Sex, anal intercourse is known as adhorata. This Sanskrit word has no direct linguistic connection to the English word “adoration”, although the meaning is much the same. To a skilled Tantric practitioner anal sex is a form of worship, in which the object of worship – or adoration – is the underlying reality of the cosmos, which in its eternally receptive nature is symbolized by the human anus.
Shiatsu is a form of massage therapy that originated in the Zen Buddhist monasteries of medieval Japan. The Japanese word Shiatsu literally means “finger-pressure”. The practitioner uses the fingers of the right hand to apply pressure to sensitive acu-points on the body of the recipient. The practitioner’s left hand rests on the recipient’s tanden, or primary energy center. The purpose is to draw energy from the tanden and re-route it to the acu-point being worked on.
The original purpose of Shiatsu in Zen Buddhism was to bring mind, body and spirit into balance. There was no explicit sexual element to it. However, when Shiatsu became a popular therapy in the second half of the 20th century, it was discovered that many recipients – females in particular – were able to achieve massive whole-body orgasms from finger-pressure alone. Many modern-day practitioners work on internal acu-points as well as the traditional external ones in order to heighten the orgasmic effect. In the photograph above, the fingers of the practitioner’s right hand are working on acu-points inside the recipient’s vagina and anus, while the left hand is drawing energy from the tanden.
In the Missionary Position of sexual intercourse, the woman lies passively on her back with her legs apart, and the man thrusts his penis in and out of her vagina. The Amazon Position, illustrated here, is the exact opposite of this. It is named after the ruthless female warriors of ancient Greek mythology, the Amazons, who required complete control over their submissive male partners. To this end, the man lies passively on his back with his legs apart, while the woman grips his penis with her powerful vaginal muscles and thrusts energetically back and forth, mimicking the traditional “fucking” action of the male.
The ancient Babylonians held an exalted view of sex as inducing an altered state of wonder. The clay plaque shown here dates from the early second millennium BC, and predates the Kama Sutra by over 1500 years. It depicts a man penetrating a woman from behind, one of the most popular positions seen in Babylonian art. Anal sex was a popular means of contraception in the ancient world, and the depiction of couples engaging in rear entry may be indicative of that practice.
Modern Tantric teachers often downplay the role of Buddhism in Tantric sex, while teachers of Tantric Buddhism tend to downplay the role of sex in Buddhist practice. In fact the two – Tantric Sex and Tantric Buddhism – are inextricably linked, as John T. Houseman explains in his fascinating new book Great Bliss: Tantric Sex and the Path to Inner Awakening. This is the first complete modern instruction book on Tantric Buddhism, and the first on Buddhist sexual yoga.
The heart of the book is a first-ever translation from the Sanskrit of the Ninth Century master Shabara’s The Sadhana of Secret Vajravilasini, a masterpiece of the world’s spiritual-erotic literature, and an ideal text for sexual yoga practice. Great Bliss reveals thousand year-old secrets, and is a landmark contribution to the study and practice of Tantric sex in the West. The book includes hundreds of authentic practices, making it an almost inexhaustible resource for Tantra teachers and students.
John T. Houseman is a teacher of Tantric Buddhism in the tradition of the Indian siddhas. A student of many Tantric traditions for over thirty years, he trained as a lama under the guidance of the Tibetan master His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, completing an intensive, solitary three-year retreat. John also trained with many Western Tantra teachers including Margot Anand. He received a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in Religion from Wesleyan University, where he studied Buddhism with Robert Thurman, and earned his master’s degree from Columbia University. For four years he served on the staff of Karma Triyana Dharmacakra monastery in Woodstock, New York, the North American headquarters of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. His newly published book is the result of his twenty year search to find the original teachings of Tantric Buddhism.
Great Bliss: Tantric Sex and the Path to Inner Awakening can be downloaded free of charge from HolyBooks.com.