A tantric guide to discovering the hidden gifts of menopause
• Explains why Tantra works for menopausal women and how their bodies are naturally entering a more tantric phase focused on creative, spiritual energy
• Details tantric practices and tools to connect with the body’s inner intuitive wisdom, remove the “performance pressure” of conventional sex, and set the stage for passion and pleasure to thrive both in the bedroom and beyond
• Explores what to expect physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and in relationships
As women, we live so closely to the body--through menstruation, pregnancy, birthing, motherhood, and then menopause. Each of these transitions changes a woman in a multitude of ways, most of which are celebrated. Yet menopause often causes women to feel despondent, as if our bodies are broken or deficient, especially when it comes to sex and intimacy. However, as tantric teachers Diana Richardson and Janet McGeever show, menopause has many hidden gifts to offer if we learn to embrace rather than suppress the changes this natural transition brings.
Shining the light of tantric intelligence on menopause, the authors reveal how to explore and experience menopause in a radically positive fashion, suffused with a sense of vital awakening and “re-wilding” of a woman’s sexuality, creativity, and spirituality. Explaining what to expect physically, emotionally, and spiritually, as well as what it means for relationships, they detail tantric practices and tools to connect with the body’s inner intuitive wisdom and heart energies, remove the “performance pressure” of conventional sex, and set the stage for passion and pleasure to thrive both in the bedroom and beyond. They explain why Tantra works for menopausal women and how their bodies are naturally entering a more tantric phase focused on creative, spiritual energy. They explore how, in Tantra, sex is practiced not for the sake of sex itself but as an instrument for going “beyond” sex, for better health, improved relationships, enhanced self-control and emotional balance, and even higher states of consciousness. They also offer many self-help practices, exercises, and meditations to reinforce a positive attitude toward menopause and overcome many of the physical and sexual problems, such as pain, dryness, loss of interest, and loss of libido.
Providing a guide for women who are approaching, experiencing, or have gone through menopause, the authors show how a more informed, tantric approach to menopause allows each woman to deepen her trust in the perfect functioning of the female body, embrace her natural sexual response, and reconnect with her inner self.
Many perimenopausal and menopausal women report feeling such a lack of desire for sex that they feel totally disheartened that they are not living up to the image of what a sexy alive woman should be. This image is not something they can relate to. However, such views only hold true as long as we see ourselves from the outside in an external way. Reclaiming your body and becoming “embodied” implies seeing, feeling, and experiencing yourself from the inside out.
Lack of Desire as Spiritual Gateway
Menopause clears the pathway from the distraction of “old-fashioned” desire. Because for more than half of women at this time, desire seems to no longer be there, it asks us then to go deeper, to look deeper, to feel deeper. The body often won’t take fast and unconscious anymore, won’t take mechanical friction anymore, it won’t take what has been before, which clears and opens up an alternative path that is more restful for the menopausal body and her lover. Many think there is no way to have sex anymore, that something is wrong with them, and that’s where women become disheartened and give up on their marriage or relationship or their own sex life.
For in fact, for around 75% of women (and not only menopausal women), her body cannot take the mechanical friction in her vagina of conventional sex anymore, without the consequences of pain, discontent, or closure (www.theothered.com). Yet this time is a gateway, a gift, a shift. Menopause begs her body to become more “tantric” if it hasn’t already. It invites her to go deeper, go slower in her whole life, to be free and wild, as a more authentic, more natural, and a truer expression of who she is in essence. The good thing about feeling a lack of desire is that if women participate in stepping over that threshold of whether there is desire there or not, and following the guidelines we have given, she will find that she has no trouble eventuallyfeeling aroused and certainly may even orgasm in a way that involves no effort at all. Or move into the expanded “orgasmic” state, which is very different to the event of orgasm, over after a few seconds.
Wild Is Pure Presence
Almost like a call from the wild, another way emerges from deep within. But it challenges the female conditioning that is about pleasing and says you must be everything a man wants--and also be immediately ready. To make love in relaxation and awareness, and particularly with awareness on your breasts, is in unison with this call from the wild, where you must deeply listen to your own body, as well as your psyche, and trust its call and its timing. If you think of a wild animal and its characteristics, “wild” is pure presence, spontaneous, natural, and instinctive rather than out of control, unconscious, and sensation seeking.
Wild is sensitive, aware of its surroundings. It has composure. Wild moves the body on impulse, in the moment, without preconceived thought. Wild rests when rest arrives. Wild is naturally playful. It’s this level of truly open, unbridled wildness that you can bring to your loving. Wildness in the conventional sense may imply getting out of control with heat and passion, expelling the energy with a climactic peak. The wildness we refer to here can be much softer, simpler, and more relaxing. Think of a lion lazing in the sun.
Diana says, “As far as wildness is concerned, it’s a matter for redefinition. What we know as ‘wild’ in sex is usually pretty unconscious, lust driven, tense, and mechanical. So in this sense the experience is desensitizing, because there is a tendency to contract at a deep level and there will little room for expansion. As I understand and experience it, lust and passion are two different states. Lust will have a direction, a buildup, some climax. Passion on the other hand is pure presence and going nowhere, relaxed, senses totally open, nothing forced. ‘True wildness’ is to be at one with nature, utterly sensitive and conscious, opening to the moment through the body. Wildness has no pattern, the bodies spontaneously flow and form amazing configurations.”
Barry Long, the Australian spiritual teacher, recommends that a woman be “passionately undemonstrative.” These two words seem to oppose each other, yet if you contemplate them, you can start to get a feel for their incredible meaning. It does not mean that she is passive or inactive in lovemaking; it is more that she is totally present and not “doing” anything special other than being fully anchored in her own body. She is not moving outward with her attention but is poised with the awareness resting inwardly. This makes her available, receptive, and spontaneous.
This body connection makes her powerfully passionate in a very unconventional sense of the word. She is pure presence itself-- pure passion. You are vital yet stillness is residing in your being. The passion is not outward going, directed on someone else or on releasing energy; rather it is contained and transforms into a rising vital and revitalizing force. Passion is pure presence. The by-product of being passionately undemonstrative allows the life force to move through you. The by-product of being outwardly demonstrative is usually excitement and a dispersing of energy. Nothing wrong with it, but if you want to transform your sexual experience into love, and to harness the aliveness and depth of your femininity, then contemplating the meaning of these words, and practicing with them, is a worthwhile adventure.
Diana Richardson is the author of Tantric Sex for Men, The Heart of Tantric Sex and Tantric Orgasm for Women and is a teacher and practitioner of holistic body therapies. Born in South Africa, she became the disciple of tantric Master Osho in India in 1979. She is now based in Europe and travels extensively with her partner, hosting weeklong retreats for couples in tantric lovemaking.
“Menopause is a time of rebirth . . . what the Chinese call a second spring. It can also be a time of profound sexual awakening. Let this book be your guide during this life-changing passage.”
– Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of The Wisdom of Menopause
“Through a wide range of methods and tools, the authors offer practical advice to support your health and emotional well-being during menopause. By releasing old disempowering beliefs, dropping tired and worn-out expectations, allowing yourself to express emotions healthfully, and putting yourself and your needs first, they offer a holistic, supportive paradigm to nourish your body and soul, to honor yourself and your partner, to experience real intimacy and deep love on a level previously unimaginable. They invite you to come home to the wisdom, power, and truth of who you are.”
– Brandon Bays, internationally bestselling author of The Journey and Freedom Is
“The journey of embodiment has been life changing for me. Thank you, Diana and Janet, for writing this book while I embrace menopause. I could not ask for a better guidebook. This work in the realm of sexuality is truly groundbreaking and opens up a magnificent realm of possibility and fulfillment hitherto unimaginable.”
– Catherine Oxenberg, actress, author, producer, and philanthropist
“An uplifting and empowering read. The authors have shared so much wisdom and demystified so many myths--it’s astounding!! This book offers inspiring stories from women with open hearts and courageous souls and many great tips and practices to access your own knowing and body wisdom. I feel this book is for women of all ages to read and create a new collective voice of what menopause and intimacy can be.”
– Vanessa Finnigan, editor and publisher of Holistic Bliss magazine
“Through its simple, yet elegant, practices and empowering information, Tantric Sex and Menopause is an inspiring guide that gives the power back to women through this transition, while still honoring men. It will speak to all women, no matter what age, who wish to truly understand femininity and the journey of womanhood at its core. I was inspired and uplifted by this heart-opening book.”
– Rachael Jayne Groover, author of Powerful and Feminine
“A woman’s midlife rebirth is a revolutionary passage that we’re only just beginning to honor. We are urgently in need of the wise council and fierce love of seasoned experts in feminine embodiment like Diana Richardson and Janet McGeever to show us that, far from being the end, menopause should be celebrated as a glorious new awakening. This is the book we’ve been waiting for.”
– Lisa Schrader, author of Kama Sutra 52, coach, and founder of AwakeningShakti.com
“Tantric Sex and Menopause offers great help to menopausal women and couples who wish to continue to be sexual and grow in their lovemaking. Thank you to authors Diana Richardson and Janet McGeever for sharing such practical and beneficial wisdom. May it help many people!”
– Mercedes Kirkel, author of Sublime Union: A Woman’s Sexual Odyssey Guided by Mary Magdalene
“This is the book women need most right now. Whether you are peri- or postmenopausal, this book gives the gift of empowerment. It is high time that women in middle age and beyond are embraced as the multifaceted sexual beings they are. Tantric Sex and Menopause does just that and more.”
– Suzanna Miller, blogger and podcaster at Blissrunner.com
“Tantric Sex and Menopause opens the door and introduces a new way of being sexual that is nurturing to the feminine body. I was struck by the empathy for the journey of women and felt a deep sense of support and connection within this book. It offers a recalibration of a woman’s sexuality, emotional health, and understanding of menopause. This book is full of hormone and body knowledge and practices that empower. I love this book.”
– Mary Spicer, life solutions coach, energy medicine practitioner, and radio host