They say that sex is all in the mind, but perhaps it’s also in the heart and soul. Can our lives in the bedroom be more than just the in-and-out, the release and rolling over?
Conscious Sexuality expert and teacher Jonti Searll believes that intimacy is one of the most important – and often lacking – aspects of sharing ourselves sexually and erotically with another person.
Searll is well known for his appearances in the media, including his weekly “Sex Talk” show on Cliff Central, and for his efforts to help people have more pleasure, intimacy and connection.
While there’s plenty of information and advice out there for opposite sex couples in this field, not much has been produced for gay, bi and other men who have sex with men. Now, almost twenty years into his career, Searll has released an instructional ‘Male to Male Tantric Sensual Massage’ video, specifically for men who love men.
Searll describes Tantric sensual massage as “an art that offers many possibilities of pleasure” and “can create deep intimacy and connection between you and your partner and give you the space to explore each other in an endless dance of eroticism”.
Mambaonline spoke to this knowledgable teacher about what he does and how we can improve our love-lives and erotic relationships.
How did you get into this field?
The short story is that I was always fascinated by sex, and quite early in life figured that there was a connection between sex and spirituality. These were the two passions of my life. There was a point, about 18 years ago, when it became important to bring them together. The pleasure we’re capable of, the love and intimacy we can experience are limitless. My passion is to share this with the world.
You engage with sex and intimacy of people of all orientations. Can that be a challenge?
In the beginning it was indeed. What were the rules, what were the boundaries, how do you handle certain situations and manage yourself? It was walking through a minefield at times. I made some amazing mistakes, had an enormous range of experiences, and learned how to be and what to do. I keep learning, in all aspects of this work. Today, every moment, in consultations, in workshops, is beautiful.
Why did you decide to create this Male to Male Tantric Sensual Massage video?
From the beginning of this journey I worked with men and women as well as couples from all orientations and backgrounds. I always felt that there is a way for everybody. One of the principles of Conscious Sexuality is inclusion and connection rather than separation. I do a lot of healing work with gay men. There have been gay men at many of the workshops and on our retreats in Mozambique, so it was time to create this, to make it more accessible and to help men have more pleasure and connection.
In a nutshell what is Tantric sex?
It’s an experience of ourselves as sexual and sensual beings in the fullness of life, body, heart, mind and spirit. It’s a path of healing, growth, exploration and learning that extends from having more pleasure to the connection between sex and spirituality.
Why should massage be an important part of a couple’s sex life?
Sensual Massage and Touch have so many gifts. Healing, relaxation, release, connection, intimacy, pleasure, sexual energy and more. There is so much to explore in this world, it gives you tools and possibilities to keep expanding. One of the biggest sexual problems in relationships is boredom. When we have new possibilities we don’t get bored with each other. The excitement and connection keeps growing and deepening.
What is the biggest misconception that most people have about fulfilling sex?
There are a few, and one of the biggest is that it’s [only] about the orgasm. It’s about pleasure. And the greatest fulfillment is in the connection between our bodies and our hearts.
Is seems that our sex lives, regardless of orientation, are often quite challenging. Why are we all so hung up on sex?
That’s a complicated question. Sex is the part of life that we judge the most, that has the greatest myths, misunderstandings and misinformation. We get very little sex and relationship education. We have very few skills and tools to navigate this world. It’s also this great mystery that draws us in again and again, without us really understanding why. I think it’s because of what we’re seeking. Orgasm is a moment that takes us out of ourselves, out of our minds into bliss, deep connection with the universe, whether we’re aware of it or not.
Many of us worry about how often we have sex, if it’s enough, and if we’re doing it right. Is there a right answer to these questions?
The right answer is if it’s fulfilling for you, it’s right. Be aware that for many people there are so many pleasure possibilities that they’re not even aware of. It’s like going out to eat and always ordering pizza, when there’s a menu that is literally limitless.
It’s often said that sex between long term couples starts to fizzle out after a number of years. Why is that, and can this be changed?
Of course it can be changed! Sex should get better and better. There are many elements to this. Learning is vital. The greater range of sexual and sensual possibilities we have, the more excitement we’ll have. This allows us to keep expanding, within ourselves and each other. Curiosity is vital, keeping interested in ourselves, in each other. All of this is assisted by personal growth, healing ourselves, changing the patterns of the past and exploring life and the world. Our sexuality isn’t in a vacuum. It’s connected to very part of us, and every aspect of our lives is expressed in our sexuality.
In your experience, do male same-sex couples in particular, face any unique challenges when it comes to sex and intimacy?
That’s interesting. The greatest issue is becoming totally sex and orgasm focused. Intimacy becomes secondary in this space, and that’s where we find fulfillment. Learning to communicate is the most important thing. Sensuality is also vital, touching that’s not sexual.
While homosexuality is often synonymous with anal sex, many male same-sex couples don’t actually engage in it. What are your thoughts on this? Do have to have anal sex to have a fulfilling gay sex life?
Not at all! There are so many pleasure possibilities that involve our entire bodies. Learning Sensual Massage, Expanded Orgasm, Lingam Massage, Sexual Energy experiences will give you so many possibilities. I will add that there can also be amazing anal pleasure through massage, not necessarily penis or toy penetration. Some of this, anal play, will be dependent on learning how to. When I started teaching and working in this field, and went and had a range of experiences, I realised that just because you do something, even do it a lot, doesn’t always mean that you’re good at it, or know how to do it well.
How much does internalised shame and homophobia play a part in our sex life and how we’re intimate with others?
This is such an important question, and there’s not a simple answer. It runs deep within us. I think almost all of us, in the western world and in South Africa, can benefit from sexual healing, heart healing, personal healing. Accepting ourselves, all of ourselves is vital. It’s not easy when a large part of society, religions, your family, judge the life you live and who you are. The deeper we go into Conscious Sexuality the more we can heal and release these and live lives of pleasure, love, freedom and possibility.
For more information, visit Searll’s website at www.eroslife.co.za, catch him on CliffCentral.com (Fridays, 10am) or go directly to his M2M Tantric Sensual Massage video (includes nudity).