Seduction: is it the work of the devil or just harmless fun?
As a practitioner of Tao Tantra, what interests me as I walk my life’s path is energy. What happens energetically in different situations? What am I doing with my energy in different expressions of my being? How does my energy affect others around me?
As I explored different types of Tantra I discovered in the more expressive forms (neo-tantra) that sometimes in class we are invited to express our flirty or seductive expressions. And what I discovered from that is that is can be really quite energising and activating, and often makes one feel kind of powerful.
Taoism teaches that power itself is neutral, but that how we use it can cause positive or negative effects in the world. Their rule of thumb is: if you keep an open heart then you will use your power to create love. But with a closed heart, sexual energy can be used in manipulative and harmful ways. (Hence Taoists always precede sexual energy practices with a heart meditation).
So expressing seduction made me feel powerful and alive, but I also noticed sometimes that excessive amounts of playing with seductive behaviour can make me feel confused and chaotic afterwards. I can remember doing a dance weekend that had a lot of seductive dancing in it with many different partners. It was a lot of fun, but by the end I felt a bit lost. Like I had lost my peace; lost my centre, lost myself.
I noticed after the weekend that I was attached to many of the people I had danced with and I wanted something more form some of them…a hug, a touch, some attention…basically I wanted some form of energy from them. This felt somewhat disempowering, and rather than hang around after the dance desperately hoping for some attention, I took myself off to my room to be alone and observe the effects within myself. It didn’t feel good to feel so needy!!!
Later on, I encountered the teachings of Agama, a classical tantra school. They teach that seduction is the action of the second chakra, svadistana (an energy centre above the pubic bone). They warn that if we are not careful with our energy then we can over-activate svadistana and become like a jellyfish- leaky with our energy. They warn that this creates delusion and false reality, unreal connections that fall apart quickly, as well as generating excessive emotional states.
The answer, my friends, is most likely going to be “the middle way”.
One core principle of Tantra is uniting apparent opposites together. If we truly unite sexual energy and consciousness together, then we start to find the middle way. Neither suppression of sexual energy nor excessive leakage! If we are tuned in to our own energy as well as of those around us as we express it, then we can feel the vibration that it carries. Is this something fun and uplifting, or is it creating ripples or confusion or power games?
The other way, according to J.P., is to use sexual energy to create intimacy. To use sexual energy to get close to someone, to see more of who they are and reveal more of who we are. This kind of energy exchange feels nourishing and loving. I can think of many times at ecstatic dance when I have had these kinds of exchanges and I am always left with a warm heart.
Not to mention the joys of pouring one’s sexual energy towards a beloved (someone you are in relationship with), and flirting with them to bring them energy and aliveness and to share love. Somehow when you already have a consensual agreement to share sexual energy together (as you do in relationships), then seduction goes from being a manipulative game to being an act of love.
I myself began to find when I could play with energy without losing my centre (and qigong really helped me to gauge this)…and I could enjoy a tango-esque dance with someone, but keep the needy hooks out of it. Tantric sublimation methods also helped me to make sure that my sexual energy was rising up and not leaking out all over the place!
So, in conclusion, it’s not that seduction is a bad thing per se, but that it is definitely worth bringing some consciousness to it in order that we don’t misuse this powerful form of energy exchange. Oh, and I think it’s worth sharing the definition of ‘seduction” in wikipedia:
Seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person, to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour. The word seduction stems from Latin and means literally “to lead astray”.
Hmmm that’s a pretty strong definition! Possibly we need a new word for conscious energy sharing that has less negative connotations…
Anyway, whatever name we give it, seduction is a fascinating phenomenon that is definitely worth bringing our awareness too. I definitely don’t think that we should avoid playing with seduction altogether…one only has to think about tango and salsa to see the beauty and energy in it! Whether in a neo-tantra workshop, a salsa club or your own bedroom, here are a few basic tips that might help your exploration to tay conscious:
So, I leave you to play with your own flirtatious nature and discover more about yourself, about energy, about connection and consciousness. Remember: it’s great to explore but take care never to harm another. Happy explorations!
© 2014. Shashi Solluna. All rights reserved.