Neotantra, Navatantra or Tantric sex?

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You probably heard of Neotantra, and with it all its derivatives: Navatantra, Tantric sex and Modern Tantra. Have you ever wondered what is it all about?


So we are here to clarify this pile of information and explain what Neotantra is, the difference between Neotantra and Tantra and how sex is involved in this equation.

What is Neotantra?

Navatantra, Neotantra or Tantric sex are three ways to referring to a new philosophy freely derived from Tantra.

Neotantra emerged in the 20th century and has become very popular especially in the Western world, where it is usually just referred to as Tantra, instead of Neotantra or Modern Tantra.

Actually, Neotantra is the Tantra philosophy adapted by the West, which displaced the original concept of Tantra as it is known in India, China and Tibet.

a new branch of tantra

Its goal is to help people in their personal growth through physical, sexual, psychological and spiritual development. By practising it, you can access greater freedom and inner love.

So, first of all, we must clarify that Neotantra, as well as Tantra, are not philosophies exclusively related to sexuality. Far from that, both of them imply a holistic way of understanding life.

Even though Neotantra is the contemporary and Western way of conceiving Tantra, it is essential to specify that not every component of Indian Tantric traditions and practices are utilized in Neotantra, specifically, the dependence on a guru.

learn how to cultivate and handle the fire

Neotantra is usually related with newly-born spiritual movements. This variation comprises both the modern Western and New Age variations of the traditional Buddhist and Hindu Tantra.

On one hand, many of the followers of tantric sex refer to traditional and ancient principles and texts of Tantra in Sanskrit.

On the other hand, other practitioners use Tantra as a general phrase for what is popularly referred to as sacred sexuality.

spiritual sex promotes self development

What’s more, with the Western world multiplying its interest in Tantra, the perception of this practice has deviated significantly from the original Tantric traditions.

Tantra was originally perceived as an ecstatic cult which combined spirituality and sexuality to alter Western attitudes towards sex.

As a result of this, a lot of contemporary readers of Tantra now see it as being synonymous with sacred sexuality or spiritual sex.

Who were the Neotantra pioneers?

One of the first practitioners of this approach to Tantra was John George Woodroffe, also known as Arthur Avalon.

Woodroffe was a British Orientalist whose work provoked a strong and deep interest in Yogic practices and in Hindu philosophy in the Western world.

He studied Hindu and Sanskrit philosophy and dedicated its life to fully understanding Tantra. Woodroffe translated to English about twenty Sanskrit texts. He was a prolific lecturer on a wide range of Tantric and yogic topics, as well as Indian philosophy.

John George Woodroffe

Another Neotantra pioneer is Pierre Bernard, who was a leading American yogi, occultist, mystic, scholar, philosopher, and businessman.

He traveled to Bengal and Kashmir before founding the Tantrik Order of America in 1905. He later exported it to a wide chain of Tantric clinics in cities like Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York City and Chicago.

Pierrie Bernard owes most of his fame to being the first American to introduce practices and philosophy of Tantra and yoga in the United States.

Pierre Bernard demonstrating trance

In addition, among Neotantra pioneers we can find Guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who was later referred to as Osho.

In his ashram he combined his variation of Tantra with bioenergetics, massage, breathing techniques and yoga.

Osho is the author of various books on Buddhism, Taoism, mysticism and meditation. He has more than six books on Tantra and his students have continued to develop his theories.

osho introuced tantra teachings to the west

What is Tantric sex?

In the last century, thanks to several authors, it was discovered that the handling of sexual energy produced very profound transformations in practitioners in a very short time.

Especially when combined with modern therapeutic techniques and other Tantric concepts such as devotion and rituals, the changes may happen in just a few days. Naturally, this varies from person to person.

There are many tantra practitioners who incorporate this tradition into their practice. This is based on the idea that sex is a sacred act that has the ability to elevate the participants to a higher plane of spirituality.

healthy sexuality is therapeutic

Neotantra’s sexual branch maintains that sex should not only focus on the genitals. Instead, when practised correctly, the whole body becomes an erogenous organ.

Part of this new philosophy values ​​sexual energy as creative and vital. The key point of this change of paradigm is to remove sexual taboos and to expand the understanding of sex from an anatomical, physiological and energetic perspective.

This approach claims, without any doubt, that sacred sexuality provides great benefits on a physical, sexual, psychological and spiritual level.

sex is not to be condemned but to be celebrated

This means that Neotrantra sees the sexual act as something that makes us better people, not as a practice that only gives us ephemeral pleasure.

Sacred sexuality is mostly based on a complete sexual education, without taboos, dogmas or other conditioning that prevent sexuality from being experienced in a healthy, natural and beneficial way.

sacred sexuality has many benefits

Neotantra sees sexuality as the use of sexual energy for evolutionary purposes. Here are some fundamental elements for transforming the sexual act into a form of meditation:

  1. Purification and Consciousness of the chakras
  2. Love
  3. Eye contact
  4. Slow deep breathing
  5. Go slowly, without haste
  6. Energy management, ejaculation control
  7. Not making orgasm a goal
  8. Transmutation of sexual energy
  9. Absence of thoughts
  10. Presence
  11. Body awareness
  12. Relaxation
  13. Meditation
  14. Spiritual awareness
  15. Union of sexuality and spirituality


Navatantra, Neotantra, Modern Tantra, Tantric sex. There are many words to describe the new branches of Tantra that revolve around achieving conscious, harmonious sexuality to improve our lives.

Even though they partially strayed from the original teachings of Tantra, they still pursue a spiritual transformation that brings us to a higher level of consciousness through cultivating, handling and channeling our sexual energy.

spiritual intimacy is the door to higher consciousness

Even though we recognize the high value of the above-mentioned philosophies, at Samma Karuna we have chosen to adopt a less sexual-oriented style of Tantra, which we believe sticks more to the origins while integrating some of Osho’s teachings.

We regularly organize Tantra classes and workshops both for beginners and advanced practitioners. They never involve inappropriate touch nor nudity but rather encourage students to set their own boundaries.

Check out our best Tantra workshops!


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