"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet."
~ Lida Clarkson (1884)
Mind Caviar Vol. 2, Summer Issue 2001
by Sabrina Qedesha
In my last column, we explored ways in which femininity has been revered in the sacred sex context. In many Tantric traditions, the female is seen as the possessor of knowledge, as the one who initiates the male aspirant into the hidden realms of sexual wisdom. Her yoni, or female sex, is literally the gateway. This is not to say, though, that Tantra is male negative. Rather, playing the respective roles of female as guardian of secrets and male as seeker after secrets is a kind of elaborate drama that allows participants to increase their experience and understanding of each other's roles. It takes a Tantric outlook to understand how this sacred role-play can be completely engrossing within the sexual temple, yet removed as easily as a garment once sacred sex is complete.
Throughout history the male has been revered through penis worship. The penis, which is called "lingam" in Tantric parlance, is of course not all there is to masculinity, but it is the most salient feature that distinguishes men from women. And, when it is time for the users of sacred sex to focus on pleasing and adoring the men in their midst, these men are most likely to desire a great deal of attention be placed on their penis. And, let's be honest here, those who wish to give pleasure to their male lover greatly adore spending quality time with his penis.
This is not to say that we should neglect other erogenous areas of the male body, but the penis has traditionally held a special place in worship. Some pagan traditions involve the use of sex (actual or symbolic) in holy rites. Throughout the world, from Polynesia to Egypt to India to Greece, we find disembodied penises used as holy relics. We find these lingams placed on altars and adorned with flowers, placed in temples in hopes of procuring a guarantee of fertility in the season to come, even carried through towns during festivals. We see this event in modern America, during the Krewe du Vieux Carre parade at the start of Carnival in New Orleans. The penis, like the vagina, is a symbol of wealth, plenty, and fertility.
The penis is associated with the sun, and with the active principle, or yang, to the vagina's yin or receptive principle. Here, we are in danger perhaps of falling into generalizations that are female-negative - so let me be clear, that I am not making any value judgments or making statements about men and women in general by describing the vagina as receptive or the penis as active. Think of this symbolism as a form of creative role-play that remains only within the bounds of the sexual temple, and which helps us to gain a deeper understanding of the mysteries of the universe. It is necessary to take this symbolic step to understand the phallus-centric nature of so many ancient traditions.
The Osiris tradition of ancient Egypt is one such ancient tradition that involves penis worship. In the central myth, Osiris is killed and dismembered by his evil brother Set. Osiris's wife Isis is only able to find her husband's disembodied penis. Even though he is dead, Osiris's penis retains its potency. Isis inserts the penis into herself, becomes pregnant, and gives birth of Horus, who eventually battles Set and takes vengeance for his father. Using the disembodied penis, Isis is later able to resurrect Osiris.
The Greek god Dionysus was also frequently worshiped in the form of a disembodied penis. In one myth related by Arthur Evans in The God of Ecstasy , Dionysus requires some information from a sage, who says he will give it only on the condition that the nubile deity will allow the sage to make love to him. Dionysus insists he is pressed for time but swears he will return later; the sage accepts this and gives him the information he needs. When Dionysus returns, however, he learns that the sage has since died. So Dionysus crafts a lingam of wood and, over the sage's grave, the god impales himself on it in the sage's honor.
The Hindu and Tantric god Shiva was likewise worshiped in India as a disembodied penis. The Shiva lingam, a religious relic used in Shiva worship, is a small oval stone, preferably smoothed by the running water of a river, with two red parallel lines painted lengthwise. If you have trouble imagining this, several Shiva lingam are shown in the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I've been told Shiva lingams make excellent dildos, though to be honest the idea of having a stone, however smooth, pushed into my delicate regions makes me a bit nervous.
In some Tantric myths we find Shiva, like Osiris, as a corpse or disembodied penis being straddled by his wife Shakti, in her "terrible" aspect Kali. Without Shakti, Shiva is only a corpse - but through her, he is able to express his virility.
The ovoid shape of the Shiva lingam represents not only the penis of the Lord of the Universe, but also the "egg," or seed, that proceeds from it. Sperm has been worshiped in various cultures as well. In sacred sexual traditions sperm transmits masculinity; in some cultures, we find pubescent boys encouraged to eat sperm so that they will mature into men. Taoist Tantrikas are told to keep from ejaculating nine out of ten times to "prevent the female yin from consuming too much of their masculine essence." Even more bizarre: it was written of certain Gnostic Christian sects that they used semen and menstrual blood as the "body and blood of Christ" in their version of the Eucharist. Then, as now, Christian church fathers were fond of slandering the Gnostics, but it is quite possible that there is some basis in fact for this allegation.
Tantric temples, the Shiva-lingam is placed in a triangular or oval receptacle
representing the yoni of Shakti, Shiva's wife. The union of lingam and
yoni is in this way honored as the underlying mystery of creation.
Sabrina's Sacred Sex Homework Assignment #3
The Lingam Massage
Give your partner a lingam massage. The goal of this massage is to bestow pleasure for your partner, but in a way that allows him to relax, be still, and learn how to receive pleasure and adoration in a contemplative way. As in my previous homework assignments, the overall goal is to experience sexual sensation in a new way, a way that encourages us to be respectful of sex and one another. It is not possible to give a true lingam massage in a hurried or impatient way, or for a partner who merely wants to get off.
Since it is entirely possible for a man to give himself a lingam massage, it makes a good way for a man to enjoy self love in a meditative way. Using the techniques of lingam massage, it is also possible for a man to learn more about his ejaculatory response and so develop increased longevity or even what some practitioners call voluntary orgasm - ejaculation that occurs only when the male wants it to happen.
Previous assignments have been, to an extent, transferable to partners of any gender. The lingam massage, as described here, is not. However, an affectionate and creative partner can find ways to perform a similar yoni massage that is equally contemplative in nature. Here's a hint: the one performing the massage may learn, or recall from previous experience, that an equivalent massage for a woman would involve more than a clitoral or vaginal massage, but would probably include very soft caressing of the nipples, buttocks, feet, shoulders, so on.
The lingam massage will provide sexual sensation, sometimes strong sensation, but not generally focused enough to bring orgasm. Make sure your partner understands this before you begin! If he is not in the proper frame of mind, he will most likely just become impatient. If this happens, the whole spirit of the lingam massage has been thwarted. One context in which this practice might work quite well would be a session between a dominant woman and a submissive male who has been conditioned to suit her desires.
First, set the mood with appropriate soft lighting, perhaps candlelight; incense; and appropriate music. Naturally, you do not have to just leap into the main course with your partner; nor does the lingam massage have to be the final act in your lovemaking. The massage should be performed before he has had an orgasm, but may be preceded with playful affection.
When you and your partner are ready to begin, have him lie on his back and spread his legs. It may help to have him prop himself up on a pillow. Find a comfortable position so that your hands will have easy access to his penis; some authors recommend sitting cross-legged, but some of you may want a position that gives a more close up vantage. It may enhance the experience for him to use rhythmic breathing or yogic posture while he receives the massage, but it is not necessary.
To prevent his penis from becoming raw, you will probably want to use an oil or lubricant. While traditional sexual lubricants such as KY or Astroglide are suitable, using an edible or tasty lubricant is often good foresight.
Touch the penis lightly and gently. As much abuse as penises see during sex, they are surprisingly sensitive. Rub a fingertip gently over the surface of the penis - the head, glans, and shaft; this will arouse the penis somewhat, but will probably not make it fully erect. That's okay; a full erection is not necessary, but it the massage is easier to perform on a penis that is at least partially erect.
Make a circle with your forefinger and thumb around the base of his penis and pull up, and continue up and off. Do the same with the other hand, and work into a rhythm, alternating hands and pulling up and off. You can play with speed a bit, moving in a slow, lingering fashion up the length of his shaft, or stroking in rapid-fire up-strokes. Pay attention to his responses; if he is breathing fast or moving his buttocks you may want to ease off a bit, but if he is losing interest you may want to change speed or pressure.
During moments when he is fully erect you can switch to down-strokes - done with the forefinger and thumb of alternating hands like the up-strokes, only starting at the head of the penis and moving down to the base. With lubrication this is going to be intensely pleasurable for your partner, so you may choose to do this sparingly, or to use this at the end of the massage if you want to bring him to orgasm.
Use other kinds of hand motions as well. One that will provide strong sensation (but is unlikely to bring orgasm) is a slow kneading with both hands, the palm of one against the glans and the palm of the other cupped over the head. Here's a personal favorite of mine: place the tip of thumb and forefinger of each hand together right at the bottom of the crown, on either side of his penis, and then knead these in small circular motion. Since the glans is brushed with each kneading this can absolutely tantalize. Another grasp that may surprise is simply holding his penis and keeping your hand or hands still.
There is no law that says you cannot involve your mouth in this. Since the mouth provides very intense pleasure for the man, it might be too difficult to maintain the spirit of the massage this way. This is no tragedy, but it should be kept in mind. Slow licks or kisses up and down the shaft, or up-sucks done gently (parting the lips and removing the tongue while going down) give nice sensations that will not bring quick orgasm.
Any of the motions described above, performed long enough, will bring him to orgasm, so watch his response. If you frequently pleasure him with your hands or mouth you will know the signs that he is about to orgasm. Hold him off from orgasm at least four or five times, unless he protests, of course. Each averted orgasm builds up pressure in him, like putting a kink in a garden hose. A few rhythmic pushes on the perineum (the point halfway between his testicles and anus) can help hold off the ejaculatory pressure while maintaining the built-up pleasure-tension. When he finally does release, if that happens during your lingam massage, the orgasm will be intense, possibly electric. Whether you take this orgasm in your mouth or hands will depend of course on the relationship and the level of trust between you and your partner.
Now, I want to give some general comments regarding the homework assignments. The most likely stumbling stone is impatience. The lingam massage, for example, is not orgasm centered and does not give the kind of pleasure your partner is accustomed to. Similarly, you may find yourself losing interest. If this happens, discuss the matter. Most likely you will decide to move on, which is perfectly fine; it should not be seen as failure, and you should not consider yourselves to have lost out in any way.
The purpose of these homework assignments is to make available ideas that will help you to expand your sexual experience, pleasure, and outlook. They are offered in this spirit, and the moment they cease being helpful, they should be set aside. One of the wonderful things about sex is the wide variance in response from person to person, and what works for one may simply turn another off. Ideas that appeal, but do not particularly work when tried out, might perhaps inspire some new idea that does work. If my offerings in any way increase your sexual pleasure, or add some special new dimension to the way you view sex, we will have both succeeded.
Sabrina's Sacred Sex & Homework Assignment #3 © 2001 Sabrina Qedesha. All rights reserved. Do not copy or post.
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