A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One of Two Parts)

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Richard Ballard

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Nov 29, 2003, 2:43:03 PM11/29/03
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Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued monthly. Each issue's new and significantly changed
paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

Part Two is contained in a concurrent, copyrighted message
titled "A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part Two of Two Parts)".

I believe that (Western) neo-Tantra is very relevant to
Magickians, to Pagans, to witches and Wiccans, and to others
interested in human fertility and sexuality.

Novices interested in neo-Tantra might have difficulty obtaining
*good* information about the subject. A wealth of information on
(Western) neo-Tantra and (Eastern) Tantra *is* available on the
Internet -- too much information. A simple Google search on the
word 'neo-Tantra' gives over 400 entries, while a Google search on
the word 'Tantra' gives over 300,000 entries. Reviewing that much
information is akin to 'taking a drink out of a firehose' -- it
does not necessarily quench your thirst. I have compiled this
commented short "A neo-Tantra Reference List" -- a terse list of
clearly-written texts (that I own, and have read or browsed)
primarily about (Western) neo-Tantra but also discussing (Eastern)
Tantra so that novices will understand the difference. I believe
that most novices in the United States have greater interest in
(Western) neo-Tantra than in (Eastern) Tantra with its sometimes
*painful* discipline (e.g., Kundalini).

I acknowledge that some neo-Tantra practitioners [so-called
'Tantrums', an appropriate designation for neo-Tantra practitioners
who sometimes feel un(der)appreciated] believe that reading is
not sufficient to learn neo-Tantra -- some Tantrums believe that
tutelage by an accomplished neo-Tantra instructor is required.
Everyone does not live in an area where well-known neo-Tantra
instructors are available, everyone can not afford neo-Tantra
tutelage, and some individuals choose to reserve neo-Tantra contact
to a well-known close friend(s). I have had tutelage and I have
read texts. I believe that anybody reading well-written texts
and practicing with a well-known friendly partner can obtain
most of neo-Tantra's benefits -- increased closeness from sharing
an intimate experience, healthful exercise, and increased body
flexibility. In a lighter vein, 'Reading the directions is the
last refuge of the COMPETENT.'

I do not know if the word 'Tantrum' is based in Latin, but
if it is, the Latin plural of 'Tantrum' is 'Tantra'. I prefer
the plural usage 'Tantrums' to avoid confusion when discussing
neo-Tantrum practioners versus discussing Eastern Tantra.

Magickian apprentices might have another issue with tutelage
by accomplished neo-Tantra instructors: cost. Cost-based
neo-Tantra instruction can be awkward. When the apprentice runs
out of cash and credit and needs magickal assistance the greatest,
the instruction stops. Disagreements over money are all too common,
and IMO disagreements tarnish a shining magickal relationship.

Given the possibility of losing their (unreliable) magick
exactly when they need it most, some magickal apprentices might
choose to forgo magick use altogether, and to pursue their goals
using mundane methods exclusively. Magickally speaking, this
strategy is analogous to the statement "I prefer no companions
to bad or unreliable companions." I have been told this latter
statement boastfully demonstrates my ignorance of both magick and
neo-Tantra. I believe my statement illustrates free will.

The act of giving neo-Tantra instruction freely is itself
magickal. The magick of free instruction strengthens the
neo-Tantra instruction, making the instruction memorable,
effective and longer-lasting.

Some people trivialize neo-Tantra -- they say "Why read books
about neo-Tantra when there are books out there about REAL Tantra?
If you want to learn something ancient, then read the books about
the ancient, and not modern intrepetation and rewriting based on
the ancient."

IMO ancient does not equate to appropriate. This document
lists five texts and one FAQ. Three of the texts discuss neo-Tantra,
one text discusses interpersonal relationship psychology mixed with
neo-Tantra, and one text discusses the mystical experiences
achievable through (Eastern) Tantra (self-)discipline. The listed
FAQ stresses (Eastern) Tantra (self-)discipline.

(Eastern) Tantra evolved in a Hinduism/Taoism environment
where people on mystical quests lived lives of sacrifice and
(self-)discipline. Neo-Tantra is a Western filtration of (Eastern)
Tantra that retains techniques bringing pleasure and intimacy
to sexual partners. In addition, neo-Tantra practitioners easily
can avoid the physically painful (Eastern) Tantra exercises
designed to achieve Nirvana (which IMO is a *semi-delusional*
mental state).

IMO neo-Tantra assists Western couples to strengthen their
relationships, while (Eastern) Tantra and its (self-)discipline
is less appropriate and less palatable to most Westerners.

I discuss the texts that *I* believe are appropriate and useful.
Others are free to discuss the texts that *they* believe are
appropriate and useful. That's fair.

Some people say that I trivialize Tantra and neo-Tantra. These
people say that if a person seeks increased intimacy, healthful
exercise and increased body flexibility, why not just run a mile,
do some stretching, and have a private dinner with your partner?
I have three answers to this question.

The first answer is that running a mile, stretching, and having
cocktails while your partner prepares dinner does *not* build
intimacy between partners -- mutual shared activity builds and
reinforces intimacy between partners. Neo-Tantra should be a
*friendly* activity shared between partners.

The second answer is that while fitness enhances neo-Tantra
pleasure, a novice need not be able to run a mile in order to
derive enjoyment from neo-Tantra. *Some* neo-Tantra
can be performed by novices with limited fitness and flexibility.
As Tantrum novices' fitness and flexibility improves with
practice, they can progress to neo-Tantra requiring
additional fitness and flexibility. Use caution when trying
new neo-Tantra exercises (or partners) for the first time.

The third answer reflects my personal philosophy. I have jogged at
least once daily (in the United States Midwest) since May 31, 1999
without missing -- including one-hundred degree (F) heat; including
two degree (F) cold with sixteen MPH winds and blowing snow; and
including a heavy rain/hailstone storm. Currently I jog three miles
daily carrying two three-pound handweights and as a result can
lift one-hundred-fifty pounds from a sitting position. Jogging
with handweights *does* complement neo-Tantra -- it builds your leg,
back, shoulder and arm muscles and improves your posture. Stretching
*is* beneficial prior to neo-Tantra -- it limbers your muscles for
any physical strain that might occur during neo-Tantra. And *both*
partners can jog and stretch prior to performing neo-Tantra.

[BTW, I believe that women should wear appropriate 'sports bras'
while jogging, and that both men and women should be sensitive
to their partner's comfort during neo-Tantra and other exercise.

<*> A reader ridiculed my suggestion that women should wear
appropriate sports bras during strenuous exercise, and that
partners should be sensitive to each other's comfort during
exercise. I am not going to make crude jokes about 'Leave
me breathless' or about (a-hem) 'The Nutcracker Sweet'. I merely
will comment that the human body contains sensitive so-called
'soft tissues' that contain nerves but no bone, cartilage or muscle.
These soft tissues are prone to tearing, and once torn do _not_
naturally heal -- pain, damage and disfigurement are possible.
Proper equipment and caring attitudes minimize these possibilities.

Please utilize prearranged *safe words*. Safe words are an easily
memorable, short distinctive phrase not likely to be spoken during
neo-Tantra. Either partner voicing the safe word phrase
signifies 'STOP and DISENGAGE IMMEDIATELY' and usually signifies
the partner is experiencing acute discomfort. And please do *not*
assume a new partner will recognize your personal safe word phrase
without prior discussion -- misinterpretation can be painful.]

<*> Another reader ridiculed the safe word concept, stating
"Why not merely say STOP AND DISENGAGE IMMEDIATELY?"
IMO this is matter or personal preference, but I believe that the
safe word/phrase concept is superior. Neo-Tantra creates a
ritualistic environment, a fragile environment that can be shattered
by crude shouts of 'STOP AND DISENGAGE IMMEDIATELY, DAMMIT'.
A safe word/phrase can be chosen that either preserves the
ritualistic environment [the idea being that we will (a-hem)
rearrange ourselves and then continue the ritual] or is funny
[the idea being that if we need the safe word/phrase we also
will need some humor].

<*> Safe words/phrases are not exclusive to neo-Tantra. Increasingly
I encounter married couples who obviously have been through formal
counseling. During social conversation one partner will begin
discussing the other partner's problem or weakness (e.g., Bab's
drinking, Joe's workaholism -- he's never at home ). The other
partner interrupts the discussion with an out-of-context comment:
'fight'. Both partners immediately change the discussion subject.
This out-of-context behaviour never is discussed, but obviously this
couple employ the safe word 'fight' to stop each other's
uncomfortable/embarrassing social behaviour. I can only guess why
a couple choses 'fight' for their safe word. ;->

<*> I also encounter NON-neo-Tantra group situations where
politically not correct behaviour is frowned upon _formally_.
Specifically, the group employs a 'cop' (an individual who
group members feel is physically threatening but who has
self-control) either monetarily or on a volunteer basis. When
another person engages during group activities in behaviour deemed
not politically correct, the physically threatening 'cop'
intervenes, walking over and frowning directly (and threateningly)
into the offender's face. This frowning cop ritual (usually)
squelches further politically not correct behaviour within group
meetings, but the frowning cop ritual does not promote free idea
exchange within social gatherings. For better or worse, repeated
frowning cop episodes ("In MY face? AGAIN?") are taken as insults
and suggestions that the apparent offender find a different group
with member opinions compatible to his/her own opinion.
[A precedent: On the television series "Happy Days" the character
Fonzi ("The Fonz") maintained order, but (to my knowledge) Fonzi
never beat anybody up in the parking lot.]

<*> I mention the frowning cop ritual because a frown can be a mild
alternative to safe words/phrases. In an intimate situation with
_attentive_ partners, a (truly nasty?) frown can discourage
uncomfortable actions without resorting to memorable wounding
words. But by the same token, intimacy with a perpetually frowning
partner is not fun or encouraging. And becoming _not attentive_
is a waystation on the road to new partners.

<*> One 'safe gesture' I have witnessed is a hand placed gently
on the back of the offender's bare neck. My interpretation
of this gesture is 'Baby, you are misbehaving' -- I liken the
gesture to a mother dog grabbing a young puppy by the loose skin
on the scruff of the neck prior to carrying the puppy away.
When performed by a friendly Tantrum, IMO this is a friendly
gesture. When done by anybody else, IMO this is an
_extremely_ unfriendly gesture -- IMO touching is a part of
consentual sexual foreplay.

<*> Rituals have value, and safe words can be embroidered into
ritualistic behaviour -- a respectful and/or lovong 'forgiving
ceremony' could be included into the response to safe word
utterance. Humor has value -- IMO friends with a sense of humor
make the best Tantrums (and avoid the worst tantrums).
'GET OFF ME NOW!' might get the job done, but it also might
deflate a couple's social life preserver, leaving them to sink
mournfully beneath the surface into Tantrum (or social) limbo.

<*> Apparently serious bondage/dominance/sadism/masochism
(BDSM) environments employ so-called 'cops' -- observers/bouncers
whose function is to control the environment and to break up
altercations and harmful overenthusiasm between BDSM participants.
These so-called 'cops' themselves usually are physically-inclined,
and their 'cop' function often is a paid position -- the 'cops'
work for the BDSM proprietor, *not* for the BDSM participants.

<*> I do not practice kundalini, and I do not consider neo-Tantra
to be BDSM. From my perspective, so-called 'cops' should not
be necessary in a neo-Tantra environment. I also believe that
friends with a sense of humor make the best neo-Tantra partners
-- friends with a sense of humor should not require so-called 'cops'.
IMO so-called 'cops' merely come between friends.

<*> My residence is private, the door is not open to every body,
but Governmental fire regulations require that the door always
be open for exits. Need I say more concerning 'safe word' usage
in neo-Tantra?

<*> Safe phrases? I like 'Take a lap' -- it works on several
levels. 'Never kid a kidder' also works on several levels.
Caveat emptor.

Both partners jogging and stretching prior to performing
neo-Tantra is shared intimacy, and jogging builds each partner's
self-confidence. Equally important, jogging reduces each partner's
individual stress. And jogging reinforces the physiological factors
that Tantrums seeks to develop. Neo-Tantra's goal is physical and
mental union between partners. With practice and proficiency,
neo-Tantra partners can achieve synchronization of breathing,
synchronization of heartbeat, and ultimately can achieve
synchronization of their brainwave activity. The result of this
synchronization is a *close and enduring union between partners*.
Jogging aids the neo-Tantra synchronization process by *regularizing
and strengthening* breathing, heartbeat and brainwave activity.
Jogging's stepwise repetitive nature is similar to the repetitive
yantra/mantra structuring used to focus and calm the mind (and
regulate brainwave activity) during yoga meditation. And jogging
is a diversion from bored munching on junk food with attendent
unhealthy weight gain. I believe that pushing yourself *away*
from the dinner table (and television) complements personal health
and neo-Tantra.

I can not overemphasize the importance of jogging's
stress reduction function. IMO 'Take a lap' is an excellent
safe word phrase for use both within neo-Tantra and also within
general daily activities.

Developing muscle memory and mental serenity requires a certain
amount of physical fitness. All neo-Tantra does not require a
great deal of fitness, but physical strain will destroy the
intimacy, enjoyment and serenity that is neo-Tantra. Excess
physical exertion also could damage a person's health. I believe
that people should follow their Physician's recommendations
concerning physical activity. If there is a question concerning
the adequacy of a person's health I believe that person should
consult their Physician *prior* to beginning neo-Tantra (or any
other form of physical exercise).

Some people question why obtaining neo-Tantra experience requires
practice -- i.e., they say 'Just read the book'. Most neo-Tantra
exercise requires a partner -- *most* neo-Tantra is not solitary
meditation where you 'take care of yourself'. Like most sport or
meditation activities many neo-Tantra exercises include repetitive
actions that 'work best' when performed semiconsciously and without
distractions -- i.e., Tantrums should be concentrating upon
their partners, not concentrating upon body mechanics or
frantically struggling to achieve 'inner bliss'. [While it is not
neo-Tantra music, the music CD "backstreet boys" performed by
the backstreet boys played at (a-hem) appropriate volume is
suitable musical background for shared neo-Tantra. Many
of Robert Palmer's music CDs ("Rhythm and Blues", "Ridin' High"
and "Wake Up Laughing") also contain selections that are suitable
background music during shared neo-Tantra.]

Acquiring the muscle memory and mental serenity necessary to
achieve this *semiconscious* performance state requires PRACTICE
PRACTICE PRACTICE with a *friendly partner*, not frantic reading.
(When clumsiness is experienced attempting new exercises,
friendliness and a sense of humor overcome potential embarrassment.)
Tantrum novices in particular might be both physically and socially
clumsy until they improve their fitness. *Friends with a sense of
humor make the best neo-Tantra partners.* Neo-Tantra intimacy
could help smooth over some of those family problems. And
neo-Tantra should be FUN -- nobody should complain about the need
to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

I recommend that individuals wishing to learn about neo-Tantra
consider the following texts:

1. "The Art of Sexual Ecstasy: The Path of Sacred Sexuality
for Western Lovers" by Margo Anand
A well-written, well-illustrated introduction to (Western) neo-Tantra.
ISBN 0-87477-581-7

When I first read Margo Anand's text (a non-trivial text), I
read the text from cover to cover, thought about the text for
six months, then re-read the text from cover to cover. I
believe that following the second reading I understand Margot
Anand's text. Ms. Anand's text contains some shared neo-Tantra
exercises that healthy partners can attempt with little or no
contemplation or preparation. Ms. Anand's text also contains
some exercises that partners might choose never to attempt.

Ms. Anand is a therapist, and one section of Ms. Anand's text
deals with neo-Tantra-related, non-sexual 'play' [e.g., dances
similar to traditional Hindu dancing, aroma therapy, non-sexual
tactile sensation (feathers), etc.]. For a long time I dismissed
this section as 'fluff' -- then I reconsidered. First I learned
that traditional Hindu dances are an art form. Indian Maharajahs
maintained private dance troupes at great personal cost, and
traditional Hindu dances (analogous to ballet) contain very precise
and stylized movements. There are ***over fifty expressive eye
movements*** within traditional Hindu dancing, and spectators
must sit *very close* to view and appreciate the subtle eye
movements. I drew conclusions concerning traditional Hindu
dancing and its presentation from these facts -- properly
presented, traditional Hindu dancing is *extremely* sensual.

I am a single man, but I also made observations concerning family
life. Couples with children invest *tremendous time, energy and
resources* in their children -- the children become the focus of
the parents' lives. Then the children mature, go away to college
and/or get jobs in other cities. By leaving the nest the children
create a void in their parents' lives and spousal relationship.
The children are gone and the parents might have little else in
common. The non-sexual 'play' that Ms. Anand discusses is a
lighthearted path for unfocussed parents to rediscover each other,
a path that can lead to later relationships with increased intimacy.
I believe Ms. Anand's non-sexual 'play' recommendations might help
fill a true void that exists for Twenty-First Century parents.

<*> And I believe that Ms. Anand's 'play' recommendations might
help fill other Twenty-First Century voids. Modern medicine is
wonderful, and people have the potential to live long, healthy lives.
In the mid-Twentieth Century, Professor Alfred Kinsey (Indiana
University), and Dr. William Masters and Ms. Virginia Johnson
[Washngton University (St. Louis) School of Medicine] did pioneering
research documenting human sexuality. Their work indicated that
human beings enjoy intimacy throughout their lifetimes, and (health
permitting) can enjoy sexuality throughout their lifetimes. IMO
enjoying intimacy (and sexuality) throughout one's lifetime is a
characteristic of adult humans.

<*> But sexual _ability_ can become an issue -- for example, male
(im)potency can become an issue. Apparently male (im)potency
_is_ an issue -- television advertisements for Viagra and similar
male potency-enhancing pharmacuticals are prominent, I have heard
popular music (non-advertisement) songs lauding Viagra, and
Internet e-mail is flooded with unsolicited messages offering
Viagra at discount prices. Loss of muscular strength due to illness
or due to aging can raise other sexual ability issues -- issues that
can destroy intimacy, and that have the potential to destroy marriages
and partnerships.

<*> Ms. Anand's 'play' recommendations include activities that might
help couples recover their lost sexuality and intimacy, IMO a real
neo-Tantra potential contribution to couples' quality of life.

<*> Ms. Anand's text includes an Appendix discussing Safe Sex.
This well-written discussion suggests different techniques for
new partners and for long-term partners, a sensitive and sensible
approach. The Appendix does not discuss diseases like "human
herpes virus 8" (HHV-8) and "Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome (SARS)."

<*> And 'safe sex' does NOT equate to fertility control.
Viagra and similar male potency-enhancing pharmacuticals
raise another issue -- safe sex in older people who (apparently)
no longer are fertile. (Please consult your Physician.) The
social impact of Viagra has been a resurgence in (promiscuous?)
sexual activity in older people -- with Viagra older men are able
and quite willing to perform. But older women (usually) are not
fertile (please consult your Physician) and (usually) do not require
birth control devices to avoid pregnancy. Furthermore, for many men
condoms dampen male ardor.

<*> Apparently many older people are ignoring safe sex practices
and are ignoring condom use. This is a mistake -- according to
a November 2003 television news report, twelve percent of the newly
reported HIV/AIDS cases are in people over fifty years of age.

<*> I choose _not_ to discuss the subject of older women and
in vitro fertilization.

<*> I choose _not_ to discuss the subject of fertile women with
anonymous boyfriends. (On the television series "Happy Days",
Fonzi was an attractive character but to my knowledge Fonzi
never had a girlfriend.)

IMO men and women have different perspectives concerning infants.
Some women view motherhood as 'a second career' -- a new beginning
after leaving their first career in the workplace. This decision
has *major economic consequences*, and the decision will become
increasingly popular if the United States' domestic economy
downsizes further, becoming leaner and meaner. This increasingly
popular decision in turn might adversely affect males' attitudes
towards their female partners.

Birth control is based upon *mutual respect and mutual good
faith*. IMO when used with mutual respect and mutual good faith,
modern birth control is *extremely* effective. IMO when used with
mutual respect and mutual good faith, birth control is *possible*.
IMO coital abstinence is the only foolproof birth (and financial)
***control*** method -- this is a *dominance* issue rather than a
biological issue. In cases where (a-hem) fear of pregnancy
motivates concern, I believe the situation signals absence of good
faith and raises questions concerning the relationship's long term
potential. (I.e., "You won't be staying long and I don't want you
to make a mess.")

<*> One reader expressed misgivings about (neo-)Tantra being
used by married couples. This reader noted that troubles
within a married relationship might affect Tantrums' ritual
performance. The reader stated her belief that (neo-)Tantra
was communion with the Goddess and *all* of Her beloved
children, that impaired ritual performance was blasphemy,
and that limiting (neo-)Tantra to mated (married) couples
(with the life problems that married couples invariably have)
was blasphemy.

<*> Blasphemy is a religious issue and Comparative Religion
is a delicate subject. Culture is a delicate subject. I know
religions and cultures where the dominant (not necessarily male)
coupled partner de facto _owns_ the coupled submissive partner,
and a coupling can not be dissolved without payout. Claiming
that such a coupling exists is _extremely easy_ (and claiming that
such a coupling exists might be monetarily advantageous in awkward
social situations). I imagine that people avoid the
_mistaken appearance_ of coupling in such cultures -- the mistaken
appearance of coupling can have expensive consequences. IMO open
relationships are not practical or workable in these cultures.

<*> The referenced reader's perspective is that (neo-)Tantra
is a ritual where Tantrums serve the Goddess, and implies that
an open (neo-)Tantra relationship is required. ***I do not
consider neo-Tantra a religion.*** My perspective is that
neo-Tantra promotes a loving relationship with the
added benefits of increased closeness from sharing an
intimate experience, healthful exercise, and increased body
flexibility -- benefits that *strengthen* existing closed
relationships. I also have listed several financial and
epidemiological reasons why I believe that closed relationships
are superior to open relationships.

<*> Comparative Religion arguments seldom are resolved. My
reaction to this reader's claim of blasphemy is that my perspective
and use of neo-Tantra does *not* limit her perspective and use
of neo-Tantra -- we can peacefully coexist on our separate paths.

<*> The reader responded that Tantra is a religious ritual designed
to produce a religious experience. That is her perspective, but
I have differentiated between (Eastern) Tantra and (Western)
neo-Tantra, and I have *clearly stated* that I am discussing
(Western) neo-Tantra. IMO (Western) neo-Tantra [which in my
perspective lacks the painful disciplines found within (Eastern)
Tantra] has greater relevance to Westerners.

<*> In addition to being a religion, I understand that some
(Eastern) Tantra exercises are used within serious BDSM (bondage
/ dominance / sadism / masochism ) circles. I also understand
that (IMO ironically) 'The Golden Rule' also is used within
serious BDSM circles: "Do unto others as you would have others
do unto you." This is another way of saying "If you can't stand
the heat, stay out of the kitchen (and perhaps the parking lot)."

*****End of Part One*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

<*> I do not know if the television series name "Happy Days" or
the character Fonzi ("The Fonz") are copyrighted or registered
trade marks of George Lucas, Ron Howard, Henry Winkler or their
associates. I thank them for their inspiration.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

I got no problems.
Other people got problems.
00: 21 _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
--
Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com
Last book review: "Combatting Cult Mind Control"
by Steven Hassan

Richard Ballard

unread,
Dec 27, 2003, 1:58:07 PM12/27/03
to
Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued monthly. Each issue's new and significantly changed
paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

Part Two is contained in a concurrent, copyrighted message
titled "A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part Two of Two Parts)".

<*> Approximately twenty-one days before each of the eight annual
Pagan sabbats I issue copyrighted multipart messages titled
"Definitions For Prospective Wiccan Novices
(Part One/Two/Three/Four of Four Parts)" and
"A Reference List for Prospective Wiccan Novices
(Part One/Two of Two Parts)", respectively. These copyrighted
multipart messages appear on Internet newsgroups alt.magick,
alt.magick.tyagi, alt.pagan and alt.religion.wicca.
These copyrighted multipart messages also are archived
within "google.com" (no quotes).

A reader ridiculed my suggestion that women should wear


appropriate sports bras during strenuous exercise, and that
partners should be sensitive to each other's comfort during
exercise. I am not going to make crude jokes about 'Leave
me breathless' or about (a-hem) 'The Nutcracker Sweet'. I merely
will comment that the human body contains sensitive so-called
'soft tissues' that contain nerves but no bone, cartilage or muscle.
These soft tissues are prone to tearing, and once torn do _not_
naturally heal -- pain, damage and disfigurement are possible.
Proper equipment and caring attitudes minimize these possibilities.

Please utilize prearranged *safe words*. Safe words are an easily
memorable, short distinctive phrase not likely to be spoken during
neo-Tantra. Either partner voicing the safe word phrase
signifies 'STOP and DISENGAGE IMMEDIATELY' and usually signifies
the partner is experiencing acute discomfort. And please do *not*
assume a new partner will recognize your personal safe word phrase
without prior discussion -- misinterpretation can be painful.]

Another reader ridiculed the safe word concept, stating


"Why not merely say STOP AND DISENGAGE IMMEDIATELY?"
IMO this is matter or personal preference, but I believe that the
safe word/phrase concept is superior. Neo-Tantra creates a
ritualistic environment, a fragile environment that can be shattered
by crude shouts of 'STOP AND DISENGAGE IMMEDIATELY, DAMMIT'.
A safe word/phrase can be chosen that either preserves the
ritualistic environment [the idea being that we will (a-hem)
rearrange ourselves and then continue the ritual] or is funny
[the idea being that if we need the safe word/phrase we also
will need some humor].

<*> Safe words/phrases are not exclusive to neo-Tantra. Increasingly
I encounter married couples who obviously have been through formal
counseling. During social conversation one partner will begin

discussing the other partner's problem or weakness [e.g., Bab's
drinking, Joe's workaholism (he's never at home) or Joe's
occupational difficulties (Joe keeps strange work hours and
nobody understands his profession)]. The other partner interrupts


the discussion with an out-of-context comment: 'fight'. Both
partners immediately change the discussion subject. This
out-of-context behaviour never is discussed, but obviously this
couple employ the safe word 'fight' to stop each other's
uncomfortable/embarrassing social behaviour. I can only guess why
a couple choses 'fight' for their safe word. ;->

I also encounter NON-neo-Tantra group situations where


politically not correct behaviour is frowned upon _formally_.
Specifically, the group employs a 'cop' (an individual who
group members feel is physically threatening but who has
self-control) either monetarily or on a volunteer basis. When
another person engages during group activities in behaviour deemed
not politically correct, the physically threatening 'cop'
intervenes, walking over and frowning directly (and threateningly)
into the offender's face. This frowning cop ritual (usually)
squelches further politically not correct behaviour within group
meetings, but the frowning cop ritual does not promote free idea
exchange within social gatherings. For better or worse, repeated
frowning cop episodes ("In MY face? AGAIN?") are taken as insults
and suggestions that the apparent offender find a different group
with member opinions compatible to his/her own opinion.
[A precedent: On the television series "Happy Days" the character
Fonzi ("The Fonz") maintained order, but (to my knowledge) Fonzi
never beat anybody up in the parking lot.]

I mention the frowning cop ritual because a frown can be a mild


alternative to safe words/phrases. In an intimate situation with
_attentive_ partners, a (truly nasty?) frown can discourage
uncomfortable actions without resorting to memorable wounding
words. But by the same token, intimacy with a perpetually frowning
partner is not fun or encouraging. And becoming _not attentive_

is a signpost on the path to new partners.

<*> One 'safe gesture' I have witnessed is a hand placed gently
on the back of the offender's bare neck. My interpretation
of this gesture is 'Baby, you are misbehaving' -- I liken the
gesture to a mother dog grabbing a young puppy by the loose skin
on the scruff of the neck prior to carrying the puppy away.
When performed by a friendly Tantrum, IMO this is a friendly
gesture. When done by anybody else, IMO this is an

_extremely_ unfriendly and arrogant gesture -- IMO touching is


a part of consentual sexual foreplay.

Rituals have value, and safe words can be embroidered into
ritualistic behaviour -- a respectful and/or loving 'forgiving


ceremony' could be included into the response to safe word
utterance. Humor has value -- IMO friends with a sense of humor
make the best Tantrums (and avoid the worst tantrums).
'GET OFF ME NOW!' might get the job done, but it also might
deflate a couple's social life preserver, leaving them to sink
mournfully beneath the surface into Tantrum (or social) limbo.

Apparently serious bondage/dominance/sadism/masochism (BDSM)


environments employ so-called 'cops' -- observers/bouncers
whose function is to control the environment and to break up
altercations and harmful overenthusiasm between BDSM participants.
These so-called 'cops' themselves usually are physically-inclined,
and their 'cop' function often is a paid position -- the 'cops'
work for the BDSM proprietor, *not* for the BDSM participants.

I do not practice kundalini, and I do not consider neo-Tantra


to be BDSM. From my perspective, so-called 'cops' should not
be necessary in a neo-Tantra environment. I also believe that
friends with a sense of humor make the best neo-Tantra partners
-- friends with a sense of humor should not require so-called
'cops'. IMO so-called 'cops' merely come between friends.

My residence is private, the door is not open to every body,


but Governmental fire regulations require that the door always
be open for exits. Need I say more concerning 'safe word' usage
in neo-Tantra?

Safe phrases? I like 'Take a lap' -- it works on several

<*> Ms. Anand is a therapist, and one section of Ms. Anand's text


deals with neo-Tantra-related, non-sexual 'play' [e.g., dances
similar to traditional Hindu dancing, aroma therapy, non-sexual
tactile sensation (feathers), etc.]. For a long time I dismissed
this section as 'fluff' -- then I reconsidered. First I learned
that traditional Hindu dances are an art form. Indian Maharajahs
maintained private dance troupes at great personal cost, and
traditional Hindu dances (analogous to ballet) contain very precise
and stylized movements. There are ***over fifty expressive eye
movements*** within traditional Hindu dancing, and spectators
must sit *very close* to view and appreciate the subtle eye
movements. I drew conclusions concerning traditional Hindu
dancing and its presentation from these facts -- properly
presented, traditional Hindu dancing is *extremely* sensual.

I also have come to realize that partners who have drifted out
of physical touch might have (purposefully?) lost their awareness
of others' sensitivity to smells and to rough touching.

<*> I am a single man, but I also made observations concerning family


life. Couples with children invest *tremendous time, energy and
resources* in their children -- the children become the focus of
the parents' lives. Then the children mature, go away to college
and/or get jobs in other cities. By leaving the nest the children
create a void in their parents' lives and spousal relationship.
The children are gone and the parents might have little else in

common. (I am assuming that "Not now -- you'll wake the children."
is _not_ an engrained parental ritual.) The non-sexual 'play' that


Ms. Anand discusses is a lighthearted path for unfocussed parents
to rediscover each other, a path that can lead to later
relationships with increased intimacy. I believe Ms. Anand's
non-sexual 'play' recommendations might help fill a true void
that exists for Twenty-First Century parents.

And I believe that Ms. Anand's 'play' recommendations might


help fill other Twenty-First Century voids. Modern medicine is
wonderful, and people have the potential to live long, healthy lives.
In the mid-Twentieth Century, Professor Alfred Kinsey (Indiana
University), and Dr. William Masters and Ms. Virginia Johnson
[Washngton University (St. Louis) School of Medicine] did pioneering
research documenting human sexuality. Their work indicated that
human beings enjoy intimacy throughout their lifetimes, and (health
permitting) can enjoy sexuality throughout their lifetimes. IMO
enjoying intimacy (and sexuality) throughout one's lifetime is a
characteristic of adult humans.

But sexual _ability_ can become an issue -- for example, male


(im)potency can become an issue. Apparently male (im)potency
_is_ an issue -- television advertisements for Viagra and similar
male potency-enhancing pharmacuticals are prominent, I have heard
popular music (non-advertisement) songs lauding Viagra, and
Internet e-mail is flooded with unsolicited messages offering
Viagra at discount prices. Loss of muscular strength due to illness
or due to aging can raise other sexual ability issues -- issues that
can destroy intimacy, and that have the potential to destroy marriages
and partnerships.

Ms. Anand's 'play' recommendations include activities that might


help couples recover their lost sexuality and intimacy, IMO a real
neo-Tantra potential contribution to couples' quality of life.

Ms. Anand's text includes an Appendix discussing Safe Sex.


This well-written discussion suggests different techniques for
new partners and for long-term partners, a sensitive and sensible
approach. The Appendix does not discuss diseases like "human
herpes virus 8" (HHV-8) and "Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome (SARS)."

<*> And 'safe sex' does NOT equate to fertility control. Viagra and
similar male potency-enhancing pharmacuticals raise another issue
-- safe sex in older people who (apparently) no longer are
fertile. (Please consult your Physician.) The social impact of

Viagra and similar pharmacuticals has been a resurgence in


(promiscuous?) sexual activity in older people -- with Viagra

older men apparently are able (and are quite willing) to perform.


But older women (usually) are not fertile (please consult your
Physician) and (usually) do not require birth control devices to

avoid pregnancy. Furthermore, for many men condoms (and children)
dampen male ardor.

Apparently many older people are ignoring safe sex practices
and are ignoring condom use. This is a mistake -- according to
a November 2003 television news report, twelve percent of the newly
reported HIV/AIDS cases are in people over fifty years of age.

I choose _not_ to discuss the subject of older women and
in vitro fertilization.

I choose _not_ to discuss the subject of fertile women with


anonymous boyfriends. (On the television series "Happy Days",
Fonzi was an attractive character but to my knowledge Fonzi
never had a girlfriend.)

<*> IMO men and women have different perspectives concerning infants.


Some women view motherhood as 'a second career' -- a new beginning

after leaving their first career in the workplace. Taken to
extremes and in the context of 21st Century jurisprudence,
motherhood can be viewed as a twenty-plus-year career with financial
tenure. And IMO broadcast television (both a trendsetter and a
social barometer) increasingly revolves around 'the joys of
(single) parenthood'. 'Rosie The Riveter' no longer is honored,
and Dad increasingly is absent from the single female parent
environment often portrayed in broadcast commercial messages.

<*> The decision to have children has *major economic consequences*,
and this decision will become increasingly popular with women if the
United States' domestic economy (and job market) downsizes further,
becoming leaner and meaner with automation increasingly eliminating
non-professional jobs. [IMO (lack of) quality higher education
is an issue in the 21st Century United States.] The increasingly
popular 21st Century female social trend towards motherhood in turn
might adversely affect males' (friendly) attitudes towards their
female partners. And if 'not disturbing the children' becomes the
basis for family living, IMO the children are tools of social
control and an _childish_ unstable family environment might result.

<*> Birth control is based upon *mutual respect and mutual good


faith*. IMO when used with mutual respect and mutual good faith,
modern birth control is *extremely* effective. IMO when used with
mutual respect and mutual good faith, birth control is *possible*.
IMO coital abstinence is the only foolproof birth (and financial)
***control*** method -- this is a *dominance* issue rather than a

biological issue. In cases where (male) fear of pregnancy
motivates concern, I believe the situation signals _unresolved
lifestyle goals_.

One reader expressed misgivings about (neo-)Tantra being
used by married couples. This reader noted that troubles
within a married relationship might affect Tantrums' ritual
performance. The reader stated her belief that (neo-)Tantra
was communion with the Goddess and *all* of Her beloved
children, that impaired ritual performance was blasphemy,
and that limiting (neo-)Tantra to mated (married) couples
(with the life problems that married couples invariably have)
was blasphemy.

Blasphemy is a religious issue and Comparative Religion


is a delicate subject. Culture is a delicate subject. I know
religions and cultures where the dominant (not necessarily male)
coupled partner de facto _owns_ the coupled submissive partner,
and a coupling can not be dissolved without payout. Claiming
that such a coupling exists is _extremely easy_ (and claiming that
such a coupling exists might be monetarily advantageous in awkward
social situations). I imagine that people avoid the
_mistaken appearance_ of coupling in such cultures -- the mistaken
appearance of coupling can have expensive consequences. IMO open
relationships are not practical or workable in these cultures.

The referenced reader's perspective is that (neo-)Tantra


is a ritual where Tantrums serve the Goddess, and implies that
an open (neo-)Tantra relationship is required. ***I do not
consider neo-Tantra a religion.*** My perspective is that
neo-Tantra promotes a loving relationship with the
added benefits of increased closeness from sharing an
intimate experience, healthful exercise, and increased body
flexibility -- benefits that *strengthen* existing closed
relationships. I also have listed several financial and
epidemiological reasons why I believe that closed relationships
are superior to open relationships.

<*> Comparative Religion arguments seldom are resolved. My
reaction to this reader's claim of blasphemy is that my perspective

and use of neo-Tantra does *not* limit her perspective and her use
of neo-Tantra. I have _not_ encountered the jihad concept within
my readings of neo-Tantra literature.

The reader responded that Tantra is a religious ritual designed
to produce a religious experience. That is her perspective, but
I have differentiated between (Eastern) Tantra and (Western)
neo-Tantra, and I have *clearly stated* that I am discussing
(Western) neo-Tantra. IMO (Western) neo-Tantra [which in my
perspective lacks the painful disciplines found within (Eastern)
Tantra] has greater relevance to Westerners.

In addition to being a religion, I understand that some


(Eastern) Tantra exercises are used within serious BDSM (bondage
/ dominance / sadism / masochism ) circles. I also understand
that (IMO ironically) 'The Golden Rule' also is used within
serious BDSM circles: "Do unto others as you would have others
do unto you." This is another way of saying "If you can't stand
the heat, stay out of the kitchen (and perhaps the parking lot)."

*****End of Part One*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

I do not know if the television series name "Happy Days" or


the character Fonzi ("The Fonz") are copyrighted or registered
trade marks of George Lucas, Ron Howard, Henry Winkler or their
associates. I thank them for their inspiration.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

I got no problems.
Other people got problems.
00: 21 _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
--
Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com

Last book reviews: "Necronomicon" & "Necronomicon Spellbook"
by Ed Simon

Richard Ballard

unread,
Dec 27, 2003, 3:19:47 PM12/27/03
to
Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Significantly changed paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

In article <20031227135758...@mb-m18.aol.com>,
rball...@aol.com (Richard Ballard) writes:

>Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
>Issued monthly. Each issue's new and significantly changed
>paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.
>
>Part Two is contained in a concurrent, copyrighted message
>titled "A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part Two of Two Parts)".

<snip>

>I choose _not_ to discuss the subject of older women and
>in vitro fertilization.
>
>I choose _not_ to discuss the subject of fertile women with
>anonymous boyfriends. (On the television series "Happy Days",
>Fonzi was an attractive character but to my knowledge Fonzi
>never had a girlfriend.)

<*> IMO men and women have different perspectives concerning infants.
Some women view motherhood as 'a second career' -- a new beginning
after leaving their first career in the workplace. Taken to
extremes and in the context of 21st Century jurisprudence,
motherhood can be viewed as a twenty-plus-year career with financial
tenure. And IMO broadcast television (both a trendsetter and a
social barometer) increasingly revolves around 'the joys of
(single) parenthood'. 'Rosie The Riveter' no longer is honored,

and Dad increasingly is absent from the (affluent and glamorous?)
single female parent environment often portrayed in 21st Century
broadcast commercial messages.

><*> The decision to have children has *major economic consequences*,
>and this decision will become increasingly popular with women if the
>United States' domestic economy (and job market) downsizes further,
>becoming leaner and meaner with automation increasingly eliminating
>non-professional jobs. [IMO (lack of) quality higher education
>is an issue in the 21st Century United States.] The increasingly
>popular 21st Century female social trend towards motherhood in turn
>might adversely affect males' (friendly) attitudes towards their
>female partners. And if 'not disturbing the children' becomes the
>basis for family living, IMO the children are tools of social
>control and an _childish_ unstable family environment might result.
>
><*> Birth control is based upon *mutual respect and mutual good
>faith*. IMO when used with mutual respect and mutual good faith,
>modern birth control is *extremely* effective. IMO when used with
>mutual respect and mutual good faith, birth control is *possible*.
>IMO coital abstinence is the only foolproof birth (and financial)
>***control*** method -- this is a *dominance* issue rather than a
>biological issue. In cases where (male) fear of pregnancy
>motivates concern, I believe the situation signals _unresolved
>lifestyle goals_.

<snip>

Richard Ballard

unread,
Jan 25, 2004, 7:19:29 AM1/25/04
to
Copyright 2003, 2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.

Issued monthly. Each issue's new and significantly changed
paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

Part Two is contained in a concurrent, copyrighted message
titled "A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part Two of Two Parts)".

Approximately twenty-one days before each of the eight annual

the ancient, and not modern interpretation and rewriting based on
the ancient."

derive enjoyment from neo-Tantra. *Some* neo-Tantra exercises
can be performed by novices having limited fitness and flexibility.

Safe words/phrases are not exclusive to neo-Tantra. Increasingly
I encounter partners who obviously have been through formal


counseling. During social conversation one partner will begin
discussing the other partner's problem or weakness [e.g., Bab's
drinking, Joe's workaholism (he's never at home) or Joe's
occupational difficulties (Joe keeps strange work hours and
nobody understands his profession)]. The other partner interrupts
the discussion with an out-of-context comment: 'fight'. Both
partners immediately change the discussion subject. This

out-of-context behaviour never is discussed, but obviously these
partners employ the safe word 'fight' to stop each other's


uncomfortable/embarrassing social behaviour. I can only guess why

partners choose 'fight' for their safe word. ;->

<*> I consider 'fight' to be a poor and inflammatory choice of
safe words among casual companions or total strangers -- what works
with your partner might be misinterpreted by other people as a
threat. (No joke. In my locale, women walking their canines in
the park _routinely_ create little social emergencies to test
their canines' protective instincts. Unexplained hostility creates
human phermone reactions that excite canines, and I have been
bitten several times without provocation. Canines are _not_
human beings -- I always wonder if these women value their canines.
I have both raised German Shepherds and have known Animal Control
officers. And realistically, when I observe an unhappy woman having
difficulty controlling her 100+ pound canine, I wonder how she
justifies the cost of feeding a canine that big.) IMO turning and
walking away instead of using canned 'safe phrases' is more
appropriate behaviour when (inadvertantly?) insulted by casual
companions or total strangers.

One 'safe gesture' I have witnessed is a hand placed gently

<*> Safe phrases? I like 'Take a lap' -- it works on several


levels. 'Never kid a kidder' also works on several levels.

Caveat emptor et cave canem.

Ms. Anand is a therapist, and one section of Ms. Anand's text


deals with neo-Tantra-related, non-sexual 'play' [e.g., dances
similar to traditional Hindu dancing, aroma therapy, non-sexual
tactile sensation (feathers), etc.]. For a long time I dismissed
this section as 'fluff' -- then I reconsidered. First I learned
that traditional Hindu dances are an art form. Indian Maharajahs
maintained private dance troupes at great personal cost, and
traditional Hindu dances (analogous to ballet) contain very precise
and stylized movements. There are ***over fifty expressive eye
movements*** within traditional Hindu dancing, and spectators
must sit *very close* to view and appreciate the subtle eye
movements. I drew conclusions concerning traditional Hindu
dancing and its presentation from these facts -- properly
presented, traditional Hindu dancing is *extremely* sensual.
I also have come to realize that partners who have drifted out
of physical touch might have (purposefully?) lost their awareness
of others' sensitivity to smells and to rough touching.

I am a single man, but I also made observations concerning family


life. Couples with children invest *tremendous time, energy and
resources* in their children -- the children become the focus of
the parents' lives. Then the children mature, go away to college
and/or get jobs in other cities. By leaving the nest the children
create a void in their parents' lives and spousal relationship.
The children are gone and the parents might have little else in
common. (I am assuming that "Not now -- you'll wake the children."

is _not_ an ingrained parental ritual.) The non-sexual 'play' that

And 'safe sex' does NOT equate to fertility control. Viagra and


similar male potency-enhancing pharmacuticals raise another issue
-- safe sex in older people who (apparently) no longer are
fertile. (Please consult your Physician.) The social impact of
Viagra and similar pharmacuticals has been a resurgence in
(promiscuous?) sexual activity in older people -- with Viagra
older men apparently are able (and are quite willing) to perform.
But older women (usually) are not fertile (please consult your
Physician) and (usually) do not require birth control devices to
avoid pregnancy. Furthermore, for many men condoms (and children)
dampen male ardor.

Apparently many older people are ignoring safe sex practices
and are ignoring condom use. This is a mistake -- according to
a November 2003 television news report, twelve percent of the newly
reported HIV/AIDS cases are in people over fifty years of age.

I choose _not_ to discuss the subject of older women and

'in vitro fertilization'.

I choose _not_ to discuss the subject of fertile women with
anonymous boyfriends. (On the television series "Happy Days",
Fonzi was an attractive character but to my knowledge Fonzi
never had a girlfriend.)

*****End of Part One*****

Richard Ballard

unread,
Feb 21, 2004, 2:10:45 PM2/21/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.

appropriate behaviour when (inadvertantly or accidentally?) insulted
by casual companions or total strangers. And IMO if a person
receives continual insults from companions, they need to seek
better companions rather than a bigger dog. (I must admit I am
fascinated when I occasionally watch 'The Jerry Springer Show'.
I continually ask myself "Why bare your problems on national
television?")

[Caveat emptor et cave canem. If you don't understand Latin
you better understand your State's laws concerning so-called
'Common Law Marriage'. (Recall the Sheryl Crow song lyric
" ... I stayed in Mississippi just a day too long ...") And I
encourage readers to ponder the following riddle: "What is
beautiful when given freely, but not legal when purchased?"]

Both partners jogging and stretching prior to performing
neo-Tantra is shared intimacy, and jogging builds each partner's
self-confidence. Equally important, jogging reduces each partner's
individual stress. And jogging reinforces the physiological factors
that Tantrums seeks to develop. Neo-Tantra's goal is physical and
mental union between partners. With practice and proficiency,
neo-Tantra partners can achieve synchronization of breathing,
synchronization of heartbeat, and ultimately can achieve
synchronization of their brainwave activity. The result of this
synchronization is a *close and enduring union between partners*.
Jogging aids the neo-Tantra synchronization process by *regularizing
and strengthening* breathing, heartbeat and brainwave activity.
Jogging's stepwise repetitive nature is similar to the repetitive
yantra/mantra structuring used to focus and calm the mind (and
regulate brainwave activity) during yoga meditation. And jogging
is a diversion from bored munching on junk food with attendent
unhealthy weight gain. I believe that pushing yourself *away*
from the dinner table (and television) complements personal health
and neo-Tantra.

<*> I can not overemphasize the importance of jogging's


stress reduction function. IMO 'Take a lap' is an excellent
safe word phrase for use both within neo-Tantra and also within

general daily activities. Just don't run your partner to death
during domestic arguments.

*****End of Part One*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

I do not know if the television series name "Happy Days" or
the character Fonzi ("The Fonz") are copyrighted or registered
trade marks of George Lucas, Ron Howard, Henry Winkler or their
associates. I thank them for their inspiration.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

I got no problems.
Other people got problems.
00: 21 _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
--
Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com

Last book review: "Guerrilla Television" by Michael Shamberg

Richard Ballard

unread,
Mar 20, 2004, 6:52:42 PM3/20/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued monthly. Each issue's new and significantly changed
paragraphs begin with a <*> marker (none this time).

I consider 'fight' to be a poor and inflammatory choice of

Safe phrases? I like 'Take a lap' -- it works on several

I can not overemphasize the importance of jogging's

*****End of Part One*****

"All Rights Reserved"?
If I 'right' must I reserve?

Richard Ballard

unread,
May 25, 2004, 9:59:36 AM5/25/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued monthly. Each issue's new and significantly changed
paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

Part Two is contained in a concurrent, copyrighted message
titled "A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part Two of Two Parts)".

Approximately twenty-one days before each of the eight annual
Pagan sabbats I issue copyrighted multipart messages titled
"Definitions For Prospective Wiccan Novices

(Part One/Two/Three/Four/Five of Five Parts)" and


"A Reference List for Prospective Wiccan Novices

(Part One/Two/Three of Three Parts)", respectively. These


copyrighted multipart messages appear on Internet newsgroups
alt.magick, alt.magick.tyagi, alt.pagan and alt.religion.wicca.
These copyrighted multipart messages also are archived
within "google.com" (no quotes).

I believe that (Western) neo-Tantra is very relevant to
Magickians, to Pagans, to witches and Wiccans, and to others
interested in human fertility and sexuality.

Novices interested in neo-Tantra might have difficulty obtaining
*good* information about the subject. A wealth of information on
(Western) neo-Tantra and (Eastern) Tantra *is* available on the
Internet -- too much information. A simple Google search on the
word 'neo-Tantra' gives over 400 entries, while a Google search on
the word 'Tantra' gives over 300,000 entries. Reviewing that much
information is akin to 'taking a drink out of a firehose' -- it
does not necessarily quench your thirst. I have compiled this
commented short "A neo-Tantra Reference List" -- a terse list of
clearly-written texts (that I own, and have read or browsed)
primarily about (Western) neo-Tantra but also discussing (Eastern)

Tantra to help novices understand the difference. I believe
that most United States novices have greater interest in


(Western) neo-Tantra than in (Eastern) Tantra with its sometimes
*painful* discipline (e.g., Kundalini).

I acknowledge that some neo-Tantra practitioners [so-called
'Tantrums', an appropriate designation for neo-Tantra practitioners
who sometimes feel un(der)appreciated] believe that reading is
not sufficient to learn neo-Tantra -- some Tantrums believe that
tutelage by an accomplished neo-Tantra instructor is required.
Everyone does not live in an area where well-known neo-Tantra
instructors are available, everyone can not afford neo-Tantra
tutelage, and some individuals choose to reserve neo-Tantra contact
to a well-known close friend(s). I have had tutelage and I have
read texts. I believe that anybody reading well-written texts
and practicing with a well-known friendly partner can obtain
most of neo-Tantra's benefits -- increased closeness from sharing
an intimate experience, healthful exercise, and increased body
flexibility. In a lighter vein, 'Reading the directions is the
last refuge of the COMPETENT.'

I do not know if the word 'Tantrum' is based in Latin, but

the Latin plural of 'Tantrum' is 'Tantra'. I prefer the
plural usage 'Tantrums' to avoid confusion when discussing
neo-Tantrum practioners versus discussing Eastern Tantra.

Magickian apprentices might have another issue with tutelage
by accomplished neo-Tantra instructors: cost. Cost-based
neo-Tantra instruction can be awkward. When the apprentice runs
out of cash and credit and needs magickal assistance the greatest,
the instruction stops. Disagreements over money are all too common,
and IMO disagreements tarnish a shining magickal relationship.

Given the possibility of losing their (unreliable) magick
exactly when they need it most, some magickal apprentices might

forgo neo-Tantra altogether. Magickally speaking, this strategy


is analogous to the statement "I prefer no companions to bad or
unreliable companions." I have been told this latter statement
boastfully demonstrates my ignorance of both magick and
neo-Tantra. I believe my statement illustrates free will.

The act of giving neo-Tantra instruction freely is itself
magickal. The magick of free instruction strengthens the
neo-Tantra instruction, making the instruction memorable,
effective and longer-lasting.

<*> Some people trivialize neo-Tantra -- they say "Why read
neo-Tantra books when REAL Tantra books are available?"
Neo-Tantra emphasizes the pleasurable aspects of (Eastern) Tantra
and of Taoism. IMO neo-Tantra assists Western couples to


strengthen their relationships, while (Eastern) Tantra and its

physical (self-)discipline is less appropriate and less palatable
to most Westerners.

The accompanying Part Two message lists five texts and one FAQ.


Three of the texts discuss neo-Tantra, one text discusses
interpersonal relationship psychology mixed with neo-Tantra,
and one text discusses the mystical experiences achievable
through (Eastern) Tantra (self-)discipline. The listed FAQ

stresses (Eastern) Tantra (self-)discipline. I discuss the


texts that *I* believe are appropriate and useful. Others
are free to discuss the texts that *they* believe are
appropriate and useful. That's fair.

Some people say that I trivialize Tantra and neo-Tantra. These
people say that if a person seeks increased intimacy, healthful
exercise and increased body flexibility, why not just run a mile,
do some stretching, and have a private dinner with your partner?
I have three answers to this question.

The first answer is that running a mile, stretching, and having
cocktails while your partner prepares dinner does *not* build
intimacy between partners -- mutual shared activity builds and
reinforces intimacy between partners. Neo-Tantra should be a
*friendly* activity shared between partners.

The second answer is that while fitness enhances neo-Tantra
pleasure, a novice need not be able to run a mile in order to
derive enjoyment from neo-Tantra. *Some* neo-Tantra exercises
can be performed by novices having limited fitness and flexibility.
As Tantrum novices' fitness and flexibility improves with

practice, they can progress to neo-Tantra exercises requiring


additional fitness and flexibility. Use caution when trying
new neo-Tantra exercises (or partners) for the first time.

The third answer reflects my personal philosophy. I have jogged at
least once daily (in the United States Midwest) since May 31, 1999
without missing -- including one-hundred degree (F) heat; including
two degree (F) cold with sixteen MPH winds and blowing snow; and
including a heavy rain/hailstone storm. Currently I jog three miles
daily carrying two three-pound handweights and as a result can
lift one-hundred-fifty pounds from a sitting position. Jogging
with handweights *does* complement neo-Tantra -- it builds your leg,
back, shoulder and arm muscles and improves your posture. Stretching
*is* beneficial prior to neo-Tantra -- it limbers your muscles for
any physical strain that might occur during neo-Tantra. And *both*
partners can jog and stretch prior to performing neo-Tantra.

[BTW, I believe that women should wear appropriate 'sports bras'
while jogging, and that both men and women should be sensitive
to their partner's comfort during neo-Tantra and other exercise.

threat. IMO turning and walking away instead of using canned

'safe phrases' is more appropriate behaviour when (inadvertantly
or accidentally?) insulted by casual companions or total strangers.
And IMO if a person receives continual insults from companions,

they need better companions.

I also encounter NON-neo-Tantra group situations where
politically not correct behaviour is frowned upon _formally_.
Specifically, the group employs a 'cop' (an individual who
group members feel is physically threatening but who has
self-control) either monetarily or on a volunteer basis. When
another person engages during group activities in behaviour
deemed not politically correct, the physically threatening 'cop'
intervenes, walking over and frowning directly (and threateningly)
into the offender's face. This frowning cop ritual (usually)
squelches further politically not correct behaviour within group
meetings, but the frowning cop ritual does not promote free idea
exchange within social gatherings. For better or worse, repeated
frowning cop episodes ("In MY face? AGAIN?") are taken as insults
and suggestions that the apparent offender find a different group
with member opinions compatible to his/her own opinion.
[A precedent: On the television series "Happy Days" the character
Fonzi ("The Fonz") maintained order, but (to my knowledge) Fonzi

never beat up anybody in the parking lot.]

I mention the frowning cop ritual because a frown can be a mild
alternative to safe words/phrases. In an intimate situation with
_attentive_ partners, a (truly nasty?) frown can discourage
uncomfortable actions without resorting to memorable wounding
words. But by the same token, intimacy with a perpetually frowning
partner is not fun or encouraging. And becoming _not attentive_
is a signpost on the path to new partners.

One 'safe gesture' I have witnessed is a hand placed gently
on the back of the offender's bare neck. My interpretation
of this gesture is 'Baby, you are misbehaving' -- I liken the

gesture to a mother dog grabbing a puppy by the neck scruff


prior to carrying the puppy away. When performed by a
friendly Tantrum, IMO this is a friendly gesture. When

performed by casual acquaintances, IMO this is an _extremely_
unfriendly, arrogant and nonconsensual gesture.

Rituals have value, and safe words can be embroidered into
ritualistic behaviour -- a respectful and/or loving 'forgiving
ceremony' could be included into the response to safe word
utterance. Humor has value -- IMO friends with a sense of humor
make the best Tantrums (and avoid the worst tantrums).
'GET OFF ME NOW!' might get the job done, but it also might
deflate a couple's social life preserver, leaving them to sink
mournfully beneath the surface into Tantrum (or social) limbo.

Apparently serious bondage/dominance/sadism/masochism (BDSM)
environments employ so-called 'cops' -- observers/bouncers
whose function is to control the environment and to break up
altercations and harmful overenthusiasm between BDSM participants.
These so-called 'cops' themselves usually are physically-inclined,
and their 'cop' function often is a paid position -- the 'cops'
work for the BDSM proprietor, *not* for the BDSM participants.

I do not practice kundalini, and I do _not_ consider BDSM to be
neo-Tantra. From my perspective, so-called 'cops' should not


be necessary in a neo-Tantra environment. I also believe that
friends with a sense of humor make the best neo-Tantra partners
-- friends with a sense of humor should not require so-called
'cops'. IMO so-called 'cops' merely come between friends.

Safe phrases? I like 'Take a lap' -- it works on several


levels. 'Never kid a kidder' also works on several levels.
[Caveat emptor et cave canem. If you don't understand Latin
you better understand your State's laws concerning so-called
'Common Law Marriage'. (Recall the Sheryl Crow song lyric
" ... I stayed in Mississippi just a day too long ...") And
I encourage readers to ponder the following riddle: "What is
beautiful when given freely, but not legal when purchased?"]

Both partners jogging and stretching prior to performing

neo-Tantra is shared intimacy, jogging builds each partner's
self-confidence while reducing individual stress, and jogging
reinforces the physiological factors that Tantrums seek to develop.


Neo-Tantra's goal is physical and mental union between partners.
With practice and proficiency, neo-Tantra partners can achieve
synchronization of breathing, synchronization of heartbeat, and
ultimately can achieve synchronization of their brainwave activity.

This synchronization creates a *close and enduring union between
partners*. Jogging aids neo-Tantra synchronization by *regularizing


and strengthening* breathing, heartbeat and brainwave activity.

Jogging's repetitive nature is similar to the repetitive
yantra/mantra meditation used to focus and calm the mind (and
regulate brainwave activity) within yoga. And jogging is a
healthful alterative to bored munching on junk food while
sitting on your sofa.

I can not overemphasize the importance of jogging's
stress reduction function. IMO 'Take a lap' is an excellent
safe word phrase for use both within neo-Tantra and also within
general daily activities. Just don't run your partner to death
during domestic arguments.

Developing muscle memory and mental serenity requires a certain

amount of physical fitness. All neo-Tantra exercises do not require


a great deal of fitness, but physical strain will destroy the
intimacy, enjoyment and serenity that is neo-Tantra. Excess

physical exertion also could damage a person's health. People


should follow their Physician's recommendations concerning physical

activity. If there is a question concerning an individual's health
and fitness I believe the individual should consult their Physician
*prior* to beginning neo-Tantra (or any other form of significant
physical exercise).

Some people question why obtaining neo-Tantra experience requires
practice -- i.e., they say 'Just read the book'. Most neo-Tantra
exercise requires a partner -- *most* neo-Tantra is not solitary
meditation where you 'take care of yourself'. Like most sport or
meditation activities many neo-Tantra exercises include repetitive

actions meant to be performed semiconsciously and without


distractions -- i.e., Tantrums should be concentrating upon their
partners, not concentrating upon body mechanics or frantically
struggling to achieve 'inner bliss'. [While it is not neo-Tantra
music, the music CD "backstreet boys" performed by
the backstreet boys played at (a-hem) appropriate volume is
suitable musical background for shared neo-Tantra. Many
of Robert Palmer's music CDs ("Rhythm and Blues", "Ridin' High"
and "Wake Up Laughing") also contain selections that are suitable
background music during shared neo-Tantra.]

Acquiring the muscle memory and mental serenity necessary to
achieve this *semiconscious* performance state requires PRACTICE
PRACTICE PRACTICE with a *friendly partner*, not frantic reading.
(When clumsiness is experienced attempting new exercises,
friendliness and a sense of humor overcome potential embarrassment.)

In particular, novices might be both physically and socially


clumsy until they improve their fitness. *Friends with a sense of

humor make the best neo-Tantra partners.* Neo-Tantra should
strengthen family relationships by helping to smooth over some of


those family problems. And neo-Tantra should be FUN -- nobody
should complain about the need to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

*****End of Part One*****

eMan

unread,
Jun 12, 2004, 6:07:52 PM6/12/04
to
Richard -

How would you define the differences between neo-tantra and traditional
tantra? Miranda Shaw seems to see a great deal of differences in western
style versus eastern style in that the western is evolving to be couple
oriented mostly. Any thoughts?

eMan


Richard Ballard

unread,
Jun 12, 2004, 7:52:18 PM6/12/04
to
In article <40CB7EB8...@netscape.net>,
eMan <eot...@netscape.net> writes:

>Richard -
>
>How would you define the differences between neo-tantra
>and traditional tantra?

My original message answered your question. Quoting
from my "A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One of Two Parts)'
message:

"Novices interested in neo-Tantra might have difficulty obtaining
*good* information about the subject. A wealth of information on
(Western) neo-Tantra and (Eastern) Tantra *is* available on the
Internet -- too much information. A simple Google search on the
word 'neo-Tantra' gives over 400 entries, while a Google search on
the word 'Tantra' gives over 300,000 entries. Reviewing that much
information is akin to 'taking a drink out of a firehose' -- it
does not necessarily quench your thirst. I have compiled this
commented short "A neo-Tantra Reference List" -- a terse list of
clearly-written texts (that I own, and have read or browsed)
primarily about (Western) neo-Tantra but also discussing (Eastern)
Tantra to help novices understand the difference. I believe
that most United States novices have greater interest in
(Western) neo-Tantra than in (Eastern) Tantra with its sometimes
*painful* discipline (e.g., Kundalini).

<snip within quotation>

Some people trivialize neo-Tantra -- they say "Why read
neo-Tantra books when REAL Tantra books are available?"
Neo-Tantra emphasizes the pleasurable aspects of (Eastern) Tantra
and of Taoism. IMO neo-Tantra assists Western couples to
strengthen their relationships, while (Eastern) Tantra and its
physical (self-)discipline is less appropriate and less palatable
to most Westerners."

Quoting from my "A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part Two of
Two Parts)" message:

"I recommend that individuals wishing to learn about neo-Tantra
consider the following texts:

<snip within quotation>

5. "Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine" by Andre Van Lysebeth
An academic discussion of the history and philosophy of
(Eastern) Tantra.
ISBN 0-87728-858-5

Mr. Lysebeth's text discusses different (Eastern) Tantra
disciplines including Kundalini. There is much discussion and
confusion about kundalini on the Internet -- a mystical experience
and/or a painful discipline. I choose not to comment further
concerning Kundalini, other than to say that I believe that any
person contemplating anal sex should investigate non-constipating
diets. I also believe that any person contemplating any form of
anal insertion should be very careful to avoid transferring
fecal matter or fecal microbes to other body areas to avoid
disease transmittal. (For example, some forms of hepatitus are
transmitted when restaurant workers neglect to thoroughly wash
their hands after using the restroom.)"

For the record, I do _not_ practice or recommend kundalini.

More below.

>Miranda Shaw seems to see a great deal of differences in western
>style versus eastern style in that the western is evolving to be
>couple oriented mostly. Any thoughts?
>
>eMan

I refer you to my original two-part message for my thoughts
concerning how IMO neo-Tantra can strengthen the relationship
of 'empty nester parents' and couples whose lives are
drifting apart.

Incidentally, name dropping (in this case Miranda Shaw),
instead of providing reference titles with associated authors,
is poor scholarship.

eMan

unread,
Jun 13, 2004, 10:33:59 PM6/13/04
to
Hi Richard -

I'm not a scholar but I had figured Miranda Shaw was pretty well known
but she has only one book in print at the moment and you can find it on
Amazon. In the past, I posted two interview of hers here with lack
luster response.

http://www.wie.org/j13/shaw.asp

http://www.enlighteningtimes.com/tantra.htm

The tantra readings from India that have crossed my path seems to show a
different point of view than what is the neo-tantra. My initial
impression of tantra and neo-tantra were both a hedonistic pursuit
only. Somehow they mixed god with sex and that seemed like a good
thing to me... Now I understand that it is a spiritual pursuit in terms
of the old school... but I am currious about new school or neo-tantra.
Old school is that through ones sexual practice with an other one might
know god.

Curriously, you separate out the kundilini and tantra. In the
practitioners that I have spoken with, that seems to be the main goal of
it. The anal aspect of it have never been discussed though the
discussions were pretty detailed in the past.

When I track down these books, I'll get back with you.

Eric

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Ballard

unread,
Jun 14, 2004, 4:46:24 AM6/14/04
to
In article <40CD0E97...@netscape.net>,
eMan <eot...@netscape.net> writes:

>The tantra readings from India that have crossed my path seems to show a
>different point of view than what is the neo-tantra. My initial
>impression of tantra and neo-tantra were both a hedonistic pursuit
>only. Somehow they mixed god with sex and that seemed like a good
>thing to me... Now I understand that it is a spiritual pursuit in terms
>of the old school... but I am currious about new school or neo-tantra.
>Old school is that through ones sexual practice with an other one might
>know god.

(Western) neo-Tantra is a sensuous pursuit. IMO most Westerners
who investigate neo-Tantra are _not_ seeking 'god/dess'. IMO
most Westerners who investigate neo-Tantra are seeking
sensuous alternatives and techniques -- neo-Tantra combines the
sensuous aspects of Hinduism and Taoism. My messages stress
my opinion that friends make the best neo-Tantra partners, and
that neo-Tantra can help an existing couple renew and strengthen
their (failing?) friendship through pleasant shared experiences.

>Curriously, you separate out the kundilini and tantra. In the
>practitioners that I have spoken with, that seems to be the main
>goal of it. The anal aspect of it have never been discussed
>though the discussions were pretty detailed in the past.

Some genuine Hindu practices seek 'nirvana'. Anthropologically,
nirvana often equates to a semidelusional state caused by pain.
[Hindu ceremonies employing _major_ body piercing with wooden
skewers to which weights then are attached before a session of
(drugfree) ecstatic dancing come to mind.] I understand that
anal insertion can be difficult and painful especially for novice
practitioners -- IMO a difficult road to nirvana. And kundalini
practitioners often discuss difficulty 'piercing the knot' --
IMO a reference to the human spincter, a muscle which can be torn.

IMO most Westerners who investigate neo-Tantra are
_not_ seeking a painful nirvana any more than most
women relish the physical pain that accompanies childbirth.

Some Westerners claim psychological benefits from participating
in anal sex: a feeling of mental openness, and a sense of mutual
vulnerability and increased closeness between partners. I am
_not_ able to comment on these claims -- no personal experience.
However, I understand that some social circles employ a rule
'The first time, we serve you -- the second time, you serve us'
(assuming that a person returns a second time). I have _no_
personal experience in these social circles, and I do not know
if membership in these social circles requires recurring
(monetary?) dues payment.

>When I track down these books, I'll get back with you.
>
>Eric
>
>---------------------------------------------------------------
>

"All Rights Reserved"?

eMan

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 9:40:27 PM6/15/04
to


> (Western) neo-Tantra is a sensuous pursuit. IMO most Westerners
> who investigate neo-Tantra are _not_ seeking 'god/dess'. IMO
> most Westerners who investigate neo-Tantra are seeking
> sensuous alternatives and techniques -- neo-Tantra combines the
> sensuous aspects of Hinduism and Taoism. My messages stress
> my opinion that friends make the best neo-Tantra partners, and
> that neo-Tantra can help an existing couple renew and strengthen
> their (failing?) friendship through pleasant shared experiences.
>

What I had felt was that the neo-tantra or the western version of it was a
bit more hedonistic than than the eastern version. And while there were
references to the 'god/dess' it seemed more to dress it up rather than the
essential aspect of it. Once that is displaced, then the more romantic
aspects between couples makes sense.

> >Curriously, you separate out the kundilini and tantra. In the
> >practitioners that I have spoken with, that seems to be the main
> >goal of it. The anal aspect of it have never been discussed
> >though the discussions were pretty detailed in the past.
>
> Some genuine Hindu practices seek 'nirvana'. Anthropologically,
> nirvana often equates to a semidelusional state caused by pain.
> [Hindu ceremonies employing _major_ body piercing with wooden
> skewers to which weights then are attached before a session of
> (drugfree) ecstatic dancing come to mind.] I understand that
> anal insertion can be difficult and painful especially for novice
> practitioners -- IMO a difficult road to nirvana. And kundalini
> practitioners often discuss difficulty 'piercing the knot' --
> IMO a reference to the human spincter, a muscle which can be torn.
>

There are some women who like and even prefer anal intercourse and it didn't
appear to be painful for them. The more they did it the easier it was for
them. For some women there is an enjoyment to pain particularly after a
strong orgasm but it was something I wasn't comfortable.

Piercing the knot I have come across but didn't understand its meaning.
There are a lot of euphemism within many esoteric traditions. I had a
friend decribing some of the sex slang found in Masonry one night. Going
back to the pain thing, there are American Indian ceremonies that do similar
kinds of piercings. Just about anything can get a person into a hypnotic
trance.

>
> IMO most Westerners who investigate neo-Tantra are
> _not_ seeking a painful nirvana any more than most
> women relish the physical pain that accompanies childbirth.
>
> Some Westerners claim psychological benefits from participating
> in anal sex: a feeling of mental openness, and a sense of mutual
> vulnerability and increased closeness between partners. I am
> _not_ able to comment on these claims -- no personal experience.
> However, I understand that some social circles employ a rule
> 'The first time, we serve you -- the second time, you serve us'
> (assuming that a person returns a second time). I have _no_
> personal experience in these social circles, and I do not know
> if membership in these social circles requires recurring
> (monetary?) dues payment.

Doesn't that just sound like too much fun? NOT! Those aren't my circles
either. Thank you for the comments.

Eric


Richard Ballard

unread,
Jun 16, 2004, 3:23:55 AM6/16/04
to
In article <40CFA50B...@netscape.net>,
eMan <eot...@netscape.net> writes:

>There are some women who like and even prefer anal intercourse and
>it didn't appear to be painful for them. The more they did it the
>easier it was for them. For some women there is an enjoyment to
>pain particularly after a strong orgasm but it was something I
>wasn't comfortable.

As I stated earlier, I do _not_ practice or recommend anal
intercourse. My reservations are twofold: 1) That orifice did
_not_ evolve for that purpose, is _not_ designed for that purpose,
and can be damaged during overzealous probing -- the potential
for physical damage is greater during anal intercourse than in
coital intercourse; 2) Anal intercourse has the potential to
cause epidemiological problems -- the classic analogy is
somebody not wanting to shake your greasy hand after you
have been working on your car.

As discussed earlier, some societies [e.g., Hindu, and Native
American (as depicted in the film 'A Man Called Horse' starring
Richard Harris)] purposefully inflicted pain to create a drugfree
semidelusional state of nirvana. I do _not_ equate orgasm
and nirvana.

The phrase 'consenting adults' is missing from this conversation.
I do _not_ want to walk down this particular path (on the Internet
or otherwise).

eMan

unread,
Jun 17, 2004, 5:39:04 PM6/17/04
to
> As I stated earlier, I do _not_ practice or recommend anal
> intercourse. My reservations are twofold: 1) That orifice did
> _not_ evolve for that purpose, is _not_ designed for that purpose,
> and can be damaged during overzealous probing -- the potential
> for physical damage is greater during anal intercourse than in
> coital intercourse; 2) Anal intercourse has the potential to
> cause epidemiological problems -- the classic analogy is
> somebody not wanting to shake your greasy hand after you
> have been working on your car.

I concure.

> As discussed earlier, some societies [e.g., Hindu, and Native
> American (as depicted in the film 'A Man Called Horse' starring
> Richard Harris)] purposefully inflicted pain to create a drugfree
> semidelusional state of nirvana. I do _not_ equate orgasm
> and nirvana.
>
> The phrase 'consenting adults' is missing from this conversation.
> I do _not_ want to walk down this particular path (on the Internet
> or otherwise).

I concure again. The whole pain issue I don't grok.

Beth

unread,
Jun 17, 2004, 6:08:55 PM6/17/04
to
eMan wrote:

<snip of some discussion>

>
>
> I concure again. The whole pain
> issue I don't grok.
>

If I understand, there is a mind set
that physical pain is an illusion, that
since it is merely a message to us, we
don't have to react to it. By relaxing
into the pain there is a catharsis
(which is the real pleasure, not the
pain itself).

Of course, this coming only from
discussion with someone into the S&M
scene, I may have it wrong.

--

Beth

(remove the, uh, "knot" to send me
e-mail !-)

eMan

unread,
Jun 17, 2004, 11:38:38 PM6/17/04
to
Hi Beth -

Pain seems to feel like pain to me. I have hurt myself and found that
if that if I change my breathing and try to relax, the pain went down
considerably but it WASN'T any pleasure to it. LOL

The [extremely consentual] women requested it and again appeared to
enjoy it though it puzzled me. Sometimes, Beth, I feel like I'm on a
different planet with many things.

e

Beth

unread,
Jun 18, 2004, 6:43:21 AM6/18/04
to
eMan wrote:

> Hi Beth -
>
> Pain seems to feel like pain to me. I have hurt myself and found that
> if that if I change my breathing and try to relax, the pain went down
> considerably but it WASN'T any pleasure to it. LOL
>
> The [extremely consentual] women requested it and again appeared to
> enjoy it though it puzzled me. Sometimes, Beth, I feel like I'm on a
> different planet with many things.
>

Welcome to the club :-)

Richard Ballard

unread,
Jun 25, 2004, 12:25:11 AM6/25/04
to

<*> For the record, I do _not_ practice and I do _not_ recommend
Kundalini (anal intercourse). I recognize the legal concept
of 'consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes'.
IMO the anal orifice did _not_ evolve for this purpose and is
_not_ designed for this purpose. IMO the anal orifice has
greater susceptibility to physical damage (muscle tearing) than
the female vagina. (IMO so-called 'butt plugs' were invented
to solve a sanitary problem. IMO butt plugs were _not_ invented
as sensuous devices.) And IMO intestinal microbes can cause
epidemiological problems. (E.g., some forms of hepatitus can
be transmitted when food servers do not wash their hands
thoroughly after using the restroom.) I choose _not_ to
travel this path.

<*> For the record, I do _not_ employ and do _not_ recommend
physical pain as a means to achieve or prolong orgasm.
I know that some tribal societies [both Native American (as
depicted in the film 'A Man Called Horse' starrig Richard
Harris) and Hindu (as depicted by PBS documentaries) employ/ed
physical pain [piercing of soft tissue areas with
(later weighted) pencil-thick wooden skewers] as a means to
reach and to prolong a worshipful (drugfree semidelusional)
state of nirvana. (Western) neo-Tantra recognizes both
physical orgasm and (nonphysical neurological) mental orgasm.
I have experienced both physical orgasm and mental orgasm in
painfree drugfree environments. Pain is _not_ necessary to
achieve orgasm. Painful practices can cause bodily damage.
I recognize the legal concept of 'consenting adults in the
privacy of their own homes'. But inflicting pain can become
NONconsentually imposing discipline. I choose _not_ to
travel this path.

strengthen their relationships, while IMO (Eastern) Tantra and its

<*> The third answer reflects my personal philosophy. I have


jogged at least once daily (in the United States Midwest) since
May 31, 1999 without missing -- including one-hundred degree (F)
heat; including two degree (F) cold with sixteen MPH winds and
blowing snow; and including a heavy rain/hailstone storm.

Some people might equate all-weather jogging with painful
physical discipline. I equate all-weather jogging with
antilazy mental self-discipline. I control my pace and duration,
and I gradually worked up to my current performance level.


Currently I jog three miles daily carrying two three-pound
handweights and as a result can lift one-hundred-fifty pounds

from a neo-Tantra-relevant sitting position. Jogging with


handweights *does* complement neo-Tantra -- it builds your leg,
back, shoulder and arm muscles and improves your posture.

(Drawn depictions of Pagan gods usually feature impressive thighs.)
Stretching *is* beneficial prior to neo-Tantra -- stretching


limbers your muscles for any physical strain that might occur
during neo-Tantra. And *both* partners can jog and stretch
prior to performing neo-Tantra.

[BTW, I believe that women should wear appropriate 'sports bras'
while jogging, and that both men and women should be sensitive
to their partner's comfort during neo-Tantra and other exercise.
I am not going to make crude jokes about 'Leave me breathless'
or about (a-hem) 'The Nutcracker Sweet'. I merely will comment
that the human body contains sensitive so-called 'soft tissues'
that contain nerves but no bone, cartilage or muscle. These
soft tissues are prone to tearing, and once torn do _not_ naturally
heal -- pain, damage and disfigurement are possible. Proper
equipment and caring attitudes minimize these possibilities.]

<*> Please utilize prearranged *safe words*. Safe words are an


easily memorable, short distinctive phrase not likely to be spoken
during neo-Tantra. Either partner voicing the safe word phrase
signifies 'STOP and DISENGAGE IMMEDIATELY' and usually signifies

the partner is experiencing acute discomfort. Please do *not*


assume a new partner will recognize your personal safe word phrase
without prior discussion -- misinterpretation can be painful.

<*> Neo-Tantra creates a ritualistic environment, a fragile


environment that can be shattered by crude shouts of 'STOP AND
DISENGAGE IMMEDIATELY, DAMMIT'. A safe word/phrase can be chosen

that either preserves the ritualistic environment [we will (a-hem)


rearrange ourselves and then continue the ritual] or is funny

[if we need the safe word/phrase we also will need some humor].

meditation activities, many neo-Tantra exercises include repetitive


actions meant to be performed semiconsciously and without

distractions. I.e., Tantrums should be concentrating upon their

Richard Ballard

unread,
Jul 24, 2004, 11:27:05 AM7/24/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued monthly. Each issue's new and significantly changed
paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

Part Two is contained in a concurrent, copyrighted message
titled "A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part Two of Two Parts)".

Approximately twenty-one days before each of the eight annual
Pagan sabbats I issue copyrighted multipart messages titled
"Definitions For Prospective Wiccan Novices
(Part One/Two/Three/Four/Five of Five Parts)" and
"A Reference List for Prospective Wiccan Novices
(Part One/Two/Three of Three Parts)", respectively. These
copyrighted multipart messages appear on Internet newsgroups
alt.magick, alt.magick.tyagi, alt.pagan and alt.religion.wicca.
These copyrighted multipart messages also are archived

within "www.google.com" (no quotes).

I believe that (Western) neo-Tantra is very relevant to
Magickians, to Pagans, to witches and Wiccans, and to others
interested in human fertility and sexuality.

Novices interested in neo-Tantra might have difficulty obtaining
*good* information about the subject. A wealth of information on
(Western) neo-Tantra and (Eastern) Tantra *is* available on the
Internet -- too much information. A simple Google search on the
word 'neo-Tantra' gives over 400 entries, while a Google search on
the word 'Tantra' gives over 300,000 entries. Reviewing that much
information is akin to 'taking a drink out of a firehose' -- it
does not necessarily quench your thirst. I have compiled this
commented short "A neo-Tantra Reference List" -- a terse list of
clearly-written texts (that I own, and have read or browsed)
primarily about (Western) neo-Tantra but also discussing (Eastern)
Tantra to help novices understand the difference. I believe
that most United States novices have greater interest in
(Western) neo-Tantra than in (Eastern) Tantra with its sometimes
*painful* discipline (e.g., Kundalini).

<*> For the record, I do _not_ practice and I do _not_ recommend

kundalini (anal intercourse). Personally, I recognize the legal


concept of 'consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes'

and I control my private home. However, IMO the anal orifice


did _not_ evolve for this purpose and is _not_ designed for this
purpose. IMO the anal orifice has greater susceptibility to
physical damage (muscle tearing) than the female vagina. (IMO
so-called 'butt plugs' were invented to solve a sanitary problem.
IMO butt plugs were _not_ invented as sensuous devices.) And
IMO intestinal microbes can cause epidemiological problems.
(E.g., some forms of hepatitus can be transmitted when
food servers do not wash their hands thoroughly after using

the restroom.) I choose _not_ to travel this path. I recommend
that others considering traveling this path investigate
nonconstipating diets, and investigate their state's laws
(if any) concerning sodomy.

<*> For the record, I do _not_ employ and do _not_ recommend
physical pain as a means to achieve or prolong orgasm.
I know that some tribal societies [both Native American (as

depicted in the film 'A Man Called Horse' starring Richard


Harris) and Hindu (as depicted by PBS documentaries) employ/ed

physical pain [piercing of (sometimes nonmuscular) soft tissue

Some people trivialize neo-Tantra -- they say "Why read

The third answer reflects my personal philosophy. I have

Please utilize prearranged *safe words*. Safe words are an


easily memorable, short distinctive phrase not likely to be spoken
during neo-Tantra. Either partner voicing the safe word phrase
signifies 'STOP and DISENGAGE IMMEDIATELY' and usually signifies
the partner is experiencing acute discomfort. Please do *not*
assume a new partner will recognize your personal safe word phrase
without prior discussion -- misinterpretation can be painful.

Neo-Tantra creates a ritualistic environment, a fragile

*****End of Part One*****

00: 18+ _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard

unread,
Aug 25, 2004, 8:01:01 AM8/25/04
to

*painful* discipline (e.g., kundalini).

For the record, I do _not_ practice and I do _not_ recommend
kundalini (anal intercourse). Personally, I recognize the legal
concept of 'consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes'
and I control my private home. However, IMO the anal orifice
did _not_ evolve for this purpose and is _not_ designed for this
purpose. IMO the anal orifice has greater susceptibility to
physical damage (muscle tearing) than the female vagina. (IMO
so-called 'butt plugs' were invented to solve a sanitary problem.
IMO butt plugs were _not_ invented as sensuous devices.) And
IMO intestinal microbes can cause epidemiological problems.
(E.g., some forms of hepatitus can be transmitted when
food servers do not wash their hands thoroughly after using
the restroom.) I choose _not_ to travel this path. I recommend
that others considering traveling this path investigate
nonconstipating diets, and investigate their state's laws
(if any) concerning sodomy.

For the record, I do _not_ employ and do _not_ recommend

<*> Apparently serious bondage/dominance/sadism/masochism (BDSM)


environments employ so-called 'cops' -- observers/bouncers
whose function is to control the environment and to break up
altercations and harmful overenthusiasm between BDSM participants.
These so-called 'cops' themselves usually are physically-inclined,
and their 'cop' function often is a paid position -- the 'cops'
work for the BDSM proprietor, *not* for the BDSM participants.

These 'cops' earn a portion of their livelihood from their cop
activities, a fact that (punitively?) corrupts the social
environment when money questions arise.

<*> I do not practice kundalini, and I do _not_ consider BDSM to


be neo-Tantra. From my perspective, so-called 'cops' should not
be necessary in a neo-Tantra environment. I also believe that
friends with a sense of humor make the best neo-Tantra partners
-- friends with a sense of humor should not require so-called

'cops'. IMO so-called 'cops' merely come between friends (and
perhaps their wallets or guest bedrooms), expensive everpresent
(vicarious? hungry? pleasure robbing?) witnesses.

<*> Safe phrases? I like 'Take a lap' -- it works on several


levels. 'Never kid a kidder' also works on several levels.
[Caveat emptor et cave canem. If you don't understand Latin
you better understand your State's laws concerning so-called
'Common Law Marriage'. (Recall the Sheryl Crow song lyric
" ... I stayed in Mississippi just a day too long ...") And
I encourage readers to ponder the following riddle: "What is
beautiful when given freely, but not legal when purchased?"]

IMO given the overload of 21st Century (Criminal) Court cases
addressing sexual issues, legal safety is an important
21st Century sexual issue.

*****End of Part One*****

I gut no problems.
Other people gut problems.

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