Differences between a tantric and erotic massage

This text was written by Christophe. Read more about him and the possible forms of therapy on his profile.

There are a lot of misunderstandings about tantra massages and this is actually no surprise. In Western countries, tantra is linked to eroticism by the majority of the population, which is mainly due to the many erroneous websites and marketing around it.

Because this is unfortunately very well established, in more spiritual circles the term authentic tantra massage is often used to indicate the difference. As you can already suspect, with western tantra massage it is usually men who are looking for an hour of massage with a happy ending.

We can be quite brief about what it means to receive an erotic massage:
In most cases it is a massage of one hour or less with the aim of reaching a climax in the form of an orgasm. The focus soon moves to the genitals and the sexual energy generated remains concentrated in the pelvic region until a climax is reached. This can be experienced as very superficial, especially by women, and as a result, it is mainly men who choose this.

What exactly makes a massage tantric?

Tantra massage body layers

The giver is aware that there is more than just the physical body and works with intention, focus and visualization to awaken and move energy. This mindset is practically supported by powerful breathing at times to strengthen the energetic flow. During the massage, the giver always remains in contact with the receiver. The massage is built up over a duration of several hours and in case the intimate zones are also treated, this is done respectfully and towards the end of the massage.

The receiver relaxes completely, does not respond to emerging thoughts as in a meditation and brings his or her consciousness as much as possible to his or her own body. For extra depth, the energetic flow can be stimulated to the maximum via breathing, movement and sound. The more a state of complete surrender is reached, the more you become one with your body and completely detached from your head and mind. In this way you get closer to your subconscious, which sometimes signals the body that it is allowed to complete and release unprocessed emotions. In addition to relaxation and pleasure, you can also experience episodes of sadness, emotion, fear, anger, ... during the massage.

The unique interplay of interactions between giver and receiver can lead to a tantra massage with profound energetic effects. These sometimes lead to a boost of life energy days or even weeks afterwards. For some, this expresses itself in more energy and vitality, making decisions easier and more decisively, a calm and clear mind, increased empathy, ...

Are tantric and erotic massage completely different?

It can certainly happen that some erotic massages unwillingly or unintentionally turn out very tantric and healing, if some of the above mentioned elements occur with the giver and/or receiver.

Tantra massage solitude

In our current society there are many more single people than in the past and loneliness and lack of touch (also called skin hunger) and connection are increasingly common. Therefore, massage in general plays an important role in giving that touch, which is also supported by science.
A tantra massage actually goes that step further and also solves our hunger for more in-depth connection. Respectful massage of the intimate areas can also be part of this, after all we are all born as sexual beings.

Many will never, ever take the step to opt for an erotic massage for various reasons. In the first place, the feeling of skin hunger will be small or non-existent if you have a loving relationship with a partner where the intimacy is good. In addition, it is also experienced as a social taboo through which shame can arise.
In my opinion, tantra massage can offer a kind of in-between here. Unfortunately, most of the population is not even aware that there is such a thing as authentic tantra massage.

In short, erotic massage certainly has its value and usefulness in our society. So it is by no means something I view or condemn negatively. It is what it is and all fine if that's what you're looking for.
However, I think it would be fantastic to give this sector a tantric injection, as it were. I believe it could ultimately contribute to a better world with more awareness, personal growth, less stress and more positive energy.

What can I expect from a tantra massage?

It is best to let go of expectations completely. The more you have any, the more you get stuck in your head. Consequently, there is little chance that you will end up in a state of real surrender during the massage. A go with the flow attitude is best here.

Tantra massage onion layers

Just like an onion, a person consists of skins. Every tantra massage is an opportunity to get rid of one or more emotional skins. As humans, we all experience varying degrees of trauma in our lives. When an event is too drastic, we cannot express and complete the associated emotions (e.g. dissociating from a state of freezing, when fight and flight are not an option). The body does not forget and stores this, which can manifest itself in physical symptoms. Through energetic work such as tantra massage what is unprocessed can come up and be expressed.

A tantra massage is always unpredictable because many factors play a role. It is therefore possible that a massage is one time very relaxing and the next time very intense, or vice versa.
Even if you experience a tantra massage as pure pleasure, the differences with an erotic massage are clearly present:

  • With a tantra massage, an orgasm is not an end goal, while this is the case with an erotic massage.
  • The sexual energy is not only generated, it is also worked with. While with an erotic massage this energy continuously builds up in the pelvic region to eventually end in a (classic) orgasm, during a tantra massage the energy is constantly spread over the rest of the body, which may lead to a long-lasting full body orgasm. This only happens in complete surrender and connection with your body, which will linger for days or even weeks.