Arriving for the three-hour session in smart Maida Vale, I felt my heart start to pound.Through the door, I saw 30 people sitting in a circle. " I thought or, worse still, "Will I get jealous if Phil does?
Only after the workshop, when Leora took Phil and me aside and showed him an exercise of stroking imaginary veils away from my face, did I get an inkling of how tantra could teach men how to touch women.
We left charmed by Leora and still intrigued by the idea of tantra as long as we never had to practise it in public again.
Despite being reductively understood in the West as a method of delaying and intensifying orgasm, it's actually a many-branched mystical tradition concerned with having greater cosmic awareness.
Today, it is famously enjoyed by celebrities such as Sting and P Diddy, but has otherwise been relegated to the New Age self-help and candles market.
I'd especially enjoy lovers who enjoy conversation, yoga, hiking, biking, swimming, gardening, writing, ancient anthropology, tantra, community, welcoming and supporting poly and tantra explorers who attend our workshops and conferences.
I would also hope that some of our lovers are open to public media appearances to discuss our poly community as an example of relationship choice for the world.
We strangers sat in awkward silence as Leora Lightwoman, our elfin-faced tantra teacher and an Oxford Psychology graduate, explained that tantra is about becoming sensitive to feelings, to femininity and masculinity, and communicating desires honestly. It emerged that some were here with partners, others not. " We started exercises to New Age music: shaking and swaying on the spot with our eyes closed, while Leora asked, "What is your pelvis saying? Several people began moaning and grunting like monkeys. I couldn't bring myself to emit any noises and I was relieved Phil didn't either.
One fifty-something woman was looking for meaning in life after the death of her husband; there were several single men in their early thirties who said they were "just curious". We all danced around the room catching eye contact with one another: it was excruciating.
In the middle of the circle, incense wafted around a statue of a goddess, and a box of tissues had been prominently placed. Then we had to stare into each other's eyes, holding hands and focusing on the "juiciness" in imaginary "bowls" in our pelvises. This was just an introductory evening designed for tantric beginners.