Talking Tantra, Talking Tabloid, Talking Dirty

Some nine years ago media people interviewed me, not to report what I had to say about my tantric notoriety but what they perceived their clientele wanted to hear, read or see.

My strongest taste of that was the Extreme Celebrity Detox TV series – click here for the lowdown – following which I got tabloided swinging mighty weights from my lunchbox and described as the ‘man who taught Rebecca Loos where to put her Jade Egg.’

In these interviews I made some discoveries about media use of our language. Pretending to be impersonal and discursive while retailing their salacity, they tweak the words to ‘sex up the sexy bits’  trying to sound like doctors.

Snips from interview from a TV series purporting to show interesting connections between sex and science:

INTERVIEWER: How do you have sex without intercourse?

ME: (thinking, what school did they go to): Solo cultivation together is one way…

INTERVIEWER: Solo cultivation?

ME: Sex with oneself. Solo. On one’s own.

INTERVIEWER: You mean masturbation?

ME: Well that can sound clinical to some people while for others the word has connotations of guilt and shame. We like to keep things light. We could say self-pleasuring or self-stimulation.

INTERVIEWER: People won’t know what you’re talking about. They understand masturbation. What about foreplay?

ME: Again, solo cultivation together, or pleasuring each other by hand, tongue…

INTERVIEWER: Masturbation?

ME: As I said….

INTERVIEWER: Is there any kind of stimulation other than masturbation?

ME: (thinking, interviewer must really like that word): Your scientist participants would concur that touch is only one means of sensory stimulation. Although probably the strongest in the sexual context, we have sight and hearing, smell and taste.

INTERVIEWER: But they all lead to masturbation, don’t they. Let’s move on…

Well now. It made me think of how tantrics distinguish their terms of reference both from the clinical Latin and those beautiful onomatopaeic Anglo-Saxon words alas considered (since the Norman Conquest) obscene. Our language is enriched by its corruption, as a pheasant becomes tastier from a few days hanging, or eiswein from frost-rotted grapes.

Another interviewer, ostensibly seeking tips to spice up (his) readers’ sex lives but not having bothered to read Tips on Taoist Tantra asked “What would you say to people who think tantra disgusting?”

“I’d ask them how they would like to spice up their sex life.” He’d only read the headline ‘Is it disgusting boring worthy and dangerous or can Tantra offer self-realisation by having a good time?’ The rest of the article would have answered his question.

Yet another, (something to do with “The Lost Art of Sex” – where do they come from?) asked me what was the most outrageous tantric practice? “Fucking corpses” I replied to stunned silence. They didn’t show that bit (Oi! saying it not doing it!) and only believed me when I was able to refer them to Svoboda’s book ‘Aghora: at the Left Hand of God’, and Arthur Avalon’s (pen-name for Sir John Woodroffe, a High Court Judge in Calcutta at the turn of the last century) translation of the Tantric Classics.

Talking Tantra:

Masturbation: Tantric: Solo cultivation/self stimulation/self pleasuring. Anglo-Saxon: Wanking, and many more tho’ some might be derivatives of Latin/clinical eg ejaculating=jacking off.

Coitus/sexual intercourse. Tantric: Dual cultivation/Congress/Clouds and Rain, Deep Diving.  Anglo-Saxon: Fucking, and many more: could ‘shagging’ be a derivative of Shakti (sanskrit: female tantric deity) sometimes depicted having sex with Shiva’s (male tantric deity) corpse?

Penis. Tantric: Vajra, lingam, Jade Stalk.  Anglo-Saxon: Cock etc (difference between cock and willie? one stands up and crows, the other’s cute and soft.)

Vagina, vulva (Latin word deriving valve – a valve being something of a one-way thing.)  Tantric: Yoni, Jade Gate, Golden Lotus.  Anglo-Saxon: Cunt

Testes, testicles Tantric: Dragon Pearls Anglo-Saxon:Balls

Semen Tantric: Heaven’s Dew (also used for menstrual fluid) Anglo-Saxon: Cum

The rest I leave to you. Let’s make a compendium. Or has someone already done so?

On its way: publication Valentine’s Day 2015  Tao of Tantra Part 2: Beyond Foreplay


About Kris Deva North

Author, Meditation Coach, Teacher of the Taoist Arts.
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