Tantra is a very large area of spiritual and sexual development.
Originally it comes from India and probably it was found by people who were following traditional Vedic path of love and devotion to God, but they were rebelling towards strong sexual suppression; sex was meant only to take place within marriage and to make children.
Then there became a branch of spirituality where sexual force was used to reach our inner state of being, or if you like to call it God. Then there developed a quite complicated system of ritual, prayers, meditations, many scripts written on this subject; how to transcendent our mind into divine and how to have divine sex instead of ordinary.
In a way this would have been forgotten probably without new masters who “recreated" those teachings and brought it closer to western people. And suddenly we have much more fields on Tantra, where people like to adjust it even more to modern world. There is a lot of influence by shamanism, psychology, sexology etc. Actually tantric massage is quite new. It was invented in USA in early 70s; our teacher Joseph Kramer (Phd) is probably the main pioneer in this type or bodywork.
It is very difficult to define Tantra
but for me personally tantra gives you ability to be present in yourself, connect with your deeper being and embrace all aspect of life, no matter how you feel. Ordinary mind is too oriented towards pleasure and refusing all unpleasant experiences, bad thoughts, emotions and behavior of others.
In tantra we learn to receive and accept it all, and turn pain and unpleasant experiences into pleasure.
When this is mastered, there is really nothing which can take you from blissful present moment. This is very hard to happen without real reprogramming of mind. Let me give you an example of how tantric massage can help with this. Everyone enjoys nice and relaxing massage, especially when it comes to erotic massage; you just surf on waves of pleasure and feel good.
Personally I believe that when conscious pain is connected to treatment and we expose your body to level of pain that you like, and you can of course control it. Then the nervous system starts to recognize pain as source of joy and pleasure, especially when it is followed again by pleasant touch.
And you also learn to take the pain in. This will help you to deal with pain even in daily life..You integrate another aspect of feeling in your body..It is a very strong tool..I will write more about conscious BDSM later:)
Tantric meditation and tantric massage
give you space to open up your sexuality and express everything inside you..be it expressing your deep longings and desire, your passion and your shadows..and you share it with your partner and embrace it..any time you step into some taboo zone and you manage to go through there, you will bring back with you a huge amount of your life force energy which has been sleeping there..
Modern people are not really into traditional techniques, but even today we use rituals, prayers, invocations, meditations. Actually it is very nice to offer to women traditional Vedic offering ritual, where you see woman as a Goddess and worship her with offering of fire, water, flowers, fruits etc.
It brings into your intimate life something precious..to express to our partners how we appreciate him or her..but more about this comes later:)
A very much loved part of tantra is also sexual magic..here you learn how to cultivate sexual energy and use it to manifest life to your dreams..it is a very fast way to reach your goals, but this will also comes later.