Stars Fuel Tantric Sex Frenzy, Hype

Diddy, Sting, Heather Graham among celebs who have boasted tantric sexcapades.

ByABC News
June 22, 2009, 3:55 PM

June 23, 2009— -- In a beginner's guide to tantric sex, a YouTube video shows a fully-clothed couple demonstrating the "yabyum" position.

She sits on his lap, staring deeply into his eyes, as they harmonize their breathing, stopping and starting their undulations in a slow method known as "riding the wave."

The ancient Hindi practice -- reportedly embraced by rocker Sting and his wife Trudy, actress Heather Graham and impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs -- has been dubbed the "gateway to ecstasy."

Yesterday it was the G-spot, today it is the Chakras, the seven sensual nerve centers of the body -- at least according to promoters of the practice.

In traditional sex, a couple most often uses the thrusting motion to bring themselves to orgasm. In tantric sex, couples prolong intercourse, building up sexual energy for a more intensified orgasm -- or multiple ones.

Many beginners often spend several weeks doing intimacy exercises -- using loving words and gentle touches -- without actually having intercourse.

The practice is on the rise, and celebrity interest has "put it on the map," according Judy Kuriansky, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tantric Sex."

The breathing methods are similar to meditation and allow couples to transmit energy through their own body and that of the other person.

"Tantric sex doesn't have to include intercourse or even sexual contact," she said. "You can have bodies pressed together and feel the connection that brings excitment."

The techniques are part of a "ritual of respect," said Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist from Columbia University's Teachers College.

"It's totally for real," she said. "In one or two sessions of breathing and eye-gazing and statements like, 'I am here to love you,' patients of mine who have sexual and relationship problems say, 'Oh my God, I feel a whole different way."

But some of those celebrity endorsements have been more hype than hyperventilation.

Previously, Sting, 57, described is fascination with tantra: "It's about ritualizing a period of the day with your partner; it can be looking at each other, touching each other, running a bath, a massage, deeper levels of connection," he told the Guardian newspaper. " Sex is only the surface."

But in 2004, he retracted his exultations of tantric sex in an interview with the BBC. He said a drunken night on the town with music promoter Bob Geldoff and U2 rocker Bono was to blame.

"I have frantic sex, which is just as good as tantric sex," said of his sex life with Trudy Styler.

"It was simply me and Geldof bitching," said Sting, whose hits include "Roxanne," "Fields of Gold" and "Don't Stand So Close to Me."