Wendy Donier reviews David Gordon Whites latest book: Kiss of the Yogini - Tantric sex in its South Asian context
There are many good, dull books about Tantra and many that are bad but interesting. This is true of many areas of knowledge, but Tantra is particularly susceptible both to juicy sensationalism and to an overcompensating academic desiccation. Kiss of the Yogini is one of the few good, interesting books about Tantra, a passionately argued work that transforms scholarly understanding of its subject. If it goes too far in arguing its essential point about the origin of Tantra, such excess is justified by the book’s courageous stance against a political censorship that goes much further in the opposite direction.
How you define Tantra is largely determined by what you want to say about it. To the extent that the general reading public is familiar with the term, Tantra has become an Orientalist wet dream, a transgressive, weird, sexy, dangerous world. Many people refer to the Kamasutra, or even The Joy of Sex, as Tantric. But Tantric practice has a narrower and more precise historical genealogy. In David Gordon White’s account, the distinguishing characteristic of South Asian Tantra in its earliest documented stage is a ritual in which bodily fluids – sexual or menstrual discharge – were swallowed as transformative “power substances”
: Tantra.com - The resource for Tantra, Tantrix Sex and the Kamasutra
: AskMen.com on Tantra Sex
: Introduction to Tantra : The Transformation of Desire by Lama Yeshe, Jonathan Landaw (Editor), Philip Glass
: Soul Sex: Tantra for Two by Pala Copeland, Al Link