The Emergence of our Modern Tantric Goddess
Bringing Sexual Empowerment back to the Divine Feminine
- What I learned as an Escort, ex wife and Tantric Lover
Sex is so over-rated.
Western ‘vanilla’ sex, that is.
As strange as it may seem for many, there is a vast array of sexuality streams and relationships which I’ve encountered. There was my arrangement with a multi-national CEO on his monthly visit to Sydney, an Italian Tour Guide fraternizing with me on holidays in Europe post-divorce, and a Meditation Guru getting away from it all here in Australia before beginning his grueling Global tour.
Then there’s the more suburban-y kind of sex; the married ‘standard expected’ kind. Yes, I’ve been there too! But it wasn’t until I experienced Tantric sex that I finally woke up to what had been missing in the past. Tantra taught me to appreciate that the many physical dalliances were merely bouts of experimentation. Yes, Intimacy with a lover was often driven by a desire for connection – a need to be loved, and although I was in a rather semi-conscious state of being for the most part, given my taste for the party lifestyle and a hectic advertising career, but I didn’t realize I could’ve saved myself a lot of heartache had I learned to love myself first!
When I first heard about Tantra I was a bit skeptical about the whole ‘body orgasm’ thing, which might make sense to you given my lifestyle. You see, I was living in direct discordance with my physical body, yet managing to have at least five orgasms a day. At this stage it was ten years after a failed marriage and the end of my media career; I was now a hedonistic yet puritanical ‘spiritual wannabe’ Escort. My cravings for connection were met on a sexual energy level – not a physical level at all. This is what it means to detach from one’s body successfully, so when I met someone calling themselves a Tantric guru whose aim was to teach me about the power of ecstasy, I seriously believed I already knew it all. I mean, there I was – aged thirty eight and a divorcee getting paid well to have sex with at least ten men a week!
However as we know, the Universe does work in mysterious ways, and through the emergence of my own dark shadows I managed to see some light; signing up for a course in Energy Healing and Chakras. During these years of Escorting not only was I studying psychology, I was also studying my clients; and I must say it was rather perplexing at how my body was being worshipped by these men who were paying good money to make sure they could please me!
This seemed such a bizarre concept. Why would they pay to make me feel good?
I can tell you now after ten years in that biz and six years as a Tantra practitioner, not all men who paid for sex fit the myth of ‘dirty, old married man.’ In my escorting days, many of them were quite gorgeous – often young and definitely willing to learn about what turned me on. It was hard to reconcile, especially because at the time I realized I didn’t have a clue myself! But soon I surrendered to the sensations of my own body feeling pleasure. My confidence had never been an issue, but it became clear to me that I had never been asked permission to be touched before.
I had begun sex working in establishments, but soon – very soon after, my sexual confidence and curiosity soared and I went out on my own as a Call Girl for another 8 and a half years, taking most of my clients on this explorative journey with me. These men gave me the space to learn more about my sexual body; to embrace my womanly curves, ride the waves of orgasmic bliss as long as I continued to play their mistress, regularly stroking their egos and lightly manipulating their generosity and dire need for company.
Although graduating with Diplomas in Counselling and Transformational Life Coaching during this time, I still wasn’t ready to give up the sex work gig. Why is this? Well, it’s not that I was always having a great time, but for the most part it’s because I had formed such comfortable bonds with some of these men that it occurred to me; we were ‘in relationship.’
This is when I realized my purpose was to review the dynamics of our modern day relationships within monogamy and marriage. Clearly the paradox wasn’t lost on me; my own ex husband had an affair and I there I was, sometimes having sex with other married men. Yet here’s what I began to research, stepping into ‘normality’ as I shifted back into mainstream life, my vision – me, an awakened woman running a tantric sexuality coaching business.
Here’s what I learned;
I realized that I had attracted a lot of men who, being stuck in a world where coupledom and marriage are given such esteem, felt crippled with loneliness and feelings of ‘not being good enough to attract a partner’. This I witnessed was how our patriarchal idealistic society had shaped the psyche of many single, sexually awakened humans. Acknowledging these paradigms gradually corroded my own barriers; boundaries drawn in these relationships meant my heart was never open, therefore there was no fear of me falling in love.
But it’s not that simple. As a sexually awakened woman now in my mid 40’s, was therefore extremely ready to feel love. So where to start?
Back to my Chakra studies. Once rapport was established in class, I nervously shared that I could feel what seemed to be the Earth’s vibrations, having experienced a couple of mild earthquakes just after such an event, and much to my surprise my teacher simply nodded, saying ‘yes dear. If we all paid attention, we can all feel Mother Earth. We are all part of the greater vibration. We are all energy’!
I blinked, barely able to accept that such things were deemed credible here. I finally felt normal, and at ease with my body – although this in itself was only a beginning. I was about to enter into a new chapter where I would discover that I was so much more than my body (or mind, or spirit). I was a soul in a body, yes; but what was all this talk about feeling energy?
It was around this time that I was to meet the first of many Tantra teachers. This voluptuous ‘Goddess’ took me on as a student and disciple, teaching me so much more about the flexibility of my body through breath and movement; plus the benefits of diligence, patience, humility and practice. Over three months of training, from sunrise to sunset, gradually I began to understand and finally implement the fundamentals of Tantra into my life. I had to become one with the source. I had to emerge from within my own feminine self, merging and aligning with the masculine – no longer repressing vulnerability nor asserting myself out there in the world ‘like a man’.
I was in balance! An equal in all parts of my self.
My lifestyle changed significantly, yet again. The days began with yoga sun salutations, followed by learning the gods and their attributes (Shiva & Shakti), Lokas, Sadhanas, Mantras, Yantras, Shatkarmas, Tirthas, Ayurveda to name the basics. Most people know of one core Mantra; OM. Well, there are quite a few more! Then there are our Chakras; which nowadays many herbalists, acupuncturists & Reiki masters understand in relation to their importance along with the minor portals (known as nadis – which are to be purified via pranic breath practices which channel air via Ida, Pingala hence opening and expanding into the Shushumna which can activate Kundalini).
This is what a lot of people don’t understand today. Tantra cannot be picked up like a gym membership, only for one to grow fit and firm within weeks with the expectation that ‘seen results’ equate to perfection of the practice. Tantra can be learned, yes. We can all read, understand and move on ahead with what we know. But what about what we don’t know?
So, what is Tantra, and why are we reconnecting with the Goddess archetype?
Tantra is a Sanskrit word which basically means ‘to weave’ and the concept is that we as human male and female beings are a reflection of the Universe (cosmos). All aspects of our mind/body/emotions are potential that can be cultivated to align hence in becoming ‘whole’ we ascend as divine beings.
Tantra is an art, science and a spiritual awakening which can also initiate transformation so great that one’s views of the world can be challenged. This is also a platform upon which yoga established its roots. What happens once we are open to expansion is that we become more accepting of our self as a spiritual being tapped into a higher consciousness, and with Tantra it embraces fully the aspect of sexual energy as a route to this path. Having already studied shamanism I was at least able to adapt more easily to such concepts and practices.
Cosmic Consciousness is a sense based ideal, therefore Tantra supports the awakening of energies in our key centres – known as Chakras as lovingly mentioned earlier. There’s such amazing potential which is why we are becoming more open to learning about Chakras and how they hold the key to this higher consciousness – or spiritual awakening. Human energy has been undervalued for far too long.
Originally Tantra was borne through the scriptures of Shiva, A Tantric Master who lived in India nearly 7,000 years ago. He derived over 112 methods of meditation and these were considered a way for the human experience to become a portal to spiritual awakening. He embraced sensual love between men and women as being integral as we ascend on the spiritual path, and also recognized that both men and women needed to be of equal balance in their principle and coupling.
Temples in India showed the genitals as objects of worship, further symbolizing the value of balancing feminine and masculine principles; their names Lingam meaning ‘wand of light’ and yoni meaning ‘sacred place.’ Sounds nice, doesn’t it? And here’s the thing. Even way before India, In ancient pre and biblical times, it was the women who were the Priestesses; temples built in honour of their powerful evocative energies – evocative in the sense that they were God/desses, worthy of ritual and prayers for abundance and progeny (pregnancy).
And now, back to India, where there’s a word – Mahamudra, which is known as Orgasm with the Universe. It is also a spiritual awakening considered more likely to be activated through the experience of orgasm. Sounding even nicer, isn’t’ it? These Masters transcribed teachings based upon their experiential practice and passed it down to those who were able to create and appropriate higher learning.
As we evolve (yes our society did devolve for many years), we can once again ignite the essence of our hidden (or repressed) energy centres and step back into alignment with our higher self. The transformational process is experienced as a memory of one’s essential nature. We’ve focused for far too long on the sexual interpretations of Tantra most clearly due to lifetimes of sexual repression. It’s not just a precursor to bliss (although when we hear the word ‘orgasm’ our brains scramble to that which we’ve come to know and learn so we can, and do relate more easily to this state), it’s a practice derived for the purpose of overcoming life’s complexity – overcoming obstacles in general.
Tantra is a path for each individual to honour their uniqueness. This also explains why there are so many streams of Tantra, and why each teacher can bring something fresh to the path. I love my Shiva Shakti path from India as it resonates with ‘yes’ to love, life and sex and there’s a higher vibrational pull that I’ve acknowledged. Every aspect of the human being is honoured. In Tibetan teachings Buddhism is combined with Shamanism; meditations having grown exponentially from this. The Taoist approach from China is more subjective in relation to health and longevity, developing Tantric methods that utilize the vital energy source contained within the sex act to regenerate the body; a part of their teaching which is widely known is the conservation of semen. This too can find its way into my practice depending on the session (not usually Tantric teachings).
I was first taught the Shiva Shakti mystic teachings and have since studied Osho & Tao plus Chinese and Indian Aeyurvedic energy practices. It’s been adapted throughout my years of practice only when I’ve felt the experience of wholeness and raised kundalini states myself. It’s a discipline in staying present with my feminine whilst embodying the ecstatic state of bliss, allowing the primal masculine to blend in and be welcomed as a strength.
Stepping away from sex-work was an easy move, and one that has reinforced for me that the sexiest I’ve ever felt was when I realised I have complete control of the choices I make. But of course when I meet a lot of women today, they still don’t get it. Firstly what is control, and how do we acknowledge whether it serves us or not?
Well, we are all Goddesses. We are all born to be orgasmic and free to create in love and ease. So where do women go wrong and how do we get our power back?
I can look back and see that one aspect of my life that I was finally completely in control of, was in the way that I took care of my physical body by means of feeding and exercising it. My body is my temple, and I would have clients validate this when worshipping me for hours during a booking. Often men would comment on how fit I was, and this spurned me for years to continue the high maintenance.
Yes, and there is some of the problem; maintaining a competitive, hyper-vigilant relationship with my physical body is a masculine trait.
I realise now, that during these years I had been driven by a more present masculine energy side. Most of women I see in session today are also operating from this side. We all have an equal essence of masculine and feminine, yet we’ve been brought up by feminists to establish ourselves as independent women; to fend for ourselves independently within the trenches of corporate culture whilst still emerging the greater power, because we can still give life! Yes, women have it all – do it all, but at what cost?
Women tell me they’ve lost the capacity to surrender to their partner in the bedroom, and are struggling to reach orgasm! This is when we need to revisit what has been modelled to us; what are the choices and how do we evaluate what’s the right fit for us in our lifetime?
My feminine side was repressed as a young woman. I know this now. Quite fragile in personality meant I was steamrolled into a marriage; failure and grief getting in the way of success. Being a woman had failed me big time, I decided, so I toughened up and made my way to Sydney to claim success. In doing so, I had no idea how to be a business woman; respected and yet still able to master my sexuality in confidence – guilt free.
Men want it all, right - without commitment or responsibility. So why can’t we?
Activating this masculine drive to be in control; to voice my distaste yet keep my sexual desire at bay all the while trying to play the boys game powered by ego meant I could get back out there in business. Then sex work gave me space to expand and feel, yet none of it had set me free at all. I realised it was also about what I’d witnessed as a young woman growing up.
Men got away with everything. Girls got called a whore.
But who was doing the name calling? Often it’s other women, and this is the place where change really needs to happen.
Looking back, only when I confidently walked into a boardroom did I ever feel like I had a grip on this thing called empowerment, but I wasn’t authentic. Not all of me showed up. Taryn Harvey didn’t want to be seen as too sexy or attractive; hence not allowing my feminine self to shine for fear of being seen as weak and demure, but most of all as a threat.
By sauntering in to the waiting room during my sexwork shift, wearing a gorgeous flowing silk dress with stilettoes, men would appraise me; often commenting on how beautiful I looked in that outfit. They were never smutty; nor did they try and fondle me like I’ve experienced in many office environments. I got to say ‘thankyou’, and mean it. I got to accept the invitation to go up into the boudoir, and even then these paying men asked permission to touch me.
They showed me that yes indeed it was a privilege for them to explore my body, and because of this, gradually I allowed myself to feel the exquisite thrill of excitement as the energy rose; I gave myself permission to bask in the delicious sensations of pleasure – to surrender and yet not be vulnerable to unprovoked gropes or rough sexual advances. Many of these dalliances weren’t sexual; often they were sensual journeys whereby the man asked me ‘what is your pleasure / what do you like?’
I wasn’t vulnerable at all, simply free to practice assertiveness. And as for the other women, we would congregate and chat freely about what to do in the bedroom; how to turn certain men on, and who to watch out for. We had each other’s backs, as there was no judgement, nor fear of stealing anyone’s attention – or man.
These years gave me such wonderful experiences of explosive orgasmic states. Friends could sense my calm demeanour and relished my happy glow.
This is why the Goddess is re-emerging, because we women need to all better understand how our own bodies feel when it is coaxed into being fully alive, and allowed to freely respond to all its natural impulses.
I gained more equanimity in the practice of relaxing the mind. My body resonated with the energy of arousal and my clients felt privileged to witness my orgasm – whether they joined in with me or not!
Nowadays as a practitioner it’s a beautiful thing to witness others transforming their experience of basic penetrative sex into one of sensual, spiritual enlightenment. Unity within our own body aligns our primal energy source, which in turn can transcend the mere physical aspect of being with another.
Intimacy is most definitely one of the deeper more valued results, as it comes about through knowing oneself and being open to share with another . And I'm talking about all parts, not just the pretty bits on show - the Mask, as we call it. These other parts, like in my experience in living a double life, would be considered by some as ‘a lie’.
We all have this little lie we tell ourselves as little girls; one often perpetuated by our own mothers, even if they've been fed the same from generation to generation; we need to be graceful yet discreet. Feminine yet busy, doing it all - being seen as competent and strong yet soft.....aaaah you can see how exhausting this all sounds!
This generational feminine paradigm is known and experienced by many of us, manifesting as The Shadow Self. So as soon as we can see behind the veil, understanding the predominance of a submissive cultural impact borne from fear (think about it - as recent as our grandmothers time, they battled to survive patriarchy, lack of contraceptives and losing their sons at war - fuck!) we can recslibrate with our current energies. Now congruence occurs, where nothing is hidden and everything is shared; heightened by the purity of essence & our intent to bring about peace & unity between the sexes.
There are also more women like me who are coming into mid-life, already encountering this next wave of change; acceptance of living as an individual – not a couple. Many women and men will remain single, and I believe that for the sake of our mental wellbeing it’s incredibly important that we as a community; in our culture of ‘relationships & coupledom’ narratives in magazines and on TV, recognize that the Tantric Goddess is our way of reclaiming a rite of passage as High Priestesses and Shamanic Earth Medicine Women.
Attaining our archetypal Goddess can become the new way forward in self-development & self-pleasuring. No longer will women be willing to put up with the occasional dud date or ‘friends with benefits’ bonk. In the talks that I’ve held over the past couple of years, women have told me so many harrowing stories like this.
Loving unconditionally will allow people to move from relationships without the heartache that is borne from attachment – driven by beliefs we’ve been conditioned with, e.g. “we are now a couple so you can’t ever have sex with anyone else”.
The more aware of one’s own sexual and relational boundaries, then the healthier we become – whether in a relationship, wanting a relationship or remaining single.
So, how can you tell if your boundaries are working well?
Firstly, check in on yourself.
How how do you show up with your friends? How is this different to the way you present yourself to lovers? What's differrent and why?
Do you feel assertive or are you acting out in a more masculine way; coming across as aggressive and playful?
Be careful with this, because although it may seem to you that men are more receptive (yes, you're quite the fun gal & they all want to be with you), what your solar plexus chakra is doing is becoming super charged.
If you become the powerhouse at the expense of aligning with your true self, men will begin plugging into where they may be lacking the 'will' or 'self esteem' to otherwise step up and reveal who they really are. You will be making up for their lack.
How do you align with your true self and still be adored by men?
This really is the easy part.
Go back to that place within your heart, and ask yourself one question; "Do I like me."
And now the work really begins if you answer or feel any of these things;
- I don't like my body (low self esteem)
- I'm too busy for this BS (ego/rresistance)
- I feel great, I am great but they still only want to have sex & not commit!? (Pattern recognition /parental modelling / giver attracts takers)
This is only a sample of what may be unfolding in your life.
I do hope that by giving you a glimpse into this Tantric way of life, which for me has had powerful repercussions, becoming a portal in providing many men and women with tools in creating lives of greater joy, that you now also feel just how incredibly powerful a goddess you are.
Together we are creating more collective space; opening up a global circle containment of sisterhood/ white witch / priestess & Queenly love; our wisdom derived from being present to the transformation and healing of not only our relationships but also Mother Earth and so many global human + animal lives.
I’m still growing into this; feeling more alive, more passionate and incredibly vibrant as connect more openly and with courage
In closing, dear sisters let me reiterate; I highly recommend you meet yourself first. Greet your Yoni (vagina) and out a hand into your heart. Make a declaration to explore your self with fullness & acknowledgment of what it is you honestly desire.
Now go out and make it happen. Make love to your self and you will attract the Divine One - an authentic lover who will match you...the choice truly is yours.
Blessings my dear Goddesses (and Gods),
Love Taryn x
A Tantra Teacher & Leading Intimacy Coach based in Sydney Australia, Taryn Harvey holds sessions and workshops globally. She constantly attends events and is regularly in the media. Taryn has diplomas in Transformational Life Coaching, Holistic Counseling and Life Care and is certified in Somatic Energy & Tantra plus bodywork, in which she infuses chakra balancing & spiritual shamanic healing. Taryn published her memoir Trust, which is a personal account of sexual repression, healing guilt and shame, discovering self-empowerment.