We’ve all been conditioned to understand sex in different ways and very often we are taught to perceive sex in a negative manner.

It is easy enough to figure out how an individual views it by examining the way they speak about things like the two sexes, relationships, attraction and so on.

The vocabulary we use easily reveals our opinions on most issues. The West has unfortunately developed many terms that simply serve to shame the act of making love as well as the human body itself.

However, ancient cultures have a different kind of wisdom to share when it comes to sex. This is something I found only in my thirties when I first started learning about Tantric beliefs.

To see how Tantra differs from Western beliefs, we just need to look at the very basic aspects of sexuality. The Sanskrit term for the vagina is yoni meaning ‘place of origin’. According to Tantric principles, it is the holy source, the hidden garden from which life springs.

This belief system considers all women as the manifestation of the divine female energy and that can be seen in the terms they use which honor all things female. All the interpretations of Yoni always lead to some aspect of this energy called Shakti.

Similarly, the term for penis is Lingam which is related to the divine being, Shiva and his power. Some tantric traditions even refer to it as a pillar of light.

The discussion around language and the way we use it to define sex and love is an endless one and this article doesn’t even come close to making a dent in it. Rather I hope it inspires readers to think more carefully about this matter.

One last example I’d like to write about comes from a discussion I had with a girl who was telling me about her experiences in her relationships with both men and women. I asked her if she is bisexual but she instantly replied that she is genderfluid.

It was an educational moment for me and I’m glad to have had this opportunity to improve my vocabulary.

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