Because of the enormous range of this subject matter, I cannot possibly cover many topics in the detail I would like, and so I may sometimes refer you to my more detailed online presences such as Homoerotic Tantra (तन्त्र) for Men (WordPress) or my group on LinkedIn.
1. Men and Women are Different
The Biblical verse, “God created man in his own image. . . . male and female he created them,” (Gn 1:27) gives us in the West some clue that men and women are different. In the East, similar texts exist. Consequently, we can speculate that all of humankind is hardwired for gendered and embodied difference. Different is not same. Something that is not same cannot be equal, nor can something truly know something other than its own sameness. I have a lot more to say on the subject but you’ll have to read my blogs. For now, take a few moments to reflect on what I just wrote, and celebrate your maleness.
So, first of all, I am a man writing for men, and I make no apologies for that fact. I am also a homoerotic man, which further qualifies me as knowing about men. Most men don’t know a thing about men so I am a bit concerned when I see something written by a woman telling men how they should feel. If you want to know about a man, ask a man.
2. I Light the Path; You Travel the Road
Second, following the lead of time-tested tradition, I do not offer solutions nor do I write self-help advice, telling you how to approach your life in my way. I will be a guide but you will solve your own puzzles. That way the answers and solutions will be yours, and you will own them.
3. All Men are Male; Few are Authentically Masculine
Third, maleness is not the same as masculinity. Maleness or being a male is a genetic, phenotypical, anatomical, physiological manifestation; it’s biological and comes naturally. Masculinity, on the other hand, is a quest and is earned.
Masculinity may be the result of cultural conditioning, stereotypes, environment, etc., and is frequently of the variety referred to as ‘toxic masculinity’. Secular masculinity is a product of culture; it’s manufactured.
Authentic masculinity, the masculinity I teach, is very different and can be characterized as countercultural, since it rejects much of the toxic cultural conditioning and stereotypes that oppress masculine freedom; the programs I have created under the umbrella moniker Homoerotic Tantra℠ all guide a man to awakening, self-awareness, transformation, freedom, and ultimately an ecstatic state of being as a homoerotic Hero-Warrior. It is a Hero’s journey of transformation.
4. What is Homoerotic Yogic Tantra (तन्त्र)?
Again, let’s settle on some working definitions and avoid the confusion that accompanies the words Yoga (योग) and Tantra (तन्त्र) traditions.
First of all, it’s important to understand that what most people call “yoga”and ”tantra” has little or nothing to do with traditional Yoga (योग) and Tantra (तन्त्र). Both Yoga and Tantra are ancient sciences and philosophies that have been practiced for several thousands of years; they are disciplines and systems.
At the other end of the scale we find in the USA and other western industrialized countries a fitness activity called “yoga,” that teaches various postures and sometimes meditation, but far from the real thing. Do the instructors teach true yogic spirituality? True yogic discipline? The majority do not.
The Tantra most westerners are familiar with aims at orgasm and something called sacred sex, or in its secular gay permutation, how to have an orgy with a cool name. Again, the West has taken yet another beautiful tradition and secularized it to titillate the paying customer.
One of the principles in Homoerotic Tantra℠ is that spirituality is not for sale. Only a fake guru charges for his teachings.
5. Society, Culture, and Healthy Masculinity
Here’s a mnemonic for you: S is for society and stereotype, C is for culture and conditioning, H is for health and healing. Society and culture have inflicted titanic damage to men and masculinity. Society has provided stereotypes that gave rise to terms like “toxic masculinity.”
Culture has conditioned males to be herd animals devoid of sensitivity, creativity, intimacy, and the full range of emotional expression. What is needed is a bright new awakening, cultivation of self-awareness, and acceptance of healthy vulnerability, trust, and surrender.
In short: healing and health. The components of authentic masculinity and the process of natural healing and health require a courageous man to dare to be countercultural.
Countercultural does not mean tacking on some herd label like LGBTQ…., or marching in a pride parade, or assuming some flamboyant or outrageous behavior or adopting some fetish. Believe it or not, every one of those behaviors is herd behavior, and they have their own conditioning agendas.
Countercultural means that a true seeker must let go of all the conditioning, stereotypes, and roles and take the dive into total newness. It’s a very scary thing to do, believe me, but no great prize was won by being a couch potato.
6. Authentic Masculinity is Divine and Virtuous
Most of what I described above is simply the product of the mind and the body. What’s left is spirit or soul, if you prefer. For now let’s just call it the True Self, the divine part of the man.
A man’s true self is generally buried deep under the rubbish of culture and society; it will take commitment, dedication, discipline and patience to excavate the brilliant inner light, the source of a man’s intrinsic goodness. It’s there to be sure, but it’s got to be teased out.
Much of today’s male morbidity and mortality is the product of cultural conditioning, socialization, and the stereotypes he is taught to model. I call it ‘toxic’ because is actually does cause the suffering and death — whether emotional, spiritual, or physical — of men; they die drained, exhausted, and alienated. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and each of us holds the key to his own liberation.
Authentic homoerotic masculinity is as old as humankind; it is the expression of a man’s divinity, it is living as a virtuous man in the filth of a materialistic secular world of deceptions.
7. Of Microcosms and Subtle Energies
A man can practice Yoga (योग) without Tantra (तन्त्र) but he can’t practice the disciplines of Tantra without Yoga. By Yoga I mean the science and philosophy of Yoga as propounded in the Yogasūtra–s (योगसूत्र) of Patanjali or aṣṭāṅgayoga (अष्टाङ्गयोग), the eight-limbed Yoga. From that Yoga Homoerotic Tantra℠ derives its personal and social ethics, the yama–s (यम) and niyama–s (नियम).
We speak of a man as being a holographic image of the universe; a microcosm that contains the macrocosm. We speak of cakra-s (चक्र) and subtle energies, of āsana-s (आसन) and meditation, of erotosensory awakening and erotosensual practices. We practice, do sādhana (साधन) exercises, practice touch, aromatherapy, and man-2-man bodywork. We cultivate a Hero-Warrior spirit, appreciate beauty, truth, tenderness, gentleness, and physical, mental, and moral strength.
At the source of all of this are two very simple virtues that carry us a long way: gratitude and humility.
©2020/2021. Homoerotic Tantra:Mascul-IN-Touch℠ and H.W. Vadney MDiv. (Daka Karuṇā (करुणा) T.). All rights Reserved. This document is considered proprietary and confidential. Permission to publish this article is granted provided attribution is recognized without prejudice to the author’s rights. Homoerotic Tantra:Mascul-IN-Touch℠, Homoerotic Tantra:Mascul-IN-Timacy℠, and Daka Karuna are alteregos of H.W. Vadney MDiv. Homoerotic Tantra℠, Mascul-IN-Touch℠, and Homoerotic Tantra:Mascul-IN-Touch℠, Hesion℠, and Mascul-IN-Timacy℠ are proprietary service marks claimed by H.W. Vadney MDiv.