“Sex, Death, and Tantra: How Sex Changed My Life After Death” by Ed Swaya— Understanding Tantra

Swaya, Ed. “Sex, Death, and Tantra: How Sex Changed My Life After Death”, Ed Swaya, 2019.

Understanding Tantra

Amos Lassen

Ed Swaya’s husband, Zachary went out to walk the dog while Swaya remained at home with their 6-year-old daughter watching television. He never returned. At 39, he was hit by a car and killed. “Sex, Death and Tantra” is the story of the writer’s first years as a single, gay, widower, dad who learned to embrace his grief and becoming sole parent to a grieving child and take care of her educational, social, emotional needs. At the same time, he was attempting to build a new life for himself.

A year before Zachary’s death, he and Ed met Ken and began to study tantra with him. Ed explains that he sought a marriage of sex and spirituality even though these practices seemed to exclude gay men. Tantra includes pleasurable sex is a part of it but it is so much more. Tantra is a set of principles and practices (most of which are not sexual) which transcends the self. Ken was a successful psychotherapist who taught tantra to gay men. He had used tantra, eroticism, and sex to help men do deep emotional, psychological healing work. There is also a separate erotic healing practice where. Zachary and Ed individually and as a couple dealt with painful psychological and emotional issues while deepening their spiritual selves and their erotic knowledge and experience. They learned how pleasurable and conscious sex can be a way to heal, grow and become spiritually aware.  

Ed felt lost and afraid, when he sat at the hospital with Zachary’s body. He decided to call Ken and together they explored Ed’s grief together using tantra as our foundation. From the day of that call,  Ken and Ed met most days at 5AM and for tea, meditation, erotic practices, and conversation. Ken saved Ed’s life. While this is a story about love and loss it is also the story of optimism and healing. We see an uncommon, radical, application of Tantra that transcends gender and orientation.


Leave a Reply