We live in a culture and time where our views, expectations and relationship to sex and sexuality are shaped largely through mixed signals and silence. Great importance is placed upon sex in our culture, while at the same time warning us of its "evils." We hear speak of the "sins" of sex before marriage, masturbation, and homosexuality while at the same time huge ad campaigns use our innate desires to sell us every product and service imaginable. Growing up, we usually learn about sex through our peers, who often know as little as we do and share misinformation. Many parents are uncomfortable talking about it and when "forced" to do so, leave out important details because they are themselves uncomfortable discussing the "facts".
Even for an individual lucky enough to get straight answers and accurate information, direct experience, curiosities and social attitudes, like for everyone else, end up being the ultimate teachers. And these experiences often tend to be confusing and frustrating. Many often turn to Pornography as a way of self education. They can explore fantasies, learn techniques and expand their "vocabulary" around sexual experience all the while keeping it private.
While Pornography can benefit people by stimulating the imagination and providing an alternative way to explore sexuality, it can also teach a one dimensional approach to sex. With rare exceptions, pornography focuses on physical acts alone. For someone without deeper emotional experiences and educations, this can unintentionally present the impression that sex is all about "sticking it in" and "getting off." Peer information and social attitudes only reinforce these ideas.
Porn as the only or main teacher will set up high expectations about being able to perform for long periods of time, for being able to fuck hard and long, for being able to "take it" for extended periods of time and beg for more. Even social attitudes alone can leave us with the same teachings. They also influence our self image in other ways, such as how our body should look and what types of bodies we should find attractive.
While consciously we can acknowledge that Porn is an "artificial world" created for the purposes of fantasy, sometime the repeated exposure can affect our expectations. It has its place and can be fun to explore, learn from and spice things up with. Taken out of context it may affect our perceptions of sex, especially when combined with today's cultural attitudes towards sex.
Western Tantra or Sacred Sexuality is a modern creation exploring sexuality through a selection of teachings and principles from The Tantras. While it is not genuine Tantra, as a healing modality, it can help re-educate individuals to experience deeper, more intensely pleasurable sex. It does this by expanding awareness, shifting attitudes and releasing judgments. These combine to create new direct experiences of sex and erotic pleasure.
Tantric teaching focuses on some basic principles. Although these teachings and principles arise from Eastern Yogic practices which cover every aspect of life imaginable, Western Tantra focuses almost exclusively on Sexuality and Sexual pleasure. Western Tantra could easily be likened to a "Guide to Great Lovemaking", and many Western Tantric Practitioners use it for that. But even in Western teachings they include important principles which can be incorporated into an evolving spiritual practice. Even for those looking for deeper spiritual experience, beginning at the basic Tantric sexual teachings is a great place to start.