If you thought that Avatar was unique in that it featured blue cat-looking people from another planet, had the technology to propel yourself into an avatar of yourself of said cat-people, and included the formation of a wild, eco-friendly planet that was about to be destroyed by humans—you’re only covering the tip of the Na’vi ear. It turns out that the film is unique in another aspect—its coverage of tantric sex.
In fact, experts of Tantra say that not only is the sex in the film tantric in origin—it’s also “completely faithful” to its tenents. Asra Q. Nomani of The Daily Beast writes that everything from the color of the Na’vi people’s skin (representing Tantra’s “Blue Man”), the “hero’s journey,” and the “soul gazing” the characters perform—the actual climax of the film, rather than the characters’ actual intercourse is all faithful to Tantra.
Nomani argues that though experts have been debating on the different themes and meanings of the film—from colonization to war, environmental destruction to tolerance—everyone has pretty much overlooked this Tantric aspect. A true Tantric journey, says Nomani, “is, first, a lone struggle of self-discovery.” She says that Jake’s portrayal in the film thoroughly depicts this, just as Neytiri’s goddess-like aspects showcase the goddess worship of the Middle Eastern region during the development of Tantra. She says that the sex scene in the film itself made her recall seeing the Tantric sandstone sculptures that she once viewed.
Powerful unions between male and female components also exist within the film. In Cameron’s script, in fact, the mating scene calls for “the ultimate intimacy” as the two entwine their tendrils together, their nervous systems connecting in a full oneness that is called for in Tantric practice.
Could Avatar really be, among its other interpretations and themes, such a thorough depiction of Tantra? I’m no expert, but it does sound reasonable, particularly within this author’s statements. If it is, I much prefer that to the “blue kitty psychic sex” and other jokes I’ve been hearing about the film. Sure, it’s long, and sure, its message might be forced down your throat (I would argue, myself, that Happy Feet’s message, albeit similar to this film’s push, was much more forceful than Avatar’s), but the scene is much more tasteful and moving than most of the sex scenes we’re stuck with in most blockbusters these days.
Either way, it’s a new, interesting perspective to consider.