Whether the locus of behavior is internal or external, the ethical and pragmatic reasons for understanding and exercising self-control are numerous. Many self-control patterns aid in survival. Maintaining a normal body weight has been shown to greatly influence health and longevity. Self-control is also directly related to socialization. Friendships, marriages and other relationships require a relatively significant degree of self-control. Adequate self-control is essential for humans to live and work together peacefully. Although humans are minimally connected through neurological and biological mechanisms that ensure our ability to function as organisms, there can be no optimal level of unity without the exercise of self-control (Levy 204). Furthermore, the failure of self-control and the subsequent related individual and societal problems are grim reminders of the consequences of this failure.
Tantric texts state that sexual activity can have three separate and distinct purposes: procreation, pleasure and liberation. Those who use tantric sex to seek liberation abstain from reaching an " ... orgasm in favor of a higher form of ecstasy ." 1 Guidance from a guru (teacher) is of primary importance. Tantra is normally considered appropriate only for those "... individuals whose temperament and self control will enable them to forego sexual indulgence." 2 During ritual sex, the male participant represents the god Shiva; the female represents the goddess Kundalini Shakti. At the same time, "... each participant experiences a fusion of their own Shiva and Shakti energies ." 2