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Ecstasy is Necessary: A Practical Guide Paperback – March 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House (March 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781401928476
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401928476
  • ASIN: 1401928471
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Barbara Carrellas is a brilliant writer. To Barbara, being sexual is as normal and comfortable as breathing, and she would like all of us to feel this way.”
— Louise Hay


“If you long for connection to sacred joy, to the extraordinary, and to the healing power of full aliveness, then you’ll love this book.”
— Cheryl Richardson, author of You Can Create an Exceptional Life


Ecstasy Is Necessary is destined to be a classic. Simply reading it is an ecstatic experience.”
— Denise Linn, author of Secrets and Mysteries: The Glory and Pleasure of Being a Woman


“One of THE most brilliant books written on sex and relationships.”

— Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D., author of The Intuitive Advisor


“Barbara Carrellas is a true visionary. This book will give you the tools to create a bolder, more authentic, and satisfying sex life, but it goes much deeper: it’s a road map for living a fuller, more conscious, and joyful life.”
—Tristan Taormino, author of Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships


“The exact book we need for these troubled, and troubling, times. Cultivating ecstasy as a spiritual practice, far from being selfish or shallow, allows us to live more fully in the world, with energy and love to spare, and share. More, please!”
— Nina Hartley, author of Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex


“Barbara Carrellas is the world’s best ecstasy coach, and this book may be the best investment you’ll ever make.”

— Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., sex educator, ecosexologist, artist



“This informative, fun, irreverent book was a joy to read.”
— Judith Orloff M.D., author of Positive Energy


“In 1990, when Barbara appeared in my first Bodysex Workshop video, I had no idea she would go on to become a sexual pioneer in her own right. In Ecstasy Is Necessary, readers will find important, unexpected doorways to undreamed-of sexual pleasure.”
— Betty Dodson, Ph.D., author of Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving
(Betty Dodson, Ph.D)

“Barbara’s grounded, open-hearted, and respectful approach leads you to discover your own personal ecstasy. This is an important book!”
— Jean Haner, author of The Wisdom of Your Face

(Jean Haner)

“Barbara Carrellas has given us a beautifully adventurous and useful work; be prepared to journey in delight just reading this lovely book.”
— Dossie Easton, marriage and family therapist, co-author with Janet Hardy of Radical Ecstasy and The Ethical Slut
(Dossie Easton)

“This book is essential reading for anybody trying to attain new levels of intimacy and intensity, not only in their sex lives but in their lives as a whole.”
— Janet W. Hardy, co-author of Radical Ecstasy and The Ethical Slut
(Janet W. Hardy)

“Barbara’s work is essential reading for anyone who wants to lead an ecstatic life, and indeed for anyone who wishes only to live a happier one.”
— Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, authors of The Essence of Tantric Sexuality and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment
(Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson)

“Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans folks, and queers have been gathering under an ever-increasing and unwieldy alphabet moniker. Finally—thanks to Barbara Carrellas’s new book—there’s one letter that includes all of us and more. All sex and gender positive people can claim E for ecstatic!”
— Kate Bornstein, author of A Queer and Pleasant Danger
(Kate Bornstein)

About the Author

Barbara Carrellas is an author, sex/life coach, sex educator, university lecturer, workshop facilitator, motivational speaker, and theater artist. She has authored two books, Urban Tantra and Luxurious Loving and written numerous articles about sex and spirituality. She also wrote and produced The Pleasure Principle, an educational audio series.

She is the founder of Urban Tantra®, an approach to sacred sexuality that adapts and blends a wide variety of conscious sexuality practices, and the co-founder of Erotic Awakening, a groundbreaking series of workshops focusing on the physical, spiritual and healing powers of sex. Carrellas’ pioneering Urban Tantra workshops were named best in New York City by TimeOut/New York magazine.

Carrellas’ is a certified sexologist (ASC, American College of Sexologists), a member of AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists), and a proud graduate of the Coney Island Sideshow School with a double major in fire eating and snake handling.


More About the Author

Barbara Carrellas is an author, sex/life coach, sex educator, university lecturer, workshop facilitator, motivational speaker and theater artist. Her most recent books are "Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century" and "Luxurious Loving: Tantric Inspirations for Passion and Pleasure". Barbara's pioneering Urban Tantra® workshops were named best in New York City by TimeOut/New York magazine. She is also the co-founder of Erotic Awakening, a groundbreaking series of workshops which toured the United States and Australia.

Barbara currently offers inspiring and life-changing workshops, lectures, and keynotes on a variety of topics to individuals, schools, conferences, businesses, and the arts.

Barbara is also a Sex/Life coach, offering her clients sex information and education, intuitive readings, emotional and mental rebalancing, resources and referrals. The essence of her work is the inseparable connection between your sex life and the rest of your life, and the happy integration of body, mind, and spirit.

Barbara brings a holistic, metaphysical, practical, humorous, entertaining and gender-fluid approach to conscious sexuality and to all her work. She began her work in metaphysics and conscious sexuality during the AIDS crisis in the late 1980's--a time when the connections between sex, spirit and healing were at their most strained. Barbara has facilitated countless healing circles and support groups for women, men, transgender people, artists, people with life-threatening illnesses and people with HIV/AIDS. For four years she was a facilitator for and on the Board of Directors of the New York Healing Circle, which was founded in response to the AIDS crisis and incorporated the principles of Louise Hay's work. As her workshops grew in popularity and in attendance, her work expanded to include people from all walks of life and in all stages of sexual evolution.

The more Barbara explored sex and consciousness, the more she saw the possibilities for healing and expanded consciousness in all forms of "sacred" practices, including Tantra, Tao, Quodoushka, Reiki, breathwork, metaphysics, performance, ritual, herbal medicine, bodywork, erotic massage, commercial sex work and BDSM. Her books and her workshops are an eclectic mix of sexual and spiritual practices designed to encourage readers and participants of all sexual preferences and genders to expand their capacity for both pleasure and spiritual fulfillment.

Barbara has been featured in the videos Selfloving, The Sluts & Goddesses Video Workshop, Annie Sprinkle's Amazing World of Orgasm, Zen Pussy, in the film Sacred Sex, numerous episodes of the HBO television series Real Sex, Australian television's Sex/Life and on Britain's Sky Channel as part of the documentary, Sex in America. She collaborated with Annie Sprinkle to present a new/ancient vision of female sexuality in theatrical form in MetamorphoSex, a week-long workshop for women culminating in ritual-performances. She also directed the Australian premiere of Annie's renowned one-woman show, Post Porn Modernist. Barbara is proud to have enjoyed a lifelong theatrical career as a general manager, producer and theatre manager on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in alternative theatre in New York. She is still active as a performance artist.

Barbara has written numerous articles about sex, including a wildly popular series of feature articles for the sex magazine Over 40, highlighting the lives and wisdom of the stars of the "golden age" of porn. She has also written and produced The Pleasure Principle, an educational audio series.

Barbara has lectured at many educational institutions, including Harvard University, Brown University, Vassar College, Barnard College, Sara Lawrence College, Wesleyan University, the Chicago Art Institute and Yale University. She frequently collaborates with her partner, Kate Bornstein, with whom she performs and tours their sex positive, gender-bending lecture/performance piece There And Back Again: An Epic Tale of Sex, Death, and Gender.

Barbara is a certified sexologist (ASC, American College of Sexologists) and a member of AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists).

Barbara is a proud graduate of the Coney Island Sideshow School with a double major in fire eating and snake handling.

Customer Reviews

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Because it will make you do some serious soul work.
Dan E. Nicholas
As a guide, it leads us through ecstasy into new levels of self knowing and fulfillment and beyong!
Ms. Rebecca Stewart
This book was beyond anything I imagined it was going to be.
Queen Cupcake

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Queen Cupcake on March 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read this book mostly because I think Barbara is awesome and also because I want to learn how to have better, more fulfilling sex and I identify as being in the relentless pursuit of my joy. This book was beyond anything I imagined it was going to be.

This book is an empowerment manual for embodiment. It is a road map to learn how to go into your body and get to know yourself on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. I spend at least 6 hours a week diligently working on these connections for myself and there was a lot I learned about myself within the first seventy pages.

You begin to examine your values, needs and desires are right away. I was really surprised when I was working through my values, since this timing coincides with my thinking and talking about how I find balance and settle on my priorities. Distilling your core values to six main tenets tells you what your priorities should be, gives you some guidance as to how to align your life.

Get a cute notebook when you're getting the book. You'll need it for your work going inside and becoming the expert about your own body.

It can be frustrating as a single person without many regular sex partners to want to improve your sex life and not really know where to start. I am a big believer in the power of attraction-that you attract what you put out. This book is a great place to work from within to draw to you what it is you want from a partner. I felt not once alienated by my single status. Barbara also begins the book by giving a shout out to "they" as a gender neutral singular pronoun and the book is explicitly queer positive.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Melissa N. Michaels on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
We're all different. We all crave sex (and ecstasy, which are two different things sometimes) and/or push away sex (and ecstasy) for various reasons. Barbara wants you to find out those reasons. I sometimes wondered as I was reading: are you talking about the same sex I have? And I came to the conclusion that in many ways Barbara Carellas ISN'T talking about the same sex as I have.

As she says in her book: "I do sex for the mystical experiences--for the connection to all the disembodied beings and spirit guides I meet in erotic trance. I love altered states of consciousness, and nothing has ever beat sex and orgasm for consistently delightful--and often profound--travels through the cosmos. I have a partner who values sex as passionately as I do--for a completely different reason: she gets high on the intense intimate connection with her partner. With such different reasons for doing sex, we had our challenges in finding a way of creating sex together where she felt the connection she needed and I did not feel constrained."

I probably relate to Barbara's partner more. But the fact that she pushes anyone to have a dialogue with their own sexual nature makes this book useful for people who don't have sex for quite the same reasons as Barbara. You get to decide how you feel and what you want from relationships. Her book is not necessarily line after line about her perspective on sex: it's actually just one huge excellent and resourceful brainstorming get-together, between herself, her collegues, her research, and her polls -- and then bringing them to you to get you to add to the brainstorming your own individual feelings and wants and tie it all together to better understand yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Camille Gray, Ph.D. on June 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
(Camille Gray's Review of "Ecstasy is Necessary" by Barbara Carrellas; Hay House Publishing: ISBN978-1-4019-2847-6, $16.95 US;[...])

Note: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

I entered my Master's degree program in Religious Studies in 1990 with the intention of writing my thesis on some component of sex and religion. For months I struggled with the ambiguity of my topic before choosing another topic; one considered more realistically manageable, as well as less controversial. I never lost interest in the subject matter, however. "Ecstasy is Necessary" is a non-regrettable reminder of my idle research and an inspiration for me to find a place in my writing for my lingering personal and academic curiosity for the way humans reconcile their sensual desires to their spiritual endeavors.

Carrellas reminds us of our inner permission to explore every aspect of our lives, especially our sexual/sensual selves; then proceeds to provide transparent and intentional tools for our private or collective exploration.

That there is more to ecstasy than our sexual experiences is of profound importance. Carrellas invites her readers to explore other avenues of sensuality and offers healthy approaches to developing meaningful relationships, the most important being the relationship we have with ourselves.

I was particularly drawn to her chapters entitled "In Search of Your Authentic Sexual Self" and "The Language of Ecstasy", in which we are challenged to fine-tune our voice as it relates to what is individually purposeful.
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