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Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century Paperback – April 1, 2007

4 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This handy how-to promises mind-blowing, toe-curling, highly spiritual sex for humble beginners, BDSM aficionados and everyone in between. Sex educator Carrellas is on a mission to bring Tantra-the ancient practice of sacred sex, in which interpersonal connection and transformative ecstasy are the norm-to the modern world, to reclaim sex from "messed-up, sexually-dysfunctional, judgmental, and ignorant culture," and to shift the urban sex paradigm from recreational activity to a sumptuous, impassioned way of life. Not that one necessarily needs that kind of ambition: Carrellas offers ways to enhance any old sexual encounter (with techniques like breathing, stroking, prodding and piercing), techniques for solo play and countless uses for a trunk full of toys. Same sex, transgender, and multi-partner play is encouraged (if not highly recommended), and the text is peppered with illuminating, try-this-at-home anecdotes. Pictures and diagrams are whimsical but instructive, making Carrellas's cheerful descriptions of unusual concepts-"gigglegasms," "rainbow rubs" and "the mushy puss" among them-easy to grasp. A final chapter, on "Sex Magic," examines the power of Tantra to achieve a number of effects, from backpain relief to a happier office to world peace; however far you'd like to take your sex life, this friendly guide will likely show the way.
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Review

"This is honestly the best book written on Tantra, period."-Playgirl"Few books on Tantra are truly brilliant. Barbara Carrellas has written of Urban Tantra in a way that warms my heart . . . honest, clear, human and insightful. I am laughing and loving Tantra all over again."-Caroline Muir, co-author, Tantra, The Art of Conscious Loving"Sex educator Carrellas takes tantra out of the exclusive domain of white New Age heterosexuals and makes a compelling-and hot, and damp-argument that tantra is for all of us. Her frank how-to offers suggestions for incorporating tantric principles into queer couplings, with a healthy respect for putting sex back at the center of our lives."-Out magazine"URBAN TANTRA gives me hope that the world will become a more sexually satisfied, ecstatic, enlightened, and inclusive place."-Annie Sprinkle, PhD, from the foreword"URBAN TANTRA is the most pleasurable, fun, meaningful, and liberating book on sex ever! Thank you, Barbara!"-Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women'­s Bodies, Women'­s Wisdom "At last, a sex book with a sense of humor, and one that dispels the notion that sex is always, only and forever, between one man and one woman. I can'­t wait to see generations grow up with the study and use of URBAN TANTRA!"-Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw and Hello, Cruel World"Any book on Tantra that begins by describing a professional lap dance as a divine sexual experience is one I will definitely read. Written with wit and humor, Barbara's URBAN TANTRA keeps sex real, and, best of all, the rituals are fun."-Betty Dodson, PhD, author of Sex for One and Orgasms for Two"If you ever thought Tantra wasn'­t for you-too foreign or gimmicky or New Agey, or not edgy enough for your radical sex explorations-Barbara Carrellas will cure you of all misconceptions and bring you an Urban Tantra to unite your sex, your spirit, your erotic wanderlust, your edge."-Carol Queen, author of Real Live Nude Girl and director of the Center for Sex & Culture, San Francisco"URBAN TANTRA offers a daring, delicious, profound, courageous, and altogether magical celebration that will teach us all to dance to the rhythms of the universe. Barbara Carrellas has written the ultimate how-to book uniting sex with spirit, healing with philosophy, and the animating force of the cosmos with each and every one of us. So if you'd like to live your sex life on a galactic scale, you must read this book!"-Dossie Easton, coauthor of The Ethical Slut"Everyone needs to rejoice in their own sexuality, and Barbara shows us how in this very informative, easy-to-use book. It would be nice to practice Tantra in a lovely remote garden or high atop a mountain, but the reality is that in today'­s world many of us don'­t have that luxury. Barbara demonstrates that it doesn'­t matter where you practice, as long as you'Âre conscious when you do. Now, let go and enjoy Urban Tantra."-Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life and Empowering Women"URBAN TANTRA is a courageous book by Barbara Carrellas, one of the pioneers in contemporary American Tantra. This engaging and comprehensive guide includes numerous powerful exercises as well as moving personal anecdotes that reveal how the conscious exploration and embrace of sexuality can function as a tool for transformation."-Mark A. Michaels (Swami Umeshanand Saraswati) and Patricia Johnson (Devi Veenanand), authors of The Essence of Tantric Sexuality"Barbara Carrellas, whose Urban Tantric sex workshops combine Eastern sex techniques with the postmodern methods of SM practitioners, is a trailblazer."-Tristan Taormino, The Village Voice
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Celestial Arts (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587612909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587612909
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I'm a personal growth coach with a graduate education in integral psychology. I have had a lifelong interest in the wisdom traditions of the world and this was also part of my study. I also work with people having various kinds of sexual issues or seeking more fulfillment.

When I ordered this book, I had a mixed reaction to the reviews and I was honestly expecting not to like it. However, I found it to be quite refreshing, fun, extremely witty and also informative. It talks about real sex between real people and how sex can be used as a spiritual practice and tool for transformation.

Strickly speaking, tantra is path to spiritual transformation that uses the stuff of everyday life as a gateway to something more transcendant. There are many tantric practices and the sexual practices are only a small and rather minor subset of this overall topic. If you are looking for an a good introduction on this deeper tantra or for more context, see Introduction to Tantra : The Transformation of Desire. This is an excellent, concise and accessible introduction to traditonal tantra before it was imported to the West. Although it is written from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective, the concepts apply well to any type of traditional tantra.

Back to this book.... once I got beyond my resistance to it given my knowledge and biases toward traditional tantra, I found it to be a practical tool for people looking to find deeper meaning in sex. Tantra is sort of a buzz word in the West and has a technical definition in the East. However, the authors define Tantra as... "living, authentically, consciously and sensuously.
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I thought the book was good, but spent alot of the beginning alienating us boring white bread middle American straight people that may not work occasionally in the sex trade....I say this with a smile and a laugh.

If you are gay, into BDSM, etc. and want to expand on those alternatives with Tantra this book is awesome.....If you want pure Tantra, you can take what you need and leave the rest, or look elsewhere.

It's an easy, entertaining, quick read...and I never thought of myself as a prude, I love the energy information--although it's nothing I haven't learned elsewhere, I just felt a little side tracked at times....

For me personally, and again this is me, but I felt like BDSM worked better when I still clung to many of the issues I've worked through, and I see Tantra as a step beyond, so some of this book seemed like a step backwards.? I also look to Tantra to intesify a long term monogamous relationship, and this book often speaks otherwise. No judgement, just not where I am at this point in my life.
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If you have already read some of my reviews, you know my favorite books feel like best friends and "Urban Tantra" rates as an excellent "bf" and a must have for anyone, what ever your sexual orientation is! If you want to raise your sexual IQ and ecstasy, do empowering exercises -- one that uses rocking -- which is a favorite, than rock it and read it. Barbara is so open, honest and fun. I loved Annie Sprinkle's "Spectacular Sex" and Annie writes the forward to this book and the women and the books compliment each other well. This book is great for couples and for "singles" because you can do the "home work" alone too which is important and some topics may not be your "thing" but you will get some great breathing excercises, imagining and understanding out of this terrific read!
I recommend this book highly and also doing the exercises for better sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Like Annie and Nina Hartley, Barbara recommends affirmations and I agree and need to do so much more affirming work. I am carrying this book around with me everywhere and I recommend you do too!
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It's true that Carrellas does not hold fast to any one Tantric lineage or tradition and situates Tantric practice emphatically in the realm of sacred sexuality. If you are looking for an in-depth exploration of traditional Tantric precepts and teachings, you may be disappointed by the book's expansive approach. However, if you're looking for a book that makes traditional Tantric principles accessible and applicable to transformative spiritual and sexual practices, look no further.

This book is amazing. Carrellas conveys so much information; her words and exercises lead to the heart of the matter, revealing the connections between ecstasy and embodiment. Urban Tantra covers everything from breath and energy work to massage techniques, from Tantric approaches to SM to sexual magic, never forgetting that these practices ultimately lead to more holistic and holy ways of being in our bodies. Plus, it's accessible to people of all genders, sexualities, backgrounds, and physicalities-- this is not a book that assumes its audience is composed solely of white, middle-class, monogamous heterosexual couples.

This is one of my all-time favorite books, hands down.
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I was hoping to read about sacred sexuality but instead I was offered mental images of porn and orgies... This book is not about sacred sex.. but for readers who are into SM sex and orgies and porn movies then this is for you! And it's all good, no judgement to what everyones sexual orientation is all about.. but please do not call it tantra or sacred sex and fool innocent people to buy this book when they are trying to learn more about how connect with their soulmate on the highest and purest way humanly possible through loving sexual energies...
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