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

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“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.


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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: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Barbara's book is about sex, but it's so much MORE than sex - like I always say, our sexuality is connected with everything else in our lives. If we can address our sexuality without fear or shame, it frees us up to enjoy other aspects of our lives more fully.

Barbara shares so many of the messages I spout, but she does so in such a loving, compassionate, patient manner. She does an excellent job explaining concepts that might be unfamiliar to the reader.

Therefore, it would greatly behoove you to read this book, as it will clarify and reinforce many truths about sex in a way that will make you feel safe and empowered.

Honestly, I'm embarrassed to admit I hadn't heard of the author and educator until my friend David Wraith told me about her new book and accompanying tour. I'm familiar with many of her other contemporaries - Annie Sprinkle, Nina Hartley, Denise Linn, Bettie Dodson, Dossie Easton and more - so I'm glad I have been introduced to her work and am eager to share it with you.

For instance, she teaches the Something More Factor. No matter where you are when it comes to your own orgasms, whether you've never had one or have more than one a day - you can enjoy Something More, if you desire. You can have more orgasms, longer orgasms, deeper orgasms - and orgasms are one ticket to ecstasy and bliss. Having an orgasm creates similar brain waves as meditation.

From the book:

"The Something More Factor is what drives us all in erotic - and spiritual - exploration. The longing for Something More impels some people to dive into the deep end of the pool of sexual excess, and stops others from even dipping their toes into the water. The search for Something More requires permission - from oneself or from some higher authority.
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