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Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century Paperback – April 1, 2007
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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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"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'Ât 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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Top Customer Reviews
I personally love the book and it is changing my life on a really quick pace. She is truly a beautiful woman, who's message to the people does mainly one thing - she's trying to open people's mind to let go of the old ways we perceive sexuality and face it the way it truly is, the way it runs naturally in the depths of our DNA. She tried to help the human psyche let go in the moment, live fully in it. If you are into spirituality, if you familiarize with Buddhism, hinduism, Taoism, and are exploring deeper into the world of love and interconnection of all there is, look no further, because Tantra guides you the way to it through ecstasy, through the vessels of your own body. Barbara is the perfect projectionist/translator of the ancient Asian philosophy to the Western masses of the 21 Century. If you are open minded or are curious in exploring deeper into your psyche and soul through you body. Buy It now!!! I'd pay 100$ for this book. After successfully having the craziest orgasm I've ever had from merely breathing (from the second try ever), I can't stop but rave about this book and the author endlessly. I want everyone to truly experience ecstasy at its best.
Thank You Barbara. Can't wait for your workshop in New York in the Winter.
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. And that can be done in an infinite variety of styles and practices, all of which can bring about prolonged states of love, connection and bliss." If I accept this definition and judge the merit of the book by their own definition, then it succeeds in describing a path for busy Westerner's who wish to find more meaning in relationship and/or sexuality in general.
This book also focuses on Tantra as "primarily concerned with inner mystical experiences, not relationships." As such, it does not have a gender bias or even a heterosexual bias. In the author's words, "Gender is not two bins into one of which everyone must be dumped. It is more like a rainbow spectrum along which everyone can find the particular shade of color that looks best on them." This quote crystallizes the openness, curiosity and acceptance that characterizes the overall tone of the writing.
If I had to summarize the content, I would say it's a collection of psychological, spiritual and practical insights. It challenges basic assumptions most of us have about sex and suggests alternatives, exercises and challenges to the cultural paradigm. Often times the language is edgy, explicit and politically incorrect. However, this doesn't detract from the content, my sense is that is an attempt to reach beyond the ignorance, shame and guilt that so often plagues people in this area of their lives.
While there is some information on the chakra system (subtle energy system), Eastern practices, etc., this is not another New Age book on this topic. In addition, this book contains very concrete tips, techniques, exercises and inquiries that most Western people could connect to.
In short, this is a very fun book. It is fun to read and you will learn a lot from it. Even if the language or suggestions at time seem too far out or don't fit for you, you will still find a lot of value. You may also be surprised that as you delve deeper into exploring this territory there are new vistas waiting for you. This is a nice blend of ancient wisdom, modern insight and down-to-earth sensuality. In my opinion, it is a successful fusion of wisdom old and new applied in a way that the average person can relate to.
If after you get done reading this you want to delve deeper into Kundalini yoga or approach the chakra system gently from a credible and understandable place, then you might enjoy Kundalini Awakening: A Gentle Guide to Chakra Activation and Spiritual Growth. This book is geared toward Westerner's who have difficulty relating to esoteric teachings. It provides an experiental guide to learning about chakras, kundalini, etc. It also explains some difficult concepts in easy to understand language and is written by an author with a gift for simplicity and practical application. You can also look at my listmania lists for other references, including in-depth scholarly ones.