If you think sexual and spiritual bliss can't be found in today's fast-paced world, you haven't experienced Urban Tantra. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Urban Tantra, acclaimed sex educator Barbara Carrellas radically updates the ancient practice of Tantra for modern sexual explorers desiring to discover new frontiers. With a juicy mix of erotic how-to and heart-centered spiritual wisdom, this updated edition includes a brand-new introduction, up-to-date references and resources, a new take on the possibilities and responsibilities of Tantra in today’s world, plus new and cutting-edge information to reach an expanded community—added information on multi-partner play, more intersections for Tantra and BDSM, practices for asexuals and aromantics, expanded practices for trans and gender nonconforming people, and more.
With more than one hundred easy-to-follow techniques for expanded orgasmic states and solo and partner play (as well as more adventurous practices), this in-depth guide reveals the delicious worlds of ecstasy available to all, no matter one's gender, sexual preference, or erotic tastes. Urban Tantra expands the notions of pleasure and opens new heights of intimacy and sexual fulfillment.
|Product dimensions:||7.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
BARBARA CARRELLAS is an author, artist, innovator, instigator, and thought leader in the fields of sex, gender, and spirit. She is the author of Ecstasy Is Necessary: A Practical Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Oh So Much More and Luxurious Loving. Barbara was named Best Tantric Sex Seminar Leader in New York City by Time Out/NY Magazine for her Urban Tantra® workshops, and in 2016 was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sexual Freedom Awards in London.
Read an Excerpt
What Is Tantra, Anyway?
Tantra is such a vast, ancient, and mysterious subject that it’s difficult to find any two people who can completely agree on what it is. Happily, you do not have to spend the rest of your life studying the history and many philosophies of Tantra to receive its many benefits and pleasures. Nor will you need to go out and buy a lot of expensive stuff or change your wardrobe or learn to speak Sanskrit.
Tantra is a Sanskrit word that means “loom” or “weaving.” Tantra can also mean “a continuous process,” “the carrying out of a ceremony,” a system, a theory, a doctrine, a technology, or a section of a book. As such, the word Tantra can simply refer to a treatise on any subject at all. So you’ll often see it used in the titles of books that have nothing to do with the kind of Tantra we’re talking about.
Even when we use the word Tantra to refer to the spiritual practice that embraces sex, we’re likely to find many different opinions and interpretations of that as well. Countless Tantric texts were lost during the numerous times that Tantra was driven underground over the centuries. Many other teachings were never committed to writing at all. They were transmitted by word of mouth—from guru to disciple, often conditionally upon the disciple’s promise of compete secrecy.
No one knows exactly when Tantra began. Many scholars believe the seeds of Tantra were planted in shamanic, matriarchal societies three to five thousand years ago. The Tantra from which the modern form of Tantra that we’ll be exploring is descended began in sixth-century India during a period of cultural wealth, renewal, and intellectual advancement. Buddhism, Jainism, and the various Vedic traditions we now call Hinduism were the dominant religions in India at the time, and they were all segregated by gender and caste. Tantra appealed to the burgeoning middle class that was unwelcome in these religions precisely because of gender and caste. In this sense, Tantra was a personal spiritual pursuit that functioned as a sort of sociopolitical revolt. Unlike the established religions of the day, Tantra provided the spiritual seeker with a direct relationship to a guru/teacher, powerful rituals, an absence (and sometimes a deliberate flaunting) of traditional religious and cultural rules, acceptance of people of most castes and genders, direct participation with—or embodiment of—the divine, and a belief that the sensual experiences of the body were an effective and legitimate path to enlightenment. In addition, Tantra held the fundamental belief that enlightenment was possible in one’s current lifetime, without the need for reincarnation.
Today, Tantra is most often thought of in the context of sex. Historically, the role of sex in Tantric practice appears only occasionally and quite briefly in original texts. There were many different Tantric sects, and only some practiced the days-long maithuna ritual featuring sexual intercourse, drugs, and forbidden foods. More important than ceremonial intercourse with highly initiated partners (dakinis, or “vessels of divine energy”) were the intensive ritual programs involving ecstatic meditations, chanting of mantras, complex yogic postures, mental visions (yantras), and eventually gaining the ability to practice divine intercourse with oneself.
Ritual sex—whether acted out or visualized in meditations—was a physical embodiment of the Tantric view of the creation of the world: Shiva (the god of pure consciousness) joining in sexual love with Shakti (the goddess of pure power and energy) gives birth to the world. I love this image—it is the most erotic beginning-of-the-world story I have ever heard. But its implications are far greater than that. Tantra views life itself as an ongoing process of creation, an ongoing marriage of consciousness and energy at every level of existence. The very essence of Tantra is contained in a few words—an excerpt from the Vishvasara Tantra:
What is Here is Elsewhere.
What is not Here is Nowhere.
This is one of those statements about which volumes have been written, but I think there’s sufficient power in its simplicity: what is spiritual is physical, and what is physical is spiritual. That being the case, if consciousness exists in my mind, it also exists in my body. If energy exists in my body, it also exists in my mind. Thus, at the heart of Tantra is the elimination of duality. In Tantra, we don’t divide mind and body, good and evil, matter and spirit, or male and female into opposing camps. In fact, Tantra is the only spiritual path I know of that has always acknowledged all genders as equally powerful, everywhere, all the time.
Western culture’s emphasis on Tantric sexual practices began in the nineteenth-century colonial period in India. Victorian-era Christian missionaries singled out sex as the most alarming aspect of the Tantras. This equation of Tantra with sex was further complicated by the Western discovery of the Kama Sutra, even though the Kama Sutra was never a Tantric text. The Victorians were fascinated by both sexual secrets and the mysticism of India, the combination of which made the emphasis on the erotic elements of Tantra inevitable and enduring. Since then, this Westernized interpretation of Tantra has been combined with other philosophies and practices (such as sex magic) to create the many modern schools of Tantra practiced around the world today. Tantra changes with the times and the cultures in which it’s practiced and is influenced by the intentions of both teachers and practitioners. Still, some root principles remain constant:
- Tantra is first and foremost a personal practice of liberation.
- Tantra views both the human body and earthly life as concrete manifestations of divine energy.
- The Tantric belief that to experience sexual excitement is a taste of divine energy is a profound and revolutionary thought, as relevant today as it was in the past.
When I use the word Tantra throughout this book, I am talking about my own modern school of Tantra that I call Urban Tantra. This school is founded on the basic Tantric practices and principles that recognize that (1) sexual energy can be a powerful path to spiritual progress, (2) sex can be sacred, and (3) all of life can be included and celebrated on the path to enlightenment.
Excerpted from "Urban Tantra, Second Edition"
Copyright © 2017 Barbara Carrellas.
Excerpted by permission of Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword Annie Sprinkle, PhD xv
Introduction to the New Edition: So You Say You Want a Revolution xviii
Prelude: The Temple of the Sacred Lap Dance, or Ecstasy Is Where You Find It xxiii
Part 1 Tantra: The Basics 1
1 What Is Tantra, Anyway? 3
What Tantra is and What It Isn't
2 Why Ecstasy Is Necessary 10
Pleasure vs. Ecstasy
Adrenaline is not Ecstasy
Xxxtasy is not Ecstasy
So How Do We Find Real Ecstasy?
3 Be Here Now 15
Change Your Mind
Do Some Affirmations
Focus and Imagine
Make No Judgments, Make No Comparisons, and Delete Your Need to Understand
Drop Your Expectations
Giving and Receiving
4 Know Thy Chakras, Know Thyself 28
The Seven Chakras
Sex and the Chakras
5 Wake Up Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Free Your Spirit 39
The Basics of Breath
Four Conscious Breaths
The Power of Silliness
The Exhilaration and Cathartic Meditations
6 How to Touch 52
The Resilient Edge of Resistance
The Resilient Edge of Resistance Applies to More than Touch
7 Twenty-Minute Tantra 56
Part 2 Solo Tantra: Unleashing Your Orgasmic Energy 59
8 Sexual Energy: What It Is and What to Do with It 61
Kundalini, Chi, and the Inner Flute
"Seeing" Sexual Energy
Dropping into the Body
9 Orgasm: The Totality of Possibilities 74
What is Orgasm?
But Wait, There's More!
Orgasm Tips for Estrogen-Based Bodies
Orgasm Tips for Testosterone-Based Bodies
The Universal Hum
10 Breath and Energy Orgasms 87
What's so Special about Breath and Energy Orgasms?
The Breath Energygasm
The Clench and Hold
11 Tantra for One 98
The Microcosmic Orbit
Vibrate Those Chakras
Discover What Truly Turns You On
Try New Sensations
Take Yourself on a Tantric Date
Part 3 Partner Tantra: A Tantric Ritual 109
12 Set The Stage 113
Safe Sex, Safer Sex, And Risk-Aware Sex
13 Chill Out and Warm Up 125
14 Come Together 129
The Pose of Recognition with Hand Balancing
The Pose of Giving and Receiving
The Garden of Sensual Delights
15 Rock And Roll 139
The Heart Connection
Back to Back
Spread the Energy Around
Yab Yum/Sitting Position
Sitting Open-Eyed Clench and Holds
16 Afterglow 147
Toes to Third Eye
17 The Erotic Awakening Massage: An Introduction 150
The Erotic Awakening Massage Has Unlimited Possibilities
Conscious Receiving and Conscious Giving
How to Breathe
Gender and the Erotic Awakening Massage
Orgasm and the Erotic Awakening Massage
18 The Erotic Awakening Massage for People with Pussies 161
Starting with a Sensual Massage
Spreading the Energy Around
Rock and Roll
The Clench and Hold
19 The Erotic Awakening Massage for People with Penises 175
Starting with a Sensual Massage
The Cock Strokes
The Clench and Hold
20 The Erotic Awakening Massage for Trans and Gender-Nonconforming People 187
Learn Your Gender-Free Anatomy
Begin with a Conversation
Different Strokes for Different Folks
A Journey without a Map
Part 4 Tantra for the Adventurous 197
31 Tantric BDSM 199
The Needle Mudra
What BDSM is and What It Isn't
Using BDSM to Enhance Tantra
Using Tantra to Enhance BDSM
23 How to Create the Tantric Ritual That's Perfect for You 214
The Erotic Playsheet
One of those Days
P.S., Your Cat Is Dead
23 Group Tantra 228
How to Throw a Great Ritual/Sex Party
An Erotic Rite
A Weekend in the Country
The Dark Heart
How to Try Group
Sex Without Fracturing Your Relationship
Part 5 Tantra: The Next Dimension 243
24 Sex Magic 245
Sex and Healing
Using Sex Magic to Relax and Relieve Stress
Using Sex Magic to Relieve Colds and Sinus Pain
Using Sex Magic to Relieve Pain and Fear
Using Sex Magic to Facilitate Childbirth
Using Sex Magic to Alleviate Back Pain
Using Sex Magic to Ease Gender Dysphoria
Using Sex Magic to Heal Sexual Wounds
Sex Magic and Compulsive Sex
Sex Magic for World Peace, Part 1
Sex Magic for World Peace, Part 2
Sex and Death
About the Author 286