Urban Tantra, Second Edition: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century

Urban Tantra, Second Edition: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century


$17.60 $18.99 Save 7% Current price is $17.6, Original price is $18.99. You Save 7%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, March 27

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399579684
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 11/21/2017
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 77,324
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. 

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"
by .
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

Acknowledgments xi

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

Quick-Start Guide

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

Conscious Quickies

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

Let's Dance

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

Orgasmic Sounds

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

Eye Gazing

The Microcosmic Orbit

Vibrate Those Chakras

Discover What Truly Turns You On

Try New Sensations

Take Yourself on a Tantric Date

Evolutionary Selfloving

Part 3 Partner Tantra: A Tantric Ritual 109

12 Set The Stage 113

The Stage






Special Effects

Safe Sex, Safer Sex, And Risk-Aware Sex

13 Chill Out and Warm Up 125

Chill Out

Warm Up

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

Tantric Fucking

16 Afterglow 147

Toes to Third Eye


Grounding Hug

17 The Erotic Awakening Massage: An Introduction 150

The Erotic Awakening Massage Has Unlimited Possibilities

Sensual Massage

Conscious Receiving and Conscious Giving

How to Breathe

Whole-Hand Touching

Gender and the Erotic Awakening Massage

Orgasm and the Erotic Awakening Massage

18 The Erotic Awakening Massage for People with Pussies 161

Setting Up


Starting with a Sensual Massage

The Vulva

The Clitoris

Spreading the Energy Around

Intravaginal Massage


Rock and Roll

The Clench and Hold

Now What?

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

Setting Up

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

Different Lives

P.S., Your Cat Is Dead

23 Group Tantra 228

How to Throw a Great Ritual/Sex Party

Club Relate

Happy Birthday

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

References 260

Resources 264

Index 280

About the Author 286

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews