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Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  521 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
If you think sexual and spiritual bliss can't be found in today's fast-paced world, you haven't experienced Urban Tantra. With a juicy mix of erotic how-to and pleasure-centered spiritual wisdom, acclaimed sex educator Barbara Carrellas radically updates the ancient practice of Tantra for modern sexual explorers desiring to push past their edge in search of the great cosmi ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published April 6th 2011 by Celestial Arts (first published April 9th 2005)
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Aug 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a restricted background.
A much less new-agey instruction of basic tantra concepts which seeks not only to inform but to heal. I felt like a pervert buying this book, but it became my friend from the preface. If you have ever been abused or if you were raised in a restrictive/religious setting that you're trying to put behind you, this book could really help you feel better about sex. It shouldn't matter if you can 'agree' with all of it, I think almost anyone could benefit from a perusal.
Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty good. Not your regular run of the mill sex book. It contains practical exercises and information that you can practice without feeling uncomfortable or out of place.

I totally believe in the mind body connection when it comes to enjoying sex.
Dawn Serra
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Carrellas is beautifully inclusive with her language, which makes this book something that will resonate with people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, relationship dynamics, and sexual preferences.

Though the book has some definite woo woo (which I enjoy), the practical tips throughout the book are what make this a goldmine of wisdom.

Carrellas' approach to sex and tantra is wonderfully modern and flexible. Whether you're into the calm, gentle aspects of intimacy or intense, kink
This book, whose subtitle is "Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century," is refreshingly queer-friendly, kink-friendly, poly-friendly, and body-positive. I'm skeptical about some of the concepts Carrellas presents, but that didn't really keep me from enjoying the book. Take chakras: I can see the usefulness of them as metaphor/visualization technique, but I'm less convinced about things like blockages of energy in particular chakras as a literal thing—like, if you're feeling stuck, I can see that ...more
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-growth
I really, really loved this book. I will keep it by my nightstand so that I can try the breathing methods and massage techniques. One thing that I really like about this book is how Barbara Carrellas gives examples of completely typical people with everyday problems using tantra to feel better and connect with each other. It's a brave book and not too esoteric.
Ines Garcia
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tantra is something truly special, non-technical, fantastical and spiritual. A must read whether you're going to engage in it Solo or with a Partner. They debunk myths about what tantra is and could be, so you can gain a better perspective into wisdom meaningful sex. A refreshing, slight mixture of both western and eastern philosophic work.
The best book I've read on the subject! Great ideas for special breathing techniques and an in-depth description of tantric sexual massage.
DK Green
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly a work of art. Carrellas knows her subject like no other, her work within this field is legendary; having witnessed and worked alongside her several times over the years. Her history, her knowledge and her heart all shine through in her books, particularly if you have had the pleasure of attending any of her workshops. Well worth the read for anyone who considers themselves a sexual/spiritual explorer.
Jim Parker
Some very useful information but I really consider very little of what is presented in the book as tantra. Very sex positive and such some fun sounding exercises as well as helpful hints for people interested in polyamory.
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice concise (but very superficial) introduction to a tantric approach to sex. Does not really explore the tantric belief system but does include some nice breathing methods and massage techniques that may help you improve your sex life.
Kelli Johnson
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was easy to read and provided some great insight on how to add intimacy to your relationship as well as help it continually grow (no pun intended).

there's good stuff in here!
I love her writing and her sex is so great. I ❤ advice, I ❤ massages, I ❤ chakra healing, I ❤ that it sounds so simple, and I ❤ that I am open enough to try it and change my bed habits.
Mar 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sex-toy party planners, Lovers of HBO Real Sex
Shelves: holistic-healing
Not the usual holistic healing variety, but definitely informative and sexy. Excellent descriptions of breathing exercises and ways to expand intimacy with yourself, others and energy.
Nickie Jamison
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last few chapters kind of got a bit too new agey, but still worth reading
Oct 31, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolute trash...racy, raunchy. Blasphemous, profane.

This has nothing to do with "tantra". The authors basically just mixed up a bunch of New Age sex techniques and re-packeaged it under the name of tantra. This book is absolutely cringe and doesn't represent the essence of tantra.

Tantra doesn't have much to do with sex, and isn't "sacred sexuality". Yes, there are some LHP rituals (the 5Ms) which might involve sex but it is more about magick and sorcery than the Western idea of "I want to have
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, self
A good book to introduce oneself to "tantra", or "better sex" :)

Tantra has many definitions (e.g. "living tantrically is to live authentically, consciously, and sensuously"), but the practical benefit is that through raising and spreading erotic/life energy in your body via breath and intention, you can make yourself and your partner(s) "super charged", leading to "prolonged blissful states". In other words, you can take your sexual life to another level.

A few points from the book:
* Most tantric
Eduards Stucers
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to those who wants to get an insight on the energetic systems of human body, chakras and tantra. I am yoga practitioner and have always been interested in energy cultivation and the ways how we can use it. This book opened for me new horizons on kundalini (chi) energy and how to move it across your own body and outside of your body and get benefits from it.
Its a good read not only from the sexual point of you, but also as a general insight and getting
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: af, non-fict
Some people might be confused why I read this book. But it's actually pretty interesting and has some useful stuff. I liked how it focused more on the breathing and relationship aspects than on other things.

As someone who is mostly asexual I've been reading a couple of books about the topic so I can better understand it and how it relates to my life and other people's lives. (Like I read Bonk: The Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach, which was a fun read.)

I recommend it. It was a fun read
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is less about sex and more about intimacy, which is why I loved it. It got a bit new agey at times and I didn't read in depth much about BDSM and group stuff but I did open my mind to the chakras and the meditations which gave my personal experiences more depth.
It gave me a new perspective on how to approach intimacy - with honesty and scary openness and being consciously THERE.
And, of course, learning about the enchantingly delicious Yab Yum alone earns it 5 stars for sure.
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book I've read on Tantra, but the BEST introduction. Lots of self-exploration exercises - such as breathing, meditating... Great suggestions and stories. It focuses on the lifestyle of Tantra, not only the sexual component to it. This book is definitely a nightstand staple of mine and has peaked my interests in the subject.
Susan Molloy
I bought this book about eight or nine years ago, and read it several times. I picked it up again recently, and it’s still a good book: informative, and just the ticket if you are with the right partner (as I am). If you always want to improve your love life, and so does your partner, this is the book for you. Great illustrations, too.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book presents tantra and sacred sexuality content but without the heavy heteronormativity of most other content on the topic. It's refreshingly practical and secular, while staying emotionally and spiritually sensitive. It's a good introduction to Tantra for queer folks particularly.
Martin Hassman
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-and-sex, tantra, bdsm
Skvělý úvod do tantry.
Shakeira Holmes
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of information covered well!
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting new age writing on mindfulness, breathing techniques, chakras, and the sexual revolution that started in the late 20th century and is still going on.
If you're into this sort of thing, it's pretty informative. I had a brief spate where I was curious, and now I'm not.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book about "modern" tantra. A fruitful merging of sexuality and spirituality.
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Until someone writes a stripped down no nonsense punk book on tantra, this is the best one I've read on the subject so far. More about practices than beliefs.
Stopped on page 30, chapter 2
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“The truth is, men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus. We are all earthlings whose penises and vaginas came from exactly the same type of fetal tissue. This is why, in addition to penises and vaginas, we also have a wide spectrum of intersex genitals, which medical science is only now slowly coming to accept as 'normal.” 4 likes
“The person in New York is more likely to want and need a harder touch in order to crack through the armor they have built up to protect their hearts and other soft tender parts.” 3 likes
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