Archive for March, 2012

Protected: A (Tragic) Beautiful Day

March 14, 2012  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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Protected: Love Letter #10

March 9, 2012  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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Ecstasy is Necessary! The New Book by Barbara Carrellas

March 8, 2012  |  reviews  |  4 Comments

I’m finishing this up from the plane, 10,000 feet above, on my way to Alaska to be with my family. Good thing I had it mostly written already. More soon.

I am a little bit in love with Barbara Carrellas, so of course I jumped on the opportunity to be part of her book tour for her new book, Ecstasy is Necessary. I admire her in lots of ways, from a presenter to an erotic energy/tantra practitioner to a badass toomuch queer to a coach. Kristen and I have worked with her—together and separately—and her interpretations of what’s going on, advice, and practical solutions are things we have widely incorporated into our relationship.

She’s kinda known for teaching (and experiencing) “energetic orgasms,” and this book takes you through that—from her experience having one in an fMRI machine to the aftercare (appendix) which takes the reader through the steps for doing it ourselves.

This book is also a workbook—or, perhaps as she’d put it, a playbook—with many small exercises for exploration. Call it “My Ecstatic Sex & Relationship Operating Manual,” she writes. So yeah, you might need a little notebook or a blog to accompany your explorations in this book, which for me was an exciting bonus. From “What do you desire?” to “If you know what you wanted, what would it be?” to BDSM yes/no/maybe lists, she takes us readers through all sorts of inner explorations with the goal of greater sexual freedom, an improved sex life, and, yeah, ecstasy.

I read quite a few erotic guides, self-help books, tantric writings, and generally whatever I can get my hands on around these self-awareness subjects, and I particularly love this one because of Barbara’s perspective. She includes all sorts of queer, kinky, gender-forward, non-monogamous, and social media-based examples and insights that really speak to me. So frequently the authorities of these subjects are so normative, and that is just not the case with Barbara.

I get a lot of questions from folks in my email inbox and in that ask me anything inbox about how to have a satisfying sex life, how to overcome shame, how to get what they really want in bed, and I gotta say, this book is an amazing place to start with that. I bet I’ll be recommending it frequently. It’s not just for beginners, though—as I went through the exercises myself, I toyed through all sorts of useful things. I love how she discusses boundaries, radical acceptance, communication, erotic risks, and safer sex; I love her weaving in of the love languages and NVC, both tools that have been very useful for me; I found myself writing down many of her book sources, thinking, “oh I want to read that too.”

Here’s the official blurb for the book, which sums it up clearly:

From Barbara Carrellas, sex expert and author of the best-selling book Urban Tantra, comes Ecstasy is Necessary. This is not your average tips-and-techniques sex book; rather it is an exploratory journey of the sexual self and the infinite possibilities of ecstatic expression. In Ecstasy is Necessary, Carrellas teaches readers how to discover, nurture, expand, and embrace their authentic, ever-evolving, sensual, sexual self.

Everyone goes through different phases of sexual expression and desire, and there are an infinite number of erotic and ecstatic possibilities available at all points along the way. The insights readers will gain in their journey with Carrellas will help them confidently approach sex and relationships in a way that works for them no matter where they are in their sexual evolution. They will get tools for solving the inevitable challenges that arise. They’ll even receive permission not to have sex at all, if that’s what’s right for them, because it is possible to create ecstatic experiences even when sex itself is not possible, available, or appropriate.

Using stories and simple exercises, Carrellas helps readers understand how they are wired for sex and relationships, what their personal warning signs look like, and what they need for optimum care. Plus, they’ll learn how to effectively communicate this information to others so that they can be loved more easily and effectively.

As readers discover their authentic sexual selves, they will learn how to create the conditions that allow more and more of their experiences and relationships to be opportunities for—and invitations to—ecstasy.

Follow along for the rest of the tour, if you are inspired, and check out the book Ecstasy is Necessary and the website ecstasyisnecessary.com for excerpts and more.

1 March Kate Bornstein : Kate Bornstein’s Blog for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws. Alternative to suicide-or simply to a really bad day. Kate’s post is titled Got Ecstasy?

2 March Viviane : Viviane’s Sex Carnival~A Blog about Sex and Sexuality. Viviane’s post is titled BarbaraCarrellas” Ecstasy is Necessary: Virtual Book Tour.

5 March Betty Herbert : Love in the Long Run Today we’ll celebrate the publication of Ecstasy is Necessary in the United Kingdom. Betty’s post is titled Ecstasy is Necessary!

6 March Bevin Branlandingham : The Queer, Fat, Femme Guide to Life. Bevin’s post is titled Get Me Embodied: Ecstasy is Necessary Book Review and Interview With Author Barbara Carrellas.

7 March Kendra Holliday: Striving to bring shy folks out of their shell, and offer a safe haven for those exploring their sexuality and creative side. Kendra’s post is titled Barbara Carrellas” Ecstasy is Necessary.

8 March Sinclair Sexsmith : The sex, gender and relationship adventures of a kinky, queer, butch top. (That’s me!)

9 March Nancy L. HillCultivating a Beautiful Life

12 March Andrea Zanin : Thought on Sex and Life

13 March Rubyyy JonesLove Lust & Light

14 March Jill Boyd: Smart-ass Virgins Make Better Whoopie

15 March Official publication date of Ecstasy is Necessary. Barbara will be live blogging with friends and fans at HealYourLife.com.

Protected: My Dad, 1951-2012

March 7, 2012  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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Me + Jiz Lee + Nenna Joiner at Smith College

March 5, 2012  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

Jiz Lee, Nenna Joiner, & me at Smith College last week

Thanks Adrienne for the photo (which I found on Tumblr)

So … Smith College was kind of an epic visit. It was snowing when I got there, which I just love, aside from that I’d brought my best leather city loafters and leather jacket and did not dress for it at all. Note to self: check the weather before traveling. Bird reminded me that the last time I was there, it was so hot that I couldn’t wear the sweater/button down/tie combo that I brought, so I ended up teaching in my tee shirt.

I was there for almost three days, and made some great friends in the Peer Sex Educator group who brought me. They swiped me into the dining halls for meals, brought me to a few of their classes (Women’s Sexuality and Black Queer Theory … both amazing!), invited me to a guitar sing-along circle (seriously y’all have got to learn Closer to Fine), took me out for drinks after, and generally showed me a good time. It was really fun to be able to have some actual time to hang with the students this time, since quite often I just show up at a college, do my workshop, and leave. It was really fun to pick their brains with questions like, what’s your relationship to your gender? How’s your sex life? What keeps you up at night? How has your gender evolved? I find it fascinating to hear those stories, and sometimes I offered my own perspectives, but most of the time I just try to listen.

I’m so grateful to be home for most of March. I’ll be at Rutgers for a sex & relationship conference, and at the Rainbow Book Fair here in NYC, then at International Ms. Leather in San Francisco at the end of the month, but for the most part I am looking forward to the next few weeks actually at home and inside a routine. My dad is even going to be in town! I’m looking forward to that, he’s a bit of a jokester and lots of fun. After that … well, April and May are probably going to be nuts. The book is due April 10th (omg the book! The book!!) and I’m headed to Boston, Seattle, Portland, and probably a few other places in those months. This is the busiest spring travel schedule I’ve ever had, so I’m not really sure how I’m going to deal with it and keep up with my own self-care, but I’m going to try.

I’m going to try to keep up with my writing, too, but as you can see, it’s a challenge. I used to think I could get writing done while I travel, but I think I am kind of giving up on that dream. I am so grateful for this patchwork freelance life I am putting together, but like any other life, it has it’s challenges.

I’m still booking for April and May, I still have some free time! I’d love to come visit your city, your college, your local community center, your sex toy store, if you feel inspired to bring me. I hope I can still get to Chicago and Durham, particularly. Get in touch with me if you want to start chatting about that!

Protected: Love Letter #9

March 5, 2012  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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