Barbara Carrellas is a powerful personality. She brightens a room not only with her dazzling smile but with her electrifying energy. It's an enriching experience just talking to her. So I knew her book Luxurious Loving would be full of that same wonderful energy. I'll admit, I did have some misgivings about the Tantra thing. I mean, I'm more for a sloppy quickie in a dive bar bathroom than the whole light candles and romantically soak in a hot tub, so spending hours bent like a pretzel and concentrating on breathing as opposed to focusing on the come shot is fairly anathema to moi. I needn't have worried. Because, yes, Barbara's book does touch on Tantra and summarize the Kama Sutra. But it also covers all kinds of other smart and sensual ways to slow down and reconnect with your partner, as well as increase the erotic energy in all aspects of your life.
Ms. Carrellas is the founder of Urban Tantra®, "an approach to sacred sexuality that adapts and blends conscious sexual practices from Tantra to S/M," and she introduces many different kinks and disciplines (no, not THAT kind of discipline!) that are sure to enhance your sexual experience. There are little historical tidbits and pertinent statistics interspersed with instructions for Kegel exercises, Tantric lovemaking positions and Techniques for Prolonging Arousal. You'll learn new ways to breathe and caress, touch and massage, climax and relax. Every page will have you literally panting for more!
The book is an easy read, with gorgeously erotic black and white photos illustrating the sexy lessons. In each chapter, Barbara focuses on a new sensory experience -- Imagine, Breathe, Sniff, Gaze, Move, Moan, Taste, Soak, Caress and Connect -- encouraging you to isolate and explore. The tips are all tantalizingly simple and easy to implement. Barbara's explanations are conversational, as you'd imagine they'd be presented in a live workshop. There's no cutesy chat or condescension, though; it's just frank talk from a friend who knows. In every paragraph, Barbara's enthusiasm and sense of humor shine through, with exclamations like "Enjoy it!" and "Make love to that camera!"
In Breathe, the exercises range from Conscious Breathing to Moving Energy All Through Your Body, beginning with your breathing while masturbating and then moving into Breathing Together. Her unique invention, the Precision Sense Focusing Device, will teach you how to create new erogenous zones. Each chapter stands on its own; you could even make an entire evening out of single paragraphs. Might I suggest you start with this one, the opening paragraph of Move, even before you buy the book?
"Try this little game: Tell your lover to lie back and encourage her to remain motionless while you pleasure her. Tease her. Kiss her all over. Suck her earlobe, stroke the inside of her thigh. Massage her breasts and kiss her deeply. Every time she moves, stop what you are doing until she is perfectly still again. Then continue. Unless your partner is the world's most accomplished submissive, it will be impossible for her to remain completely still while you use every one of your erotic talents to arouse her. She will move, if only inside." It goes on and gets steamier! And it's only an intro! Probably the thing I appreciated most about the book is that I learned new things but never felt, well, overwhelmed. Usually, sex books that go into Tantra and such just seem like so much work! I found myself actually wanting to have sex -- as soon as possible! -- while reading this book, instead of putting it down and eating a box of Oreos instead. I'm not sure that comes across as a ringing endorsement, but believe me, it is! My congratulations to Ms. Carrellas for writing this accessible manual to a more sexually fulfilled future!
----Abby Ehmann, Erozine
If you consider the concept of Tantric sex to be a little airy fairy and over-dependent on scented candles, then you’ll find Luxurious Loving brings a refreshing new approach to the pursuit of erotic nirvana. It’s author, Barbara Carrellas, places a welcome emphasis on the attainment of genuine sexual heat and intensity as well as moire esoteric concerns.
As such, she counsels that, ‘telling your partner she is a “filthy slut who deserves a good hard fuck” is as appropriate as telling her she is an “ethereal goddess of erotic beauty”. But on the other hand, I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy a CD of ‘luscious waltz music’, take off all my clothes and dance, as Carrellas suggests. No, I’ll stick with Motorhead, thanks.
But other wise, this is a user friendly guide, illustrated with some rather tasty black and white photography.
----Ian Lowey, Desire Magazine