No, not the party drug. I'm talking about the real deal: that great big whoopee. Have you got some of that? Have you ever had some of that? Want some? Oh, do read on.
I’m thrilled to kick off the blog tour for the new book by Barbara Carrellas: Ecstasy Is Necessary: a practical guide. This is an awesome book—one of those must-have manuals for making our lives more worth living. It may come as a surprise to some that Ecstasy Is Necessary is not a book about sex. Rather, it's a book that pulls back the curtain behind sex—and gives us a peek at why sex is such a big deal. Ecstasy Is Necessary is a book about why there are so many different ways we choose to do or not do sex.
People are going to be looking at this book from many different perspectives, and I think it’s fair that you know more about the person who wrote it and why you can trust her. Full disclosure: Miss Barbara is my girlfriend, my art partner, the love of my life and my BFF. August 2012 marks our 15th anniversary. Barbara and I are objects in space, locked into each other’s gravitational field, so I know a lot about this woman and what she’s capable of.
Here’s how I look at my girlfriend’s book:
It starts off with a gutsy-as-all-hell title. Ecstasy is necessary? Yep. And this is indeed a practical guide. The book, after all, comes out from Hay House Publishing—the awesome international self-help publishing company founded by Louise Hay, a woman who has saved countless lives. Her gabillion-selling book, You Can Heal Your Life provided much comfort to many gay men at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the USA. The life-saving miracles that Louise Hay accomplished on a spiritual/psychic level, Barbara regularly accomplishes today on a spiritual/body level.
At the same time Louise Hay was working her magic in the 1980’s, Barbara Carrellas was a Broadway baby—a general manager in the New York City theater scene. The height of the AIDS epidemic was a hard time for her—she was losing up to four dear friends a week. Barbara was heart-broken. She joined the New York Healing Circle to help teach people with AIDS how to have great safer sex. That's where she became fast friends with sexpert pioneers, Joseph Kramer and Annie Sprinkle. Not that Barbara was a stranger to sex. It's not my place to give you details, but don't worry—Barbara doesn't spare details of her personal sex life stories in the book. Goodness gracious, they're delicious.
Barbara Carrellas' unique sexual orientation has always been an inspiration to me. Barbara has sex in order to experience a connection with the goddess—the earth—the cosmos—whatever you want to call the great big good. Sex for Barbara is a doorway to the ecstasy you see in the faces of the saints—in those early paintings of their moment of connection with God. That kind of ecstasy. Want some for yourself? Me too. So, let’s jump to the sub-title of the book: a practical guide.
Barbara Carrellas is a skilled guide and workshop leader who’s developed techniques by which anyone who wants to can achieve ecstasy. Her book is a step-by-step exploration of the unique ecstatic frontiers of our lives. Yes, that discovery might be made through sex and erotic energy, but not necessarily. Carrellas posits that often the road to ecstasy lies in the direction of the more risky areas of our lives, whatever those may be. The following ten steps are section headings in the chapter, “Erotic Risk-Taking: Playing With Fire:”
Erotic Risk-Taking in Ten Simple Steps
- Find your turn-on.
- Consider the risk.
- Make a commitment.
- Find support.
- Enjoy the anticipation.
- Jump into the water.
- Release the need to be perfect.
- Rest and regroup.
- Try, try again… or don’t.
- Surrender and enjoy.
How’s your risk-taking been lately, anyway? Barbara writes pages about each step, but I bet you could put this list to use today in some fashion. I can tell you that since I read this section of the book, I can't imagine taking a risk—erotic or otherwise—without taking all of these steps.
Ecstasy Is Necessary takes woo-woo to hitherto unexplored edges. Barbara follows her own advice about risk taking, and she tells us some hair raising stories: from braving her extreme claustrophobia by climbing into an FMRI machine to measure her brain waves during a breath-and-energy orgasm (commonly referred to as “thinking off”)—to taking a class in branding with the legendary Fakir Musafar. Yes, branding—like hot metal to the skin, sizzle sizzle. Thankfully, Barbara is such a talented and good-hearted writer, she makes that story easy to read. Nevertheless, it may be a challenge for you to read and put this book to use in your life. Ecstasy always is challenging. So please, ask yourself…
Have you ever had a moment of ecstasy?
If so, would you like to regularly re-create that moment?
If not, would you like to find out what the big deal is all about?
In closing, allow me please to say that if you’re reading this, you're most likely already some sort of sex and gender explorer. Or maybe you’re an artist—or you're a nerd. Maybe you're little or a lot crazy, and your craziness is your greatest superpower. Or you're some combination of all of the above. In any case, you’re my people. Well, Barbara wrote this book for us. It’s one thing to explore and acknowledge our identities—it’s quite another to understand that who we are is precisely how we can live ecstatic lives. That’s what Ecstasy Is Necessary is going to help you discover—I promise. Buy Barbara Carrellas' new book, and find yourself some ecstasy. I bet you need it. I know you deserve it.
PS: Almost forgot to tell you! Got any questions or comments? Barbara will be available to respond to you in the comments section here on Thursday March 1st. xoxo K
I've known Mx (Justin ViVian's salutation of choice) Bond… well, it's coming up on twenty years. V (Justin ViVian's pronoun of choice) is simply one of the dearest people I know. But I had to be brief. The evening's coordinator, Lucy Sexton, was quite clear that I had only two minutes to speak, and no more. I stretched it to three, maybe four. Afterwards, she laughed and told me that she'd only said two minutes so I wouldn't go on for ten or fifteen! I could have done that easily. But here's more or less the text of what I had to say before presenting Mx Bond with v's award.
Justin ViVian, I love you. Always have, always will.
Greetings from New York City. I’m writing this on Saturday, June 23rd. It’s the day before the big Pride parade here. Lots of proud lesbian women, and a whole lot of proud gay men, as well as a healthy sprinkling of proud bisexual folks, and a nice assortment of proud transgender people. A lot of people turn out for Gay Day in New York, and the weather is supposed to be fairy-tale appropriate: sunshine, sunshine, sunshine. I won’t be going. I’m proud of a lot of things in my life, but it doesn’t seem that I’m proud of what I’m supposed to be proud of.
Okay, here are some sobering statistics for ya. They may not be surprising, but the numbers sure scare me.
According to Sexual Information Council of the United States:
41.7% of LGBTQ youth do not feel safe in their school.
28% of queer teens drop out of school annually. That’s three times the national average.
And according to 2005 report from Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
95% of school counseling services have few or no gay, lesbian or bisexual resources. And…
99% of school counseling services have little or no transgender resources.
For the past 6-8 weeks, I’ve been out on tour or down with the flu or helping my grrlfriend say goodbye to her mom who passed from this world. But I’m back now in New York City, and I was thankfully lucky enough to catch a performance of Spring Awakening, a shiny new Broadway musical that shatters Broadway stereotypes in a healthy, sex positive way.