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Sexual Secrets: The Alchemy of Ecstasy [Paperback]

Nik Douglas , Penny Slinger
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Sexual Secrets: The Alchemy of Ecstasy Sexual Secrets: The Alchemy of Ecstasy 4.8 out of 5 stars (4)
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Book Description

19 Jun 1987
Sexual Secrets is the definitive guide to sex and mysticism, revealing the wisdom of the sages of India, Nepal, Tibet, China, and Japan whose teachings on sexuality unveil how physical love can be the pathway to spiritual liberation. Containing more than 600 illustrations--the most comprehensive collection of images expressing the erotic sentiment--and with more than one million copies sold in more than 19 languages, Sexual Secrets unlocks for everyone the experience of ecstasy once sealed in the ancient texts and art of the East. In celebration of its 20th year in print, Sexual Secrets has been completely revised and redesigned and includes 200 color illustrations to complement Penny Slinger's unsurpassed black-and-white illustrations, which evoke all the major cultures of the East. Working from contemporary models and from ancient pieces originally commissioned by kings and emperors, Slinger blends images of the West with the sentiments of the East to further enhance the experience of the text and to help in the transmission of the secrets--a celebration of creative sexuality.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company; New edition edition (19 Jun 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892810114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892810116
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 22.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


...a remarkably complete book stocked with the knowledge of esoteric Asian traditions, never before seen by Western eyes. -- The Village Voice

A massive compendium, furnishing just about everything you always wanted to know. -- The Book Reader

An intriguingly illustrated, thoroughly researched collage designed to enhance sexual consciousness. -- New Age Magazine

For twenty years Sexual Secrets has been the spiritual person's guide to celestial copulation. Flesh meets faith inside this book and each is the better for it. -- ForeWord, October 1999

Opulent cocktailable sexbiggies. -- The Village Voice

Sexual Secrets gathers together the best parts from several different traditions of erotic lore. -- Sheela Ardrian, New Witch, Autumn 2002

Sexual Secrets is a timely, well-rounded masterpiece. This reviewer's reaction can be summed up in two words: BUY IT! -- Yoga Journal --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Nik Douglas, an authority on Oriental art and writing, studied Oriental philosophy, art, medicine, and related sexual practices while living in the Himalayas. He also studied with Indian physicians, adepts of tantra, and Tibetan lamas, mastering Sanskrit and the Tibetan language in order to translate these Oriental texts. He lives in Anguilla, British West Indies. Penny Slinger is one of Europe's leading erotic artists. A graduate of the Chelsea College of Fine Arts, her work has been hailed as progressive eroticism that explores female sexuality. She resides in California. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars sexual secrets The Alchemy of Ecstasy 16 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a rare beautiful book. It is full of sexual wisdom. It will help the reader regain their inheritance, which is the gift of sexual spirituality.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Text 21 July 2010
I do admit to having some reservations about this text. However I will still give the text 5 stars.

It crosses the line between eroticism and what I would call more graphic imagery. This this creates an onslaught of the scences that sometimes can be disturbing. Or at least disturbed me as a reader and once I had become blase about the images I began to wonder if I was just ignoring the beauty of each individual image due to this onsluaght of the scences.

To balance this though the first section is excellent with many secret Tantric Techniques exposed for the first time and lots of interesting practices.

The golden sphere excercise works and can be combined with alchemical practices and bija mantras - particularly the muladhara bija mantra - to enhance its effect. The dream practice was excellent as was the practice of the Gaze. Personally I prefer Margo Annands Soul Gazing techniques which give some hints on how to work with the eroticised gaze

One other flaw is that sometimes there is not enough context given for the practices described. This means the reader needs to read around the book or be familiar with a range of eroticised meditative practices to make sense of the work here

The colour prints are also nice and there is a lovely Ganesha at the front of the book

All in all an essential book to have if you are interested in eroticism as a gateway to a deeper experience of the worlds around you.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars almost as new 25 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
well not new but in very good shape. for sure worth buying it rather than pay for a new one.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A book for everyone who wants to explore, challenge and improve their sexuality. Great to share with a partner or learn on your own!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poor Title, Awesome Book 28 Mar 2006
By John W. Petersen - Published on
I often laugh at all those articles in men's and women's fad magazines that promise to reveal new "sexual secrets". You know which ones I mean . . . "Become an Animal in Bed"; "9 Ways to Turn Him On"; "Keep Her Motor Humming"; "Sex Secrets Your Neighbors Won't Tell You"; "11 Erotic Uses for a Chicken Baster" . . . stuff like that. The list goes on and on, ad nauseum. Geared towards couples who have their obligatory sex two times a week for 30 minutes and need new, neat little sound-bite ideas to keep things from getting boring. All heavy on fancy shtick and paint-by-number techniques, light on any real depth or substance.

And so . . . I write this review to promise readers that, despite the poor choice of main title, this exceptional tome is not like that at all. "Secrets" here refers to holistic, ancient wisdom that celebrates the beauty and power of the sexual energy within all of us; sexual energy that permeates all of life. Thus the subtitle, "The Alchemy of Ecstacy", more accurately hits upon the truth. The word 'tantra' means 'interwoven'. The two authors have compiled a veritable bible of ancient tantric wisdom illuminating the interconnectedness of all things - an interconnectedness that has its most wonderful, powerful, and delicious expression in the sexual union between two people.

Think of this book as an encyclopedia of sacred sexuality, albeit one not in alphabetical order . . . and not sold by traveling, door-to-door salesmen, thank goodness. It is a guide to everyday living, but not from a dogmatic perspective. It is a grand expose of everything sexual. The authors provide explanations of yoga poses, stretching techniques, and breathing exercises (for instance, to summon that kundalini energy up the spine). They even have small sections devoted to food, water, clothing, massage, worship, and service to others. But it also probes (pardon the pun) the depths of the stories of Brahma the Creative, Shiva and Shakti, and Vishnu the Preserver. And of course, there are plenty of sexual positions and sensual poetry. With pictures! We like pictures!

The whole point is that, despite what organized religion would like us to think, we are sexual creatures and we should be celebrating that fact every day through our everyday activities. All of these things (eating, yoga, service, etc) ARE manifestations of our sexual energy - giving to and connecting with Life and with others. Cultivating that sexual energy (indeed, our very life-force energy and the energy that creates Universes . . . if you will allow my melodramatic flourish) is a constant, all-day thing. But not with the sole purpose of "getting some" or even "being a better lover". Instead, to connect with Source through sexual union and remember our Oneness. As the authors say in the Introduction, "It is for those who wish to use the sexual bond as a means to liberation and who desire to transcend the limits of the individual self."

This book helped start me down the path of tantra and sacred sexuality a few years ago. May I humbly recommend it to others who seek the same.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the heavily annotated Kama Sutra 9 Oct 2001
By cmk - Published on
This book came very highly recommended to me by a couple whose sexual bravado I respect. They went through all the positions, raving over each new plateau. So I got the book, of course. It was a good recommendation, but it requires patience to plow through some things that simply won't apply to you. If you have an erotic library or a lonely coffeetable, this book will not fail to do justice to either, but if you're looking for one definitive manual to begin with, look somewhere else. If you're looking for erotic art of eastern and Indian origin this is a good book to have, there's a voluminous sampling of it. The book is definitely better explored between lovers; it was written by lovers for that explicit purpose.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly engaging book 25 Oct 2002
By "nicktuba" - Published on
I bought this book for a class I was taking in college on human sexuality. It definitely presents a different take on normal sexual practices. I hadn't heard of the kundalini, or even the chakras, and other sacred sexual beliefs until I read this book. The author is long-winded and detailed, but that's to the benefit of people like me who are novices to Eastern philosophy. I read this book at length, and after my class, I gave it to my girlfriend, and we've enjoyed reading about some of the more uncommon sexual techniques described in detail (here's one: for deeper penetration, place a pillow underneath your or your partner's body during intercourse). The author also talks about the sacred aspect of sex, and how it can enhance your connection with your partner. Although this book isn't for everybody, if you have an open mind and are willing to try new ideas, you might enjoy this book.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complex Study Of Sexuality as a Spiritual Practice 22 Oct 2007
By Scott Masterton - Published on
This is an interesting book to say the least. There are many, many books out concerning Tantric and Taoist sexual practices few of them actually have anything to do with Tantric Yoga or Taoism. Tantra, in the West, is automatically associated with sexuality but in actuality sex is a very small part of Tantra. Tantra is a path(unlike vedanta)that tends to embrace all eight limbs of Yoga and all of the practices. In essence, Tantric Yogi's believe that anything can be a gateway to enlightenment and unity with the Divine. Surprisingly, despite the title of the book, the authors do a good job of outlining that holistic idea. This is more than just a book on sexual positions (which most books on Tantra and Taoist sex tend to be); if read carefully it outlines a good basic practice of Asana, pranayama and meditation as well as outlining the importance of male ejaculatory control so key to health in the Taoist traditions. Included in this manual are specific practices that not only help to achieve ejaculatory control, but also help to develop the Bandas (the physical retentions that pool prana/chi in various key chakras). If a practitioner were to remove the sexual aspects of this book they would still have a very good mind/body/spirit manual. Well done.

Although there are no photographs in this book, there are plenty of sketches ranging from the very modern (drawn I believe by one of the authors) to the traditional (directly from the Kama Sutra, Taoist texts and Japanese block prints). The sexual practices are detailed both in writing and drawing and although the practices can't help but create deeper intimacy between partners, the true purpose of the practice is to move the Kundalini up the spinal column awakening the chakras and ultimately toward enlightenment and health.

This book is not something to be read lightly, but a text book for those that have a serious interest in Eastern sexual and tantric (of the non-sexual kind) practice.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, informative, excellent! 9 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This book greatly exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be another ok "sex" book, but it turned out to be my all time favorite. Great illustrations, entertaining to read. Shines a light into the dark corners of eastern erotic culture that is often supressed in the western literature. If you are interested in eastern culture and sex this is a must have.
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