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.