Barbara Carrellas

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Barbara Carrellas
OccupationSex educator
Known forTantric sex workshops and education
Partner(s)Kate Bornstein

Barbara Carrellas is an author, sex educator, performance artist,[1] and certified sexologist accredited through the American College of Sexologists.[2] She facilitates workshops in which participants explore sexuality through a holistic approach that includes practices like erotic breathwork and Tantra, and she has lectured at various institutions, including the Museum of Sex in New York City, Vassar College, Barnard College, and the Chicago Art Institute.[3] She is known for her "breath and energy orgasm" techniques, which she says are "orgasms you can have using your imagination and your breath."[4] Carrellas learned the technique during the height of the AIDS epidemic as a way for people to orgasm without physical contact.[5] Such techniques, she says, offers a way for "people to have more safer-sex options."[6]

Carrellas spent five years in the 1990s living in Australia[7] but currently resides in New York City and lives with her partner, Kate Bornstein. In 2010, she appeared on the Canadian television show "Sex Matters,"[8] and in the TLC show Strange Sex.[6]

In November 2016 Carrellas was given an honorary Lifetime Achievement Award at the London-based Sexual Freedom Awards for her contributions to the field of sexuality spanning several decades.[9]

Influences and techniques[edit]

During the late 1980s, Barbara Carrellas began teaching Sacred Sex workshops with Annie Sprinkle and Linda Montano.[10] Carrellas says that tantra can be a bridge between different sexual practices, and she calls this "neo-tantra."[11] She has specifically developed her brand of sacred sex in order to make tantra accessible to people who "felt left out" of such sexuality,[8] such as transsexual and transgender individuals. She has regularly worked with the GLBTQ and BDSM community.[12][13] She maintains that breathing and being vocal are key to enjoying sex, and that many people are culturally discouraged from doing this as they are first learning to be sexual.[8][14]


  • Luxurious Loving: Tantric Inspirations for Passion and Pleasure, 2006, ISBN 1-59233-237-4
  • Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century, 2007, ISBN 1-58761-290-9
  • Urban Tantra Essentials: A Bedside Guide to Erotic Massage, Conscious Breath, and Sacred Sex, 2011, ISBN 1-58761-071-X
  • Ecstasy is Necessary: A Practical Guide, 2012, ISBN 1-4019-2847-1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barbara Carrellas's bio Archived February 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "ACS Directory - New York". Archived from the original on 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  3. ^ "PhinLi: Barbara Carrellas (talent profile)". Archived from the original on 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  4. ^ "Can you think yourself into an orgasm?". CNN. July 30, 2010.
  5. ^ Hunter, Aina (2010-07-23). ""Thinking Off"? Scientists Study Woman Who Claims to Orgasm by Thought Alone". CBS News.
  6. ^ a b Hunter, Aina (2010-07-16). "Orgasm Just by Thinking: Is it Medically Possible?". CBS News.
  7. ^ Balogh, Stefanie (April 4, 2008). "Kevin Rudd unknown to most Americans". Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  8. ^ a b c "CP24 - Sex Matters". May 27, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  9. ^ "2016 Finalists & winners". Sexual Freedom Awards. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
  10. ^ Sprinkle, Annie (2006). Hardcore From the Heart: The Pleasures, Profits and Politics of Sex in Performance. Continuum International. p. 33. ISBN 0826490697.
  11. ^ Minax, Eve (July 1, 2010). "Tantra for Skeptics". Carnal Nation. Archived from the original on 2010-11-21.
  12. ^ Silverberg, Cory (April 12, 2010). "Four Questions About Urban Tantra".
  13. ^ "Can Love Making Be Fun, Sacred and Spiritual?". Archived from the original on 2010-11-26. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  14. ^ "Better sexing through the secrets of tantra". Time Out New York. February 3, 2010. Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-02.

External links[edit]