Sex Matters

Sex really does matter.  When it is happening in a relationship, it only accounts for about 15% of relationship happiness, but when it’s absent–or conflicted, it accounts for 75% of relationship unhappiness.

The best basic sex ed book, the one that will answer all the questions you never even thought to ask and is used throughout the world as a warm and humorous  yet highly accurate textbook in college and medical school sex ed courses, is Guide to Getting it On: A Book About the Wonders of Sex  by Paul Joanniades.

Low Desire

For Women Only

  • Outliving Your Ovaries by Marina Johnson, M.D.  For the first time in history, women are outliving their ovaries by three to four decades.  The health and quality of life implications are huge and the hormone debate is not simple or black and white.  The nuanced issues must rather be understood in all their complexity in order to make an informed decision.  This book, written by an endocrinologist does a magnificent job of distilling a huge body of medical research literature and communicating these complexities in language the average woman can understand.  A must read for any woman approaching midlife.
  • Tickle Your Fancy by Sadie Allison is a book I often recommend to pre-orgasmic women.  It is a very basic, very informative, how to.

Just for Men

  • Great Sex: A Man’s Guide to the Secret Principles of Total-Body Sex by Michael Castleman
    This is an excellent book for men to read. The front cover is evocative and the author is a reporter who spent some years answering letters to the editor of Playboy Magazine.  Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction: [T]he bitter cultural debate about sexually explicit media misses a key point.  Pornography is bad for sex.  Very bad.  It causes or contributes to all of men’s major sex problems:  hang-ups about penis size, involuntary ejaculation, erection impairment, and ejaculation difficulties.  It also completely misrepresents how women become sexually aroused and experience erotic fulfillment (page 3).
  • The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 By Athol Kay We live in a culture where the differences between men and women have been largely eroded.   Men iron and fold the laundry, cook and take out the trash and somehow it’s still “not enough.”  But perhaps it’s not about doing more.  Perhaps it’s about recovering essential differences and valuing the tension those differences create.  Vive la difference!  This book explains the biology and sociology of sexual attraction and how to maintain that attraction in a monogamous marriage by honoring the differences, maintaining the tension, and leading the “dance.”

Sexual Compulsivity (Addiction)

Sex During and After Cancer

  • Making Love Again: Hope for Couples Facing Loss of Sexual Intimacy
    by Virginia and Keith Laken
    Virginia and Keith Laken are a married couple who share the story of how prostate cancer and its treatment devastated their marriage and the heroic struggle they went through to regain sexual intimacy.
  • Up Front: Sex and the Post-Mastectomy Woman
    by Linda Dackman
    Author Linda Dackman tells the compelling story of how breast cancer altered her body image and hence her relationships and sexuality and how she struggled to reclaim a sense of sensuality and sexual vibrancy in the aftermath.
  • Man to Man: When the Woman You Love Has Breast Cancer
    by Andy Murcia and Bob Stewart
    The authors, a policeman and a journalist supported each other through their wives ordeal with breast cancer and learned a lot about how to effectively support and advocate for their wives during the treatment process.
  • Woman Cancer Sex and Man Cancer Sex  by Dr. Anne Katz
  • These comprehensive and compassionate books are written by an RN and AASECT certified sexuality counselor who is a cancer survivor herself.

For Christians of Faith

  • Sex is Holy
    By Mary Rousseau & Charles Gallagher
    For those who can get past the specifically Roman Catholic jargon, this book is a great primer on the orthodox Christian view of sexuality and the vibrant place it should hold in Christian marriage.
  • A Celebration of Sex: A Guide to Enjoying God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy
    by Douglas E. Rosenau, Ph.D.
    This is a much more modern book about the positive view scripture holds of sexuality but is written by and for a protestant evangelical perspective.
  • A Celebration of Sex Guidebook
    by Deborah C Neel, Douglas E Rosenau, and W. Ellen Fox
    The companion workbook for “A Celebration of Sex, by Douglas Rosenau.