The Story on Sex Books Here's what you need to know about sex books to help you build a library of intimacy together. BY WENDY STRGAR
Kaia Lai (www.kaialai.com)
Having a collection of sex books can help build your library of sexual intimacy.
Author Joseph Campbell once said, "I don’t believe that anyone knows what sex is. It’s the greatest mystery in human life…" This, I believe, is the most honest place for thinking about books on sexuality. It assumes that we give up our notions of right and wrong about sexual preferences, practices and ideas. It means that we strip away the moral and cultural codes that define sexuality and give ourselves permission to feel normal in whatever ways we move toward our own sexual experiences and expression. Bringing fun and insightful books into your marriage can inspire conversations that build intimacy and provide fuel for the work of keeping your intimacy alive and fresh.
The expansive mystery that is sexuality is also the explanation for the myriad of titles, topics and intents that sexual literature include. If I were to break them down into categories of book types it would include: how-to books, picture books, erotic literature, pornographic books, tantra books, unique sex focus books and the revitalizing your sex life books. Popular authors on the topic each have their own unique voice, so finding someone that can speak to you is not that difficult, yet it's important. Be sure to read a little about the author and their qualifications so that you trust the information and point of view that is being shared. Having met the woman who wrote on being a "Sexy Mama", only to find out she had never been pregnant made me seriously question her ideas about how a woman should feel about sex weeks after giving birth.
Books to Get You Started
Many of the how to, picture and pornographic books focus on the physical aspect of sexuality and provide excellent photos and educational content in learning the positions and manner of getting the job done. The "DK Series" on sexuality is well done and tastefully presented. Some of my other favorite titles in this category include Sexual Intelligence by Kim Cattrall, The Sex Bible by Susan Crain Bakos, and Sex—The Whole Picture by Nicole Beland. If you are less interested in photos than funny but insightful prose on the topic of oral sex, try the popular books by Ian Kerner, She Comes First and He Comes Next.
Books for the Imagination
Imagination is more important than knowledge, and when it comes to books on sex, a little erotic literature can go a long way. There are many great annual reviews of high class erotica including Best Sex Writing 2006 with new versions every year, Sweet Life 2—Erotic Fantasies for Couples, Best Women’s Erotica and Taboo: Forbidden Fantasies for Couples all by the author Violet Blue. She is one of the most well known and well read experts in the field of sex and writes on everything from cunnilingus to the care and keeping of sex toys.
Spirituality of Sex
There are so many titles on the spiritual side of sex and many of them refer to the ancient art of Tantra and the yogic spiritual system that it grew from. Anne Hooper’s book, Kama Sutra for 21st Century LoversSex With Spirit by Michele Pauli are just a couple of books available if you browse through the book selection at www.Tantra.com. Exploring this deep spiritual side of sex is also accomplished without the use of photos and sex positions in Gina Ogden’s latest release on the transformative power of intimacy called The Heart and Soul of Sex.
There are also a great number of titles on healing sexual relationships and reigniting the passion in your love life. Because most of us never got more than the cursory labeling of body parts in our sex ed classes, these types of books can provide a great basis for understanding the range of "normal" sexual functioning—here is a hint: it is a very wide bell curve. These books also provide helpful tools for dealing with problems that are way more common than most of us realize. One of the best is David Schnarch’s recent book called Resurrecting Sex. Other titles I recommend are: Sexual Healing by Barbara Keesling, Reclaiming Your Sexual Self by Kathryn Hall and The Ten Minute Sexual Solution by Darcy Luadzers.
Sex books make great gifts for your spouse too; offering a chance to read aloud or share photos of what you each think is sexy. Books are also an easy way to get the fire started and laugh together. The 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex and The 101 Nights of Grrreat Romance are ideas that are hidden within individual envelopes on each page as a gift to open together.
What is important isn’t so much the titles that you choose or that you would even be interested in the same books, but that you build a library of intimacy together. Sharing new and different ideas about what sex means to each of you and what you each need to feel safe to explore is sure to strengthen and enhance your time together.
Wendy Strgar is the founder of GoodCleanLove.com, which provides products and advice for sustainable love. If you have questions about products or toys send them in and Wendy will be happy to share her knowledge.