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Individual and Couples Counselling in Calgary

  • Writer's pictureRovena Magidin

Some of my favourite books about intimacy and sex.

woman reading

Today I want to share with you some of the books I’ve been reading about relationships, sex and intimacy. These books are not about new positions or new and exciting things to try. It's about couples struggling to create deep and fulfilling intimacy, couples wanting to keep their sex life fun in long term relationships, couples who struggle with performance pressure, anxiety, mismatched desire and don't know how to talk about it. All of those issue I deal with daily with couples in my therapy practice. All of those issues can be talked about in a way that brings you closer together, not further apart. Let's start with some books that will help you get that conversation going.

1."The Heart of Desire. Keys to the Pleasures of Love." By Stella Resnick, PhD. 2012. Fantastic book for couples who’ve been together a while and wonder where did the passion and desire go; and most importantly what can we do about it.

2. "Love Worth Making. How to have ridiculously great sex in a long-lasting relationship." Stephen Snyder. M.D. Ignore the cheesy title. This book is about a refreshing approach to sex in long-term relationships. It’s not about positions or performance, it’s very real. Life is difficult, says Dr Snyder, sex should be easy. And a lot of us could use some ease in the bedroom.

3. "Sexual intelligence. What we really want from sex and how to get it." by Marty Klein, Ph.D. Oh what an interesting read. Challenging. Marty is not afraid to get real with the readers. This book is all about redefining sex - and figuring out how to have very enjoyable and connected sex through your lifetime - once the high of a honeymoon stage wears off, once you are no longer 18. How do we approach sex and aging, changing bodies, long term relationships? We want closeness, we want pleasure - all of us do. How come then in sex we are so worried about performance, and do more thinking and worrying and judging, than actually enjoying the experience?

4. "Good Sex. Getting off without checking out" by Jessica Graham. Sex and mindfulness. Sex and spiritual awakening. Sex and awareness. Sex without separation. I knew I was going to love this book the moment I opened it. Very personal and real. This book is eye-opening to see what is possible in sex when we are present. If you find yourself feeling disconnected during sex, if you hope there’s more to intimacy, I highly recommend it. If you have (or want to have) a meditation practice, I think you’ll find this book delightful, like I did. If you want a spiritual approach to sex, but you are not into meditation or mindfulness, read "Woman on Fire" by Amy Jo Goddard. Marty Klein (see above) defines Sexual intelligence as information + emotional skills + body awareness. Jessica's book is perfect for exploring emotional intelligence and body awareness practices from a meditator's perspective.

5. "Better sex through mindfulness. How women can cultivate desire." by Lori A. Brotto, PhD. We need a lot more books like this. There’s a lot of information and many practices that gives hope to women who experience low desire, pain during sex, get easily stuck in their thoughts and don’t know how to change it. It shifts from purely medical approach to a mindful body- mind- emotions integrative approach, suggesting that usually if a woman experience difficulties in bed, giving her a pill is probably not the solution. This book is based on solid research that proves what Neo-Tantric people were saying all along: if you want better sex, work on developing your presence, awareness, intention, and sensory focus (non-judgmental focus on all the 5 senses as well as sensations and feelings and thoughts that arise in the moment). Neo Tantra goes a lot further and hopefully western medicine and psychology can catch up soon. While Jessica Graham (see above), offers personal insights, Lori Brotto offers scientific research that backs it up. Both books are filled with practices.

What have you been reading? What do you recommend? As a Sex Therapist and Couples Counsellor I'm always reading the latest and greatest books on sex and intimacy. You got to love my job. And as always, when I read something that I love I want to share it with everyone.

If you'd like individual support, and reading a book is not going to be enough, feel free to reach out. Let's talk about how I can support you with challenges in and out of the bedroom. I offer Individual and Couples Therapy in Calgary and online around the world.


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