Sex remains a topic that many people find challenging to discuss openly, even in today’s world.
Despite the availability of numerous resources like groups, websites, tools, bloggers, coaches, and therapists, it can still be difficult for individuals to admit, especially to friends and family, that they are exploring or seeking help in this area.
This is where books about sex come in handy. You can read them in the comfort and privacy of your own space, free from judgment.
Books have a unique advantage: they are patient. When you read about a new sexual technique, attempt it in the bedroom, and it doesn’t go as planned, a book won’t rush you to try the next thing immediately, potentially causing undue pressure.
You can take a breather, delve into another technique, or even pick up a different book altogether before trying again.
Some may argue that reading about sex is like learning to swim on dry land. However, there are plenty of aspects to consider beyond just physical movement. Human sexuality is intricate, and lovemaking involves a multitude of emotions.
What about gender differences, evolutionary aspects, and the reasons behind our desires for others?
How can we enhance the physical intimacy we share? The best sex books can provide valuable insights into these questions.
In this article, we aim to compile the best sex book summaries for you. Our goal is to help reduce the stigma surrounding sex, promote better self-understanding and understanding of your partner, and facilitate more open discussions about sex within your social circles.
We’ve carefully selected a total of 13 books on sex and sexuality. Each book is accompanied by our favorite quote, a concise summary, guidance on when and why you might want to read it, and three key takeaways.
Now, let’s dive into these top sex books and unlock the secrets to enhancing your intimate experiences!
|13 Best Sex Books||What You Can Learn|
|1. Mating in Captivity||Navigate the balance between intimacy and desire in a monogamous relationship.|
|2. Intimacy & Desire||Turn sexual struggles into personal growth and desire.|
|3. Love Worth Making||Create meaningful yet exciting sexual experiences in long-lasting relationships.|
|4. Come As You Are||Understand and embrace your unique sexual personality.|
|5. She Comes First||Improve sexual experiences with a focus on female orgasm.|
|6. Girls & Sex||Navigate societal pressures and empower young women.|
|7. Boys & Sex||Challenge stereotypes and promote healthier views on sex.|
|8. The 5 Love Languages||Recognize and communicate love in your partner’s language.|
|9. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus||Understand and bridge the gender communication gap.|
|10. The Game||Expose the myths of pickup culture and build real connections.|
|11. Fifty Shades of Grey||Explore eroticism while delving into lessons about love.|
|12. Becoming Cliterate||Address the orgasm gap and promote sexual equality.|
|13. Three Women||Find reassurance and insight into common sexual struggles.|
What you'll learn:
1. Mating in Captivity (by Esther Perel)
“Love is a vessel that contains both security and adventure, and commitment offers one of the great luxuries of life: time. Marriage is not the end of romance, it is the beginning.” — Esther Perel
In a Nutshell:
Mating in Captivity offers invaluable sex advice based on a couple therapist’s two decades of experience. It explains the barriers that hinder sexual desire and provides actionable steps for couples to enhance their emotional and physical intimacy.
Why Read It?
If your marriage or long-term relationship has lost its spark in the bedroom, this book is a must-read. Addressing this sensitive topic can be challenging, but starting with a book can ease the conversation. Esther Perel’s professional guidance will help you and your partner explore ways to reignite your relationship’s passion, both emotionally and physically.
- Your adult perspective on sex is influenced by childhood experiences, but you can overcome any challenges they may bring.
- If you have children and wish to maintain physical intimacy in your relationship, prioritize sex.
- Acknowledging the risk of infidelity can empower you to protect your relationship against it.
2. Intimacy & Desire (by David Schnarch)
Quote: “A solid sense of self develops from confronting yourself, challenging yourself to do what’s right, and earning your own self-respect.” — David Schnarch
In a Nutshell: Intimacy & Desire guides couples in transforming their sexual challenges into a journey of personal, spiritual, and psychological growth, resulting in a stronger bond and deeper, healthier desires for one another.
Why Read It? Discover the secrets to maintaining a vibrant sex life by uncovering new and alluring facets of your partner. Even if you’re feeling stuck in a routine, this book’s compelling case studies prove that breaking free from the comfort zone is not only possible but also attainable.
- In every relationship, there’s a partner with lower sexual desire and one with higher desire.
- Over time, we tend to become less experimental in our relationships.
- Sustaining passion is best achieved through a collaborative partnership in matters of intimacy.
3. Love Worth Making (by Stephen Snyder)
Quote: “Most women will tell you that male confidence is a key ingredient for male sexiness. A man losing his confidence is like a woman losing faith in her power to attract. It’s a very bad thing.” — Stephen Snyder
In a Nutshell: Love Worth Making delves into the art of cultivating profound yet thrilling sexual experiences within enduring relationships, prioritizing emotions over techniques.
Why Read It? To reignite the flames in your bedroom, understanding the underlying factors is paramount. This book unravels those factors, offering insights into the universals of persuasion, desire, lust, and sex appeal, allowing you to kindle a passionate connection.
- Embrace your sexual self with an open and non-judgmental mindset.
- Pursue women with attention, as they often desire it.
- Relationships thrive when both partners make each other feel welcomed and work together to resolve issues.
4. Come As You Are (by Emily Nagoski)
Quote: “Love is having. Desire is wanting. And you can want only what you don’t already have.” — Emily Nagoski
In a Nutshell: Come As You Are offers an honest exploration of female sexuality, debunking sexual myths that breed feelings of inadequacy. It delves into the hidden science of female arousal and how this knowledge can revolutionize our sexual experiences.
Why Read It? For women seeking solutions to the frustration of not reaching orgasm and the lack of open dialogue on this sensitive subject, this book is a lifeline. It empowers you to shed feelings of inadequacy while embracing enjoyable sexual encounters, all grounded in scientifically supported guidance.
- Your sexual personality is a reflection of your unique self, and there’s nothing wrong with your distinct needs and desires.
- Stress can be the ultimate desire killer.
- The media you consume can profoundly impact your sex life, so choose your content wisely for a more fulfilling experience.
5. She Comes First (by Ian Kerner)
Quote: “Men need to take the time to learn what most women know intuitively about their bodies — how to listen to and feel them.” — Ian Kerner
In a nutshell: “She Comes First” by Ian Kerner is a groundbreaking guide that prioritizes female pleasure and redefines the way we approach intimacy.
Kerner leads readers through a transformative shift in mindset and introduces effective techniques for sexual stimulation. This book reveals that manual, oral, and other forms of non-penetrative sex can be equally, if not more, satisfying than traditional intercourse.
Why Read It? If you’ve ever felt unsure or inexperienced in the realm of intimacy, “She Comes First” is an indispensable read. In a world where sexual education is often lacking due to societal taboos, this book serves as a practical and enlightening resource.
It navigates the intricacies of the female body’s anatomy in a clear and accessible manner, providing insights that traditional education often overlooks. By reading this book, you’ll open doors to uncharted realms of pleasure that formal schooling never taught you.
- Penetrative sex isn’t the sole path to sexual fulfillment. Discover alternative methods that can be equally, if not more, rewarding.
- Gain a comprehensive understanding of the clitoris, including its location and how to stimulate it to unlock maximum pleasure.
- Two more stages (besides foreplay) can take your sex life to a whole new level.
6. Girls & Sex (by Peggy Orenstein)
Quote: “To me, purity and hypersexualization are flip sides of the same coin.” — Peggy Orenstein
In a Nutshell: “Girls & Sex” by Peggy Orenstein sheds light on the profound impact of pop culture and societal pressures on young women as they venture into the realm of sexuality. This eye-opening book offers guidance on how to empower girls to make informed choices about their identities in a world fraught with sexual expectations.
Why Read It? This book is a must-read not only for women but also for parents raising daughters worldwide. Whether you’re a father or a mother, “Girls & Sex” equips you with valuable insights to help your child discover her authentic self while contributing to a safer, more equitable world for girls and women.
- Understand the detrimental effects of sexualized and objectifying media on the self-esteem and well-being of young women.
- Foster open and honest conversations about sex with your daughters to guide them through a confusing landscape and promote healthy choices.
- Advocate for improved sex education to reduce teen pregnancies and ensure that young people embark on their sexual journeys with knowledge and confidence.
By delving into the pages of “Girls & Sex,” you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the challenges young women face in today’s hypersexualized world and discover valuable strategies to empower them on their journey toward self-discovery and confidence.
7. Boys & Sex (by Peggy Orenstein)
Quote: “At one time or another, every young man will get a letter of admission to dick school. The question is will he drop out, graduate, or go for an advanced degree?” — Peggy Orenstein
In a Nutshell: “Boys & Sex” by Peggy Orenstein is the culmination of a two-year investigation into the sexual lives of young men. It exposes how stereotypes and societal pressures create challenges for them, why hookup culture disrupts meaningful relationships, and how, collectively, we can guide boys toward developing healthier perspectives and experiences related to sexuality.
Why Read It: If you have a son, this book is essential reading. Every young boy encounters a deluge of information about sex at a certain age, often more than they can comprehend. “Boys & Sex” serves as a crucial guide to ensure that these encounters don’t lead to lasting issues, such as behavioral problems or erectile dysfunction, in the future.
- Society’s portrayal of males as emotionless and tough is inaccurate and detrimental to boys’ mental health.
- Hookup culture impedes meaningful connections among young people and frequently results in boys misunderstanding and failing to obtain consent.
- Open, honest discussions about various sexual topics are imperative to help boys overcome the challenges they face in navigating their sexuality.
“Boys & Sex” offers valuable insights into the intricacies of young men’s sexual journeys, providing guidance to parents, educators, and society as a whole in fostering healthier and more informed perspectives on male sexuality.
8. The 5 Love Languages (by Gary Chapman)
Quote: “True love cannot begin until the ‘in love’ experience has run its course.” ― Gary Chapman
In a Nutshell: “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman is a guide that reveals the path to enduring love by helping couples understand and communicate through the unique love languages each partner speaks. It teaches the art of recognizing and expressing love in ways that resonate with your loved one.
Why Read It? If you desire a lasting and fulfilling relationship, this book is a must-read. Love is experienced and expressed differently by individuals, and this book ensures that you don’t miss the mark by demonstrating affection in a way that your partner doesn’t fully grasp. By learning to speak the same love language, you can nurture a flourishing and enduring relationship.
- Effective communication is the cornerstone of a matured relationship.
- There are five distinct love languages that people use to express their affection.
- Discover your and your partner’s love language to strengthen the bonds of intimacy and connection.
“The 5 Love Languages” provides invaluable insights into the intricacies of love and relationships, offering guidance to couples on their journey to creating a love that stands the test of time.
9. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (by John Gray)
Favorite Quote: “When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences, then love has a chance to blossom.” — John Gray
In a Nutshell: “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” by John Gray is your guide to enhancing relationships by unveiling the fundamental disparities between men and women and offering strategies to bridge those gaps effectively.
Why Read It? Though not everyone adheres strictly to gender stereotypes, most of us exhibit some characteristics associated with them. This book assists you in recognizing and navigating these stereotypes in the context of gender differences. When applied thoughtfully and selectively, it can be an incredibly useful resource for improving relationships.
- Women typically seek understanding and empathetic listening, while men often desire practical solutions to problems.
- Men feel motivated when they are needed and helpful, while women thrive on emotional connection and feeling loved.
- The book highlights that men and women have distinct communication styles and may attribute different meanings to the same words.
“Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” provides valuable insights into the complexities of male-female dynamics, equipping readers with tools to foster healthier and more harmonious relationships.
10. The Game (by Neil Strauss)
Quote: “To win the game was to leave it.” — Neil Strauss
In a Nutshell: “The Game” by Neil Strauss offers readers a front-row seat on his rollercoaster journey through the pickup artist community. He delves into his own experiences of getting entangled, achieving success, losing himself, experiencing triumphs and failures, and ultimately finding his true self once again.
Why Read It? If you’ve ever been swayed by the dubious advice of an alpha-male dating guru, this book is a must-read. It will help you see beyond the pickup facade and gain a deeper understanding of what it truly takes to cultivate meaningful romantic relationships. If you enjoy this book, Neil’s follow-up, “The Truth,” makes for an excellent next read.
- Social dynamics can be manipulated, but authenticity is essential for genuine connections.
- The pickup artist culture often centers around male self-improvement rather than understanding women.
- Relying solely on routines and techniques is unlikely to lead to fulfilling, lasting relationships.
“The Game” offers a captivating exploration of the pickup artist subculture, providing valuable insights into the complexities of human interaction and relationships.
11. Fifty Shades of Grey (by E.L. James)
Quote: “There’s a very fine line between pleasure and pain. They are two sides of the same coin, one not existing without the other.” — E.L. James
In a Nutshell: “Fifty Shades of Grey” delves into the passionate and enigmatic relationship between Ana, a young student, and Christian Grey, a charismatic entrepreneur with hidden desires and secrets. Ana finds herself drawn into a world of both pleasure and pain, discovering unexpected facets of her own desires along the way.
Why Read It? Whether you’ve already experienced this literary phenomenon or are curious about its allure, “Fifty Shades of Grey” offers an erotic escape from everyday life. Beyond its sensual narrative, the book provides valuable insights into the complexities of romance, love, sexuality, psychology, and personal identity.
- Caution should be exercised when something appears too enticing to be true, as it may conceal hidden complexities.
- The flaws we perceive in others often mirror our own inner struggles and desires.
- Embracing new experiences and exploring personal boundaries can lead to profound self-discovery and transformation.
Explore the seductive world of “Fifty Shades of Grey” to uncover the intricate interplay between desire, pleasure, and the human psyche. Whether you seek an indulgent escape or a deeper understanding of the human experience, this book offers a provocative journey worth embarking upon.
12. Becoming Cliterate (by Laurie Mintz)
Quote: “If you’re feeling a little awkward or self-conscious, remember there’s no one to judge you except yourself. And you’ve probably done enough of that.” — Laurie Mintz
In a Nutshell: Becoming Cliterate sheds light on the cultural, historical, and biological barriers that hinder women from achieving orgasm as frequently as men, debunking myths and offering anatomical, technical, and psychological insights to promote orgasm equality.
Why Read It? If you’re frustrated by the orgasm disparity between men and women and want to understand why it exists and how to bridge the gap, this book is a valuable resource. Gain insight into the historical and societal factors contributing to this issue and learn how both men and women can contribute to achieving orgasm equality.
- Research highlights a significant gap in the frequency of orgasms between men and women during sexual encounters.
- The mind plays a crucial role in sexual satisfaction.
- Cliteracy is essential knowledge for everyone, not just women, as it promotes better sexual experiences and satisfaction.
13. Three Women (by Lisa Taddeo)
Quote: “We pretend to want things we don’t want so nobody can see us not getting what we need.” — Lisa Taddeo
In a Nutshell: Three Women offers an intimate and revealing exploration of the complex and captivating sex lives of three American women, drawing from nearly a decade of investigative reporting.
Why Read It? This book offers a reassuring perspective that your sexual struggles are neither unique nor irrational. By delving into the personal narratives of these three women, you’ll discover that sexual challenges are a universal part of the human experience. Moreover, you may find that your own issues are not as daunting as they seem and that solutions are within reach.
- Commitment in a relationship requires ongoing choices.
- Desire can be fluid and adaptable, influenced by our own perceptions.
- You have the right to your sexual preferences without needing to justify them to anyone else.
☞ Final thoughts
Sex is undeniably a complex and integral aspect of human life, influencing each of us in profound ways. To foster a healthier understanding and appreciation of this crucial facet of our existence, open and honest conversations are paramount.
It is through education and exploration that we can unravel the intricacies of sexuality.
These 13 best sex books are valuable resources to aid you in gaining clarity, improving your connections with your partner, and enhancing your overall sexual experiences.
Choose the book that resonates with you the most at this moment and embark on a journey of discovery in an area where societal education often falls short. Embrace the opportunity to expand your knowledge and enrich your relationships, for sexual well-being is an essential component of a fulfilled life.