Sex-positivity is a movement that promotes a healthy and open attitude towards sexuality, free from shame, guilt, and stigma. It embraces diversity, consent, and pleasure as integral parts of human sexuality.
Reading books on sex positivity can help individuals gain a deeper understanding of their desires and boundaries, as well as provide practical advice on navigating sexual relationships in a safe, respectful, and fulfilling way.
In this blog, we have compiled a list of the 24 best books on sex positivity by some of the most respected and influential authors in the field. So, whether you're interested in exploring non-monogamy, LGBTQ+, kink, or sexual health, there is a book on this list for you. So, grab a cup of tea, settle in, and get ready to dive into the world of sex positivity!
1. Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want from Sex and How to Get It by Marty Klein
"Sexual Intelligence" is a book that challenges traditional views on sex and encourages readers to explore their sexual desires. The author argues that many people have been taught to see sex as a performance or a duty rather than a pleasurable experience.
Instead, he believes people should focus on their sexual needs and desires rather than trying to meet societal expectations.
Klein offers practical advice on how to communicate effectively with partners, experiment with different sexual activities, and overcome obstacles such as shame and guilt. Overall, "Sexual Intelligence" promotes a sex-positive attitude that prioritizes pleasure, communication, and mutual respect in sexual relationships.
2. Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski
"Come As You Are" is a book that explores the latest scientific research on sexual arousal and desire. The author argues that people's experiences of sex and desire are shaped by various factors, including biology, psychology, and culture. She emphasizes the importance of understanding one's unique sexual response to having a fulfilling sex life.
Nagoski also provides practical advice on overcoming common obstacles to sexual pleasure, such as stress, anxiety, and negative self-talk. Overall, "Come As You Are" promotes a sex-positive attitude that celebrates diversity and encourages people to explore their desires and preferences. It also comes in the form of a workbook!
3. The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy
"The Ethical Slut" is a book about non-monogamous relationships and sexuality, co-authored by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy.
The book provides guidance and advice for individuals seeking to explore consensual non-monogamy, including communicating effectively, negotiating boundaries, and managing jealousy.
The authors also examine the intersections of non-monogamy with issues such as feminism, gender identity, and sexual orientation. "The Ethical Slut" challenges traditional ideas about monogamy and encourages readers to explore their own desires and boundaries in a consensual and ethical manner.
The book promotes a sex-positive and inclusive approach to relationships and sexuality.
4. Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino
"Opening Up" is a practical guide to exploring open relationships, written by Tristan Taormino, a prominent sex educator, author, and filmmaker. The book offers a detailed overview of the different types of open relationships, such as polyamory, swinging, and non-monogamy.
Taormino advises navigating the challenges of open relationships, including communication, jealousy, and boundary-setting. She also explores the intersection of open relationships with issues such as gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Through personal stories and anecdotes, Taormino illustrates the joys and pitfalls of non-traditional relationships, emphasizing the importance of honesty, respect, and consent. Overall, "Opening Up" is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to explore consensual non-monogamy in a healthy and fulfilling way.
5. Women's Anatomy of Arousal: Secret Maps to Buried Pleasure by Sheri Winston
"Women's Anatomy of Arousal" is a comprehensive guide to female sexuality written by Sheri Winston, a midwife, nurse practitioner, and sex educator.
The book offers a detailed exploration of the female anatomy and how it relates to sexual pleasure. Winston emphasizes the importance of understanding one's body and desires and provides practical advice on cultivating sexual arousal and orgasm.
She also addresses common myths and misconceptions about female sexuality and encourages women to embrace their sexuality as a natural and healthy part of life. Through personal stories and anecdotes, Winston demonstrates the power of self-exploration and self-acceptance in enhancing sexual pleasure and fulfillment. Overall, "Women's Anatomy of Arousal" is a valuable resource for women seeking to deepen their understanding and enjoyment of their bodies and sexuality.
6. The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge" by Tristan Taormino
The Ultimate Guide to Kink" is a comprehensive exploration of the world of BDSM, role play, and other forms of kinky sex, written by Tristan Taormino, a prominent sex educator, author, and filmmaker.
The book provides a detailed overview of the different types of kink, from bondage and discipline to dominance and submission, and offers practical advice on how to explore these practices safely and consensually. Taormino also addresses the psychological and emotional aspects of kink, such as power dynamics, trust, and communication, and provides tips on negotiating boundaries and navigating tricky situations.
Through personal stories and interviews with kink practitioners, Taormino demonstrates the kink community's diversity and richness while emphasizing the importance of respect, consent, and safety.
Overall, "The Ultimate Guide to Kink" is a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring the erotic edge of sexuality and provides a wealth of information and guidance for both beginners and experienced kinksters alike.
7. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele
"Queer: A Graphic History" is an illustrated guide to the history and theory of queer identity, written by Meg-John Barker, a writer, therapist, and activist, and illustrated by Julia Scheele, a graphic artist. The book explores the complex and evolving meanings of queer identity, from its origins in the LGBTQ+ movement to its contemporary expressions in art, culture, and politics.
Through colorful graphics, infographics, and timelines, Barker and Scheele examine the key figures, events, and ideas that have shaped queer identity, including Stonewall, AIDS activism, gender theory, and intersectionality. They also address common questions and criticisms of queer theory and practice and offer practical advice on navigating queer relationships and communities.
Overall, "Queer: A Graphic History" is a thought-provoking and engaging introduction to the world of queer identity and provides a valuable resource for anyone seeking to understand and celebrate the diversity and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community.
8. Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá
"Sex at Dawn" is a groundbreaking book that challenges conventional wisdom about human sexuality and relationships, written by Christopher Ryan, a psychologist, and Cacilda Jethá, a psychiatrist. The book argues that monogamy is not a natural or biologically determined trait of humans but a cultural construct imposed on us over time.
Ryan and Jethá draw on anthropological, historical, and biological evidence to show that our ancestors lived in non-monogamous societies and that modern humans still possess a capacity for multiple sexual and romantic relationships.
The authors also explore the implications of these findings for modern relationships, arguing that honesty, communication, and mutual consent are vital components of successful non-monogamous arrangements.
Overall, "Sex at Dawn" is a provocative and thought-provoking book that challenges readers to rethink their assumptions about human sexuality and relationships.
9. Sex is Not a Natural Act and Other Essays by Leonore Tiefer
"Sex is Not a Natural Act and Other Essays" is a collection of essays by Leonore Tiefer, a clinical psychologist and leading expert in sexology. The book challenges common assumptions about sex and sexuality, arguing that they are not solely determined by biology but also shaped by cultural, social, and political factors.
Tiefer critiques the medicalization of sexuality and the pharmaceutical industry's promotion of drugs to enhance sexual performance, arguing that these trends ignore the complexity and diversity of human sexuality. She also explores the connections between sexuality and power and how gender, race, and class intersect with sexual identity and desire.
Overall, "Sex is Not a Natural Act and Other Essays" is a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of the social and political dimensions of human sexuality.
10. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
"Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex" is a witty and informative exploration of the science of sex, written by Mary Roach, a science journalist, and famous author.
The book takes readers on a journey through the history of sex research, from the pioneering work of Masters and Johnson to modern-day studies on orgasm and sexual dysfunction. Roach's engaging and irreverent style makes even the most technical aspects of sex research accessible and entertaining.
She also delves into the cultural and social implications of sex research, including the politics of funding and the ethics of experimentation.
Overall, "Bonk" is a fascinating and entertaining read that sheds light on the science behind one of the most fundamental aspects of human experience.
11. The New Bottoming Book by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy
"The New Bottoming Book" is a comprehensive guide to the practice of "bottoming" in BDSM, written by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy, two experienced and respected practitioners in the BDSM community.
The book provides practical advice on engaging in consensual and safe bottoming, including tips on negotiating boundaries, communicating with partners, and avoiding physical and emotional harm. Easton and Hardy also explore the psychological and emotional aspects of bottoming, including the relationship between vulnerability and power and how bottoming can contribute to personal growth and healing.
They also address common misconceptions and stereotypes about BDSM and provide resources for further learning and exploration.
Overall, "The New Bottoming Book" is a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring the world of BDSM and developing healthy and fulfilling relationships within the community.
12. The New Topping Book by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy
"The New Topping Book" is a comprehensive guide to "topping" in BDSM, written by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy, two experienced and respected practitioners in the BDSM community.
The book provides practical advice on engaging in the consensual and safe topping, including tips on negotiating boundaries, communicating with partners, and avoiding physical and emotional harm.
Easton and Hardy also explore the psychological and emotional aspects of topping, including the relationship between power and responsibility and how topping can contribute to personal growth and healing.
They also address common misconceptions and stereotypes about BDSM, and provide resources for further learning and exploration.
Overall, "The New Topping Book" is a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring the world of BDSM and developing healthy and fulfilling relationships within the community.
13. The Guide to Getting It On by Paul Joannides
The Guide to Getting It On! is a comprehensive and entertaining guide to sex, written by Paul Joannides, a clinical psychologist and sex researcher.
The book covers various topics, including anatomy, sexual techniques, communication skills, and relationship advice. Joannides' approach is sex-positive and inclusive, emphasizing the importance of consent, pleasure, and diversity in sexual experiences.
He also addresses common concerns and misconceptions about sex, including performance anxiety, body image issues, and cultural taboos. In addition, the book is written in a humorous and accessible style, making it an enjoyable read for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Overall, "The Guide to Getting It On!" is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their sexual knowledge and skills and to develop a healthier and more satisfying relationship with sex.
14. The Happy Hooker: My Own Story by Xaviera Hollander
The Happy Hooker: My Own Story is an autobiographical account of Xaviera Hollander's life as a high-end call girl in the 1960s and 1970s.
Hollander details her journey from a conservative Dutch upbringing to a life of sexual freedom and exploration in New York City. The book offers a candid and unapologetic portrayal of sex work and challenges the traditional societal views on sexuality and morality. Hollander's writing is witty and engaging, and she shares many colorful anecdotes and experiences from her time in the industry.
"The Happy Hooker" has become a classic in sex-positive literature, inspiring conversations around sex work and sexual liberation.
15. She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner
She Comes First by Ian Kerner is a comprehensive guide to oral sex for women, focusing on clitoral stimulation.
The book argues that many men lack the necessary knowledge and skills to properly pleasure a woman, and provides practical advice and techniques for achieving this.
Kerner emphasizes the importance of communication and mutual pleasure and encourages men to explore their own sexuality in order to better understand and satisfy their partners.
The book also addresses common misconceptions about female sexuality, including the notion that vaginal intercourse is the primary means of achieving orgasm. Kerner's approach is sex-positive and inclusive, emphasizing the importance of consent and respect in all sexual interactions.
Overall, "She Comes First" is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their sexual skills and develop a more satisfying and fulfilling sexual relationship.
16. The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort
"The Joy of Sex" by Alex Comfort is a classic book on human sexuality, first published in 1972. The book covers various topics, including anatomy, sexual techniques, and sexual psychology.
Comfort's approach is sex-positive and inclusive, emphasizing the importance of pleasure, communication, and mutual respect in sexual relationships. The book is written in a straightforward and accessible style and features numerous illustrations to help readers better understand the concepts discussed.
"The Joy of Sex" was groundbreaking and has remained a famous and influential guide to human sexuality. Its continued relevance today is a testament to the timeless nature of the insights and advice contained within.
17. Ecstasy is Necessary: A Practical Guide by Barbara Carrellas
"Ecstasy is Necessary" by Barbara Carrellas is a practical guide to exploring and enhancing one's sexual pleasure and wellbeing.
The book encourages readers to approach their sexuality with openness and curiosity and provides various tools and techniques for achieving greater sexual satisfaction.
Carrellas draws on her background in Tantra and other spiritual practices and her own personal experiences to offer a unique and holistic approach to sexuality.
The book covers various topics, including breathwork, meditation, erotic massage, and BDSM. Carrellas also addresses common issues such as shame, trauma, and relationship dynamics and offers guidance on navigating these challenges.
Overall, "Ecstasy is Necessary" is a valuable resource for anyone looking to deepen their understanding and experience of sexuality and cultivate a more fulfilling and joyful relationship with their bodies and desires.
18. Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities by David M. Ortmann and Richard A. Sprott
Sexual Outsiders by David M. Ortmann and Richard A. Sprott is a comprehensive exploration of the BDSM community and its sexualities.
The book covers a wide range of topics, including the history and cultural significance of BDSM, the psychology of BDSM relationships, and the various practices and subcultures within the BDSM community.
Ortmann and Sprott draw on extensive research and interviews with BDSM practitioners to provide a nuanced and empathetic understanding of this often-misunderstood sexual minority. The book also addresses common misconceptions about BDSM, and challenges the notion that BDSM is inherently abusive or pathological.
Overall, "Sexual Outsiders" is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to better understand the BDSM community and its sexualities and for those looking to explore their own BDSM desires safely and consensually.
19. Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire by Lisa M. Diamond
In "Sexual Fluidity," Lisa M. Diamond challenges the notion that women's sexual desire and orientation are fixed and immutable. Instead, drawing on her extensive research, Diamond argues that women's sexual attractions and behaviors are much more fluid and context-dependent than previously believed.
The book explores the various factors that can influence women's sexual desire and identity, including social and cultural norms, personal experiences, and biological factors. Diamond also examines the experiences of women who have experienced changes in their sexual orientation over time and provides a nuanced and compassionate understanding of their journeys.
Overall, "Sexual Fluidity" is a groundbreaking and thought-provoking book that challenges traditional assumptions about women's sexuality and offers a more complex and nuanced understanding of the subject.
20.Sexual Healing: A Guide to Overcoming Sexual Trauma and Reclaiming Your Sex Life by Wendy Maltz
Sexual Healing by Wendy Maltz is a guidebook for survivors of sexual trauma who want to reclaim their sexuality and live fulfilling and satisfying sex lives. Drawing on her decades of experience as a therapist specializing in sexual issues, Maltz provides a compassionate and empowering approach to healing from sexual trauma.
The book covers a wide range of topics, including the effects of sexual trauma on the body and mind, common challenges survivors face in their sexual relationships, and strategies for rebuilding trust and intimacy with partners. Maltz also offers practical exercises and techniques for self-care and healing, including mindfulness practices and guided meditations.
Overall, "Sexual Healing" is a valuable resource for survivors of sexual trauma who want to take control of their sexuality and live fulfilling and joyful lives.
21. The Sexually Confident Wife: Connect with Your Husband in Mind, Heart, Body, Spirit" by Shannon Ethridge
The Sexually Confident Wife" by Shannon Ethridge is a guidebook for married women who want to cultivate a more satisfying and fulfilling sexual relationship with their husbands. Ethridge draws on her own experiences as a wife and counselor, as well as her research on sexual intimacy in marriage, to provide practical and empowering advice.
The book covers various topics, including overcoming insecurities and shame around sex, communicating effectively with one's partner about sexual desires and needs, and exploring new sexual experiences and fantasies. Ethridge also addresses common challenges that couples may face in their sexual relationships, such as differences in libido or sexual preferences, and offers strategies for navigating these challenges gracefully and with compassion.
Overall, "The Sexually Confident Wife" is a valuable resource for any married woman who wants to deepen her connection with her husband and experience greater satisfaction and joy in her sexual relationship.
22. The Art of Sexual Ecstasy: The Path of Sacred Sexuality for Western Lovers" by Margo Anand
The Art of Sexual Ecstasy" by Margo Anand is a guidebook that offers practical and spiritual guidance for individuals and couples seeking to explore the realm of sacred sexuality. Drawing from her background in Eastern spiritual traditions and Western psychotherapy, Anand presents a comprehensive framework for understanding and cultivating sexual energy as a pathway to spiritual awakening and healing.
The book covers a wide range of topics, including Tantra, the chakra system, meditation, and conscious communication. Anand also offers practical exercises and techniques for deepening intimacy, pleasure, and connection with oneself and one's partner. Throughout the book, Anand emphasizes the importance of cultivating awareness, presence, and love in one's sexual experiences and offers guidance for integrating sexual energy into one's spiritual practice and daily life.
Overall, "The Art of Sexual Ecstasy" is a powerful and transformative guidebook for anyone seeking to awaken their sexual energy and connect with their deepest selves and their partner on a spiritual level.
23. The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Passion and Fulfillment" by Jack Morin
The Erotic Mind" by Jack Morin is a comprehensive exploration of human sexuality that draws on both scientific research and personal experience to provide a deeper understanding of the inner sources of passion and fulfillment. Morin argues that our sexual desires and fantasies are deeply connected to our core psychological and emotional needs, and that exploring and embracing these desires can lead to greater intimacy, fulfillment, and personal growth.
The book covers various topics, including sexual fantasies, power dynamics, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Morin also offers practical exercises and techniques for deepening sexual awareness and communication with oneself and one's partner. Throughout the book, Morin emphasizes the importance of self-knowledge and self-acceptance in cultivating a healthy and fulfilling sexual life.
Overall, "The Erotic Mind" is a thought-provoking and insightful guidebook for anyone seeking to understand and explore the complex and multifaceted world of human sexuality.
24. The Myth of Sex Addiction" by David J. Ley
The Myth of Sex Addiction" by David J. Ley challenges the idea that sex addiction is a real and valid diagnosis, arguing that it is a cultural and moral construct rather than a medical condition.
Ley examines the history and development of sex addiction, critiquing the lack of empirical evidence and scientific rigor behind it. He argues that the term "sex addiction" pathologizes typical sexual desires and behaviors and that the current treatment approaches are ineffective and potentially harmful.
Instead, Ley advocates for a more nuanced and compassionate understanding of sexuality that recognizes the complex and varied ways in which people express and experience their sexual desires. He also calls for a shift from shame and stigma towards sex positivity and sexual health. Overall, "The Myth of Sex Addiction" is a provocative and well-researched critique of a controversial and often misunderstood topic.
There you have it, our list of the 25 best books on sex positivity. We hope that these books will provide you with new insights, inspire you to explore your sexuality and empower you to communicate your desires and boundaries with confidence.
Remember, sex-positivity is about celebrating diversity and respecting the choices of others. By embracing a sex-positive mindset, we can create a world where everyone can express their sexuality in a safe, consensual, and fulfilling way. So, go ahead and add some of these books to your reading list, and let's continue to promote a culture of openness, honesty, and pleasure in our lives and communities.
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