Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 3, 2015 - Health & Fitness - 416 pages
An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works—based on groundbreaking research and brain science—that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.

Researchers have spent the last decade trying to develop a “pink pill” for women to function like Viagra does for men. So where is it? Well, for reasons this book makes crystal clear, that pill will never be the answer—but as a result of the research that’s gone into it, scientists in the last few years have learned more about how women’s sexuality works than we ever thought possible, and Come as You Are explains it all.

The first lesson in this essential, transformative book by Dr. Emily Nagoski is that every woman has her own unique sexuality, like a fingerprint, and that women vary more than men in our anatomy, our sexual response mechanisms, and the way our bodies respond to the sexual world. So we never need to judge ourselves based on others’ experiences. Because women vary, and that’s normal.

Second lesson: sex happens in a context. And all the complications of everyday life influence the context surrounding a woman’s arousal, desire, and orgasm.

Cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines tells us that the most important factor for women in creating and sustaining a fulfilling sex life, is not what you do in bed or how you do it, but how you feel about it. Which means that stress, mood, trust, and body image are not peripheral factors in a woman’s sexual wellbeing; they are central to it. Once you understand these factors, and how to influence them, you can create for yourself better sex and more profound pleasure than you ever thought possible.

And Emily Nagoski can prove it.

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I didn't love the self-help aspect of this book. The author included some science - studies, explanation of the biological/neurological aspects involved in various sexual processes-- but felt a little too Deepak Chopra for me. The metaphors were not great- sexual self as garden, orgasm as birds or flock of birds. She should have either gone with the science *or* gone with the inspirational, feel good, nonscientific approach. Trying to use pretend science to promote Chopra-like inspirations just didn't work.
At first, I thought, even if the reader doesn't need the self help, it's still a great subject to learn more about. I am a strong believer in talking openly about sex. I saw this book on the nominee list for best nonfiction and I wanted to like it. The first half of the book was much better than the second half. I should have just stopped reading, but I thought the good would peak through again. It didn't. The author made sweeping unsupported statements and promoted generalized "cures" for sexual disfunction that seemed like maybe they might or might not work, but where is the evidence?
I realize this was supposed to be a master's class but it was not a class I feel I would learn a lot from. Sadly, March Roach's sarcastic look at sex, Bonk, taught me far more actual facts about sex. I enjoyed it much more than this.


Yes You Are Normal
A Couple of Caveats
No Two Alike
Your Sexual Personality
And the One Ring to Rule Them All in Your Emotional Brain
Sex in a Monkey Brain
A SexPositive Life in a SexNegative World
Lubrication Is Not Causation
Actually Its Not a Drive
The Fantastic Bonus
The Ultimate SexPositive Context
Changing the Goal

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About the author (2015)

Emily Nagoski is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life, and the coauthor of Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. She has an MS in counseling and a PhD in health behavior, both from Indiana University.

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