This was better by far than any other book I've read about sex. Not only does the author actually use a scientific approach rather than one based entiThis was better by far than any other book I've read about sex. Not only does the author actually use a scientific approach rather than one based entirely on her own experiences and opinions, but she also translates that science so that it's accessible for a lot more people. Unlike crappier books about sex, this one isn't JUST about sex: it's about communication, culture, media, body image, mental health, and a lot of other topics that you can't just ignore if you're going to discuss sexuality accurately.
My favorite insights from this book are that there are different types of sexual experience (for instance, eagerness versus enjoyment) AND different types of sexual attraction (spontaneous versus responsive), that context matters and that feeling expected to have sex causes many women to not want it anymore, and that most of what you hear about gender differences in sexuality is inaccurate, overblown, or just improperly framed. (For instance, we tend to see stereotypical men's sexuality as the "default," and everything else as somehow "wrong" and needing to be brought more in line with that stereotype.)
I already had a sense that some of this was true, but Nagoski actually presents scientific evidence, which is really helpful.
My only small complaint is that, because the author develops a lot of complicated metaphors and then refers to them constantly throughout the text, it's been really hard to share excerpts of the book with people in any meaningful way. I've persuaded a few folks to just buy the book, but I also wish I could just share quotes from it with friends or partners when it'd be really helpful. But you can't really do that when each paragraph is basically full of inside jokes.
Anyway, I really recommend this if you are a woman or you're sexually involved with women. Although my life would've been a lot better had I read this sooner, it also would've been a lot better if my male partners had....more
I loved this book, perhaps because I read it at the exact right time (right before, during, and immediately after a move to NYC to start grad school).I loved this book, perhaps because I read it at the exact right time (right before, during, and immediately after a move to NYC to start grad school). I found her advice compassionate and comforting, not to mention useful. It was written with a lot of humor, which was a nice departure from lots of other self-help and advicey-type stuff.
I did find that Brown was oddly judgmental about living with one's parents and having sex on the first date, the former perhaps more reasonably than the latter. Come on, it's the 21st century.
Otherwise, I'd recommend this for any college grad....more
I didn't get all that much out of this book, but only because I'm already extremely familiar with sex positivity, gender studies, and all that sort ofI didn't get all that much out of this book, but only because I'm already extremely familiar with sex positivity, gender studies, and all that sort of stuff. However, this would've been incredibly useful to have when I was in high school and didn't know all of that stuff. Therefore, it's definitely still getting five stars....more
All I can say is...you've got to have a pretty charmed life if cleaning your closet and not nagging your husband are all you need to do to be happier.All I can say is...you've got to have a pretty charmed life if cleaning your closet and not nagging your husband are all you need to do to be happier.
Other reviewers have already mentioned Rubin's privileged life and the strangely unlikable persona that she cultivates in the book, so I won't talk about that.
I do want to point out, however, that unless you're a middle-aged, middle-class adult with a family and a fulfilling career, this book really won't do you much good. As a college student who has no husband to nag, no kids to yell at, no career to advance, and no home to organize, most of the suggestions in this book were simply not applicable. I guess I could try to bring some order to my tiny student apartment and attempt to spend more time with friends who, like me, are way to busy writing papers to hang out.
Some of the suggestions could definitely be applied to my own life, though. Rubin has some very smart things to say about spending money in a way that promotes happiness, for instance, and since I have so little money, I want to spend what I have in a way that benefits me the most. I also liked the suggestions about keeping journals, laughing at yourself more, and connecting with people with whom you have shared interests. But that's mostly common sense....more