Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life” as Want to Read:
Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  7,712 ratings  ·  1,198 reviews
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
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Simon Schuster
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Come as You Are, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Danielle It is only about cisgender women, but the book includes lesbian women and gives examples from a lesbian couple. The author explains that she only…moreIt is only about cisgender women, but the book includes lesbian women and gives examples from a lesbian couple. The author explains that she only discusses cisgender women in the beginning and gives a reason, which I don't remember well enough to cite.(less)
Jenny It's available for purchase on I don't know if it's available in other formats. I didn't see it at my local library, though.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,712 ratings  ·  1,198 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sex, science
All right so this is not the book I thought it was when I got it, and I apologise for a rating that would surely be higher if I were part of the target audience. I was hoping it was a survey of the latest scientific research into arousal disorders and sexuality; in fact, it's a very selective presentation of those pieces of research that are considered helpful in ‘promoting women's sexual well-being, autonomy and pleasure’. Studies, however revealing, which do not promote such things are ignored ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok when I saw the tile of this book it thought probably what everyone else though about this book. (Ok the introduction and chapter 8 and appendix one might be, but the rest is science over myth), If it did not come so highly recommended from a respected friend of mine from uni. I probably would not every given it the first look. Read is as some "light reading" doing her PhD in Psychology. So of course she decided to experiment on her friend to get a male perspective on the book. So let me get t ...more
Book Riot Community
It’s hard not to love a book with a pseudo-vagina on the front; it’s even harder not to love that same book for smashing all the preconceived ideas we have about female (and by comparison, male) sexuality. Like, for example, did you know that the hymen as an indication of virginity is entirely a social construction and there is no scientific evidence backing it? Using actual, real science, Dr. Emily Nagoski – a speak-the-truth-and-only-the-truth sex educator/professor – breaks down all the thing ...more
Nov 03, 2015 rated it liked it
The information in this book is solid gold. A copy should be put in the hands of every person, ideally before they've had sexual contact with another person. But. BUT. The metaphors. Dear Lord, the metaphors. We have sexuality as an accelerator and brakes, sexuality as an overgrown garden, sexuality as a hot water heater, complex feelings as a sleeping hedgehog, sexual interest as a customers seeking a diner, sexual expectations as a touchy monitor tapping her fingernails, our brains as a flock ...more
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Come As You Are is absolutely the best book I've ever read, not just on sex, but on life and well being in general. Why read another book on sex? Because Emily describes how your brain and your life work together to create desire, and how to experience more pleasure, more joy, and more confidence with your relationships AND with sex.

But this isn't the usual sex book with lavish promises of ecstasy by learning detailed techniques of where to put this and how to put it there. Emily gives you scie
Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life is a nonfiction, self-help book written by sex educator, researcher, and author Emily Nagoski. It educates about a variety of issues that impact women's sexuality, and while some of it got quite repetitive in my opinion and I didn't quite take away as much new information as I expected to, I'm glad I read it. My favorite part discussed how the model of sexual response is based entirely on how men work, and if women fai ...more
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Books like this are why I LOVE non-fiction.

This should be required reading on female sexuality, both for those with vaginas and those who are interested in or love someone with a vagina. I mention the parts here because they ARE a big component of the book. This is a guide to how everyone has the same parts, rearranged differently, and it's our perception of that and relationship with that mentality that changes our feelings, perceptions, and experiences of sex itself.

Nagoski writes in an empow
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
2 stars - Meh. Just ok.

I love the concept behind this book and it started off very interesting and introduced several facts of which I was not previously aware. Unfortunately, it then became a long repetitive read with the bulk majority of the information being mostly common sense, and started to feel like a self-help book vs a nonfiction book on a fascinating topic. I found myself doing a lot of skimming on the back half wondering if there would be another interesting chapter coming up (like th
For some women I have no doubt this would be a life-changing book. I definitely learned some cool stuff, things I am pissed that I did not know (because, patriarchy). But I guess I'm lucky enough that I don't really need the 'self-help' of this book to help with my sex life, and this aspect is really the meat of the book. Also, Nagoski acknowledges that the book is for and about cisgender women, so that omission didn't bother me (there isn't enough science about trans women or enby people), but ...more
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Updating review: I wrote this review almost five years ago. I'm cringing at using "lady parts". I still stick to my five star review, it helped me open up a lot sexually. I still recommend it to everyone, whether you identify as man or woman.

Original review:
I picked up this book because I was interested in the science and emotion connecting woman’s sexuality without sounding like a text-book or a Cosmo article. This book doesn’t just talk about your lady parts, it celebrates them, a notion I’m
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that everyone would read!

While it is framed as a book for women, there are so few times when it is women specific that I really wish it was just framed as a book for people.

The most important topics covered in this book are:

How the media misinforms people as to what is normal for people's sex life (hint: everything is normal).

Nonconcordence - where peoples bodies and desires act in opposite ways, and why this can happen.

Responsive desire- Where rather than becoming aroused seeming
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
5/5 stars

A wonderful introduction to human sexuality - female specifically - and what it means to be human. Also a great introduction to sexual ethics, anatomy and feminist philosophy.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is so fantastic. I want to hand it out on the street. I want to buy a copy for every bridal shower I ever go to (for the bride AND groom). I want to buy two copies to save and give to my daughters one day. It's just great.

Emily Nagoski. Can we be friends please? She's such a wise, understanding, encouraging, inspiring scientist!

Her main ideas are that women's sexuality is not men's-sexuality-lite, that women approach sex (attraction, desire, arousal) differently and that's normal, an
Isil Arican
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book reminds me why I hate reading self help books.
I listened an interview with the writer in a podcast and read couple of chapters and enjoyed it. However the remaining of the book is pretty disappointing. Writer thinks she is funny and she is not. And the style is mostly for teenagers. There are some useful information but it feels too redundant since she keeps repeating the same things over and over again. Some arguments are pretty fallacious.
I laughed out loud when she made an analogy
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone with a vagina or interested in interacting with a vagina needs to read this book!
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Loved her message but didn't love her style.
When the title of a book claims to tackle “The Surprising New Science,” I would expect to actually have new research references and more sciencey information about “responsive desire” vs “spontaneous desire,” arousal disorders, and women sexuality. But then again, it is followed by the highly self-help-ish “Will Transform Your Sex Life,” so I should have known better.

The author does throw in some studies and articles - plus some Plato, for good measure -, but the chatty tone of the book is rath
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was awesome for some reasons and a bit cringe-worthy for others. I'll start out with the good: This book is full of things that any person even remotely interested in sex should know. The author references specific studies, which lend credibility to her concepts. The book is empowering to women, assuring them that it is the sex culture that is the problem, not the way that women experience pleasure and desire - the map is wrong, not the terrain. This is a valuable message for people on ...more
I just want to buy this book for every woman I know. No, every PERSON I know. Nagoski gives the explanation of female sexuality that I think most of us didn't get in health class or anywhere else really.

The subtitle is click-bait-y. I do think this book has the power to improve the sex lives of those who read it, but not because it's some kind of kinky how-to book. It can do this because it's a great explanation of how women's bodies work and how history and culture have done us a great disserv
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I'd like to recommend this book to every human being I know! What a gift to relationships it would be! This is a book about the science of arousal and sexual desire, well-written with humor and affection, happily sex positive. Having taught sexuality education within the structures of the UU church, this is the book I wish we had all had as background reading before we began. Well done! The basic message: "You are all different and you are normal." Yes, it is repeated many, many times, but some ...more
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 ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Nagoski's writing is engaging but firmly grounded in the literature, like being on the second bottle of wine with a friend who's also an academic. She debunks common myths about "how sexuality works" and presents some alternative models -- the accelerator/brake model for arousal, the idea that sex is not a drive, a thought-provoking definition of what an orgasm is, and on and on and on. This is some of the most educational lunchtime reading I've ever done at work! :D
LynnDee (The Library Lush)
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This did more for my mental health than my sexual health, tbh. But then again a big narrative of this book is that where you are mentally affects where you are sexually, which makes sense.

The book has 9 chapters and at the end of each chapter it has a TL;DR section, so I'm going to do that for this review. Here are MY main takeaways:

1. Everyone is born with a garden to tend (that's our sexuality). What's planted in that garden isn't up to us, it's up to our parents and other outside influences.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sex, non-fiction, 2016
It took me a long time to read this book because the writing style annoyed me so much. SO MUCH. The anecdotes, the smarmy metaphors, the constant use of Star Trek style explanations (Like a balloon and...SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS.) It got on my nerves. A LOT. She started talking about sleepy hedgehogs, the little monitor, and rats who listen to Iggy Pop, as well as others. I would have been happier with the science, I forgot what "sleepy hedgehog" meant basically immediately. It was like she was wri ...more
Paula G.
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
No tengo palabras suficientes para expresar cómo de necesaria es esta lectura para cualquier persona con vagina, de verdad.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really interesting and important book that I would recommend to any of my girl friends (or any woman reading this, really, and any man who's curious) who struggle with their sex life and feeling completely comfortable with sexual matters, whether that involves a partner or not. Without going into too much detail about my own sexual issues (I know my loyal GR followers are thirsty for those juicy tidbits, but you'll have to buy me a beer first), I found this book incredibly educational. ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In medicine there's a knowledge translation gap. Information about a new treatment or a better way of doing things takes, on average, fifteen years to become standard practice. Fifteen years! In the realm of human sexuality, though, the gap feels more like thirty years. Nagoski navigates that chasm by taking clinical research, wrapping it in a bit of self-help, and presenting it in an approachable way.

And the information is so important. She busts sexual myths and beliefs that media, medicine, a
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-read

This is an amazing book. A must read for anyone with a vagina or people interested in being sexually involved with vagina have-ers. As Nagoski argues for too long we've basically thought about women's sexuality (when we think about it) as men's sexuality lite. There's a model of men's sexuality which is overwhelmingly fast-responsive and concordant, and when women's sexuality doesn't match that ideal it's considered broken.

But this book is about more than just the science behind why women's sex
This is a really good book that I think has something for everyone. Emily Nagoski does a great job of making the information compelling and fun. I think reading this book could really help a lot of people better understand themselves and their partners. Much of what we've been told about sex is not accurate! And I think this could really help people better grasp the truth about human sexuality in an engaging and interesting fashion. And that book cover ... come on! It rocks! This one will change ...more
Emily Joyce
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this book strongly enough, not just for women but for anyone who feels let down by mainstream ideals of what sex "should" be. Blending sex science with emotional wellness, Emily Nagoski empowers readers to understand their bodies and to set their sexual experiences to their own internal compasses. Along with What You Really Really Want and The Ethical Slut, I would put Come As You Are on my short list of books everyone who is dating and boning should read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: please add cover image for audio edition 2 18 Nov 23, 2015 11:10AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Virgin: The Untouched History
  • The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure
  • The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction
  • What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl's Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety
  • Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire
  • Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser
  • Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History
  • The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families
  • The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness
  • Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking
  • Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear. Get On the Mat. Love Your Body.
  • Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire
  • Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality
  • Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want from Sex--and How to Get It
  • Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century
  • Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America
  • More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory
  • The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History
See similar books…
The official bio is:
"Emily Nagoski has a PhD in Health Behavior with a doctoral concentration in human sexuality from Indiana University (IU), and a master’s degree (also from IU) in Counseling, with a clinical internship at the Kinsey Institute Sexual Health Clinic. She has taught graduate and undergraduate classes in human sexuality, relationships and communication, stress management, and sex ed
“Love is having. Desire is wanting. And you can want only what you don’t already have.” 16 likes
“I am done living in a world where women are lied to about their bodies; where women are objects of sexual desire but not subjects of sexual pleasure; where sex is used as a weapon against women; and where women believe their bodies are broken, simply because those bodies are not male. And I am done living in a world where women are trained from birth to treat their bodies as the enemy.” 13 likes
More quotes…