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

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  20,368 ratings  ·  2,646 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
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Becki The author explains in the first few pages that the book primarily refers to cisgender women, as there have not yet been enough scientific studies on …moreThe author explains in the first few pages that the book primarily refers to cisgender women, as there have not yet been enough scientific studies on trans-women as sexual beings. There are four women followed throughout the book as examples, and one of the couples is a lesbian partnered with another women.

The book isn't specific to any kind of relationship (or really any relationship at all), though. It's about understanding how your brain and body and life context work together in accelerating or blocking sexual pleasure. (less)
Becki Check your library- that's where I read mine!…moreCheck your library- that's where I read mine!(less)

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Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, sex
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I kept searching for the "SCIENCE" that was promised in the title. There was some there, but the book is a soft self affirmation. There were some interesting bits, but not enough to warrant a full reading. ...more
Mar 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent book about women physiology and the psychology of sexual arousal and pleasure. It uses the latest scientific discoveries about women sexuality to debunk some myths and to try to improve life between the sheets. I read it for the science because you can never now enough about the subject and I was not disappointed.

The bottom line of the book is that women physiology and sexuality was viewed, explained and criticized from men’s lens and standards. As the author clearly explains, wome
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
Joanne Harris
I've taken awhile to finish this, partly because I read it twice, and also because it requires careful thought and time to process. Pretty much every page contains some new and surprising concept on sexuality, body image and self-esteem. Written in clear, simple, sympathetic prose, every woman - and arguably, every man who has ever been baffled by a woman's sexuality - should read this. ...more
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone with a vagina or interested in interacting with a vagina needs to read this book!
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
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
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
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
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
da AL
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arousal nonconcordance — everyone who is interested in female sexuality benefits from knowing about this — and far more! “With every brave conversation we have, we make the world that little bit better," says author and sex educator Emily Nagoski. Scientific, sensitive, and entertaining, she decimates taboos to explain of how female genitals work. “Why would you want to be normal when you can be extraordinary?” she asks at the end of this TED Talk that’s just a sample of her wisdom and style: ht ...more
LynnDee (LynnDee's Library)
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.
Elise Cripe
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this. I think if i would have read I would have skimmed. I am glad I had to hear the whole thing because she repeats herself (in a good way) a lot and I think it’s good retraining for the brain to hear some of these ideas over and over again.

I wish I had read this in high school and I look forward to having my daughters read it when they are older.
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Loved her message but didn't love her style. ...more
I actually first heard about this book from Alyssa Cole. When she visited the Tucson Festival of Books last year, I went to a panel she was on about consent being sexy, and she mentioned that she was reading it, and had learned a lot of things people assume about women’s sexuality was wrong. I put it on my TBR but just never got around to it, despite sexuality being one of my favorite things to read about. Luckily one of my IRL book club members picked this for our next read, and I was immediate ...more
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
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this book changed my life. So here’s my long review.

For the next year, I will be gifting this book to every single woman in my life, so if we’re irl friends, be prepared. This book is comprehensive, yet accessible. I learned SO MUCH (nonconcordance, stress cycles, and the way arousal & desire actually work!?) and it made me realize how little we teach folks about female sexual pleasure & functioning.

Needless to say, I grew up to be pretty sex-negative (aside
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 ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: please add cover image for audio edition 2 21 Nov 23, 2015 11:10AM  

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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

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