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The Soul of Sex: Cultivating Life as an Act of Love

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  553 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A highly original approach from best selling author Thomas Moore, restoring sex to its rightful place in the human psyche as an experience of the soul.

In The Soul of Sex, Thomas Moore at last restores sex to its rightful place in the human psyche. Describing sex as an experience of the soul, Thomas Moore here brings out the fully human side of sex – the roles of fantasy, d
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 4th 1999 by Harper Perennial (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Jan 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Moore's other works, people interested in depth psychology.
Shelves: spirituality, sex

This isn't the best book to start with if you're not familiar with Thomas Moore's writings. Based on reading others' reviews, whatever many readers expect this book to be about when they start reading it, this isn't it. On the other hand, if you have read Moore before, you probably won't be surprised, but you may not find all that much that's new to you in here. Basically, Moore takes the general theme that runs through all his works—that we can add depth, richness, and meaning to our lives by t

Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a spiritually intense and intellectually stimulating examination of love and sex
If you enjoy a classic exploration of the social, historical and spiritual aspects of sex then this book is for you! Stimulating and intellectually satisfying it makes for an introspective read. Goes great with dark chocolate haha!
J Ruth
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Soul of Sex is more than just "cultivating life as an act of love." It's a read for those who want to more intimately accept humanity's sexuality and love-drive. A beautiful book... ...more
Elizabeth Bell
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some of this was too abstract/philosophical for me, but mostly I nodded in agreement. Also there was something wrong with the audiobook I borrowed from a local library—it ended in the middle of a sentence! But that's not Moore's fault.

In sum: "Then we will have discovered the deepest secret of sex, that it is life itself, precisely in its holiness rather than in its secularism." Amen.
Wendell Hennan
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Moore argues that sex should be at the centre of life and the top of our priorities and if we don’t give sex its due, it will haunt and consume us. But when sex has soul, deep pleasure and meaning find a common home and therefore this book is a sex manual for the soul. “It is better to lie on a bed of straw and be free of fear, than to have a golden couch and an opulent table , yet be troubled in mind.” Epicurean friendship is a central need for the soul and it gives sex a comfortable base. Affe ...more
Kathryn Bashaar
Aug 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book was very disappointing: just some guy's vague, random, disorganized musings on the topic of sex. I read about 30 pages, could not for the life of me figure out what his point was and gave up and quit reading. ...more
Trevor Incogneato
yeah its whatever.

the curiosity and humor of the first few chapters on sexual motifs/archetypes through history and religion soon fade into what I imagine to be the rantings of the crazed at town hall meeting. why?

thomas moore and second rate philosophers everywhere love the word "should". it appears so often that the whole mood of the book is transformed into that of some long-winded introduction for another more substantial work that might actually have a working definition of soul (that isn't
Emi Bevacqua
Feb 19, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found Moore's references to The Scarlet Letter, Marilyn Monroe, George Sand and Chopin, and all the art and Greek and Roman mythology to be interesting because of my familiarity with them all as topics, rather than due to their presentation here being particularly artful or enlightening. And everything in between was religion and meaningless to me. So my notes on this book read as a list of banalities, facts I already knew:

growing old doesn't destroy the beauty that is the soul's radiance
a par
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
I've been trying to finish this book for 25 years. Maybe it was relevant to my 30-something self; after all, I got about three-quarters of the way through it back then... But now it's time to move on. I recently read another chapter or two, so that's what I'm basing the review on. Pedantic, obfuscating, just incomprehensible at times... and I normally go for this kind of stuff. That's it for me. I've got too many other books to read. ...more
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it
lol - I did not realize I'd read this before until I was here writing this review. I have to say, I am at a much more opportune moment in my life to read it now. also, I love thomas moore and have read several of his books, but he is kind of vague and meandering so it's not terribly surprising I wouldn't remember it. anything that seemed familiar I probably just attributed to his other stuff.

so yeah, he talks a lot about the greek myths and even greco-roman society, which is good. he also gets
Kathleen Brugger
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found the book frustrating, because I think he has a great message about sex but it was buried beneath his style of discussing everything in terms of mythology. The book's basic message was that sex is a part of what it is to be a “soulful” person. Sex is sacred, it is beautiful, it is holy. Our culture is completely confused about sex, and because we believe it's perverse we have become completely obsessed by it but get no satisfaction. He called for our culture to grow up and find a more mat ...more
Apr 21, 2015 rated it liked it
One important function of reading is that a book allows you a safe distance to explore ideas both unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I'm thankful to Moore for bringing honesty and vibrancy to the topics in all his books, this one included.

Now, if you go by the title and don't know the author, you may be skeptical from the start. But if you've ever watched a nature show, you know sex is all around you: swap out the term "life force" or "vitality" for sex in the title and you get a clearer concept what
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
The title alone is what pulled me in. I really enjoyed this book in the beginning. The author explores the sexual archetypes commonly found in Greek and Roman mythology and treis to make a case for incorporating sexuality and spirituality into life for a greater existence. Sex and Religion in society are usually on opposite ends of our moral spectrum but Moore gives examples of Art and other areas of life where incorporating sex as a way to connectwith the divine and to the very forces that move ...more
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Though I had a lot of hope for this book I could never really get into it. I read about 60 pages straight through and then skimmed the rest, never really finding that I was engrossed in what I was reading. The author did have some intriguing points now and then, like when he brought up Gabriel Josipovici's idea that touching someone or something confirms its presence, and Moore's thought extended from that to say that married couples should touch more in order to tune into a deeper, more sensuou ...more
Jun 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
Comments before reading: I'm very in to psychology so I'm interested in seeing what the different aspects that Thomas Moore finds. I hope it's not like a textbook as I wouldn't like this book if it was.

Comments after reading: This book was not very interesting to me. I started reading it and it wasn't what I was expecting. I read some of the reviews and a lot of people didn't like the book so I guess you have to be in the right mind frame to want to read it.
Jun 19, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I actually didn't finish this book. While Mr. Moore makes somes interesting points, and the introduction lends great promise, only a few chapters in and I found things to be the same opinions/points repeated over and over again with very little actual evidence to back said opinions up. Maybe it's just me and/or the wrong time in my life, but I found that my precious free-time was better spent moving on to better reads. ...more
Feb 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eros, self-care
Really fun. Book makes you think, which I enjoy. Read it at the right time. Enjoyed his chapter on celibacy. I think the author of the Erotic Mind would describe him as an 'all pleasure' guy, I appreciated his ideas -- even though there was a touch of elitism at times. But it's what I need right now -- not the elitism, but the intertwining of eros with the spiritual. ...more
Lisa Audino
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is the best I've read regarding sex and the soul, one of the best in general. This book is filled with amazing insights and intelligence. I wish more people would read this book, apply it and teach their children the principals and practices in this book. I believe we would be a more secure, loving and non-judgmental society. This book is truly a great work! ...more
Rose B
Jan 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I didn't even finish it. I got too bogged down in all the mythology and random crap. But the basic message is that our culture needs to accept that sensuality and sexuality is natural and part of our lives. Not really worth wading through the book to get that message. ...more
Jul 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
Still haven't finished reading it...

Charlotte Leonard
Deep yet fun at time especially toward the end.
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
Hard to get into, believe it or not. It has such a juicy title.
Jan 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: completed
Interesting approach, a bit of a stretch in the definition of sex. The main point of our culturally repressed sexuality is a good one with some thoughts on ameliorating it.
May 19, 2009 rated it liked it
This is NOT a 'how to' book. Thomas Moore is much to romantic about love and life to...anger the Nimph of sex with an attempt to encapsulate such sacredness with mere words. Or so he might say. ...more
Jun 20, 2011 added it
Before reading the book the title would appear to be mis-leading .... after reading the book the title I found to be very appropriate ............ enjoyed
Jul 28, 2011 added it
It's worth the time. I enjoyed this book. ...more
Finally finished today, and figures it would be the end that proved the most rewarding ;-)
Sep 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Serendipitously, I found this at a second hand store. One of the best summaries of religion, mythology and life.

Last third of the book drifts, but still a great volume.
I love Moore's other writings and have just started this one.
It could be an addition, or the antidote, to the 50 Shades phenomenon. :)
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Pages 199 and 201 were interesting, as I noted the pages numbers only, and recall his comment on "the pleasures that build slowly" being lost to our society.

MEOW Date: 14 Aug 12,014 H.E.
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Thomas Moore is the author of the bestselling book Care of the Soul, Ageless Soul, and fifteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist, and today he lec

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