The 22 Best Books About Sex & Sexuality to Improve Your Love Life & Relationships

The 22 Best Books About Sex & Sexuality to Improve Your Love Life & Relationships Cover

It’s a cliché to say that sex is (still) a taboo topic, but in every cliché, there is some truth. Despite tons of groups, websites, tools, bloggers, coaches, and therapists out there, it is still hard for most of us as individuals to admit — especially to our immediate friends and family — that we are, or are thinking about, actually using those resources. That’s one reason books about sex are attractive: You can read them in complete comfort and privacy, and no one will judge you for it.

Another is that books are patient. If you read about a new technique for sex, try it in the bedroom, and it goes wrong, a book won’t nudge you into immediately trying the next thing and possibly trying too hard along the way. You can take a break, pick up another technique — or read another book altogether — then try again!

Some people will say reading books about sex is like learning to swim on land, but there are plenty of exercises for the latter, and sex is about a lot more than moving your hips correctly. Human sexuality is complex. Making love is full of emotions — hence the name. What about gender differences? What about evolution? Why do we desire others, and how can we enjoy the physical time we spend together? Books can help you find answers to these questions.

 

We’ve summarized over 1,000 books here at Four Minute Books. Many of them cover topics like psychology, communication, and human relationships. Some also deal outright with sex and sexuality. Today, we’ll compile the best of those for you. We hope they will remove some of the stigma around sex, help you understand yourself and your partner better, and make for comfortable ice breakers to make sex more of an acceptable topic in your social circle.

We’ve hand-picked a total of 22 books about sex and sexuality for you. Each book comes with our favorite quote, a one-sentence summary, a note about when and why you might want to read it, and three key takeaways. You’ll also find links to read the summary of the book on Four Minute Books (or learn more about it on Goodreads if we don’t have it) or buy a copy of it on Amazon.

To make navigating this list as easy as 1-2-3, use the clickable table of contents below to quickly jump to any book or sub-category.

Alright, let’s get on getting it on! Time to unlock our mojo with some of the best sex books!


Best Books About Sex for Couples

1. Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel

Best Books About Sex #1: Mating in Captivity

Favorite Quote

“Love is a vessel that contains both security and adventure, and commitment offers one of the great luxuries of life: time. Marriage is not the end of romance, it is the beginning.” — Esther Perel

The Book in One Sentence

Mating in Captivity shares the best sex advice from a couple-therapist’s 20 years of experience, explaining the barriers killing sexual desire, and what we and our partners can do to remove them to enjoy better emotional and physical intimacy together.

Why should you read it?

If your marriage or long-term relationship feels like it has gone a bit stale in the bedroom, this book is for you. While this isn’t an easy topic to address, a book is a good entry-point, and the professional nature of Perel’s advice will make it easier for you and your partner to discuss how you can reignite the spark in your relationship — and not just between the sheets!

Key Takeaways

  1. How you view sex as an adult comes from experiences you had when you were a child, but you can work through whatever difficulties those may have brought you.
  2. If you have kids and want to remain physically intimate with each other, you have to prioritize sex.
  3. You’re always at risk for infidelity, but acknowledging that makes it easier to protect yourself against it.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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2. Intimacy & Desire by David Schnarch

Best Books About Sex #2: Intimacy & Desire

Favorite Quote

“A solid sense of self develops from confronting yourself, challenging yourself to do what’s right, and earning your own self-respect.” — David Schnarch

The Book in One Sentence

Intimacy & Desire helps couples turn their sexual struggles into a journey of personal, spiritual, and psychological growth that will lead to a stronger bond between them as well as deeper, healthier desires for one another.

Why should you read it?

This book will show you how to keep your sex drive alive by discovering new, attractive aspects of your partner. Even if you feel in a rut right now, the case studies in this book will show you it’s possible to get unstuck from the comfort zone and show you how to do it.

Key Takeaways

  1. Every relationship has a low desire partner and a high desire partner. 
  2. We tend to experiment less and less the longer we are in a relationship. 
  3. The best way to make sure you keep the passion alive is by creating a collaborative partnership when it comes to sex.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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3. Love Worth Making by Stephen Snyder

Best Books About Sex #3: Love Worth Making

Favorite Quote

“Most women will tell you that male confidence is a key ingredient for male sexiness. A man losing his confidence is like a woman losing faith in her power to attract. It’s a very bad thing.” — Stephen Snyder

The Book in One Sentence

Love Worth Making explores how you can create meaningful yet exciting sexual experiences in a long-lasting relationship, all by focusing on feelings instead of techniques.

Why should you read it?

Knowledge is power, they say, and so step one in addressing a flickering connection in the bedroom is to understand the root causes at play. This book will reveal those causes to you, as well as some universal truths about persuasion, desire, lust, and sex appeal, which you can use to make more sparks fly!

Key Takeaways

  1. Embrace your sexual self with openness and a non-judgmental mind. 
  2. Women commonly need (and want to be) pursued with attention.
  3. A relationship implies making the other feel welcomed and fixing problems together.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Sex Books Explaining the Female Body

4. She Comes First by Ian Kerner

Best Sex Books #4: She Comes First

Favorite Quote

“Men need to take the time to learn what most women know intuitively about their bodies — how to listen to and feel them.” — Ian Kerner

The Book in One Sentence

She Comes First is a guide to improving sex with a focus on the female orgasm, leading us through a much needed mindset change and to the right techniques for stimulation, showing us how manual, oral, and other kinds of sex can be just as good as, if not better than, traditional intercourse.

Why should you read it?

If you feel like an impostor in the bedroom, this book is for you. Most of us are sexually illiterate thanks to poor education and societal taboos. This book talks about the anatomy of the female body in a practical and helpful way and will open doors to new heights of pleasure school didn’t even teach you existed.

Key Takeaways

  1. Penetrative sex isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and there are better ways to reach climax.
  2. If you want to have great sex, you need a good understanding of what the clitoris is, where to find it, and how to stimulate it for maximum pleasure.
  3. In addition to foreplay, there are two other stages of the sexual experience that will take your sex life to a whole new level.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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5. Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

Best Sex Books #5: Come As You Are

Favorite Quote

“Love is having. Desire is wanting. And you can want only what you don’t already have.” — Emily Nagoski

The Book in One Sentence

Come As You Are takes a look at the truth about female sexuality, sexual myths that make us feel inadequate, the hidden science of what turns women on, and how we can use that science to improve our sex lives.

Why should you read it?

If you’re a woman tired of not orgasming but also having no one to talk about this delicate topic with, this book is for you. Learn to feel less inadequate while having more fun in bed, all based on scientifically sound advice.

Key Takeaways

  1. Your sexual personality is as unique as you are, and there’s nothing wrong with that or the needs that follow from it.
  2. Stress kills sexual desire.
  3. If you aren’t careful about the media you consume, they could make your sex life awful.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Books About Sexuality for Education

6. Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein

Best Sex Books #6: Girls & Sex

Favorite Quote

“To me, purity and hypersexualization are flip sides of the same coin.” — Peggy Orenstein

The Book in One Sentence

Girls & Sex identifies how pop culture and societal expectations hurt young women as they begin navigating the realm of sexuality, teaching us how to help girls feel empowered in choosing who they want to be.

Why should you read it?

This is a book not just for women but also the parents of girls around the globe. Whether you’re a dad or a mom, this book will help you empower your child in discovering her own identity, all while making the world a safer, better place for girls and women.

Key Takeaways

  1. Our sexualizing and objectifying media have terrible effects on young women.
  2. Parents must improve at openly talking about sex with their daughters to help them avoid confusion.
  3. Better sex education will lead to fewer teen pregnancies and help young people enjoy their first sexual experience.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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7. Boys & Sex by Peggy Orenstein

Best Books About Sexuality #7: Boys & Sex

Favorite Quote

“At one time or another, every young man will get a letter of admission to dick school. The question is will he drop out, graduate, or go for an advanced degree?” — Peggy Orenstein

The Book in One Sentence

Boys & Sex is the result of two years of inquiry into young men’s sex lives, revealing how stereotypes make their lives harder, why hookup culture destroys relationships, and what we can collectively do to help boys develop healthier sexual views and experiences.

Why should you read it?

If you have a son, read this book. At a certain age, every boy comes in contact with more information about sex than he can comprehend at that time. This book is the guide that will make sure those times don’t turn into chronic problems down the road, be it in the form of bad behavior or erectile dysfunction issues.

Key Takeaways

  1. Society’s stereotypical image of the tough, emotionless male is wrong and harms boys’ mental health.
  2. Hookup culture makes it difficult for young people to connect deeply with others and leads boys to misunderstand consent and often fail to obtain it.
  3. We must get better at talking openly with our boys about sexual matters of all kinds if we want to alleviate the struggles they have with it.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Sexuality Books Explaining Gender Differences

8. 30 Lessons for Loving by Karl Pillemer

Best Books About Sexuality #8: 30 Lessons for Loving

Favorite Quote

“Don’t love each other for wealth or money. You have to love each other because you love them. You feel that in your heart. You don’t care if they get old or if they get sick or if they get wrinkles.” — Karl Pillemer 

The Book in One Sentence

30 Lessons for Loving shares the relationship advice of hundreds of couples who have stayed together into old age, thus teaching you how to have a happy, long-lasting love life.

Why should you read it?

Sometimes, a small gesture is enough to show the person next to you how much you love them. This book is full of ideas for those gestures. A great guide to being an appreciative partner!

Key Takeaways

  1. To find the perfect companion, you need to listen to both your heart and mind.
  2. Your partner isn’t a mind-reader, so don’t assume they know how you feel and be careful about the timing of your conversations.
  3. It’s the little actions of love that keep the spark of romance strong over the years.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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9. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Best Books About Sexuality #9: The 5 Love Languages

Favorite Quote

“True love cannot begin until the ‘in love’ experience has run its course.” ― Gary Chapman

The Book in One Sentence

The 5 Love Languages shows couples how to make their love last by teaching them to recognize and communicate in the unique channels each partner uses to feel and give love.

Why should you read it?

If you want your relationship to last, read this book. We all express and feel love differently, and this title will make sure you don’t “broadcast” your love in a channel in which your partner won’t feel its affection. Learn to get on the same page, and your relationship will flourish.

Key Takeaways

  1. As your relationship matures, communication is key.
  2. There are 5 different ways people give and show love.
  3. Identify your and your partner’s love language to deepen intimacy.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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10. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray

Best Sexuality Books #10: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

Favorite Quote

“When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences, then love has a chance to blossom.” — John Gray

The Book in One Sentence

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus will improve your relationships by identifying the key differences between men and women and helping you bridge the gaps.

Why should you read it?

While not everyone conforms to every stereotype, most of us represent at least some of them. This book will help you identify and navigate those stereotypes when it comes to the differences between men and women. Applied with care and selectively, this is a highly useful book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Women want men to listen to them, while men desire solutions to problems.
  2. Men are motivated when they feel useful, women are inspired when they feel loved.
  3. Women and men communicate differently and assign separate meanings to the same words.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Books About Sexual Attraction & Dating

11. The Game by Neil Strauss

Best Sexuality Books #11: The Game

Favorite Quote

“To win the game was to leave it.” — Neil Strauss

The Book in One Sentence

The Game is a seat next to Neil Strauss on his rollercoaster ride through the pickup community, by which he gets hooked, becomes successful in, then gets lost, wins, and fails, only to ultimately arrive at his true self once more.

Why should you read it?

If you’ve ever fallen for some alpha-male dating guru’s crappy advice, this book is for you. Learn to see through the pickup facade, and discover what it truly takes to build good romantic relationships. Neil’s follow-up, The Truth is a good next read if you enjoy this one.

Key Takeaways

  1. Social dynamics can be manipulated.
  2. Pickup is actually about men, not women.
  3. Routines won’t help you find love.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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12. Labor of Love by Moira Weigel

Best Sexuality Books #12: Labor of Love

Favorite Quote

“There is no better life than a life spent laboring at love — exerting effort not because we have to, but because we believe that what we are bringing into being is valuable and we want it to exist.” — Moira Weigel

The Book in One Sentence

Labor of Love illustrates the history of modern dating as we know it, covering everything from its origins in the late 1800s all the way to the modern dating apps we use today.

Why should you read it?

Whatever you’re trying to master, it always pays to learn about a field’s history. Well, this book will teach you the history of dating! Learn how our partner-finding patterns have changed over time, and you’ll have an easier time navigating romantic relationships today.

Key Takeaways

  1. When women started moving to cities during the Industrial Revolution, dating as we know it first began.
  2. There’s a reason you think it’s important what people wear, and it dates back about 100 years.
  3. “Netflix and chill” isn’t new. It goes back all the way to the 50s.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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13. The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene

Best Books About Human Sexuality #13: The Art of Seduction

Favorite Quote

“When our emotions are engaged, we often have trouble seeing things as they are.” — Robert Greene

The Book in One Sentence

The Art of Seduction is a template for persuading anyone, be it a business contact, political adversary, or love interest, to act in your best interest.

Why should you read it?

People are full of patterns. Whoever recognizes them can use them to their advantage. Of course, whether you use persuasion for good or bad is up to how you wield this power — but this book will teach you the ins and outs of convincing people to support you.

Key Takeaways

  1. The most important trait all seducers share is that they constantly surprise us.
  2. Seductive characters fall into nine categories, depending on which seduction technique they primarily use.
  3. There are nine anti-seductive behaviors you should become aware of and try to avoid.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Books About the Science, History, and Evolution of Sex

14. Why Is Sex Fun? by Jared Diamond

Best Books About Human Sexuality #14: Why Is Sex Fun?

Favorite Quote

“Perhaps our greatest distinction as a species is our capacity, unique among animals, to make counter-evolutionary choices.” — Jared Diamond

The Book in One Sentence

Why Is Sex Fun? takes a humorous look at the evolution of human sex life, showing our often odd sexual behaviors are actually essential to our long-term survival as a species.

Why should you read it?

Comedy makes things more approachable. If you want a light entry into the world of sex education, this one’s for you. Get a funny yet enlightening intro to the biology of sex, and learn why we all pursue this activity one way or another.

Key Takeaways

  1. Your dog would think the way you have sex is super weird.
  2. Concealed ovulation developed so that we would stay monogamous.
  3. Menopause helps women live longer.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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15. Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan

Best Books About Human Sexuality #15: Sex at Dawn

Favorite Quote

“The bigger the society is, the less functional shame becomes.” — Christopher Ryan

The Book in One Sentence

Sex at Dawn challenges conventional views on sex by diving deep into our ancestors’ sexual history and the rise of monogamy, thus prompting us to rethink our understanding of what sex and relationships should really feel and be like.

Why should you read it?

Are you taking sex too seriously? Then perhaps, this is the book for you. It is often hailed as the top academic analysis of the topic, and it reveals why it can be so hard to bring our sexual behavior in line with modern society’s expectations.

Key Takeaways

  1. Agriculture marked the beginning of monogamy, and not in a good way.
  2. Women want sex just as much as men, but they are conditioned to play it down.
  3. Our bodies have evolved to thrive in sexual competition.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Sex Books for Improving Your Technique

16. Come Again? by Nat Eliason

Best Books About Sex for Men #16: Come Again?

Favorite Quote

“For some reason, guys are conditioned to not talk about sex, and especially to not talk about their insecurities or things they want to improve — but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested.” — Nat Eliason

The Book in One Sentence

Come Again? is a frank but well-researched guide to better sex for men and their partners, covering everything from foreplay to bondage, including how men can last longer in bed, have multiple, non-ejaculatory orgasms, and truly please themselves and the people they choose to be intimate with.

Why should you read it?

If you’re a man who struggles to last as long in bed as you’d like to, this book is for you. It’ll also show you new ways to achieve more, longer, and more powerful orgasms, all while gaining a better understanding of how to please others in the bedroom.

Key Takeaways

  1. Most sexual anxiety stems from worrying about not being good enough.
  2. The best way to last longer in bed for men is to regularly practice kegel and reverse kegel exercises.
  3. Men can have multiple orgasms too — if only they train themselves for them.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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17. Are You Coming? by Laura Hiddinga

Best Books About Sex for Women #17: Are You Coming?

Favorite Quote

“Sex can be satisfying without an orgasm, too. When all you do is focus on the destination, you forget to enjoy the beautiful views along the way.” — Laura Hiddinga

The Book in One Sentence

Are You Coming? is a sex-positive guide to female orgasms, covering 13 types of climax, 8 techniques for heightening pleasure, as well as advice on sexual communication, problems with coming, positions, and even sex toys.

Why should you read it?

If you’re a woman who struggles to achieve orgasm during sex, this one’s for you. Discover the biological and historical origins of this problem, then learn new techniques that will help you reliably come in bed.

Key Takeaways

  1. There are thirteen different types of female orgasms, and if one doesn’t work for you, you can just try another!
  2. The more you stimulate your clitoris before coming, the more powerful your orgasm will feel.
  3. Orgasms aren’t impossible during penetrative sex, as long as you use the right positions.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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18. Sex for One by Betty Dodson

Best Books About Masturbation & Solo Sex #18: Sex for One

Favorite Quote

“Masturbation is the ongoing love affair that each of us has with ourselves throughout our lifetime.” — Betty Dodson

The Book in One Sentence

Sex for One is a manifesto dedicated to the liberating power of masturbation, hailing solo sex not as a crutch to be practiced in dark chambers when sex with a partner is unavailable but an entire, completely valid way of practicing self-love.

Why should you read it?

Do you think masturbation is a crutch not to be relied on if you can help it? Especially many men see it as a poor replacement for real sex, but that’s not true! This book will provide the mindset shift you need and show you that “sex for one” still counts as sex — and is a powerful act of self-love, both literally and figuratively.

Key Takeaways

  1. Masturbation is the most consistent, reliable source of good sex in your life.
  2. Couples should continue masturbating by themselves next to having sex together.
  3. Solo sex can be a form of meditation, raising your consciousness and inner peace to new levels.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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19. Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz

Best Books About Female Sexuality & Orgasms #19: Becoming Cliterate

Favorite Quote

“If you’re feeling a little awkward or self-conscious, remember there’s no one to judge you except yourself. And you’ve probably done enough of that.” — Laurie Mintz

The Book in One Sentence

Becoming Cliterate explains the cultural, historical, and biological challenges standing in the way of women reaching orgasm as commonly as men do, dispelling myths while providing anatomical, technical, and psychological insights as to how we can achieve orgasm equality.

Why should you read it?

Are you frustrated that men basically orgasm every time they have sex, whereas women must struggle for this natural pleasure? Then this book is for you. Discover how the “orgasm gap” came to be between genders, and what we can do to achieve orgasm equality for all.

Key Takeaways

  1. Studies show there’s a big gap between how commonly men and women achieve orgasm during sex.
  2. One of the most important sex organs is the one that sits between your ears.
  3. Cliteracy is not just for women; men should know their way around the clitoris as well.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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Best Novels, Biographies & Story Books About Sex & Sexuality

20. All In by Billie Jean King

Best Books About Sexuality for LGBT Readers #20: All In

Favorite Quote

“Face your fears; live your passions, be dedicated to your truth.” — Billie Jean King

The Book in One Sentence

All In is the autobiography of tennis and LGBT icon Billie Jean King, the first professional female athlete to come out as homosexual, as well as an astonishing player who won countless matches and tournaments, all while fighting for gender equality in sports up to the point of changing US legislation and significantly reducing discrimination in sports for women all over the globe.

Why should you read it?

Even if you’re not a fan of tennis, feminism, or member of the LGBT community, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this great read about a woman as inspiring as they come. Biographies have many benefits, inspiration being only the biggest, but this one will also show you how hard women in sports had to — and still have to — fight to be seen at eye level with men. There’s also a great movie about her story called Battle of the Sexes.

Key Takeaways

  1. A combination of talent and hard work turned Billie Jean into a champion.
  2. A good role model can inspire determination and motivate us to push forward.
  3. Billie Jean had a tough romantic life and other significant challenges to face, none of which kept her from achieving her objective.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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21. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Best Books About Sex, Romance & Dating #21: Fifty Shades of Grey

Favorite Quote

“There’s a very fine line between pleasure and pain. They are two sides of the same coin, one not existing without the other.” — E.L. James

The Book in One Sentence

Fifty Shades of Grey is the tale of young student Ana falling for a vastly successful, good-looking entrepreneur who harbors some dark, not-just-sexual secrets, all of which Ana finds herself surprised to want to explore.

Why should you read it?

Perhaps, like millions of people around the globe, you already have! If not, this makes for a daring, erotic escape from real-life — but not without holding some very real and valuable lessons about romance, love, sex, psychology, and identity.

Key Takeaways

  1. If something looks and feels too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. The moral flaws we see in others often reflect our own inner demons.
  3. It is never too late to try something new.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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22. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Best Books About Sexual Identity #22: Three Women

Favorite Quote

“We pretend to want things we don’t want so nobody can see us not getting what we need.” — Lisa Taddeo

The Book in One Sentence

Three Women is a true, tell-all account of the complicated yet fascinating sex lives of three American women, based on almost a decade of investigative reporting.

Why should you read it?

This book will provide you with plenty of reassurance that your sexual problems are neither unique nor crazy. By taking a behind-the-scenes look at these three women’s sex lives, you’ll see that we all struggle with sex one way or another, and that, perhaps, your problems are not only not so bad but can even be solved with relative ease.

Key Takeaways

  1. Being in a committed relationship is a choice that must be made over and over again.
  2. When you want something you can’t have, you can make yourself want something different.
  3. You don’t owe anyone an explanation about your sexual preferences.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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Conclusion

Sex is a complex topic, and yet, it affects every single one of us. The best thing we can do is talk openly about it and not be afraid to learn more about what we don’t know.

We hope these 22 books about sex will help you find clarity, move forward with your partner, and have better sexual experiences. Pick whichever one feels the most relevant to you right now, and start learning something about an area of life in which we’re all under-educated!


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Last Updated on January 22, 2023