Come As You Are Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Come As You Are is an explanation of the truth about female sexuality, including the hidden science of what turns women on, why it works, how to utilize this knowledge to improve your sex life, and why sexual myths make you feel inadequate in bed.

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Come As You Are Summary

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Imagine discovering a magical lamp in the desert. You rub it, and a genie emerges, offering you a choice: You can have infinite money, but your sex life would never improve beyond where it is at right now. Would you take the genie up on his offer? If not, why? Is your sex life not perfect?

Well, you’re not alone. But no need to despair! Your sex life might not be at its best yet, but you can get there. You can discover how to give and receive immense pleasure between the sheets. All it takes is an understanding of sexuality and the myths that make your sex life more difficult.

These ideas and more are just what you’ll discover in Emily Nagoski’s Come as You Are (The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life).

Here are just 3 of the many helpful lessons in the book:

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

Let’s get right into these lessons!

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Lesson 1: You have needs as unique as your sexual personality, and that’s okay.

The author had a patient named Laurie who, after having a baby, lost all desire for sex with her husband. She did, however, enjoy pleasuring herself. The problem was that she began to feel bad for not wanting penetrative sex. 

But Laurie wasn’t in the wrong for this, she just needed to understand that she, like you, has a sexual gas pedal and brakes. Whenever you get stimulation, it pushes the gas pedal, and there are many things that can push your brakes.

Even something as simple as a sound or smell can make your brain shut down your sexual desire. 

Most people that struggle with sex just have overactive sexual brakes. Research back in 2008 found that women that feel anxious about how long it takes them to become aroused or who only get the urge for sex in perfect circumstances have a harder time with sex.

But everybody is unique with varying levels of brake and gas pedal sensitivities and what makes each of these go. Pay careful attention to yours and your partners if you want to improve your sex life.

One of the author’s clients, Camilla, for instance, didn’t feel any arousal when looking at her partner or when having sexual fantasies. The problem was that she simply had a weak gas pedal and needed more time and attention to get going.

Lesson 2: Stress smothers your desire for sex.

Say your partner comes to visit you while you’re at work. You’re both turned on and can’t wait to get to a private place together. But as you’re rushing for that closet you know is always empty, you turn the corner and find your boss staring you down.

Not so turned on anymore, are you?

That’s because stress makes sex unattractive. And the bad news is, you can’t just wish your stress response away. Animals, for instance, when they play dead while being hunted, will have spasms even after the predator is gone. 

And humans are the same way, but with the stresses of family or work. We have what’s known as a stress response cycle, and we can’t just turn it off at will. This is why it’s a bad idea to try to push through and still have sex when you’re stressed.

Instead, calm down first through exercise, sleep, sharing affection, crying, or relaxing.

Unfortunately, those who’ve been through sexual trauma have it a little more difficult. Their past experiences make them perceive any sexual experience as a threat. This can make the path to healing take longer, but mindfulness and therapy will help.

Lesson 3: Your sex life will be worse if you don’t pay careful attention to what media you consume.

It’s hard not to peek at the smutty fashion magazines as you’re in the checkout line at the grocery store, right? And even if you’re a millennial like me who rarely goes to the store because of delivery services, you still get exposure to the dangerous world of pop culture messages that harm your sex life.

At its core, the only thing that these media companies communicate to average people is that they’re incompetent in the bedroom. Take women’s bodies, for example. It’s easy to see how unrealistic and lying portrayals of women make them feel self-conscious and inadequate.

Looks aside, the media also is toxic to women for making them feel like they have to agree and go along with all kinds of sexual activities. From games to positions and more, every side of sexuality gets misconstrued in the media. 

And what’s worse is that women are prudes if they don’t do these things and sluts if they do. There’s no winning, and it’s horrific!

But you can beat this, and it starts with carefully selecting the media you consume. Ditch those awful magazines and focus on your own beauty. 

Scientists have studied how the appreciation of your own body affects your sex life. The results showed that improved self-image enhances all aspects of sex, from arousal to orgasm and more. It even can reduce pain during intercourse!

So be gentle with yourself, love your body, and courageously conquer any feelings of low self-esteem.

Come As You Are Review

The thing I hate about sex is that nobody ever talks about it, which means that most people have really terrible sex lives. But what’s nice is that Come As You Are will help you fix that, as long as you can get past the social stigma enough to buy a copy and read it yourself! If you want to improve your relationships and learn to love yourself better, whether you’re a woman or a man, this book is for you!

Who would I recommend the Come As You Are summary to?

The 22-year-old newly married man that wants to know how to satisfy his wife, the 37-year-old mother who thinks that her sex life is hopeless because she has kids, and anyone that wants to understand the science of sexuality so they can have more frequent and better sex.

Last Updated on July 22, 2023

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Luke Rowley

With over 450 summaries that he contributed to Four Minute Books, first as a part-time writer, then as our full-time Managing Editor until late 2021, Luke is our second-most prolific writer. He's also a professional, licensed engineer, working in the solar industry. Next to his day job, he also runs Goal Engineering, a website dedicated to achieving your goals with a unique, 4-4-4 system. Luke is also a husband, father, 75 Hard finisher, and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Utah with his wife and 3 kids.