February 13, 2020

Science of Sexual Happiness

Late last year when I decided to look for a book club, I was thinking about fiction.  What I found was a book club for therapists and the first book for this year was “Science for Sexual Happiness.”  I thought it would be perfect to look at sex and intimacy in February.  

Whether you are single or in a relationship, your sexual health is important. 

  • Breathe! I lost count of how many times the author encouraged the reader to breathe.

(Every time I hear someone tell a woman to breathe, I can't help but think of the movie, "Obsessed" when Beyonce yells, "BREATHE BITCH!"

  • There are two sides of 'no.' The book contains 107 exercises (yes, I read them all- you're welcome). There was one exercise she suggested that I particularly appreciated. It involved having each partner set a timer for two minutes and ask for things they didn't really want to practice asking for what they want and hearing 'no.' The other partner practice saying 'no' had to practice saying 'no' which is really difficult for a lot of people. Then the exercise challenges the set to switch places. I love this because it is difficult to hear no and not feel rejected in this context.
  • The mind and the body are inextricable. Our culture has worked so hard at this idea that our minds and bodies are totally separate but that's just not the case. The idea that you can out think things like allergies or basic human needs for sleep, food and companionship are simply not sure. She doesn't address this until the very last chapter of the boo which I think is a mistake.
  • Fight, flight, appease, freeze, dissociate. I work with trauma a lot but I had never before heard anyone talk about appease and dissociate the way she did. Specifically she discussed how abuse and neglect shows up in appease and dissociate in sexual relationships. What she talked about sounded a little like freezing but I appreciated the subtle difference she was attempting to introduce.
  • You can work on your relationship skills alone. In my office, I often see people telling themselves stories about how they need to be in a romantic relationship to work on their relationship skills and that just isn't the case. You can practice most relationship skills with friends and family. And the sexual component can be practiced in a lot of ways on your own. Don't wait until your are in a romantic relationship and feeling vulnerable to think about your sexual health.

My biggest peeve with this book is there was next to no science. Why put science in the title if you are going to water down what little science you do plan to use? Overall, there are other books like "Come As You Are" that I would recommend over this book.

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!

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