31 books like Desire

By Lauren Fogel Mersy, Jennifer A. Vencill,

Here are 31 books that Desire fans have personally recommended if you like Desire. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Sizzling Sex for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Maximize Erotic Pleasure at Any Age

Laurie Mintz Author Of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters--And How to Get It

From my list on improving your sex life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before children, I had a robust sex drive. When my second daughter was born, poof—it disappeared. Upon asking, I discovered that my friends were also struggling. I immersed myself in the research literature and found solutions—yet was dismayed that this information wasn’t readily available to women. So, I translated the scientific literature into an accessible self-help book. My passion was ignited. I immersed myself in sex education and therapy, publishing my second book based on the experiences of students in a university-level human sexuality course I teach. I find deep meaning translating sexual science for the lay public and helping people gain knowledge and comfort with sex.

Laurie's book list on improving your sex life

Laurie Mintz Why did Laurie love this book?

I wish more people in general and men in specific knew about this book. It includes an enormous amount of information, all based in science (which is really important when it comes to sex education), yet written in a compassionate, clear, and understandable way. 

While this book is written to help men with their sexuality, the women in their lives will no doubt benefit from what they learn. I truly think that if all men read this book, both they and their partners would have fewer sexual issues and much more pleasure and connection.

By Michael Castleman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sizzling Sex for Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Castleman, the world's most popular sex expert, has written the most comprehensive, authoritative, reassuring, and practical guide to lifelong pleasure for men and the women who love them. Library Journal calls him "one of the nation's top health writers."
Medical journalist Michael Castleman has answered more than 12,000 sex questions throughout his career, including on his website GreatSexGuidance.com, through his "All About Sex" blog on Psychology Today, or even when he used to answer all the sex questions for Playboy's "Advisor" column in the '90s. From his numerous years of experience comes this, the most thorough consumer sexuality guide…


Book cover of She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman

Laurie Mintz Author Of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters--And How to Get It

From my list on improving your sex life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before children, I had a robust sex drive. When my second daughter was born, poof—it disappeared. Upon asking, I discovered that my friends were also struggling. I immersed myself in the research literature and found solutions—yet was dismayed that this information wasn’t readily available to women. So, I translated the scientific literature into an accessible self-help book. My passion was ignited. I immersed myself in sex education and therapy, publishing my second book based on the experiences of students in a university-level human sexuality course I teach. I find deep meaning translating sexual science for the lay public and helping people gain knowledge and comfort with sex.

Laurie's book list on improving your sex life

Laurie Mintz Why did Laurie love this book?

This book is written for men about how to pleasure women (with oral sex).

The author, a well-known sex therapist, reveals at the start of the book how he discovered the art of cunnilingus. He suffered from premature ejaculation and thought he could thus never please a woman—until he discovered (in his own words) that “the tongue is mightier than the sword!” 

Ian writes from a knowledgeable, compassionate voice, giving readers information and skills to please their female partners. I’ve recommended this book to countless individuals. The term “cliterate” first appeared on the back of this book cover.

When I wanted to use it on my book cover, I called Ian and asked his permission. He graciously said, “Of course! The more cliterate people in the world, the better!”

By Ian Kerner,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked She Comes First as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Every man’s must-read. Tell your guy to put down the remote and pick up She Comes First.”
—Cosmopolitan

 

Ian Kerner offers a radical new philosophy for pleasuring women in She Comes First—anessential guidebook to oral sex from the author of Be Honest—You’re Not That Into Him Either. The New York Times praises Kerner’s “cool sense of humor and an obsessive desire to inform,” as he “encourages men through an act that many find mystifying.” An indispensable aid to a healthier, more fulfilling sex life for her and him, She Comes First offers techniques and philosophy that have already earned raves…


Book cover of Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire

Laurie Mintz Author Of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters--And How to Get It

From my list on improving your sex life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before children, I had a robust sex drive. When my second daughter was born, poof—it disappeared. Upon asking, I discovered that my friends were also struggling. I immersed myself in the research literature and found solutions—yet was dismayed that this information wasn’t readily available to women. So, I translated the scientific literature into an accessible self-help book. My passion was ignited. I immersed myself in sex education and therapy, publishing my second book based on the experiences of students in a university-level human sexuality course I teach. I find deep meaning translating sexual science for the lay public and helping people gain knowledge and comfort with sex.

Laurie's book list on improving your sex life

Laurie Mintz Why did Laurie love this book?

Mindfulness is a powerful practice, proven to decrease stress and help us live more in the present moment. Acclaimed psychologist and researcher Dr. Lori Brotto is the brilliant pioneer to apply mindfulness to sexuality.

Dr. Brotto had been using mindfulness with great success to help her patients and she thus wrote a book to spread the word more broadly. In this book, she explains the reasons people have sexual problems and provides easy, effective exercises to help them. And, even if a reader doesn’t have a sexual problem, mindfulness can simply enhance sexual pleasure and satisfaction.

I have recommended this book to countless clients and students. I meditate each morning and practice mindfulness myself, inside and outside of the bedroom, and I’ve learned a lot from Dr. Brotto’s work.

By Lori A. Brotto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Better Sex Through Mindfulness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AS SEEN IN "THE PRINCIPLES OF PLEASURE" ON NETFLIX

ALSO FEATURED IN BUSTLE * DAN SAVAGE LOVECAST * JEZEBEL * NEW YORK TIMES

Find out how mindfulness is the key to cultivating desire, increasing sexual pleasure, and finding joy in intimacy.

Studies show that approximately half of all women experience some kind of sexual difficulty at one point in their lives, with lack of interest in sex being by far the most common and the most distressing. And when sex suffers, so do all other areas of life.

But it doesn't have to be that way. In Better Sex through…


Book cover of Guide to Getting It on

Laurie Mintz Author Of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters--And How to Get It

From my list on improving your sex life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before children, I had a robust sex drive. When my second daughter was born, poof—it disappeared. Upon asking, I discovered that my friends were also struggling. I immersed myself in the research literature and found solutions—yet was dismayed that this information wasn’t readily available to women. So, I translated the scientific literature into an accessible self-help book. My passion was ignited. I immersed myself in sex education and therapy, publishing my second book based on the experiences of students in a university-level human sexuality course I teach. I find deep meaning translating sexual science for the lay public and helping people gain knowledge and comfort with sex.

Laurie's book list on improving your sex life

Laurie Mintz Why did Laurie love this book?

I consider this the most comprehensive book on sex that exists.

It is chockful of knowledge and sage advice, all based on science, yet written in a manner that will make you laugh out loud. If I have a question about sex that I don’t know the answer to, this is the first book I open. I also often recommend this book to clients who simply need to get comfortable talking about sex as the tone is so accepting and fun.

I also quote this book quite often in my undergraduate Psychology of Human Sexuality class and the students love it so much that on the last day, I raffle off several copies.

By Paul Joannides,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guide to Getting It on as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“You've never read a manual as warm, friendly, liberating, thorough, and potentially sex-life-changing as the Guide To Getting It On! Neither had anyone in our office―which may be why our copies keep disappearing.” ― Oprah Magazine

“Finally. A book about sex you'll actually want to read!” ― Playboy

Few people had heard of Bumble and Hinge when the last edition of the “Guide to Getting It On” went to press four years ago. No one would have guessed that Chaturbate would become the 28th most popular website in the US, or that women in college would pay for their tuition…


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

Sara Nasserzadeh Author Of Love by Design: 6 Ingredients to Build a Lifetime of Love

From my list on how to move from surviving to thriving in your relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, speaker, researcher, and thinking partner with a PhD in Social Psychology and specialization in the fields of human sexuality, intercultural fluency, and relationships. I have over two decades of experience working with individuals, couples, companies, and governments across 40 countries. I truly believe that we can create world peace one relationship at a time, and embrace it as my mission. My third book in English, Love By Design, is the result of two-decade-long research on the status of thriving relationships and its key ingredients. These could be applied to relationships in all spaces, from bedrooms (most intimate) to the boardrooms (most public).

Sara's book list on how to move from surviving to thriving in your relationships

Sara Nasserzadeh Why did Sara love this book?

Dr. Emily Nagoski's approach to understanding the intricacies of human sexuality is not only refreshing but also deeply insightful and relatable. This book doesn't just scratch the surface; it delves into the complexities of desire, arousal, and satisfaction with unparalleled clarity.

What sets it apart is Nagoski's ability to distill complex scientific research into practical, accessible guidance for couples. The messages are simple (although scientifically sound). 

I've seen this book empowering individuals to embrace their unique sexual selves and foster a deeper, more fulfilling connection with their partners. It's a must-read for anyone seeking to enhance intimacy and revitalize their sex life.

By Emily Nagoski,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Come as You Are as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER.

An essential exploration of women's sexuality that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.

After all the books that have been written about sex, all the blogs and TV shows and radio Q&As, how can it be that we all still have so many questions? The frustrating reality is that we've been lied to - not deliberately, it's no one's fault, but still. We were told the wrong story.

Come as You Are reveals the true story behind female sexuality, uncovering the little-known science of what makes us tick…


Book cover of The Sexual Relationship: An Object Relations View of Sex and the Family

Brett Kahr Author Of Who's Been Sleeping in Your Head: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies

From my list on the secret underbelly of sexual psychology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked in the mental health profession for over forty years. Currently, I serve as Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London, and as Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health at Regent’s University London, as well as Honorary Director of Research at the Freud Museum London. I also hold posts as Chair of the Scholars Committee of the British Psychoanalytic Council and as Honorary Fellow of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, and I have authored eighteen books and have served as series editor for some eighty-five further titles.  

Brett's book list on the secret underbelly of sexual psychology

Brett Kahr Why did Brett love this book?

I regard myself as a big fan of Dr. David Scharff, founder of the International Psychotherapy Institute, based in Bethesda, Maryland, who has become one of the planet’s most esteemed psychoanalysts.

Scharff, along with his spouse, Dr. Jill Scharff, has pioneered the field of couple psychotherapy in the United States of America. Based on his clinical insights, he has produced a lucid, groundbreaking book about the childhood and adolescent origins of the sexual complications of adulthood, which has provided me with much wisdom about the ways in which marital sexual difficulties can be traced back to earlier experiences from the prepubertal and pubertal periods of life. Although intended predominantly for fellow mental health clinicians, Scharff’s book will appeal to a very wide readership indeed. 

By David E. Scharff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sexual Relationship as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dr. David Scharff explores the role of sexuality in human relationships by combining his extensive experience in individual, marital, family, and sex therapy with theoretical contributions from object relations theory and child development.


Book cover of What is Sex?

Ilan Kapoor Author Of Global Libidinal Economy

From my list on psychoanalysis and politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scholar of global politics, and I am drawn to psychoanalysis because it studies the unseen in politics, or rather, those things that are often in plain sight but remain unacknowledged. For example, why is it that, especially in this information economy, we are well aware of the inequality and environmental destruction that our current capitalist system is based on, but we still continue to invest in it (through shopping, taking out loans, using credit cards, etc.)? Psychoanalysis says that it's because we are unconsciously seduced by capitalism—we love shopping despite knowing about the socioeconomic and environmental dangers of doing it. I’m fascinated by that process of disavowal.

Ilan's book list on psychoanalysis and politics

Ilan Kapoor Why did Ilan love this book?

This is one of the most intriguing books published in recent times, in my view, providing a lucid and beautifully written psychoanalytic account of both the strangeness and emancipatory potential of sexuality.

Sex for Zupančič is not about genital sexuality. Instead, it has an amorphous and undefinable quality to it; and this lack of meaning implies we can never get enough of it—e.g., the reason porn watchers get hooked on porn is because even the “full” view of sexual activity doesn’t quite satisfy, so one looks for more “fullness” (which one never finds) and watches more porn. And this elusiveness is what sex is about.

I love that Zupančič draws out the political potential of this viewpoint, seeing the excess and indefinability of sex as “trouble”/“troubling,” opening up ways for the subject to break out of the everyday status quo. 

By Alenka Zupancic,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What is Sex? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why sexuality is at the point of a “short circuit” between ontology and epistemology.

Consider sublimation—conventionally understood as a substitute satisfaction for missing sexual satisfaction. But what if, as Lacan claims, we can get exactly the same satisfaction that we get from sex from talking (or writing, painting, praying, or other activities)? The point is not to explain the satisfaction from talking by pointing to its sexual origin, but that the satisfaction from talking is itself sexual. The satisfaction from talking contains a key to sexual satisfaction (and not the other way around)—even a key to sexuality itself and its…


Book cover of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality

Brett Kahr Author Of Who's Been Sleeping in Your Head: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies

From my list on the secret underbelly of sexual psychology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked in the mental health profession for over forty years. Currently, I serve as Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London, and as Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health at Regent’s University London, as well as Honorary Director of Research at the Freud Museum London. I also hold posts as Chair of the Scholars Committee of the British Psychoanalytic Council and as Honorary Fellow of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, and I have authored eighteen books and have served as series editor for some eighty-five further titles.  

Brett's book list on the secret underbelly of sexual psychology

Brett Kahr Why did Brett love this book?

I have had a huge crush on Herr Professor Sigmund Freud since my undergraduate days. Back in the nineteenth century, most physicians locked up “lunatics” in local insane asylums with no endeavour to treat mental illness at all, but Freud challenged that negligent approach by having created the discipline of “talking therapy”, engaging in a very warm-hearted and sympathetic manner with his many analysands. 

His classic monograph of 1905 on sexuality has taught me so very much throughout my career and has helped me to speak to my patients with frankness and curiosity about the challenges of their sexual histories and sexual preoccupations. In my estimation, Freud deserves credit not only as the founder of modern psychotherapy but also as the creator of contemporary sexology as well.

By Sigmund Freud, Ulrike Kistner (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Available for the first time in English, the 1905 edition of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality presents Sigmund Freud's thought in a form new to all but a few ardent students of his work.

This is a Freud absent the Oedipal complex, which came to dominate his ideas and subsequent editions of these essays. In its stead is an autoerotic theory of sexual development, a sexuality transcending binary categorization. This is psychoanalysis freed from ideas that have often brought it into conflict with the ethical and political convictions of modern readers, practitioners, and theorists.

The non-Oedipal psychoanalysis Freud…


Book cover of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating

Andrew S. Trees Author Of Decoding Love: Why It Takes Twelve Frogs to Find a Prince, and Other Revelations from the Science of Attraction

From my list on to help you have better relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived in New York City for a number of years, and my female friends would constantly buy dating advice books and then complain about how bad these books were. One night at dinner, I suggested that there must be some legitimate scientifically-based advice that would actually be helpful, and I was laughed out of the room. Decoding Love was born in that moment. What I found overturned almost all of my preconceptions about dating and relationships. I hope it will overturn some of your preconceptions as well.

Andrew's book list on to help you have better relationships

Andrew S. Trees Why did Andrew love this book?

Although we like to think that we are idiosyncratic individuals pursuing our perfect match, the truth is that evolution has hardwired into us many preferences and dislikes. This book is a really good introduction to the often surprising role evolution plays in shaping desire. Buss has undertaken a massive study of thousands of people and dozens of cultures to present a unified theory of human mating behavior. While I don't think we need to simply give in to evolution, it is an enormous help to have a sense of what role evolution plays.

By David M. Buss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Evolution of Desire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question we must look into our evolutionary past, argues prominent psychologist David M. Buss. Based one of the largest studies of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from thirty-seven cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the first work to present a unified theory of human mating behaviour. Drawing on a wide range of examples of mating behaviour,from lovebugs to elephant seals, from the Yanomamoe tribe of Venezuela to online dating apps,Buss reveals what women…


Book cover of Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Sex: Releasing the Passion Within

Ruth Buezis Author Of Awaken Love: The Truth About Sex that will Transform Your Marriage

From my list on to help Christians create an amazing sex life.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I decided to work on my sex life, I devoured both Christian and secular books looking for answers. I not only wanted to understand God’s design for sex, but I also needed help learning to create the amazing sex life that God wanted for me. Since that time, I have taught Awaken Love classes to thousands of Christian women and heard their stories. I continue to look for resources that are empowering for wives, within God’s boundaries, in line with women’s experiences, practical and thought-provoking.

Ruth's book list on to help Christians create an amazing sex life

Ruth Buezis Why did Ruth love this book?

Taking a more holistic approach, Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Sex explores the world of women who experience sex in the most connecting, pleasurable ways. Moving beyond mechanics, it helped me understand the importance of unlocking inhibitions, being present, and discovering my own eroticism in order to experience a deep connection with my husband. God has more for us to experience if we are open to it. 

By Sandra Scantling, Sue Browder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Sex as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Looks at the phenomenon of `supersex` women who can experience sex at an intense level. Based on research with hundreds of women the author shows how these feelings can be experienced by everyone.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in sexuality, sex education, and psychoanalysis?

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