The best sexuality books

6 authors have picked their favorite books about sexuality and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of The Survivor's Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse

The Survivor's Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse

By Staci Haines,

Why this book?

The myth is that childhood sexual abuse is so horrific that survivors are scarred for life and can never enjoy fulfilling lovemaking. Actually, with information and therapy, survivors can enjoy deeply pleasurable and satisfying sex lives. This book points the way. 

From the list:

The best books on sex and sexuality

Book cover of The Courage to Be Me: A Story of Courage, Self-Compassion and Hope After Sexual Abuse

The Courage to Be Me: A Story of Courage, Self-Compassion and Hope After Sexual Abuse

By Nina Burrowes, Alexander Bertram-Powell (illustrator),

Why this book?

Post #metoo there’s a lot more awareness around sexual abuse and assault, but still few books to help readers to understand why it impacts them the way it does. 

In The Courage to Be Me, cartooning psychologist Nina Burrowes presents what we know from the science of sexual trauma, and tells the stories of a group who support each other around their experiences. 

Having several different stories, all illustrated by different comic artists, emphasises the diverse forms that assault and abuse can take, and the ways in which they hit us all differently. Despite the tough topics covered, this…

From the list:

The best comic books about sexuality

Book cover of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness

By Nagata Kabi,

Why this book?

One of the great things about comic books and manga now is the much greater range of subjects they go into. This book is such an example. It’s a memoir of self-discovery which follows the artist’s life for ten years after school, looking with brutal honesty at her bouts with depression, eating disorders, and self-harm. It doesn’t end in a fairy tale way, like so many Hollywood movies do. Which is another reason why manga and comic books are so good now: they can go into issues with more sophistication than movies often do. Instead, it considers the problem in…

From the list:

The best books to investigate literary manga

Book cover of The Evolution of Human Sexuality

The Evolution of Human Sexuality

By Donald Symons,

Why this book?

This is a classic work taking a Darwinian perspective on human sexual behavior. A central theme is that there are sharp differences between male and female sexuality. Male sexuality is more urgent and less discriminating than female sexuality. Males also have a stronger desire than females for sexual variety. This is because males can promote their reproductive success by mating with many females, whereas sexual variety provides no real reproductive advantage for females. Males are in competition with other males for access to mates, especially mates of high reproductive value. The author takes up the question of whether the female…

From the list:

The best books for understanding the biological basis of social life

Book cover of Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood

By Haruki Murakami,

Why this book?

I suspect for a lot of people this will be the first fiction by a Japanese author they read. Murakami’s world can be dream-like, sometimes supernatural so, often, you don’t always notice the emotional impact of his stories. Norwegian Wood is one of his more ‘straightforward’ narratives, a timeless depiction of young love and all its agonies.

From the list:

The best fiction books set in Japan

Book cover of S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties

S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties

By Heather Corinna,

Why this book?

This is the textbook I teach from in my high school healthy sexuality and relationship class. Ideally, it would be on the shelf of every teenager and young adult. Corinna tackles all of the real and relevant, as well as trickiest, topics about healthy sex, relationships, and love. It provides comprehensive, medically accurate information on any and everything a teen and young adult needs to know about understanding sex and sexuality within this popular culture, it also addresses the nuances of cultural messaging and the complexities of human relationships. From how to sort out gender and sexual identities to updated…

From the list:

The best books for young people about healthy sexuality and relationships

Book cover of The Sacred Search: What If It's Not about Who You Marry, But Why?

The Sacred Search: What If It's Not about Who You Marry, But Why?

By Gary Thomas,

Why this book?

One of the best books on marriage we’ve ever read! Full of thought-provoking questions and practical advice, as well as hard truths straight from Scripture. Gary Thomas does an excellent job of reiterating what marriage and sex are truly about: Christ. He walks the reader through many different points and scenarios to help them see dating, marriage, and sexuality through the proper lens. We’ll never stop recommending this book; it’s just that good!

From the list:

The best Christian books on marriage and sexuality

Book cover of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sensual Massage

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sensual Massage

By Patti Britton, Helen Hodgson,

Why this book?

Most men feel impatient with foreplay, and believe sex is all about intercourse. Actually, satisfying, high-quality lovemaking is based on leisurely, gentle, playful, mutual whole-body massage that eventually -- after 20 minutes or so--focuses on the genitals. Foreplay is not some obligation to get through. It's the bedrock basis of sizzling sex. This book is an engaging, comprehensive, hands-on guide to mutual whole-body massage. Co-author Patti Britton is one of the nation’s most distinguished and creative sex educators, and her book is marvelous.

From the list:

The best books on sex and sexuality

Book cover of How to Be Ace: A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual

How to Be Ace: A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual

By Rebecca Burgess,

Why this book?

There are very few books - let alone graphic books - out there covering asexuality. This comic strikes a great balance between informing the reader about asexuality, and challenging many of the myths that still persist around it, as well as telling Rebecca’s own story of coming to understand her ace experience.

How to be ace is a great, accessible, engaging read for anyone on the ace or aro spectrum themselves. It’s also a very helpful book for everyone to get a better sense of the diversity of a/sexual experience.

From the list:

The best comic books about sexuality

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