A couple weeks back, I received an absolutely beautiful new sex book. The Sex Bible by Susan Bakos is the first sex book I’ve seen in a long time that makes me really want to sit down and go through it. I haven’t yet had the time, but it’s definitely on the list of pressing to-dos.
I’ll definitely be sharing my thoughts on this book with you, and I can tell you already that it looks to be blowing that Nina Hartley Guide To Total Sex that I reviewed last fall right out of the bloody water. It has breathtaking nude photography throughout (but all photographed in the right way so you only see ass or tits and so it can be sold in nearly any store) and the little I’ve read seems really well-written and full of insight.
A book like this could prove to get a lot of use out of younger couples or couples looking to make their sex life a little more rounded and a little less standard “vanilla”.
Personally, I think there’s nothing better for a couple to do than to talk about their sex life. The more you talk, the more you’ll realize just what it is you’re wanting and why. It lets you understand your motives and needs in a way you may not have realized before.
I had one of those moments of clarity the other night when I was having a chat about sex. About a year and a half ago now, I had this terrific fling with this guy and the sex just boggled the mind. I’ve never been so spent after a weekend, and the question I was asked that made me think was, why was it good sex? I realized then that it was the first time I was really secure enough that I didn’t care how much noise we made during the act. Turned the stereo up and worked with it.
It’s so amazing how one little thing, like having to concentrate on how loud you are, can detract from the intensity of an experience. That one experience, for me, really spoke to that. I just let go and I was the lover I kinda always thought I had inside. I dropped the façade and really clicked with someone on a new level.
I think it’s easy to forget just how much our hang-ups hold us back. It’s why I believe in things like therapy, or writing, or talking, because getting it, whatever “it” is, out there is the first step towards being able to really own that and then move past it.
Every couple should, in my humble opinion, sit naked on the couch, enjoying some wine, and just start a conversation about sex. If you don’t have the freeform abilities to just take the topic and run with it, then grab a quality book on sex, like this incredible The Sex Bible, and discuss the contents with your partner as you flip through the pages or scan the index together. If you’re the kind of people who aren’t so great at making mental notes, then have a pad and paper or a notebook in which you plan to keep track of things you’ve discussed, your thoughts on them, and whether they deserve ranking on your to-do list.
Draw pictures if it helps, or leave notations on page numbers in corresponding books, but make it a work book of things you want to achieve sexually as a couple. It doesn’t have to be all fluffy and beautiful, either. Make it dirty if you want, write lustful notes to each other in it between book viewings. Whatever it takes to make it a fun project. Do what’s comfortable for you and your relationship, and make a point of having FUN.
We all hit boredom patches in our sex lives. If it was a football game, the coach would be throwing a new gameplan on the chalkboard. It it was a mid-career crisis, management would call us in for a review and an establishing of priorities for the coming months. Yet when it’s our sex life hitting a dull patch, we think that the problem’s all ours or that our partner won’t get on board. We don’t implement steps to shake up the mix. Well, why the hell not?
Something like this book would serve beautifully in the drink-and-discuss sexual review project. All the photographs give a lot of food for thought, and could even serve to provide a little steam to the proceedings. I mean, case in point: see above photo.
I’ve written about sexual reviews in relationships in the past, and I still think it’s a fantastic thing to do. Plan to set aside a night where you’re going to talk about your sex life, the things you’ve done that you love, that didn’t work for you, why, what you’d love to try, what a goal might be for you to reach together, and maybe even what it is your partner does that makes you feel most powerful or appreciated. You can return to your notes a few weeks later and discuss which ones you ended up accomplishing and how you felt that worked out for you, and discuss what you’ve yet to do, and possibly its importance to you and why.
You can have these evenings be fluffy, romantic nights, or you can cut through all the puffery and just lay things out bare, as it were. Me, I favour keeping it simple: Nekkid, wine, a few candles, and say it like you mean it. Dressing it up or worrying about wording things right is a hassle. Keep it real.
Of course, if you’re like me, you just talk about sex all the time and you don’t need a review because you’re big on instant feedback and all. Still, it’s nice to make an evening of it. Show and tell, as it were. I’m always fond of an excuse to get naked and drink wine and fondle a warm body, myself, but then, I’m a lush.
(The above photo — man, I need to get a bigger shower! — is from the above-mentioned The Sex Bible. Now I need a shower.)