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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

Sex educator Nagoski offers a practical, science-based, informative, nonjudgmental exploration of various women's experiences with their bodies and sexuality as well as underlying context, perceptions, and thinking processes that may affect them.

I am done living in a world where women are lied to about their bodies; where women are objects of sexual desire but not subjects of sexual pleasure; where sex is used as a weapon against women; and where women believe their bodies are broken, simply because those bodies are not male. And I am done living in a world where women are trained from birth to treat their bodies as the enemy.

Come As You Are is fascinating nonfiction from sex educator Dr. Emily Nagoski about the way women's sexuality works and why.

Nagoski builds her book around science and groundbreaking research to debunk myths about women's sexuality; to detail why there is no "pink pill" for women that correlates with Viagra for men; to explore how feelings are at the center of women's sexuality; and to explain how women's experiences of sexuality are as varied as their fingerprints.

The problem here is that we've been taught to think about sex in terms of behavior, rather than in terms of the biological, psychological, and social processes underlying the behavior.

The empowering text introduces and reinforces easily understood and reinforced concepts such as "accelerator and brakes," "tend and befriend," and "no two alike" in a nonjudgmental exploration of various sexual and emotional responses to try to counterbalance "...a cultural pigeonholing of experience shaped by...three messages--Moral, Medical, and Media."

Nagoski's writing is accessible and her examples come from years of experience with clients and their varied dilemmas, mysteries, frustrations, and wonder.

The author points out that "for a long, long time in Western science and medicine, women's sexuality was viewed as Men's Sexuality Lite--basically the same but not quite as good," and explains why particularly for women, "context--your external circumstances and your present mental state--is as crucial to your sexual well-being as your body and brain."

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

The practical, fascinating, science-based Come As You Are text reminded me somewhat of a more general book about women's bodies that I read and loved many years ago, Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier.

Another nonfiction, engaging book I loved that is about the human body and how it works is Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson.


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