Sexy Books

Unfortunately I probably won’t have a lot of time to blog this week. My boss is out of town, our accountant just pushed another baby out, and my office spouse had some surgery that involves her holding an ice pack to her groin for the next few days. Basically, I am the low man in the office but somehow I am in charge of this shit. There is a 50% chance I will accidentally burn the building to the ground… so yeah, I won’t have a lot of blog time.

So, instead of my regular ramblings I thought I would just list some awesome books about sex that my lovely follower might be interested in. As you probably know the subject of sex (and the taboo surrounding it) fascinates me, particularly with the increase of open relationships and polyamory that technology has allowed. I don’t really have an abnormal sex drive or anything, I just find the subject fascinating and enjoy studying it. And without further ado… here are my favorite sexy books (with my simplistic summaries):

Sex At Dawn: Definitely the most sciency of the books. The authors work against the parental investment theory that encourages human pair-bonding and monogamy. They use research into bonobos (our evolutionary cousins) and remaining hunter/gatherer tribes to argue humans are much more polyamorous than we are raised to believe. There is societal pressure for monogamy that is based more on those in power trying to control sex, but this monogamous pull may not be “natural”.

The Ethical Slut: This is the least sciency book in the series and still one I recommend EVERYONE read (seriously, I will buy you a copy and ship it to you… fucking read it). It discusses what sexually open people are and some advice for dealing with the struggles polyamorous and open relationships can bring. The authors are often funny, sometimes crass, but always entertaining. Read. This. Book.

What Do Women Want? This book is a middle ground between objective science and subjective stories. It is probably my favorite out of all the books due to it’s accessibility and tone. The author argues that the traditional story of women wanting a “one and only” lifelong mate does not hold up to scientific inquiry and it is dangerous to tell women there is something wrong with them if they desire sexual variety. The author discusses multiple studies on humans and our mammalian relatives, as well as interviews researchers and women who have cheated, desired to cheat, seek open relationships, and practice polyamory.

American Savage: This is kind of a sex book… it is a collection of essays by sex and relationship advice columnist Dan Savage. Just like his podcast it is funny but honest and there are no taboo subjects. This work is particularly personal for Savage and he discusses his marriage, raising a straight child, growing up in a Catholic home, etc. If you don’t listen to his podcast or read his column you should do that right now.

Bonus – The Lifestyle: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers: I’m still reading this so I won’t recommend it strongly yet but so far I enjoy it. It is fascinating to me how common some form of extra-spousal relations happen in the middle class and how varied there are. Very few practitioners of “the lifestyle” participate in orgys, instead most of them just enjoy being in an erotic situation where some sort of voyeurism and exhibitionism is the norm. Some will have multiple sex partners but the lifestyle is more about being open, honest, and participating in something that helps prevent confusion, harm, and secrecy. So far I really like it. This is very similar to my personal experience in the Orgy Dome at Burning Man and intimate experiences with friends… it isn’t about sex, it is about deep honest connections where there is no taboo conversation.

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American Savage

Yesterday I finished Dan Savage’s most recent book “American Savage” and as a fan of Dan’s I really enjoyed it. If you aren’t familiar with Dan Savage he is a sex and relationship advice columnist based out of Seattle. His column and podcast are absolutely fantastic and I have found them incredibly helpful in my personal life as well as inspiring me to look into sex therapy as a professional field. For all intents and purposes he is not your average advice columnist, he is much more realistic about relationships and is willing to tackle things like kinks, bdsm, LGBT issues (he is a happily married gay man with a 15-year old son), and infidelity with an open mind.

His book is really a summary and expansion on things that have been discussed in the other mediums and a regular like me did not find a lot of new material advice material, but I did learn a lot about his personal life and the moments that effected him most. His mother’s death, raising a straight son, bigot politicians, and marriage equality passing in Washington State are all addressed with his perfect blend of humor and logic. While I find his personal life fascinating (I gain a lot of inspiration from the biographies of amazing people) it is his relationship and sex advice that I really enjoy.

The majority of the book is about his life, but ome of the common themes that run through his podcast and column are being GGG and “it’s never okay to cheat, except when it is” are also addressed. The former is something that I strive to live by…. being “good in bed”, “giving pleasure without expectation of immediate reciprocation”, and “game for anything – within reason”. I think a sexual openness is absolutely necessary to maintaining a happy relationship and the science agrees (one of the best things about this book is allows Dan to give research examples to back his views).

While I think this is a great book I don’t agree with several of the chapters. When Dan dives into politics the libertarian in my shudders. I think he is partially wrong on his views of health care reform and really wrong on his gun ownership views, but that’s okay. His “It Gets Better” campaign has helped saved countless lives and he helped save this country from a political disaster by giving Santorum a “google problem”. Dan also admits throughout the book that he was wrong about certain things like bisexuality among men, which should be commended.

Overall Dan is helping move the country forward towards greater equality and freedom for more people, and that should be celebrated. Thanks to Dan the battle for equality in the minds of Americans is almost over, there are certainly still battles ahead but men like Dan Savage have brought us a long way towards a society that embraces, celebrates, and encourages love.