14 Books That Will Improve Your Sex Life, According To Sex-perts

Whether you're having sex with yourself or a partner, these sexual wellness titles will absolutely get you off.
"Shameless: A Sexual Reformation" by Nadia Bolz-Weber, "Come As You Are" by Emily Nagoski and “Boyslut: A Memoir & Manifesto”by Zachary Zane.
"Shameless: A Sexual Reformation" by Nadia Bolz-Weber, "Come As You Are" by Emily Nagoski and “Boyslut: A Memoir & Manifesto”by Zachary Zane.

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Anyone that’s been neglecting the more pleasurable aspects of life lately would be well advised to stay tuned to this week’s installment of HuffPost Books, which is all about sex.

Sex with yourself, sex with others, sex with longtime partners and even the existing perceptions that you may currently hold about sex. We reached out to several sex therapists and educators to find out the best reading material for improving anyone’s sex life, no matter who you are or how you identify.

Whether it’s unlearning antiquated and shame-filled ideals or breaking down the most elusive components of the female orgasm, these helpful and sexy works can guide you into gratifying bliss.

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"The Erotic Mind" by Jack Morin
The late Dr. Jack Morin was a San Francisco-based sex therapist who focused on not just the factors that make great sex, but also the development and evolution of relationships. His book, “The Erotic Mind,” is an analysis of 1,000 different climactic sexual experiences. The subject matter alone is enough to titillate even the most timid of readers, but Morin goes further than just a voyeuristic look into people’s most intense encounters. He examines what made these experiences fulfilling emotionally and physically, then offers back to his reader the insight needed for their own self-discovery into what they find sexually fulfilling.

“This book is great for anyone who wants to understand what makes their erotic life rev up or stall out. It isn't a how-to book; it's a judgment-free exploration of the variety of erotic responses humans can experience. It is sprinkled with stories from ‘The Group’ people who shared their peak experiences with the author. If you've ever wondered how to combine intimacy and lust in relationships, you might find some answers here.”Wendy Sellers (aka The Puberty Lady) a Michigan-based therapist with a focus on educating children and parents in preparation for puberty and adolescence.
"Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence” by Esther Perel
Esther Perel is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author, with a practice based in New York City and a knack for understanding modern love and erotic intelligence. Her book, “Mating in Captivity,” is an international bestseller that, according to the publisher, examines the “paradoxical relationship between domesticity and sexual desire,” and the ways to maintain that desire. Utilizing her decades of experience as a relationship and couples therapist in addition to various case studies, Perel’s book is like a honest breath of fresh air when it comes to matters of the bedroom.

“Perel's work is a must-read for anybody seeking to better understand why desire fades in long-term relationships. Every couple dreads that moment of realization — the one when it dawns on you that you’ve got the sexual blahs. Perel highlights the critical factors at play, helping readers to understand why humans have trouble wanting that which they already have. Readers are challenged to consider how intimacy begets sexuality, how security saps erotic vitality, and how fire needs air. Lovers are enlightened on the importance of erotic independence, investing in one's erotic plot, and how couples can feel more alive. Perel helps readers to focus on how to want what they already have.” Yvonne K. Fulbright, an author, relationship expert and AASECT-certified sexuality educator.
"Come As You Are" by Emily Nagoski
Regarded as one of the latest and most essential reads on sexual wellness, and also the only book that was suggested by nearly every sex therapist that HuffPost reached out to, “Come As You Are,” by sex educator and author Emily Nagoski, focuses on women’s sexuality using relevant and recent data. Nagoski dives into science, anatomy, hormones and so many other varied components that play a role in sex — all in a way that’s accessible for any reader. She’s also recently published a follow-up book, “Come Together: The Science (and Art!) of Creating Lasting Sexual Connections,” which focuses more on maintaining a sexual relationship with your partner that evolves instead of drying up.

“I suggest this book for all to read. Dr. Nagoski offers research, examples and exercise for all to explore what women's experience of sexuality looks like. Not every piece of the text will fit for all, and the idea that sexuality exists within the context of the air we breathe as we grow into ourselves is priceless.” — Hilleren

“[It’s] revolutionary in the sense of how it reframes female sexuality and normalizes the different aspects of it by including discussions on female and male sexual anatomy, desire/arousability, stress/trauma, societal norms and orgasms. The book also includes worksheets that I find are very helpful to use with my clients and are very reflective for anyone reading the book!” — Gerdts
“The Come As You Are Workbook: A Practical Guide to the Science of Sex” by Emily Nagoski
“This is Nagoski’s companion book to her well-received first book ‘Come As You Are’ in which she colloquially explains the scientific measure the Dual Control Model, first introduced by researchers Dr. John Bancroft and Dr. Erik Janssen, [which] presents the framework that sexual desire is the combination of excitation and inhibition processes, which need to be in balance for a person to feel erotically turned on. This follow-up book by Nagoski is user-friendly and filled with both education and journal prompts that allow the reader to really take a mindful dive into what contexts they need to fully feel: desire, pleasure and arousal.” Sari Cooper, certified sex therapist, relationship expert and director of The Center for Love and Sex in New York City.
"She Comes First" by Ian Kerner
Clinical sexologist Ian Kerner is here to demystify what too many have wondered — how to make sure that “she comes first.” His sex book guides the valiant in their quest of mutual climaxes, and contends the best way to achieve this is on the “tip of the tongue.” Kerner passionately believes the key to a female orgasm is more likely to happen with oral sex and that it’s much more than foreplay, but rather the foundational base to great sex. With techniques and methods for the ultimate in sexual efficacy, think of “She Comes First,” as like an easy-to-read user’s manual to the vagina and sexual intimacy.

“It is a practical and accessible read for men and women who choose to be with a female partner.” — Nasserzadeh
"Shameless: A Sexual Reformation" by Nadia Bolz-Weber
Nadia Bolz-Weber might make a surprising author for a sex book considering she’s an ordained Lutheran pastor. But she’s not here to shame you out of your kinks. Bolz-Weber is well known in progressive Christian circles as being welcoming, honest and not at all interested in “antiquated ideas about sex, gender, and our bodies,” according to her publisher. Knowing how damaging puritanical prejudices can be, Bolz-Weber wrote “Shameless: A Sexual Reformation,” to do just what the title suggests — provide a renovated understanding of sex that’s free from judgment. Her book crafts a journey that acknowledges the occasionally destructive, guilt-based and archaic views that Christianity has surrounding sex. And using bluntness and humor, Bolz-Weber provides a healing path for intimacy for those who have been impacted by any religion-related shame.

“Did you grow up in the midst of purity culture? Have you been steeped in religious training that emphasizes the ‘thou shalt nots’ and ignores sexuality as part of every individual's wholeness? Well, it's time for a personal reformation, and this book will help you knit together the spiritual with the sensual and sexual.” — Sellers
"Pleasure Activism: the Politics of Feeling Good" by Adrienne Brown
Author and activist Adrienne Brown's book “Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good,” aims to make pleasure and social justice harmonious. By practicing “pleasure activism,” and pulling from what Brown calls “Black feminist tradition,” she guides her readers to find a base for their sexual identity in healing. It’s composed of essays, poems, interviews and artwork from feminist trailblazers and thinkers like Sonya Renee Taylor, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and more. The essay topics are as vast and multifaceted as sexuality is, with subjects from “sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs,” each providing a way of viewing the politics surrounding sex and our bodies in a positive and empowering way.

“I read this book with my clients because it addresses how systems and society sometimes place a dictatorship on how people express their sexuality; how good and how radical it must feel for the female client to see how her performance anxiety was tied to unachievable standards to overperform and please males' bodies? Lastly, by tying race and historical events relating to transpolitics, it adds another layer to how achieving pleasure is a means to achieve justice in a world that constantly pushes against and benefits from the suffering of marginalized communities.” Victoria Gerdts, a Los Angeles-based sex therapist with a focus on sexual advocacy for LGBTQIA+-affirmative, feminist/multicultural and disability justice.
"Guide to Getting it On" by Paul Joannides
Research psychoanalyst Paul Joannides’ illustrated book, “Guide To Getting It On,” was first published in 1998 and continues to be a resource guide for, you guessed it, “getting it on.” The aim of the book is to help not only heighten intimacy, but also increase your own level of sexual pleasure. It easily breaks down sexual anatomy, orgasms and even the ways to best articulate your desires with yourself and your partner, among other things. And, in the most recent edition of this book, you’ll find updated studies and factual information on everything from female orgasms to premature ejaculation and plenty of insights on various kinks.

“This text is phenomenal for providing clear and direct information for anyone. Readers will learn about topics they may not have considered including sexual behaviors, websites and social practices. The ‘Guide’ continues to be updated as the world culture changes and is an invaluable resource to practitioners as well as anyone interested in sexuality terms, definitions and practices.”Jennie Hilleren,AASECT-certified sex, marriage and family therapist based in Minnesota.
"Girl Boner" by August McLaughlin
Fed up with the ways female sexuality and pleasure are sold, journalist and host of “Girl Boner Radio” August McLaughlin set out to equip women with true sexual empowerment and female enjoyment in her book “Girl Boner.” McLaughlin explores how labels are thrust on women and how culture treats sex, without a nuanced or accurate understanding of female desire. She offers a different perspective, one which provides a more inclusive and sex-positive place for everyone, by utilizing honest narratives, tips, journaling prompts and even a guide into seven different types of orgasms.

“[It’s] an empowering book for younger women to deconstruct the societal messages around their sexuality and own.” — Sara Nasserzadeh, author, sex therapist and advisory board member of the World Association for Sexual Health.
"The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina" by Dr. Jen Gunter
Dubbed as Twitter’s resident gynecologist by her followers online, Dr. Jen Gunter is an esteemed OB/GYN and fierce advocate for women’s health. Her encyclopedic book “The Vagina Bible” tackles all things, well, vaginal and in her introduction Gunter boldly states that she has a “vagenda:'' to inform, educate and empower women with vaginas and vulvas. In her book she provides accurate advice and facts about things you might not know, are curious to know, or are common misconceptions about all topics from pubic hair to the HPV vaccine.

“It is an informative read which debunks many societal misinformation about the female genitals and reproductive organs in an accessible language.” — Nasserzadeh
"Coping With Premature Ejaculation" by Barry W. McCarthy and Micheal E. Metz
Together, Barry W. McCarthy and Michael E. Metz authored “Coping with Premature Ejactulation” to provide recent scientifically based and “multidimensional methods” on overcoming premature ejaculation, a condition that impacts approximately 20-30% of men in the sexually active age group, according to the National Institutes of Health. They discuss the ways in which not only the physical, but also the biological and psychological, can impact men and their sexual performance, as well guide premature ejaculation sufferers on how to maintain healthy partner relationships.

“[This is] for men and their partners who want to learn more about how to manage the emotional, physical and relational aspects of premature ejaculation.” — Nasserzadeh
“Boyslut: A Memoir & Manifesto” by Zachary Zane
“[This]is the book you want it to be. [Zachary] Zane’s irreverent, sassy writing about his own experiences with bisexuality, modern hookups and being a boyslut (a term coined by Zane) allows the reader to recognize that life has no time for inhibitions. While the book is not a panacea to curing sexual shame, I recommend this book for my queer and kinky clients who need to see that you can navigate shame and still have fun, amazing sex. And if all else fails, it’s a fun read and conversation starter for your next get-together.”Libby Ebert, a Chicago-based relationship and sex therapist at Embrace Sexual Wellness.
“Magnificent Sex: Lessons from Extraordinary Lovers” by Peggy Kleinplatz & A. Dana Ménard
“[This book] combines modern, in-depth research to find key themes that repeat across relationships that have great sex. From kinky clients to those who have a dead bedroom, ‘Magnificent Sex’ is a great all-rounder book to reframe what sex can look like and chip away at the sad, incorrect belief that bad sex in relationships is inevitable. If you take nothing else away from the book, please remember that sex does not need to decrease in quality in long-term relationships but instead can be the perfect playground for exploration.” — Ebert
“The Body is Not an Apology” by Sonya Renee Taylor
“Sonya Renee Taylor breaks down the body shame that blocks people from authenticity and full expression of their physical/spiritual/psychological/political selves. She takes the reader through the building blocks of radical self-love, including: body ownership and examining all the ways in which folx have learned how to question, criticize, hurt and disown their own bodies due to sexist, heteronormative and white-centered concepts of beauty. Taylor identifies herself as a big, Black, queer person who has created a manifesto to help all people feel like their bodies are worthy of being a nourishing home. Her writing reflects the biopsychosocial-spiritual framework I utilize to honor the multiple intersectional variables impacting people’s sexual and relational functioning.” — Cooper

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