I actually finished the second part of this book, Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D, several weeks ago and I started reading the books several months ago, yet I am still not finished. Between the school year coming to a close, being a single parent, a recent visit all the way from South Florida, and the way things have picked up with the blog, I have lost all track of trackable time.
On top of that, I couldn’t quite figure out whether I wanted to present the second review the same way that I presented the first one. This book really causes you to analyze how many of the things mentioned in it resonate within you own life. If you missed the first review, you can catch up on it here.
For a sex blogger, it very easily becomes the book that launched a thousand post as you recall your sexual experiences and proclaim you sexual freedom to openly talk about and express those experiences.
Part 2: Sex in Context
There is a part where the author explains that ten to twenty percent of people have an increased interest in sex when stressed but even so, stress tends to reduce sexual pleasure in everyone. For me, it depends on the type of stress it is. Everyday, work and responsibilities type stress produce less pleasurable sexual experiences than growth type stress. I don’t have the money to pay my car note stress is very different from I just got out of a janky marriage stress. The sex following the latter is much more amazing.
Chapter 4: Emotional Context: Sex in a monkey Brain
In chapter four, there was a disclaimer of sorts that you could possibly skip it if it wasn’t applicable to your specific circumstances. I read it but I didn’t pay much attention to it. Sorry.This chapter includes information on the hows and whys of completing stress cycles; it also talks about love and attachment as well as some aspects of sexual trauma and depression.
It is certainly a valuable chapter to read should any of the things I mentioned above apply to your own experience. Dr. Nagoski recommends several titles to further assist individuals who have gone through such events. Take Back Your Sex also has a really great article about sexual context as it pertains to consent.
Chapter 5: Cultural Context: A sex-positive life in a sex-negative world
Chapter five is a favorite because it’s something we can all relate to to some degree; having a sex-positive life in a sex-negative world.
I love her garden metaphor. It’s a way of explaining how most of what we know about sex is what we have been taught by our culture. A lot of which has been totally debunked by countless studies. She goes through what some of those things entail and how they get “planted in our garden”. Culturally, we receive three types of messages: the media, the medical, the moral. “You are inadequate; you are diseased; you are damaged goods.” It’s not easy to figure out how to love yourself in a world that’s constantly telling you you have no reason to; Life Coach Alex Howlett gives you a great start in her article, “What Self Love Really Means.”
Through such messages, we are taught falsehood about our weight, size(body shaming); about purity and the number of partners we have (slut-shaming- which Rose speaks very bluntly about in her article “Can We Hurry Up & Stop Slut Shaming“). Through these messages we are also told how to have better sex or do other sexual things better; better orgasms, better relationships (as it relates to sex); as though our natural way of proceeding is not acceptable.
Here are a couple of quotes from chapter five that I love.
“Women have cultural permission to criticize ourselves, but we are punished if we praise ourselves, if we dare say we like ourselves the way we are.”
“Remind yourself that the day you were born, your body was a cause for celebration, for love without condition, and that’s just as true today as it was then.”
Great, great take away.
On the premise of chapter five, I also wanted to share two messages I’ve received socially as a sexual being, particularly as a mother and single parent.
- Being a mother makes you less desirable, which is something I talked about in detail in the Free My Postpartum Sexuality post.
- A woman may have several children which leads people to determine that she needs help yet too many to actually deserve the help it has been determined she needs.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading part two. Hopefully, it won’t take me as long to get through the next couple of parts.
This post contains an affiliate link to the book Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life which means I will receive a small commission when purchased through the link, so thank you very much.
Felice Casorati (1883-1963), Nudo (Nudo disteso che legge) / Nude (Reclining Nude reading), 1943.