“Come As You Are” Book Highlights By Me
There are so many meaningful books and resources out there, it’s hard to keep up! Whether you want to read about relationships, business, health, finances or any other topic the books to read are endless.
I just finished a book about sexual desire, sexual responsiveness, and overall attitude about sex. As a relationship center, intimacy and sexuality are often topics of concern that we address at Therapy With Heart. I believe this book can alter your relationship with your partner, with your body, and your own sexuality. Although I highly recommend reading the book, I’m also realistic that many are busy and find it hard to find time to read so I decided to summarize some important points from the book here. Hopefully, it will interest you enough to buy your own copy of Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski.
- Nothing is wrong with you! Unless you are having pain, what your genitals look like, what increases your arousal or doesn’t, and whether or not you orgasm is unique to you. Most people have experienced some level of sexual shaming which negatively impacts their view of themselves as a sexual being. The research shows and Dr. Nagoski reiterates this throughout the book, that you are normal and beautiful as you are!
- We all have sexual accelerators (what turns you on) and sexual brakes (what turns you off). Context is important to evaluate to help you decrease the brakes and increase the accelerators. How high is your stress level? What are the circumstances in that moment? For example, you might have a sensitive accelerator (easily aroused) but your brakes get hit by screaming kids, exhaustion, and feelings of overwhelm. What is your brain state? These are brain and relationship factors including your overall mood, how trusting or not, loving or not, you are in that moment. She uses the metaphor of tickling to explain context. In a positive context it can be fun but in a negative context it can be seriously irritating! For most, the best context is low stress+affection+explicit eroticism.
- We often talk about differences in sex drives, typically men have a higher sex drive than women. Sex is an incentive motivation system not a biological drive (like hunger for food drives eating). This is an important distinction because the sexual drive model increases the belief that something is wrong with you if your drive is different than your partners. Although the sexual needs may feel like an innate drive, it is not. If you have responsive desire (require a sexy context to create arousal such as a quiet, romantic night out with little stress and anticipation of being intimate) this is normal and more common than spontaneous desire.
I hope I gave you some information to think about. There are many negative beliefs that women often carry such as “something is wrong with me because I can’t orgasm with intercourse” (as many as 75-80% of women don’t), or “I must have hormone deficiencies because my sex drive is so low” (definitely go to get your hormones checked, but also take some time to explore what’s getting in your way of intentionally creating time for intimacy), or “I can’t relax and enjoy intimacy with my partner because I feel so awful about my body” (most men want women who are engaged and passionate about being with them more than they care about weight or physical appearance). Because so many of my women clients struggle with these sexual issues, Come As You Are truly takes a simple and fresh approach that offers support and a fresh perspective to these very common problems. This book offers the possibility to shift our negative sexual culture into a positive one. I truly recommend reading it. Your sexual self deserves this time!