With a serious lack of good sex education in schools, we all know that even as adults we still have to continually educate ourselves on our sex lives…somehow. Drowning in the mass of information on the world wide web, you are probably asking: “Where do I even begin?”
Let’s go back to basics and pick up a good old fashioned book! A book can hold the power to change lives and we wanted to share with you the sexiest and the sassiest of (adult) sex education books on how to improve your sex life.
For your pleasure, we spoke to a few sex-inspired bookworms, therapists and scientists for their hottest recommendations for men, women and non-binary people, from bondage techniques to sexual health and how to navigate the 21st century dating world.
Pick up one of these 7 books and take those 7 minutes or hours to discover, educate or reignite your sexual relationships with yourself and your partners.
First up, publicist Allyson Fields from Cleis Press & Viva Editions gave her four top must-reads for improving your sex life. Cleis Press is America’s oldest and largest sexuality publisher who prides themselves in producing books of merit.
1. Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships by Stella Harris
Whether addressing sexual frustration with your partner, trying out new fantasies, or negotiating the terms of a BDSM scene, Stella Harris believes that communication skills are vital to sexual fulfilment.
Tongue Tied gives readers straightforward advice on how to conquer their fears, identify their needs, and feel positively empowered. Harris charmingly takes readers through all aspects of communication, from basic interpersonal skills to negotiation advice for expert-level kink play.
Learn how to have fun, embrace silly moments, support your loved ones, and take personal responsibility for your desires.
2. A Dirty Word: How a Sex Writer Reclaimed Her Sexuality by Steph Auteri
A beautiful and hilarious mixture of cultural essays and poignant personal stories, A Dirty Word shines a light on what it’s like to feel broken, only to realize that there is no right way to be sexual.
In A Dirty Word, Auteri boldly exposes her own stumbles and triumphs as she explores topics like consent, body image, sex-negativity, and the seeming impossibility of raising a daughter in a culture that is constantly twisting female sexuality to fit its own needs.
In the end, Auteri has found peace through one startling realization: she doesn’t need to be “fixed” after all.
3. Making Sense of “It”: A Guide to Sex for Teens (and Their Parents, Too!) by Alison Macklin
Making Sense of “It” goes beyond the basics of the birds and the bees to give teens a realistic, no-holds barred, nonjudgmental guide on everything having to do with sex and sexuality. With this book, teens can learn about “it” all from the best contraception methods to what to expect at a clinic, even to the signs of an unhealthy relationship.
Alison Macklin draws on her years of experience at Planned Parenthood to address everything teens’ want to and should know in a straightforward, open-minded, and sex-positive manner. Even better, “Conversation Starters” in each chapter give teens and parents a chance to test their knowledge and useful tips to help talk about sex in a way that works for them.
In a world where teens are bombarded with bad information on social media, are meant to feel ashamed of something so natural, Making Sense of “It” counters that with trustworthy, gender-neutral advice on how to be safe, informed, and honest about “it.”
4. The Ultimate Guide to Bondage: Creating Intimacy through the Art of Restraint by Mistress Couple
The Ultimate Guide to Bondage is written by the Headmistress of La Domaine Esemar, the world’s oldest BDSM training chateau, you could not ask for a better guide into the nuances of bondage.
From decorative applications such as wedding rings and corsets, to invisible yet potent mental bondage, to fetish applications such as balloon or nylon encasement, this book provides historical context, powerful insights, tutorials, examples, and activities for every type of bondage enthusiast.
Whether you are looking for an introduction to bondage or seeking new heights of erotic delights, The Ultimate Guide to Bondage is the perfect addition to your dungeon’s bookshelf!
Up next, Katie Ziskind, a marriage & sex therapist and the founder of WisdomWithinCt, recommends:
5. Real Sex for Real Women; Intimacy, Pleasure & Sexual Wellbeing by Laura Berman
Real Sex for Real Women is fabulous for women who are learning about their bodies, particularly by showing in images how respect can be played out while having sex.
I love the variety of positions and the instructional directions. If you’re looking for visual guide, this is a perfect fit for improving intimacy with your partner and building a sensual relationship with your own body!
Recommendation number 6 of our must-reads is by the wonderful Sabrina Tenteromano from Wunderkind, who recommends this empowering guide to navigating the hazards and horrors of online dating.
6. BYE FELIPE: Disses, Dick Pics, and other Delights of Modern Dating by Instagram account creator, Alexandra Tweten
Did you know that 53% of 18-29 year old Americans use dating apps. Bye Felipe is required reading for men and women contending with the world of online dating.
First, it is a guide to helping women deal with the hilarious, yet sometimes terrifying, messages they receive from men on social dating sites and apps.
Second, it is a palatable, enlightened reading for men to try to better understand what the female experience is like in today’s world.
The key to improving your sex life is knowing about consent. In our current #MeToo climate this “field guide” is more relevant and necessary than ever.
It answers questions like “How do I react when a guy sends me a dick pic?,” and gives women the tools they need to take control of their dating life. At the same time it addresses male readers in “what not to do”.
Finally our 7th minute in heaven book recommendation for enhancing your sexual relationships is from founder of Liberos, and sexual health scientists, Dr. Nicole Prause, PHD.
7. “His Porn: Her Pain” by Marty Klein
Porn addiction has been rejected as a diagnosis by every major national and international diagnostic body, yet the public remains largely unaware of this due to the advocacy of religious groups.
In His Porn: Her Pain, Dr. Klein walks through how sex films actually work in a relationship and the meaning of conflict around the films. He offers sensible ways to develop understanding with a partner and useful methods of working with a couple’s therapist around this topic surrounded by so much misinformation.
So there you have it. Whether you are a novice or an expert in the sexual world, these adult sex education books might be that key ingredient to living your best sexy self.