Book review by Bibliosexa host Toya Ricci.
In Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life educator and researcher Emily Nagoski brings academic research to the masses.
The book is super-accessible and cleverly breaks down the human sexual response cycle into things that turn us on (accelerators) and things that turn us off (brakes). The key is to be aware of the things that influence our brakes and accelerators, which can range from everything to stress, emotions or trauma.
The book does an excellent job of explaining the physical and emotional mechanics of desire, arousal and orgasm. Throughout, Nagoski frequently and enthusiastically reminds us that we are all normal and that there is much to celebrate in our bodies and sexuality.
Although Nagoski attempts to add some sexual diversity, you will get the most use out of this book if you are a vulva owner. What this book does well is introduce the basic ideas behind sexuality education and offers an excellent entry point for understanding yourself and your body.
Even if you are well versed in your sexuality, there will still be some gems, especially around the exploration of attachment issues, sexual pain and resolving the emotions associated with sex and orgasm.
Overall, the Bibliosexa group found the book to be enjoyable, giving it a solid 8/10.
The book generated robust discussion around how we use our brakes and accelerators and how our emotions and thoughts are influenced by body perception, our partners and the media. While we felt that Nagoski was a bit heavy-handed and simplistic in her use of metaphors, we did find that the storytelling techniques she used helped to make the scientific descriptions more accessible.
Looking for an introduction to tantra? Join Bibliosexa either in person or online, for our next book, Urban Tantra by Barbara Carrellas on Next Meeting: Thursday 3 June at 7pm (in-person) / Thursday 10 June at 7pm (online).