CBR Bingo – Sex
I started reading this book in December. I finished reading it in July and began this review in August. And I’m here today to finally get it to the finish line. What has taken me so long? This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill book review procrastination, nay, I have a confession to make. I am 41 years old, and I am super duper uncomfortable talking about sex. But I finally bit the bullet and posted a reel review to Instagram where it will live on the internet, so writing this review should be a cakewalk. (Sort of. But it’s still scary. But here I am).
I came upon this book by the recommendation of my therapist and my friend, who is also a therapist, so I guess we could say 2 out of 2 therapists (that Ashlie knows) recommend this book. It is an examination and dismantling of female sexuality by Nagoski, who is an expert on the topic. She makes reading a book about a topic that might make you uncomfortable about as pleasant as it can be.
The main flashing neon sign to take away is that whatever you’ve heard about “sex drive” or what women are supposed to do/be/feel like is flaming hot trash. Sexuality is as individual as a fingerprint and nothing about what you like, need or how your body and mind react is wrong or bad (She shouts and waves her fist at Catholicism and the patriarchy who strongly beg to differ). My whole life I’ve wondered why I can’t be like people in movies and TV, who are just ready to hop in the sack. Well, Nagoski distinguishes between “spontaneous desire,” i.e., hopping in, and “responsive desire,” i.e. context matters greatly. And one isn’t right and the other wrong, it’s just different.
The book has excerpts from patients as well as exercises you can do to examine and unpack your own experience. There is a companion workbook that I have, but haven’t filled out yet, which I’m sure is just as useful.
If you a) are a woman or b) want to have a better understanding of modern women’s sexuality, pick up this book. And if it takes you seven months to read it, well you are in excellent company.