I’m not a religious person but I am publicly declaring Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by (the DIVINE) Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. as my new bible.
Seriously, ever since I got since a signed copy from the author (fangirl squeal) 6 months ago, I have been throwing it around as advice like my southern, good Christian relatives throw the Good Book.
You want to know more about female sexuality? Read Come As You Are.
You struggling with your relationship and talking about sex? Read Come As You Are.
You read 50 Shades? Read Come As You Are (it’s a better use of your time).
You looking for a new book to read? Read Come As You Are.
You having a bad day? Read Come As You Are.
I’m dead serious, I’ve made this suggestion in all of those situations.
When I met Emily Nagoski at Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit (something else I highly recommend like it’s traveling revival you must attend when it’s in town) a few years ago, I didn’t know what had just walked in a quietly out of my life. She was so deeply nice, approachable, and fun-loving. Just a great person but also wicked smart—she studied things I was only dreaming of peering into at the time like neurology and radical theories on desire. She mentioned in passing how she had compiled her beautiful thoughts into a book which I enthusiastically wanted to support. Take my money! But this graceful creature told me she would get me a copy free of charge.
And being a spoiled brat, I demanded she sign it.
And being a spoiled brat, I demanded she sign it.
When I first received my book bible, I began humming “Come As You Are” while flipping through the first few pages—that should have been my sign because what was inside was Nirvana. Ok, please don’t let my bad joke ruin my favorite passage for you:
Here’s what you need to know right now: The information in this book will show you that whatever you’re experiencing in your sexuality—whether it’s challenges with arousal, desire, orgasm, pain, no sexual sensations—is the result of your sexual response mechanism functioning appropriately…in an inappropriate world. You are normal; it is the world around you that’s broken.
Just let that sink in. That’s on page 9 of 400 pages of wonderful scripture.
I took a picture of this passage and made it my phone’s background for over a week even though my camera phone sucks and the quality was blurry. Within the pages of this book, Dr. Nagoski patiently and generously tells you how normal you are and not only that—you believe it. That’s the transformation to your sex life. And I don’t just mean in the bedroom, I mean that’s what changes your whole sexual life—your identity, your perspective, your being, your sex in your life.
The chapterspsalms take you through the journey of understanding sexual desire as having both an excitation system and an inhibition system (which Emily breaks down as a gas and a brake pedal in the car that is your body). To reach the desire levels you want, you explore the things that hit your gas pedal and minimize the things that slam on the brakes. Neuroscience is broken into loaves and fishes for the masses—it’s easy to digest and nourishing by validating all your experiences (good and bad). There is a quiz that gives you exact results for your sexuality and pairs up with a chapter of pragmatic advice, all delivered with the knowledgeable warmth and care Dr. Nagoski brings to all of her interactions. This is the new science.
I think my favorite part of the book is how she weaves personal accounts with thorough and impressive research. To me, that truly underscores the validation she provides for her audience. You are normal. You know your body. You have just as much to contribute to the understanding and experience of sex as smartypants doctors, researchers, professors, everyone.
And just like the other great spiritual texts, Come As You Are is not just for those in trouble. Multiple chapters unleash the awesome skills you already have (but maybe don’t realize yet) so that you can truly transform your sex life into something, well… transformational. Great sex is not just about frequency or even desire, it’s about experiencing your sex life and being able to talk about it with your partner(s). Great sex moves past anything we were told in this broken world and creates a beautiful normal. Because you are normal.
So I encourage you to join me, join Lotus Blooms, in talking about our normals. This may be a surprise for you, but I convinced the team to let me host Come As You Are as Lotus Blooms’ premiere book club book. I cannot promise I will not make it into a cult [Ed. note: best cult ever!] but I can promise engaging conversations about the messages we receive in this world and outstanding normal we bring to it.
I heard you, Emily, I’m normal. And you may be the Second Coming in my book.
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Lauren Moore is the Distribution Manager aka the Toy Wrangler for Lotus Blooms. Their background is in Marriage and Family Therapy and Human Sexuality. Their passion is to become a Sex Therapist and kink researcher in the DC area. In the meantime, they volunteer for the Center for Positive Sexuality, manage 2 personal websites, write a biology textbook for therapists, and have intense conversations about sex toys... you know, for fun.