7 Remarkable Reads Empowering Your Journey of Sexual Self-Discovery and Acceptance

We’re long past the days of women not wanting to endeavor in their sexual exploration. But many women still don’t know where to start. These books can help.

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Three books with images of a couple, of a woman's face and neck, and full of colors: "Sexy... It's Not That Serious" by Morgan Toombs, "Sensual Faith" by Lyvonne Briggs, and "Be Not Afraid of Love" by Mimi Zhu. They are set against a black and red background with silver chains winding through it.

Whether you’re finding your pleasure with a partner or going it solo, discovering what sexual satisfaction means for you takes many women on a whirlwind adventure to realizing what truly makes them feel sexually fulfilled. For quite a time, a woman’s sexual pleasure was written off in society, deemed absent or irrelevant. In this current cultural awakening of embracing all of yourself, women have begun to more openly express their desires, wants, needs, and boundaries.

“By empowering your sexuality, you can empower yourself.”

A Woman’s Guide to Exploring Her Sexuality, Anna Graham

Going on your own sexual journey may seem challenging, especially for women, young and old, who are just beginning to explore and figure themselves out as they seek to understand their bodies, but there’s help. Find what works for you in these seven remarkable books that will empower you on your road to sexual self-discovery and acceptance.

Reclaiming Your Sexual Self: How You Can Bring Desire Back Into Your Life by Kathryn Hall

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Sex therapist Dr. Kathryn Hall is here to let women know that, contrary to what many “experts” say, your lack of sexual desire may not be due to a hormonal imbalance. It may be due to a life imbalance. In Reclaiming Your Sexual Self, Hall divulges ways for women to discover the source of what’s causing their lack of sexual desire by helping women identify their imbalances and unearth those sexual feelings that may have been lost or ignored. With the exercises in Hall’s book, women will find that it’s okay to want sex and how to enjoy it, ways to communicate with your partner, and how to establish a long-term sexual connection that will help women keep their sexual desire and passion alive and well.

Sensual Faith: The Art of Coming Home to Your Body by Lyvonne Briggs

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In Sensual Faith, author Lyvonne Briggs tells us it’s time for radical self-hospitality. Using traditional West African spirituality, Briggs helps women map out their own path to spiritual wellness and ways to practice that will synchronize the body with pleasure and sexuality. The way women view their bodies has been long due to the stifled, oppressive connection with religious spiritual practices that forces women to leave their flesh behind. Places of worship have been unwelcoming to the body. Briggs’s Sensual Faith presents wellness rituals, affirmations, journal prompts, and various practices that show women how to celebrate and accept their fleshly bodies and treat them like home.

Finding and Revealing Your Sexual Self: A Guide to Communicating about Sex by Ginger Holczer and Libby Bennett

For the curious ones having difficulty discussing sex freely and without all of the awkwardness, this book is for you. Finding and Revealing Your Sexual Self is all about breaking down those walls and being able to openly and effectively communicate. Let’s face it — many of us still have a hard time opening up when it comes to talking about sex, whether it’s with a partner, a therapist, or our healthcare providers.

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This book provides an explorative look into sexuality, along with exercises and advice to aid couples and individuals on how to have important discussions when it comes to this uneasy topic by introducing the idea that everyone’s perception, upbringing, trauma, and expectations get comfy underneath the covers with them. Let Ginger Holczer and Libby Bennett’s Finding and Revealing Your Sexual Self guide you on your journey to better expressing yourself openly about sex.

Straight Sex: Rethinking The Politics of Pleasure by Lynne Segal

Author Lynne Segal is tackling big-picture questions when it comes to heterosexual women and sex. In this exploration of feminist thought on sexuality, Segal takes an in-depth look at whether straight sex is damaging to women and if women can enjoy the pleasures of sex with men without increasing men’s power. Published over twenty years ago, the stigma surrounding women and how they are viewed by the traditional male gaze still exists.

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For decades, many women have long since openly declared their liberated and feminist stances, though heterosexual women’s silence seems to speak volumes. Segal confronts this silence and the cultural shift toward sexual conservatism while examining trends from sex advice literature to the rise of the moral right. Segal’s Straight Sex urges women — and men — to rethink sexual liberation and how it can truly invigorate progressive politics.

Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving by Betty Dodson

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What’s more sexually expressive than the idea of self-love? In her book, Sex For One, sex expert Betty Dodson gifts us with her straightforward guide to masturbation as she confronts one of society’s deeply rooted but vital forms of sexual revelation. Dodson makes no qualms about masturbation being both sexually and spiritually fulfilling for men and women. We can make love alone without hangups, guilt, and/or loneliness. Because sex doesn’t have to simply be for individuals, but it can also be shared as a treat for couples. Not only is it the safest way to have sex, but it’s a joy that we all can experience with ourselves well into our golden years.

Be Not Afraid of Love: Lessons on Fear, Intimacy, and Connection by Mimi Zhu

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As a survivor of intimate-partner abuse, author Mimi Zhu rediscovers ways to love themselves in this testament to strength and adaptability. In this exploration of love and fear in self-esteem, friendship, family, and relationships, Zhu’s Be Not Afraid of Love shows what it means to be broken and in search of healing, and by extension, the societal and political effects of our world. As Zhu shares their experiences, they invite us to reflect on our own, work to undo the hurt and uncertainty within, and ultimately remind us to shed our fear of love.

Sexy … It’s Not That Serious: How To Feel Sexy at Any Age and Size by Morgan B. Toombs

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For women, “not feeling good enough” can play a major role in our health and relationships. Feeling sexy is usually served with a hefty dose of criticism, even in our modern society. As a leading expert on what it means to be authentically sexy, Morgan Toombs offers ten truths about being authentically sexy and eight ways to embody it while still honoring every part of you.

Celebrate Every Part of Your Womanly Self

During Women’s History Month, celebrate yourself and take time to explore every facet of what it means to truly be a woman in this modern age of self-discovery, acceptance, and expression of self. Let these seven books help you forge a path that’s right for you. Whatever that journey looks like for you, whether with a partner or in the comfort of your own embrace, follow that path to complete self-satisfaction. Because sex is not where fulfillment goes to die.

“I believe when we’re able to fully own and express ourselves, we are able to tap into a creative power deeply rooted from our sexual energy – which is our creative energy. We’re so sexually loose, and also sexually strained. We don’t understand the creative power we have because we’re so busy using it in all the wrong ways – or worse, not using it at all.”

Author Lauryn Doll

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