Connell and Marianne encountered many types of people during their years together. Here are some of the best, and the worst.
I’m not sure if I’d recommend reading a book about puberty with charmingly pornographic cartoons in a public park on a bustling New York afternoon.
It’s officially the month of love, and as we learn from doctor/author Emily Nagoski, our most powerful sexual organ is actually located between our ears (not our legs). That’s why we chose to highlight these stimulating reads that inform and inspire us on a subject that doesn’t get enough attention: female sexuality. So, whether you’ve got a Valentine’s date lined up or plan to indulge in a little romance for one, these books will definitely get you in the mood!
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Years and years of research on the female libido and we still lack a universal answer to the question of “what makes us tick”. Why? As Dr. Nagoski explains in this New York Times bestseller, there isn’t one. Unlike men, all women have unique sexualities that vary and are highly influenced by life’s complications like mood, setting, and body image. Understanding these elements and how to take control of them will transform your sexual wellbeing in ways you may never have thought possible!
2. ‘F*cked: Being sexually explorative and self-confident in a world that’s screwed’ by Corinne Fisher & krystyna Hutchinson
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If you haven’t listened to Guys We F*cked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast, then first of all, what are you doing?! Hosts and now debuting authors Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson have tackled every subject under the umbrella of sexuality, from kinks and toys to trauma and shame. The best part? They laugh the whole way through… because let’s be honest, sex can be hilarious. These ladies are not for the faint of heart, so gear up and proceed with caution.
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This is one for women who date men (bless our souls). From sex therapist Ian Kerner comes “the thinking man’s guide to pleasuring a woman,” starring one particular act of foreplay that we can all agree deserves a spotlight. Buy this book for your boyfriends, husbands, friends, acquaintances… just any guy, really. Maybe not your coworker.
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Slightly different from the previous books on this list, Taddeo takes a narrative approach to female sexuality by following the real lives of three American women over the span of eight years. One sleeps with her high school teacher, one cheats on a loveless marriage with an old flame, one has sex with other men in front of her husband: all will make you feel deeply connected to the trials of womanhood. Bold, messy, and real from start to finish, Three Women is an absolute must-read.
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It’s been nearly five decades since the iconic novel was first released and met with controversy typical of the time, but it is no less relevant today than it was then. The story follows fictional character Isadora Wing through a series of sexual fantasies and encounters that ultimately lead to some serious self-discovery. Her “fear of flying” applies both to traveling on planes and to existing free from the confines of traditional femininity, making Jong a pioneer of sexual liberation who paved the way for our modern Hannah Horvaths and Carrie Bradshaws.
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You simply can’t talk about lesbian fiction without mentioning Sarah Waters. Set in 1890s England, Tipping the Velvet is the coming of age story of Nan King, an oyster girl who falls in love with a male impersonator and enters an all-consuming affair that severely alters the rest of her adult life. Packed with juicy eroticism, gender-bending, and queer love, you won’t want to put this one down.
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Not to be confused with the classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden is a collection of real women’s sexual fantasies gathered through letters and interviews. Originally published in 1973, this book faced its fair share of backlash from the conservative public for its shocking content, female masturbation being at the top of the list. There are some details that may make even the modern reader raise an eyebrow, including one woman’s fantasy about her neighbor’s dog. Have we piqued your curiosity yet?
Light a candle, pour a glass of wine, and crack open one of these exhilarating titles (or stimulate your senses with an audiobook version). Happy Galentine’s, ladies!
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The dreaded ten to twelve-year-old gap where every child becomes curious about their bodies. Feelings begin to arise that weren’t there before, and it seemed as though there was no one to talk to about it. Why is that? Parents have become very distraught with the thought of having a conversation about sex. So much so, that they would rather poke themselves in the eye with a fork. So, then who do we turn to when all else fails? The media of course.
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Peggy Orenstein’s Boys and Sex, a spin-off from her 2016 Girls and Sex, discusses the in-depth interview that she had with more than 100 college and college-bound boys, and young men on what it takes to be a man. Orenstein discovers that most parents with teenage boys between the ages of seventeen to twenty-two haven’t had the talk about intimacy with their sons. Leaving boys and young men to revert to media for their source of reference, porn. With these distorted ideas of intimacy, these young men find it hard stay away from, as Orenstein puts it, “channeling 1955…still all about stoicism, sexual conquest, dominance, aggression.”
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It’s sad to say but society has made it so that boys aren’t allowed to speak about their emotions and become vulnerable, leaving them fearful of being judged. They have been forced to train themselves to suppress their feelings, except for happiness and anger. This, ultimately, has led many young men to coin the phrase #nohomo for basic human emotions in order to express themselves without being accused of being gay.
However, it doesn’t stop there. There is also a thin line between being respectful towards a woman and being apart of the “Bro Culture”.
Much like the guidelines for intimacy, young men have not been allotted the opportunity to know what that means. It has come to a point where being respectful to a woman is more of a statement than a guideline. Within the “Bro Culture”, there is little room for any man to stand up or speak up for a girl or young woman without being judged for doing so. Good Morning America praised Orenstein’s book for how it navigates sexuality and masculinity in today’s world, stating that, “Many boys end up going along with things even when they feel like their male peers are being inappropriate.
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The term hookup has been distorted as well. If you don’t know what a hookup is, neither does the rest of the world. Unlike other terms in the young adult language, hookups have more than one meaning. It can mean anything from kissing, oral sex, intercourse, and more. Many of these ‘hookups’ in college can mean any one of those three categories. Due to the broadness of the meaning, there can be expectations for more than what a situation calls for, causing more pressure to go a step further than wanted.
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Through her conversation with these young men, Orenstein found it surprising to know that gay boys and young men are more open to having conversations about sex with their partners. What makes it so surprising is not because they necessarily have to, but because these group of men are in tune with gaining the consent of their partner. Having this conversation with your partner about what they are into “will be a more mutually gratifying experience for everyone involved.”
Orenstein, throughout Boys and Sex, dives deeper into the minds of young men on their definitions of what it takes to be a man. She makes sure to do the same in her previous book Girls and Sex, creating a balancing dynamic of what it is like to be either sex.
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Ever wonder what it’s like to attend a swanky NYC erotic club that charges a $75,000 membership fee? I know I have. I also know that us ninety-nine-percenters will never have access to that strange, glitzy world—but we will have a tell-all book in the near future.
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Damon Lawner, the founder of New York’s most exclusive sex club, Snctm, has recently sold his business and is writing a book about his experience.
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Snctm has been notoriously secretive in the years since its inception, but notable A-list celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Bill Maher are confirmed attendees.
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Guests of Snctm’s parties normally hail from the richest of the rich. All the members dawn glamorous masks and are required to sign a blood oath to become a VIP. The party takes place at different locations each time, usually yachts or mansions, but the abundance of sex always stays the same. “The grand object of Snctm is the eroticism of the human race,” Lawner told Men’s Health.
In relation to the upcoming book, Lawner told Page Six, “I am going to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth—as much as my lawyer and editor will allow me to say in print. It’s going to be an exciting read.”
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Whether you’re fascinated by absurd subcultures or you have a genuine interest in posh sex parties, this book is sure to make waves once it’s released.
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