Dr. T Recommends: Must Reads For The Sexually Curious Minds

Continuing the trend of curating resources this year for Sexual Health Month, I'm back with a power packed reads for the sexually curious minds. There is something for everyone and I'm not kidding about it! From sex education guides to books that help you be a pro and everything in between, I gotchu.


To give you a context for the recommended reading list, I have used broad themes to curate this guide, including:

  • Masturbation (solo and/or partnered adventures)

  • Ethical polygamy, healthy monogamy, and open relationships

  • Marriage, long-term relationships and sexuality

  • Dating and queer sex

  • Kink, fetishes and BDSM

  • Healing from sexual pain

  • Body image and trauma

This is obviously a non-exhaustive guide, but definitely a good place to start your journey. Let's dive in, shall we?


1. Sex From Scratch: Making Your Own Relationship Rules

by Sarah Mirk


Modern life calls for modern relationship advice. Sex From Scratch is a love and dating guidebook that gleans real-life knowledge from smart people in a variety of nontraditional relationships. Instead of telling people how to snag a man, seduce a woman, or find "true love," the book sums up what dozens of diverse folks have learned the hard way over time. Sarah Mirk offers tips and stories from the steadfastly single to people making open relationships work, from people who've decided they're never going to have kids to parents who are consciously producing the next generation. No matter what type of relationship you're in or what type you want, Mirk's wisdom and sense of humor provide perspective, humor, and down-to-earth guidance. This is an essential, fun, insightful resource whose time has come.


2. Pleasure Activism

by Adrienne Maree Brown


How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life? Editor Adrienne Maree Brown finds the answer in something she calls "Pleasure Activism," a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. The book covers an array of subjects—from sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs—they create new narratives about how politics can feel good and how what feels good always has a complex politics of its own.


3. Bang!: Mastubartion for All Genders and Sexualities

by Vic Niu


Want to know how to masturbate? Here’s your guide. Whether you’re jerking the gherkin, flicking the bean, or something in between, masturbation doesn’t have to be a taboo topic. This straightforward, unapologetic illustrated guide to self-pleasure will teach you what you need to know to get to know your own body. This inclusive manual covers basic anatomy, techniques, mindsets, orgasms, troubleshooting, and a wide range of the tools and toys. There are sections on debunking myths, exploring your body for the first time, sex toys, tips from trans people for trans people, and a section on masturbating when you have a physical disability and a caretaker that’s written by disabled folks. You’ll also learn about the history of anti-masturbation stigma, some thought-provoking data, and how to teach your kids healthy attitudes toward masturbation. Perfect for the pent-up teens and adults of all ages alike! Overcome physical and emotional obstacles to discover the stress-relieving potential and joy of unpartnered sex. It includes writing and illustrations by Vic Liu, Nina Chausow, Alex Tait, Clare Edgeman, Leah Holmes, Sam Dusing, Patrick Wiedeman, Rebecca Bedell, Lafayette Matthews, Andrew Gurza, and Angus Andrews.


4. Carnal Knowledge: Sex Ed You Didn’t Get in School

by Zoë Ligon


When it comes to sex, there's practically no question that Zoë Ligon hasn't heard and researched. Her Instagram and YouTube videos, as well as product reviews, are extremely popular for their up-front approach. Now, she brings her wealth of experience and open-minded attitude to a sex-positive guidebook that's honest, inclusive, and right on time. Lusciously illustrated, this book takes readers through every aspect of sexuality - from body basics and physiology to maintaining healthy relationships. It highlights the usefulness of sex toys in aiding solo and partnered exploration and explains why there should really be no stigma around using these practical tools. It also includes advice on setting boundaries, being respectful of other people's gender identities, and thinking outside the orgasm. Elizabeth Renstrom's dreamy, colorful photographs drive home Ligon's philosophy that there's no one "right" way to have sex. With its focus on intimacy, body positivity, and self-care, Carnal Knowledge can lead you to enjoy sex with security and confidence.


5. Bliss Club: Sex Tips For Creative Lovers

by Jüne Plã


In Bliss Club, Jüne Plã teaches you how to let go of your hang-ups and explore your sexuality at your own pace. You will learn everything there is to know about sex outside of the ‘penetration’ box, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation. With maps of pleasure zones as well as an inventory of moves, it is full of tips and tricks on how to pleasure yourself and your partner, resulting in explosive new experiences. Whether you’re a virgin or sex expert, Bliss Club is perfect for anyone wanting to reinvigorate their sex life.


6. The Game of Desire: 5 Surprising Secrets to Dating with Dominance and Getting What You Want

by Shannon Boodram


In this essential how-to guide, she addresses the realities of life today - when the rules of love and attraction are fluid - and teaches a group of young women how to become master daters in just 60 days.

It starts with you. Shan clarifies that love and self-discovery go hand in hand - your dating life is just as much about you as it is about other people. She challenges you to look inside yourself for what you want out of a partner, a relationship, and, most importantly, yourself. Once you figure out what you want from dating, she shows you exactly how to get it. The Game of Desire empowers you to take the lead, learn your strengths, and identify and correct your weaknesses, all the while getting inspired by watching a group of women learn how to succeed in today’s dating pool. While many books tell women why they can’t get a date, Shan teaches you the skills and techniques necessary to take charge in today’s competitive and often confusing dating scene, providing the tools essential to attract - and keep - the partner(s) you want.


From learning love languages to debunking dating myths, she helps women build knowledge and confidence. Featuring conversational case studies, comprehensive facts about the psychology of sex and romance, and expert insight into sex culture, and written with her trademark humor and charm, The Game of Desire is a must for all of Shan’s fans and for every woman struggling to feel loved and desired.


7. Mating in Captivity

by Esther Perel


One of the world’s most respected voices on erotic intelligence, Esther Perel offers a bold, provocative new take on intimacy and sex. Mating in Captivity invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to bring lust home. It examines the complexities of sustaining desire through case studies and lively discussion; demonstrating how more exciting, playful, and even poetic sex is possible in long-term relationships. Wise, witty, and as revelatory as it is straightforward, Mating in Captivity is a sensational book that will transform the way you live and love.


8. Tell Me What You Want

by Justin Lehmiller


Justin J. Lehmiller, one of the USA’s leading experts on human sexuality and author of the popular blog Sex and Psychology. He recently concluded the largest and most comprehensive scientific survey of Americans' sexual fantasies ever undertaken, a monumental two-year study involving over 4,000 Americans from all walks of life, answering questions of unusual scope.


Based on this study, Tell Me What You Want offers an unprecedented look into our fantasy worlds and what they reveal about us. It helps readers to better understand their own sexual desires and how to attain them within their relationships, but also to appreciate why the desires of their partners may be so incredibly different. If we only better understood the incredible diversity of human sexual desire and why this diversity exists in the first place, we would experience less distress, anxiety, and shame about our own sexual fantasies and better understand why our partners often have sexual proclivities that are so different from our own. Ultimately, this book will help readers to enhance their sex lives and to maintain more satisfying relationships and marriages in the future by breaking down barriers to discussing sexual fantasies and allowing them to become a part of readers' sexual realities.


9. Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships

by Juno Roche


In this frank, funny and poignant book, transgender activist Juno Roche discusses sex, desire and dating with leading figures from the trans and non-binary community. Calling out prejudices and inspiring readers to explore their own concepts of intimacy and sexuality, the first-hand accounts celebrate the wonder and potential of trans bodies and push at the boundaries of how society views gender, sexuality and relationships. Empowering and necessary, this collection shows all trans people deserve to feel brave, beautiful and sexy.


10. Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Non-Monogamy

by Jessica Fern


Attachment theory has entered the mainstream, but most discussions focus on how we can cultivate secure monogamous relationships. What if, like many people, you&;re striving for secure, happy attachments with more than one partner? Polyamorous psychotherapist Jessica Fern breaks new ground by extending attachment theory into the realm of consensual non-monogamy. Using her nested model of attachment and trauma, she expands our understanding of how emotional experiences can influence our relationships. Then, she sets out six specific strategies to help you move toward secure attachments in your multiple relationships. Polysecure is both a trailblazing theoretical treatise and a practical guide.


11. The Ethical Slut

by Janet W. Hardy, Dossie Easton


The classic guide to love, sex, and intimacy beyond the limits of conventional monogamy has been updated to reflect today's modern attitudes and the latest information on nontraditional relationships. For 20 years The Ethical Slut - widely known as the "Poly Bible"- has dispelled myths and showed curious readers how to maintain a successful polyamorous lifestyle through open communication, emotional honesty, and safer sex practices. The third edition of this timeless guide to the ethics of relationships, communication, and sex has been revised to include:

i. Interviews with poly millennials (young people who have grown up without the prejudices their elders encountered regarding gender, orientation, sexuality, and relationships) ii. Tributes to polyamory pioneers iii. Tools for conflict resolution and instructions on how to improve interpersonal dynamics iv. New sidebars on topics such as asexuality, sex workers, LGBTQ terminology, and ways polys can connect and thrive


The authors also include new content addressing nontraditional relationships beyond the polyamorous paradigm of "more than two" couples who don't live together, couples who don't have sex with each other, nonparallel arrangements, couples with widely divergent sex styles, power disparities, and cross-orientation relationships, while utilizing nonbinary gender language and new terms that have come into common usage since the last edition.


12. What Fresh Hell Is This

by Heather Corinna


What to Expect When You're Not Expected to Expect Anything Anymore? Perimenopause and menopause experiences are as unique as all of us who move through them. While there's no one-size-fits-all, Heather Corinna tells you what can happen and what you can do to take care of yourself, all the while busting pernicious myths, offering real self-care tips - the kind that won't break the bank or your soul - and running the gamut from hot flashes to hormone therapy. With practical, clear information and support, inclusive of those with disabilities, queer, transgender, nonbinary and other gender-diverse people, people of colour, working class and others who have long been left out of the discussion, What Fresh Hell Is This is the cooling pillow and empathetic best friend to help you through the fire.


13. The Wild Woman’s Way: Unlock Your Full Potential for Pleasure, Power, and Fulfilment

by Michaela Boehm


In this life-changing book, intimacy expert and counselor Michaela Boehm shares practical rituals and exercises to show you simple, everyday changes that will revolutionize your connection to yourself, your life, and your relationships. Beyond the outdated stereotypes of femininity lies the ancient wisdom of the Wild Woman archetype, a path to reconnecting with our “body intelligence.” In this book, you will learn to:

i) Re-wild yourself by connecting to who you really are and integrating body, emotions, and mind for powerful expression in the world. ii) Switch effortlessly between “doing” and “being,” allowing you to access both empowered success and personal fulfillment. iii) Unlock creativity and intuition through understanding how the body, heart, and mind can work together. iv) Engage in relaxed, body-specific exercises that help you connect with yourself and your chosen relationships.


14. Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in Long-Term Relationships

by Dr. Stephen Snyder


Dr. Stephen Snyder tries to answer the question of if sex can survive monogamy? This acclaimed, paradigm-shifting guide turns traditional sex therapy inside-out to reveal the hidden rules for great sex and how can you understand how sexual emotions really work. Gentle, compassionate, and filled with compelling stories from Dr. Snyder’s thirty years as a sex therapist working with over 1,500 individuals and couples, Love Worth Making is essential reading for anyone hoping to keep sexual inspiration alive in a committed relationship.


15. The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Passion and Fulfillment

by Jack Morin


Challenging accepted theories about what makes for terrific sex, The Erotic Mind is a breakthrough exploration of the least understood dimensions of human sexuality - the psychology of desire, arousal, and fulfillment. Nationally known sex therapist Dr. Jack Morin offers a bold new perspective that celebrates the joys of Eros without denying its risks. Based on an in-depth analysis of over 1,000 provocative stories of peak sexual experiences, The Erotic Mind offers clear, accessible guidance on how anyone can utilize his or her own peak encounters and fantasies as powerful tools of self-discovery.


The Erotic Mind explains the many paradoxes of erotic life, such as why we're most excited when we must overcome obstacles; how anxiety, guilt, and anger - generally thought to have a negative impact on sexual arousal - often turn out to be aphrodisiacs; how we use unresolved issues from our early lives to intensify passion; and why the best sex is dynamic and unpredictable, rather than static and safe. These and other insights, combined with concrete suggestions for increasing our enjoyment, overcoming our problems, and revitalizing our relationships, will change forever the way we think about our eroticism.


16. Man Enough: Undefining my Masculinity

by Justin Baldoni


The effects of traditionally defined masculinity have become one of the most prevalent social issues of our time. In this engaging and provocative new book, beloved actor, director, and social activist Justin Baldoni reflects on his own struggles with masculinity.


With insight and honesty, he explores a range of difficult, sometimes uncomfortable topics including strength and vulnerability, relationships and marriage, body image, sex and sexuality, racial justice, gender equality, and fatherhood. Writing from experience, Justin invites us to move beyond the scripts we’ve learned since childhood and the roles we are expected to play. He challenges men to be brave enough to be vulnerable, to be strong enough to be sensitive, to be confident enough to listen. Encouraging men to dig deep within themselves, Justin helps us reimagine what it means to be man enough and, in the process, what it means to be human.