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January 30, 2024

Come Together: The Science (and Art!) of Creating Lasting Sexual Connections by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. ~ a Review

by MK French

After researching women's sexuality, Dr. Nagoski has moved on to evaluate the role of sex in long-term relationships. There are many myths regarding desire over the course of relationships, the obstacles that are inevitable, and that enjoyment lessens over time. This is not actually true, and this book points out ways to overcome the destructive myths that are perpetuated.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of Come Together: The Science (and Art!) of Creating Lasting Sexual Connections by Emily Nagoski PhD
January 2024; Ballantine Books; 978-0593500828
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); psychology nonfiction

"Spontaneous desire" doesn't fuel a love life that spans decades. There are helpful ways to discuss desire or lack thereof, and it can be hard to understand that without taking it personally. Partners in a relationship don't always understand their own emotional needs, let alone that of their partner. This makes it harder to mesh well, especially when there are conflicts outside the relationship adding stress. It's something that everyone deals with, especially with busy lives; in the introduction, we see how that affected Emily Nagoski herself. 

Part one of the book goes through the concepts of pleasure and understanding the self, and part two is more of a step-by-step guide to apply to your relationship. This makes sense: you have to know what you want, what role sex plays in your life and concepts of a relationship, and what stops you from having sex before you can figure out what needs to be fixed. Yet everyone usually thinks of simply adding in more to "save" a relationship, and making it a chore kills the mood. I love the analogy of the emotions creating a house, with different access points to each other. This means there's no stigma to how you feel about things, or how your individual experiences have linked emotional responses. Each chapter has questions to help you think and consider the concepts, especially when thinking about this is new. It's okay if it feels weird! But they help you get a deeper understanding of your emotions and how they're linked, which is the important part. 

Definitely go through part one before diving into part two, as tempting as it is to skip. Even if you know yourself pretty well, it's still a good idea to really think about the early chapters before going to the actionable ones. The actions, after all, deal with emotions and communication skills in various situations that can arise in long-term relationships. Putting this into practice may be tough, but it might be worth the effort. 

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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