Last month, I saw a fellow bookstagrammer post about Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski. She said the book changed her life. It’s a book about sex science, so I was curious to see what the book was all about and decided to listen to the audiobook. I agree, this book was very important and helpful, but not quite in the way that I was expecting.
Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski
on March 3, 2015
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An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works—based on groundbreaking research and brain science—that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.
Researchers have spent the last decade trying to develop a “pink pill” for women to function like Viagra does for men. So where is it? Well, for reasons this book makes crystal clear, that pill will never exist—but as a result of the research that’s gone into it, scientists in the last few years have learned more about how women’s sexuality works than we ever thought possible, and Come as You Are explains it all.
The first lesson in this essential, transformative book by Dr. Emily Nagoski is that every woman has her own unique sexuality, like a fingerprint, and that women vary more than men in our anatomy, our sexual response mechanisms, and the way our bodies respond to the sexual world. So we never need to judge ourselves based on others’ experiences. Because women vary, and that’s normal.
Second lesson: sex happens in a context. And all the complications of everyday life influence the context surrounding a woman’s arousal, desire, and orgasm.
Cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines tells us that the most important factor for women in creating and sustaining a fulfilling sex life, is not what you do in bed or how you do it, but how you feel about it. Which means that stress, mood, trust, and body image are not peripheral factors in a woman’s sexual wellbeing; they are central to it. Once you understand these factors, and how to influence them, you can create for yourself better sex and more profound pleasure than you ever thought possible.
And Emily Nagoski can prove it.
Why I enjoyed Come As You Are:
This book is a best-seller so it’s no surprise that I my opinion aligned with the majority.
It’s a perfectly narrated audiobook (the author narrates it so well!!!) and the text itself is precise and clear. It makes the science (for those of you who are less science-y) easy to digest and understand.
The sex science is fascinating. A lot of what I learned about the research behind women’s sexuality was FASCINATING. Honestly, it’s worth the read just to feel validated and understand what it is that makes you feel the way you do. Throughout the book, Nagoski reminds the readers that they are normal and whole and perfect just the way they are. And my goodness it sounds cheesy, but it was so refreshing to hear that.
While the sex science was really interesting (and the reason I picked the book up in the first place), I can’t say enough for the reason that I ultimately loved this book: her discussion about stress and the science behind it.* THIS is why honestly every woman should read this book. It made me feel so much better about everything. Just the suggestion to have self-compassion was mind-blowing for me (I never realized how hard I was on myself until she suggested that I ease up).
The bottom line: this book is full of validation.
I read this book at a particularly hard time in my life and her gentle reminders that it was okay to feel sad and stressed and angry and whatever I was feeling were so validating. And the niceness of feeling validated can never be underestimated.
I would 100% recommend this book for every woman. Even if you don’t need a lot of what it offers, as a woman who is likely a friend to another woman, you might learn something that will help you help others.
*Apparently a lot of women felt the same about the stress component of this book, so in March 2019 she and her twin sister, Amelia, released another book called Burnout. It is about how to unlock stress cycle. As I write this review, I can say that I just started the audiobook. I’ll be sure to review it when I’m finished!