Wellness

14 Sex Books Worth the Read

14 Sex Books Worth the Read

For a book about sex to be worth the read, it has to be 1) from someone you trust and 2) not too clinical or…dry. Over the years—and through research for our own book, The Sex Issue—we’ve found guides from compelling experts that are both immensely useful and easy to spend time reading.

And of course, female pleasure is a topic we explored in our Netflix show, The goop Lab: If you’re curious and want to learn more, we’ve gathered all of our related sex content here.

  • <em>Mating in Captivity</em> by Esther Perel

    Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel

    What does it take to keep the flame burning—even after years of marriage? Couples and sexuality therapist Esther Perel weighs in with her honest (and refreshingly provocative) insight on the possibility of a better sex life in this exceptionally entertaining examination of love and lust.

  • <em>Come as You Are</em> by Emily Nagoski, PhD

    Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski, PhD

    Emily Nagoski, a sex educator and former researcher at the Kinsey Institute, explores the ways we experience pleasure in this now-classic read on the science of women’s sexuality. It’s a nonjudgmental look at sexual desire, backed by scientific research and data. As Nagoski explains: An orgasm doesn’t have to be elusive, and a fulfilling sex life doesn’t just boil down to what’s between the sheets.

  • <em>Girls & Sex</em> by Peggy Orenstein

    Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein

    Peggy Orenstein’s fascinating research reveals the tough reality of high school and college hookup culture through in-depth interviews with students, academics, psychologists, and a range of other experts who weigh in on the complicated nature of modern sex and relationships. It’s an incredibly eye-opening read for all adults with a stake in the next generation, particularly parents, of course—and teens, too.

  • <em>Boys & Sex</em> by Peggy Orenstein

    Boys & Sex by Peggy Orenstein

    An equally revelatory, expansive counterpart to Orenstein’s Girls & Sex, Boys & Sex is the culmination of more than two years of research and a hundred-plus interviews with boys between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two. And as in Girls & Sex, Orenstein manages to present the data in a style that leaps off the page.

  • <em>Becoming Cliterate</em> by Laurie Mintz, PhD

    Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz, PhD

    From sex therapist and psychology professor Laurie Mintz, Becoming Cliterate makes the case for focusing on clitoral stimulation. While the book includes plenty of information about the clitoris—there’s the requisite anatomy lesson and helpful advice—the overarching theme is the gap between male and female sexual pleasure. Mintz’s approach to closing that gap is practical and illuminating.

  • <em>Love Worth Making</em> by Stephen Snyder, MD

    Love Worth Making by Stephen Snyder, MD

    Psychiatrist Stephen Snyder argues that mindfulness may be the biggest turn-on there is and that sexual narcissism isn’t only acceptable; it’s needed. Which seems like a radical approach to sustaining passion in a long-term relationship. But whether you’ve been married for twenty years or you’re in a swipe-right chapter, Snyder believes that the essence of good—rewarding, memorable, impassioned—sex is understanding our sexual selves.

  • <em>Better Sex through Mindfulness</em> by Lori A. Brotto, PhD

    Better Sex through Mindfulness by Lori A. Brotto, PhD

    Focusing on life outside of the bedroom, psychologist and sex researcher Lori A. Brotto takes a compassionate look at the different reasons we might suffer from various sexual difficulties. The most common yet somehow least talked about among them: a lack of interest. Brotto offers tools, in the form of easy exercises, for increasing desire and pleasure.

  • <em>Three Women</em> by Lisa Taddeo

    Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

    In her (highly anticipated) first book, journalist Lisa Taddeo immersed herself in the lives of three American women in different parts of the country for the better part of ten years. The result is an absorbing true story about sex and desire, trauma and longing, power and vulnerability, and the invisible forces that shape our sexuality. The writing is so poetic, it’s easy to forget it’s nonfiction. But we fell for Three Women because of the ordinary in it. We see ourselves in these women. Taddeo so gracefully reminds us that of course we’re normal. We’re all normal.

  • <em>Slow Sex</em> by Nicole Daedone

    Slow Sex by Nicole Daedone

    Nicole Daedone, the creator of orgasmic meditation, explains the ins and outs of the practice—think of it as the yoga of sex—in this easy-to-use, step-by-step guide that doubles as a bible of female satisfaction (for women and men).

  • <em>The Little Book of Sex</em> by Joanna Gray

    The Little Book of Sex by Joanna Gray

    This one is less about reading and more about action. You’ll find steamy quotes (lots of them), a quick romp through the Kama Sutra…even a mini tutorial on sensate focus: a hot little partner technique about touching and being touched.

  • <em>The Penis Book</em> by Aaron Spitz, MD

    The Penis Book by Aaron Spitz, MD

    This is, you guessed it: a comprehensive manual on all things [insert eggplant emoji], written by urologist Aaron Spitz. He covers everything—and we mean everything—from size to the science behind an erection to his five-step plan for peak penis health. If you have a penis or love someone with a penis, this is the book to buy.

  • <em>The Wild Woman’s Way</em> by Michaela Boehm

    The Wild Woman’s Way by Michaela Boehm

    Sex, intimacy, and Tantra expert Michaela Boehm writes about the importance of consciously engaging with our bodies—the mind-body connection that, she says, is the secret to finding deeper, greater pleasure. Embodiment, she says, is listening to our body’s signals, and she urges us to move our bodies in unstructured ways through practical exercises that bring us back into our feelings and our senses.

  • <em>Sex for One</em> by Betty Dodson, PhD

    Sex for One by Betty Dodson, PhD

    If you’re a fan of sex educator Betty Dodson—or a fan of masturbation—this book is for you. While so many books about sex focus on partner sex, this is an unapologetic and straightforward guide to celebrating and improving sex for one.

  • <em>The Sexual Healing Journey</em> by Wendy Maltz

    The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz

    Presented almost as a step-by-step guidebook, this is a difficult—but immensely gentle and helpful—read for anyone struggling with sex and intimacy after abuse. It’s also an important book for partners of sexual-abuse survivors.

You may also like