10 Must-Read Books on Sex and Relationships

Looking for a good time? Packed with trivia, deeply personal stories, and wacky accounts of scientific inquiry, these 10 books about sex are smart, engaging, occasionally uproarious, and the source of some surprising tips to test when the lights go out.

1. "The Joy of Sex" by Alex Comfort

Overview: “The Joy of Sex” is a comprehensive guide that has stood the test of time, offering readers a wealth of information on sexual pleasure and intimacy. Originally published in 1972, this classic book has been updated to reflect changing attitudes and understandings of sexuality.

Key Points: Explore various techniques and insights for enhancing sexual experiences. Topics covered include sexual anatomy, communication, and sexual health.

2. "Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life" by Emily Nagoski

Overview: Emily Nagoski’s groundbreaking book delves into the science of female sexuality, challenging outdated stereotypes and providing evidence-based insights into what truly drives arousal and satisfaction for women. Published in 2015, the book has received widespread acclaim for its accessible approach to complex scientific concepts.

Key Points: Understand the science of female arousal and pleasure. Learn practical strategies for enhancing sexual satisfaction and intimacy.

3. "Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships" by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá

Overview: “Sex at Dawn” takes a provocative look at human sexuality from an evolutionary perspective, challenging traditional notions of monogamy. Published in 2010, the book sparked widespread debate and controversy with its argument that humans are not inherently monogamous creatures.

Key Points: Explore the evolutionary roots of human sexual behavior. Consider the implications of non-monogamous relationships for modern society.

4. "She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman" by Ian Kerner

Overview: Ian Kerner’s book is a guidebook for men looking to prioritize female pleasure in the bedroom. Published in 2004, the book has been praised for its thoughtful and inclusive approach to sexual intimacy.

Key Points: Learn techniques for prioritizing female pleasure in sexual encounters. Explore the importance of communication and mutual satisfaction in sexual relationships.

5. "The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures" by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton

Overview: “The Ethical Slut” is a comprehensive guide to ethical non-monogamy, offering readers practical advice and insights into navigating open relationships, polyamory, and other alternative relationship structures. Published in 1997, the book has become a classic resource for individuals exploring non-traditional relationship dynamics.

Key Points: Understand the principles of ethical non-monogamy and open relationships. Learn strategies for effective communication and boundary-setting in polyamorous relationships.

6. "Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex" by Mary Roach

Overview: Mary Roach’s book is a lighthearted and informative exploration of the science behind sex research. Published in 2008, the book offers readers a fascinating glimpse into the world of sexology and sexual physiology.

Key Points: Discover the fascinating world of sex research and its findings. Learn about the history of sex studies and the challenges of studying human sexuality.

7. "Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence" by Esther Perel

Overview: “Mating in Captivity” explores the challenges of maintaining sexual desire in long-term relationships. Published in 2006, the book offers insights into the dynamics of intimacy and passion and provides practical strategies for reigniting desire in committed partnerships.

8. "The Guide to Getting It On" by Paul Joannides

Overview: “The Guide to Getting It On” is a comprehensive and accessible resource for individuals seeking to expand their knowledge of human sexuality. First published in 1996, the book has been praised for its comprehensive coverage of sexual anatomy, techniques, and communication skills.

Key Points: Explore various aspects of human sexuality in an informative and accessible manner. Learn practical tips for enhancing sexual experiences and fostering healthy relationships.

9. "Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows" by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Overview: Balli Kaur Jaswal’s novel is a captivating exploration of sexuality, tradition, and empowerment within a Punjabi community in London. Published in 2017, the book offers a nuanced portrayal of female desire and agency in the face of cultural expectations and familial pressures.

Key Points: Dive into a unique narrative that explores the intersection of culture and desire. Consider the challenges and opportunities for sexual empowerment within traditional cultural contexts.

10. "Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist" by Dan Savage

Overview: Dan Savage’s book is a collection of candid and often controversial advice on a wide range of sexual and relationship issues. Published in 1997, the book has become a go-to resource for readers seeking honest and nonjudgmental guidance on matters of love and sex.

Key Points: Gain insights into sexual and relationship issues from a candid and often controversial source. Consider the ethical and moral implications of Savage’s advice.


Understanding human sexuality is crucial for fostering healthy relationships and personal growth. By exploring these ten must-read books, readers can gain valuable insights, practical advice, and thought-provoking perspectives on sex and relationships. Whether you’re looking to enhance your sexual experiences, challenge societal norms, or simply broaden your understanding of human sexuality, these books offer something for everyone interested in exploring this complex and fascinating aspect of the human experience.


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