Come As You Are : The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life [Book-Review]

Posted: December 9, 2015

Here is the review of ‘Come As You Are,’ that as the book itself says, will transform your sex life. Have a look.

Come As You Are will “transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy”. That’s American Wellness Education Director Emily Nagoski’s promise.According to Nagoski, all the questions she has ever been asked about sex boil down to one issue: “Am I normal?”  ‘Yes you are,’ she replies, even though each one is different. Come As You Are provides all kinds of answers to that question, through the experience of personal anecdotes and backed by current science.  The book is definitely a myth breaker and every woman should go through it “to reach for and achieve [their] own profound and unique sexual potential”.

This positive instruction manual for women’s sexuality is divided into four parts; ‘the (Not-so-Basic) Basics’; ‘Sex in Context’; ‘Sex in Action’ and ‘Ecstasy for Everybody’. To make it more interactive, there are worksheets and exercises. Nagoski’s style of writing is also no-nonsense, asking readers to examine their experiences dispassionately out of the context of the bedroom.  She writes “think about times when you had great sex and identify what aspects of the context helped to make that sex great” – this in a chapter on the emotional brain.

Most of us will be surprised to hear that there’s no such thing as sex drive. According to Nagoski, desire is a combination of brakes and accelerators in the mind, which she calls the Dual Control Model. Some brakes are more sensitive, some less.  She also argues that women’s sexuality was previously defined in terms of male arousal, something that is being reexamined in the modern context because women react very differently to sex from men.

Women also tend to be affected by whatever they read in the media about their sexuality and their body image or by social opinion, which greatly heightens stress and blocks desire. In India this is far more the case than in the West, since the upper strata of feminist society claims to be liberated but actually is far from it, while the grass root levels suffer from the persecution of patriarchal traditions. This is one reason why the women’s Viagra that recently made headlines may not prove to be that great sexual solution everyone’s looking for.

Nagoskiasks for an honest investment in your sex life underpinning a commitment to the relationship that you are in.It is not, she writes, what you do in bed or how you do it but what you  feel about it.  The title says it all – extending an invitation to women to be themselves without anxiety or pretense.

The author’s conclusion is that “it’s . . . how you feel about how your sexuality functions that determines whether your sex life is characterized by worry and distress . . . or by confidence and joy”. The best bet Nagoski says is to change the bed sheets, lock the door and turn off the lights – all those 50 Shades of Grey mechanics may just leave you cold, no matter how much you enjoyed reading the book by yourself.

Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books

If you’d like to pick up Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, do consider using our affiliate links at Flipkart or Amazon India. 

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Anjana Basu: Anjana Basu was born in Allahabad and started schooling in London. She works as an advertising consultant in Calcutta. She has also worked on a couple of scripts with the director Rituparno Ghosh and has subtitled several of his films. Her byline has appeared in various magazines, and she reviews books for publications like Wasafiri and Outlook.

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