A meaningful love relationship is so many things. Seeking satisfaction in a relationship can seem mysterious and unattainable. Certain aspects of the relationship may be fantastic, while others are a complete disaster.
It is difficult to pinpoint how a couple’s sexual connection is directly tied to the health of the relationship. For some, when they feel emotionally disconnected from their partner, they lose interest and desire sexually. Other couples can maintain regular and satisfying sex despite experiencing conflict in other areas of their relationship. Still others, despite having an emotionally connected relationship, can struggle to connect sexually.
A variety of factors can impact an individual’s sexuality. This could include the nature of their relationship with their caregivers, early experiences with their body, messages around sexuality, early sexual experiences, biological factors, stress, anxiety, body image, and more.
Regardless of whether you find yourself satisfied or distressed over your sexual relationship, finding ways to connect more meaningfully in bed can enhance your relationship. I have compiled a list of five books that may be valuable to you on your journey.
#1 Mindfulness in Plain English, by Bhante Gunaratana
Ok, so this book doesn’t talk about sex at all. But stay with me. Meditation and mindfulness are powerful tools to finding greater sexual satisfaction. 1) Our thoughts and expectations can really get in the way during a sexual experience. We begin evaluating ourselves, our performance, trying to read our partner’s mind, and making meaning of if. We then analyze how our body is responding, predicting outcomes, and what all this means about our relationship. When all of this is happening you disconnect from your body’s experience. Learning to be present, in the moment, and connected to our body in a compassionate way, leads to better sex. 2) Meditation builds your connection to your body. Through meditation, we learn to use our breath to invite relaxation and become more in tune with sensations. 3) It’s a way to focus on sex without focusing on sex. When the topic of sex is emotionally charged, it might be better to learn skills that can benefit your sexual experience that aren’t sexual.
So, no, this book isn’t about sex, it’s just my favorite book about mindfulness, which is a great first step in enhancing your sexual experience.
#2 Better Sex Through Mindfulness, by Lori Brotto
If I were to write a book about sex it would be this one. Really, if you know what we do at Heartswell you’ll agree it’s a perfect companion to our work.
This book is an amazing tool to understand the various reasons for sexual problems. The author delves into her client’s stories of how they overcame stress, uncertainty, and conflict in their different relationships to improve desire and satisfaction inside—and outside of—the bedroom.
#3 Come As You Are, by Emily Nagoski
This book is pretty much the bible on sexual relationships. Like pick #2, it’s more geared towards women, but men can greatly benefit from the concepts here. If you ever wondered why and how women’s sexuality works, then this book is for you!
#4 Becoming Cliterate, by Laurie Mintz
This book investigates the cultural myths surrounding sex. Believe it or not, many people think that the sex they see on TV is what they should be having in their own bedroom. Dr. Mintz exposes the cultural problem that makes people feel inept in their own sexual lives. It really does change your perspective on sex. She also offers practical tools to help women become better acquainted with their body.
#5 Coping with Erectile Dysfunction, Barry W. McCarthy
Erectile Dysfunction is a complex condition affected by physical, psychological, and relationship issues. However, this book is a breakthrough read to understanding the common problems and offers a proven program to regain erectile function.
You are normal!
This is what everyone wants to know. In truth, there is no normal. It is important to remember that we are all sexual beings with arousal templates as unique as our fingerprints. Taking care of your sexual health is such a critical part of your relationship with yourself and others. When there is an issue, it can be a challenging experience for anyone. Curiosity and open and honest communication are essential. Talk to your partner and check out one (or all) of these books.
Sex can be a safe and exciting adventure filled with openness, love, and diversity—free from shame or guilt. If challenges in your sex life are causing strife in your relationship, Heartswell can help. Please go to our contact page to set up a free, no obligation, 15-minute consultation.
You are worth it and you are loved.