5 Incredible Books About Sex & Sexuality To Add To Your Bookshelf

·4-min read

Unfortunately, my school took an abstinence-only approach to sex ed. In fact, it was pretty similar to the sex ed scene in Mean Girls — it was taught by the football coach, we were warned that having sex would pretty much ruin our lives, and we all learned absolutely nothing. In fact, the Mean Girls sex ed class was better than the one I took, because at least the Mean Girls coach gave out condoms — mine never mentioned any form of birth control.

Instead, I learned about sex from friends, the internet, and books — and books were by far the most accurate source of knowledge on that list. Now that I’m an adult woman and a professional sex & relationships writer, I still read books to learn more about sex.

So I put together this list, including some of my favourites, some of my colleagues’ recommendations, and some suggestions from my Twitter followers that I’ve already added to my to-read list.

<h2><em>Curvy Girl Sex</em> by Elle Chase</h2><br>Sex educator Elle Chase suggests sex positions and tips for plus-sized people, asserting that, as she puts it, "every body is built for pleasure."<br><br><br><strong>Elle Chase</strong> Curvy Girl Sex: 101 Body-Positive Positions, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Curvy-Girl-Sex-Body-Positive-Positions/dp/1592337406/ref=sr_1_1?" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Curvy Girl Sex by Elle Chase


Sex educator Elle Chase suggests sex positions and tips for plus-sized people, asserting that, as she puts it, "every body is built for pleasure."


Elle Chase Curvy Girl Sex: 101 Body-Positive Positions, $, available at Amazon
<h2><em>Fucking Trans Women</em> by Mira Bellwether</h2><br>Mira Bellwether's 2010 zine is all about, as the title indicates, how trans women have sex. In the introduction, she writes that her goal was "to generate conversations about sex with trans women with the knowledge that the more we talk to each other and our lovers about how we like to fuck, the better off we'll all be."<br><br><strong>FTW</strong> Fucking Trans Women, Volume 1, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fucking-Trans-Women-FTW-1/dp/1492128937" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Fucking Trans Women by Mira Bellwether


Mira Bellwether's 2010 zine is all about, as the title indicates, how trans women have sex. In the introduction, she writes that her goal was "to generate conversations about sex with trans women with the knowledge that the more we talk to each other and our lovers about how we like to fuck, the better off we'll all be."

FTW Fucking Trans Women, Volume 1, $, available at Amazon
<h3><em>Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life</em> by Emily Nagoski, PhD</h3><br>This bestselling book explores the <em>whys</em> and <em>hows</em> of women’s sexuality — asserting that there’s no one “normal,” and it’s useless to compare your own experience to others.<br><br><br><strong>Emily Nagoski</strong> Come as You Are, $, available at <a href="https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9781982165314?" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Blackwell's Books" class="link ">Blackwell's Books</a>

Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski, PhD


This bestselling book explores the whys and hows of women’s sexuality — asserting that there’s no one “normal,” and it’s useless to compare your own experience to others.


Emily Nagoski Come as You Are, $, available at Blackwell's Books
<h3><em>Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure, & Relationships</em> by Juno Roche<br></h3><br>In <em>Queer Sex</em>, trans activist and writer Juno Roche combines her own story with interviews with other trans and non-binary individuals, creating a narrative that offers both insight and practical advice. <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/queer-sex-juno-roche" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Read an excerpt on Refinery29 UK" class="link ">Read an excerpt on Refinery29 UK</a>.<br><br><strong>Juno Roche</strong> Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, $, available at <a href="https://www.waterstones.com/book/queer-sex/juno-roche/9781785924064" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Waterstones" class="link ">Waterstones</a>

Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure, & Relationships by Juno Roche


In Queer Sex, trans activist and writer Juno Roche combines her own story with interviews with other trans and non-binary individuals, creating a narrative that offers both insight and practical advice. Read an excerpt on Refinery29 UK.

Juno Roche Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, $, available at Waterstones
<h3><em>Faking It: The Lies Women Tell about Sex — And the Truths They Reveal</em> by Lux Alptraum </h3><br>In <em>Faking It</em>, Lux Alptraum challenges the idea that faking an orgasm is a bad thing. Instead, she explores how often, when, and <em>why</em> women lie about sex. <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/fake-orgams-women-sex-story" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Read an excerpt on Refinery29" class="link ">Read an excerpt on Refinery29</a>. <br><br><br><strong>Lux Alptraum</strong> Faking It: The Lies Women Tell about Sex--And the Truth, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Faking-Women-Sex-Truths-Reveal/dp/1580057659/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Faking It: The Lies Women Tell about Sex — And the Truths They Reveal by Lux Alptraum


In Faking It, Lux Alptraum challenges the idea that faking an orgasm is a bad thing. Instead, she explores how often, when, and why women lie about sex. Read an excerpt on Refinery29.


Lux Alptraum Faking It: The Lies Women Tell about Sex--And the Truth, $, available at Amazon
<h3><em>The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Lov</em>e by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton <br></h3> <br>This guide to ethical non-monogamy remains a go-to for people interested in polyamory, two decades after it was first published.<br><br><strong>Janet W. Hardy</strong> The Ethical Slut, $, available at <a href="https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Ethical-Slut-by-Dossie-Easton-Janet-W-Hardy/9780399579660" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Blackwell's Books" class="link ">Blackwell's Books</a>

The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton


This guide to ethical non-monogamy remains a go-to for people interested in polyamory, two decades after it was first published.

Janet W. Hardy The Ethical Slut, $, available at Blackwell's Books
<h3><em>Mating In Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence</em> by Esther Perel<br></h3><br>In <em>Mating In Captivity</em>, renowned relationship therapist Esther Perel explores erotic desire, explaining why it’s so hard to maintain it in a long-term, monogamous relationship — and what to do to keep it alive.<br><br><strong>HarperTorch</strong> Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Mating-Captivity-Unlocking-Erotic-Intelligence/dp/0060753641" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Mating In Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel


In Mating In Captivity, renowned relationship therapist Esther Perel explores erotic desire, explaining why it’s so hard to maintain it in a long-term, monogamous relationship — and what to do to keep it alive.

HarperTorch Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, $, available at Amazon
<h3><em>Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good</em> by adrienne maree brown<br></h3><br>Writer and activist adrienne maree brown introduces the concept of “pleasure activism,” arguing that, as she puts it, “pleasure is a measure of freedom.”<br><br><br><strong>AK Press</strong> Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Pleasure-Activism-Politics-Emergent-Strategy/dp/1849353263" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by adrienne maree brown


Writer and activist adrienne maree brown introduces the concept of “pleasure activism,” arguing that, as she puts it, “pleasure is a measure of freedom.”


AK Press Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, $, available at Amazon
<h3><em>The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine</em> by Jen Gunter, MD<br></h3><br>Dr. Jen Gunter, who’s become known as “Internet’s OB/GYN” <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/jen-gunter-interview-myths-vagina" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:thanks to her viral Goop criticisms" class="link ">thanks to her viral Goop criticisms</a>, gives us a guide to vaginal health, including yeast infections, painful sex, and “the myth of the G-spot.”<br><br><strong>Citadel</strong> The Vagina Bible, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Vagina-Bible-Vulva-Separating-Medicine/dp/0806539313" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine by Jen Gunter, MD


Dr. Jen Gunter, who’s become known as “Internet’s OB/GYN” thanks to her viral Goop criticisms, gives us a guide to vaginal health, including yeast infections, painful sex, and “the myth of the G-spot.”

Citadel The Vagina Bible, $, available at Amazon
<h3><em>Girl Sex 101 </em>by Allison Moon <br></h3><br>This sex ed book features illustrations, instructions, and sex tips from over a dozen sex experts. Moon and Diamond take a trans- and genderqueer-inclusive approach to their suggestions, showing that there are <em>many</em> ways to have incredible sex.<br><br><strong>Allison Moon</strong> Girl Sex 101, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/34qH1Ed" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon


This sex ed book features illustrations, instructions, and sex tips from over a dozen sex experts. Moon and Diamond take a trans- and genderqueer-inclusive approach to their suggestions, showing that there are many ways to have incredible sex.

Allison Moon Girl Sex 101, $, available at Amazon
<h3><em>Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free</em> by Wednesday Martin, PhD<br></h3><br>Dr. Wednesday Martin challenges myths about women’s supposedly relationship-focused nature, arguing that in fact, women may struggle more than men with sexual exclusivity. <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/hotwife-cuckold-married-sex-wednesday-martin-untrue" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Read an excerpt on Refinery29." class="link ">Read an excerpt on Refinery29.</a><br><br><br><strong>Brown Spark</strong> Untrue, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Untrue-Everything-Believe-Infidelity-Science/dp/0316463639/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free by Wednesday Martin, PhD


Dr. Wednesday Martin challenges myths about women’s supposedly relationship-focused nature, arguing that in fact, women may struggle more than men with sexual exclusivity. Read an excerpt on Refinery29.


Brown Spark Untrue, $, available at Amazon
<h3><em>Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All</em> by Jaclyn Friedman<br></h3><br>In <em>Unscrewed</em>, Jaclyn Friedman examines the state of sexual power in the United States, looking at how politics, religion, education, and other factors play into our sex lives. <br><br><strong>Seal Press</strong> Unscrewed, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Unscrewed-Women-Power-Letting-System/dp/1580056415/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link ">Amazon</a>

Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All by Jaclyn Friedman


In Unscrewed, Jaclyn Friedman examines the state of sexual power in the United States, looking at how politics, religion, education, and other factors play into our sex lives.

Seal Press Unscrewed, $, available at Amazon

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