Updated: Oct 9
Nope, I don’t have any specific toy recommendations for this post, sorry to disappoint if that’s what you were hoping for. What I recommend here might take more time than ordering a toy and opening its box, but it is totally worth it if you are looking to increase pleasure. Even though we have reached a time when sexual liberation is professed in so many stages, many of us are still quite estranged from our own, and our partner’s anatomy and subjective experience. Moreover, the expectation that sexual pleasure will just happen when we engage, rather than emphasizing communication and exploration with ourselves and others, hinders the potential of having pleasurable, satisfying, and fulfilling sexual experiences.
1. Come As You Are
This is a pretty standard book recommendation for women’s sexuality. Although I do not believe in the gap between male sexuality being “easy” and female sexuality being “complicated”, I believe this book brings something very important to the table and I am going to resume it in just one sentence: “You are normal”.
When people struggle with their sexuality, in fact when they struggle with any issue, they feel quite alienated from the rest of the world as though they are the only weirdos who are having issues. Learning about others’ experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly, can help us recognize that we are not alone. That even though we might feel our struggle is unique, many others- for varied reasons- may have struggles that are quite like our own.
One of the things I love about this book is that at the end of each chapter it has a “TLDR” (too long, didn’t read) section. If you aren’t much of a reader, you can just skip to the end of each chapter, where you’ll find a list of “bullet points” the author has chosen to highlight. The book also comes in audio format if that’s what you prefer.
2. Becoming Cliterate
Have you heard of clitoris literacy? Here you go. This book also has one chapter to resume. I’d say this talks a bit about the ‘politics of the clitoris; especially in the young people hooking up culture. I find that many women will come to identify with the experience of being able to orgasm alone but not having pleasurable experiences when partnered. The author proposes several reasons why this might be happening. Each of course is unique to your own story but I find starting the conversation with yourself – and maybe with a partner(s) as well – is an important first step in welcoming more pleasure to your life.
The book also has a didactic/practical component to engage you in getting to know yourself and discovering what feels pleasurable to you. It also lists plenty of resources to discover erotic content that is more diverse than the common “entertainment-oriented” pornography. It also offers some guidance on how to talk about sex with a partner.
OMGYES is a one-time-payment subscription website that puts together scientific studies conducted in partnership between researchers at Indiana University and Kinsey Institute. It presents clips of interviews with many women speaking about their experience of self-discovery and sexual encounters with others; what they like, what they don’t, and how they let their partners know. I love that it presents talking about sex in such an open matter; I don’t feel this is done enough!
Clients often ask, is this porn? It is graphic, but it is not pornography. You will see them naked in a few of the videos as they explain how they like being touched. I love that it shows so many ways so people can see everyone has their own way to experience pleasure. Something I absolutely loved about it, quite a surprise as I was not expecting it, and I feel totally makes it stand out (apart from being good quality videography and content) is that it has an interactive vulva! Yes, an interactive vulva. You’ll get changes to practice the technique on screen and hear feedback as you go, highly recommend using a touchscreen for it.
Thaina Cordero is a Sexologist and Care Coordinator at Cypress Wellness Center. She has an MS in Educational Psychology and Ph.D. in Clinical Sexology student at Modern Sex Therapy Institute. She works with individuals and couples as they explore their sexual expression, needs, fantasies, preferences, curiosities, and difficulties as they create more pleasurable, satisfying, and fulfilling sex lives and relationships. Click here to request an appointment.