Reader’s Request Fridays: Recommended Reading

September 07,2012

Welcome to Reader’s Request Fridays. As a reminder, I’ll be addressing one reader email per week, so if you have a specific question you’d like answered or a topic you’d like covered, please email me at If you’re interested in counseling, call (415) 658-5738 or visit my Appointments page to schedule a consultation.

This week’s question comes from an acquaintance, who wanted to see a list of some of my favorite books from the sex therapy field. For me, this is a nearly impossible task, as there are so many fantastic books in a wide variety of areas – sex therapy, sexual politics, sexual technique, sexual orientation, intimacy, the body, gender, sexual expression, and so on. I ultimately decided to focus my list on a few entertaining stand-outs, rather than creating a potentially overwhelming comprehensive guide. If you have requests for recommendations in a specific topic, please don’t hesitate to ask!

For the couple:
Resurrecting Sex – Schnarch
David Schnarch is one of the most well-respected contemporary marital therapists. His books can be a bit complex for the layperson, but this one is a great introduction to sex therapy for couples.

For the newbie:
The Big Bang: Nerve’s Guide to the New Sexual Universe
This is one of the best basic sex books that I’ve found. It’s entertaining and gritty, while still covering the basics.

For the scientist:
Human Sexual Response – Masters and Johnson
A little on the dry side for some, but this book is a classic. Masters and Johnson were some of the first sex researchers in the country, and some of the godfathers of sex therapy.

For the teacher’s pet:
Any work by Blue
Violet Blue is a great sexual technique writer. She covers a wide variety of topics, and is one of my top recommendations for anyone looking to improve their sexual knowledge and technique.

For the activist:
G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire – Frank
As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who was Raised as a Girl – Colapinto
G-Strings and Sympathy is a phenomenal book about one woman’s experience working in strip clubs. As Nature Made Him is the autobiographical account of a transgendered man’s transition from female to male. Both books are approachable, engaging, and thought-provoking.

For fun:
Savage Love: Straight Answers from America’s Most Popular Sex Columnist – Savage
Dan Savage’s sex columns are wildly entertaining. I don’t always agree with his advice, but I almost always get a good laugh.


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!