"We read to know we are not alone."—C.S. Lewis
We want to help you procure the best, most tasteful and groundbreaking books out there, so we've curated a few of our favorites. Buying any of our books is easy—just click on the book jacket or the 'on iBooks now and worth it' link and our friends at iBooks or Amazon.com will gladly check you out. Enjoy.—BastardLife
7 Keys to Lifelong
By Brian R. Clement and Anna Maria Clement
Good health leads to good sex and good sex can lead to good health. And your sex life can keep getting better over time, with intimacy growing stronger and more pleasurable with each passing year. Health and sex experts Drs. Brian and Anna Maria Clement, a married couple and the codirectors of an internationally renowned wellness clinic and spa, offer advice for retaining sexual vitality and intimacy throughout life. Their suggestions are all-natural, can be put into practice by anyone, and require no drugs. On sale now and worth it.—N.B.
By Maryjane Fahey & Caryn Beth Rosenthal
Rarely have we seen a book from this genre with as much culturally accessible and immediately actionable advice. You are sure when reading Dumped that the authors Maryjane Fahey & Caryn Beth Rosenthal have lived the path they are suggesting we undertake. What's more, and unlike the majority of self-help titles on the market today, Dumped is written with the spirit to motivate the reader to "do" not to "think about doing." A great and enlightening read. I would recommend this book for anyone who is struggling to let go, move on, and remain fabulous after heartbreak. On iBooks now and worth it.—Neal T. Boulton
By Eric Berkowitz
The “raging frenzy” of the sex drive, to use Plato’s phrase, has always defied control. However, that’s not to say that the Sumerians, Victorians, and every civilization in between and beyond have not tried, wielding their most formidable weapon: the law. At any given point in time, some forms of sex were condoned while others were punished mercilessly. Jump forward or backward a century or two (and often far less than that), and the harmless fun of one time period becomes the gravest crime in another. Judging Desire tells the story of the struggle throughout the millennia to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior.
Writer and lawyer Eric Berkowitz uses flesh-and-blood cases—much flesh and even more blood—to evoke the entire sweep of Western sex law, from the savage impalement of an Ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895 for “gross indecency.” On iBooks now and worth it.—N.B.
By Alan Bennett
One of England’s finest and most loved writers explores the uncomfortable and tragicomic gap between people’s public appearance and their private desires in two tender and surprising stories.
In The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson, a recently bereaved widow finds interesting ways to supplement her income by performing as a patient for medical students, and renting out her spare room. Quiet, middle-class, and middle-aged, Mrs. Donaldson will soon discover that she rather enjoys role-play at the hospital, and the irregular and startling entertainment provided by her tenants.
In The Shielding of Mrs. Forbes, a disappointed middle-aged mother dotes on her only son, Graham, who believes he must shield her from the truth. As Graham’s double life becomes increasingly complicated, we realize how little he understands, not only of his own desires but also those of his mother.
A master storyteller dissects a very English form of secrecy with two stories of the unexpected in otherwise apparently ordinary lives. On iBooks now and worth it.—N.B.
By Michael Foucault
Michael Foucault turns his attention to sex and the reasons why we are driven constantly to analyze and discuss it. His is a brilliant and iconoclastic explanation of modern sexual history. On iBooks now and worth it.—N.B.
By E. L. James
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever. On iBooks now and worth it.—N.B.
By Sai Gaddam & Ogi Ogas
Want to know what really turns your partner on? A Billion Wicked Thoughts offers the clearest picture ever of the differences between male and female sexuality and the teeming diversity of human desire. What makes men attracted to images and so predictable in their appetites? What makes the set up to a romantic evening so important for a woman? Why are women’s desires so hard to predict? Neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam reveal the mechanics of sexual relationships based on their extensive research into the mountains of new data on human behavior available in online entertainment and traffic around the world. Not since Alfred Kinsey in the 1950s has there been such a revolution in our knowledge of what is really going on in the bedroom. What Ogas and Gaddam learned, and now share, will deepen and enrich the way you, and your partner, think and talk about sex. On iBooks now and worth it.—N.B.
By Mia Martina
Mia Martina wasn't going to sit around waiting for love to find her when her relationship ended. Instead, she went after it - in New York City's erotic underground. Mia dove headfirst into the sex-party scene, swinging, spanking, and screwing her way out of heartbreak.
Follow her on an arousing and amusing journey as she tours the sex dens, women-only parties, and S & M dungeons that make up the city's sexual landscape. By spending a year as a self-identified slut, she learns more about herself - and love - than she could have imagined.
Her wild tale is utterly relatable to even the sexually uninitiated. While at times sultry and steamy, her adventures will have you thinking twice about what role love, sex, commitment, monogamy, kink, and sexual fulfillment play in our modern lives. On iBooks now and worth it.—N.B.
By Melissa Febos
Febos's candid, hard-slogging debut about her four years working as a dominatrix at a midtown Manhattan dungeon cuts a sharp line between prurience and feminist manifesto. Having grown up on Cape Cod, Mass., then dropped out of high school before moving to New York City and enrolling in the New School in the fall of 1999, Febos slipped into drug use and needed a way to finance it. An attractive law-school graduate neighbor in her Brooklyn apartment building mentioned that she worked as a domme, and Febos decided to give it a go. She spanked grown men, professionals, fathers, and rabbis, sometimes inserted enemas, sodomized them with dildos, and otherwise verbally humiliated them, all for $75 an hour, plus tips. At first, Febos managed the grueling, unsavory work while high on heroin and cocaine, and gained a tremendous sense of confidence, even invincibility at being able to justify her livelihood as one of the few well-paid acting gigs in this city. In time, she also became addicted to her job; she eventually joined AA to help get clean of drugs, but kicking her addiction to sadomasochism was harder, and in this emotionally stark, excoriating work, Febos mines the darkest, most troubling aspects of human interaction. On iBooks now and worth it.—R.B.I.
By Simon Van Booy
This book explores how some of the greatest minds of civilization have tackled a question that continues to play a vital part in our lives today. In Why We Need Love, Simon Van Booy curates an enlightening collection of excerpts, passages, and paintings, presenting works by Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Donne, William Blake, George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, O. Henry, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, E. E. Cummings, AnaÏs Nin, Marc Chagall, J. Krishnamurti, and others. Why We Need Love will engage both the serious philosopher and the eternally curious. On iBooks now and worth it.—N.B.
By Dossie Easton & Janet W. Hardy
For anyone who has ever dreamed of love, sex, and companionship beyond the limits of traditional monogamy, this groundbreaking guide navigates the infinite possibilities that open relationships can offer. Experienced ethical sluts Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy dispel myths and cover all the skills necessary to maintain a successful and responsible polyamorous lifestyle--from self-reflection and honest communication to practicing safe sex and raising a family. Individuals and their partners will learn how to discuss and honor boundaries, resolve conflicts, and to define relationships on their own terms. On iBooks now and worth it.—N.B.
By David P. Barash Ph.D. & Judith Eve Lipton
Shattering deeply held beliefs about sexual relationships in humans and other animals, The Myth of Monogamy is a much needed treatment of a sensitive issue. Written by the husband and wife team of behavioral scientist David P. Barash and psychiatrist Judith Eve Lipton, it glows with wit and warmth even as it explores decades of research undermining traditional precepts of mating rituals. Evidence from genetic testing has been devastating to those seeking monogamy in the animal kingdom; even many birds, long prized as examples of fidelity, turn out to have a high incidence of extra-pair couplings. Furthermore, now that researchers have turned their attention to female sexual behavior, they are finding more and more examples of aggressive adultery-seeking in "the fairer sex." Writing about humans in the context of parental involvement, the authors find complexity and humor:
Baby people are more like baby birds than baby mammals. To be sure, newborn cats and dogs are helpless, but this helplessness doesn't last for long. By contrast, infant Homo sapiens remain helpless for months ... and then they become helpless toddlers! Who in turn graduate to being virtually helpless youngsters. (And then? Clueless adolescents.) So there may be some payoff to women in being mated to a monogamous man, after all.
Careful to separate scientific description from moral prescription, Barash and Lipton still poke a little fun at our conceptions of monogamy and other kinds of relationships as "natural" or "unnatural." Shoring themselves up against the inevitable charges that their reporting will weaken the institution of marriage, they make sure to note that monogamy works well for most of those who desire it and that one of our uniquely human traits is our ability to overcome biology in some instances. If, as some claim, monogamy has been a tool used by men to assert property rights over women, then perhaps one day The Myth of Monogamy will be seen as a milestone for women's liberation. On sale now and worth it.—Rob Lightner
Paul R. Abramson
Abramson and Pinkerton amass an array of evidence that sexuality in all of its myriad manifestations is inherently pleasurable. Moreover, they argue that sex-as-pleasure is primary over sex-as-reproduction as the evolutionary and psychological motivator for seeking sexual outlets. Furthermore, they insist that embracing all consensual, adult sexuality will make sex safer and perpetuate the species but with increased pleasure. Thus, With Pleasure is a scholarly, provocative, and brave book that will both evoke discomfort in the sexual puritan and instill hope in the sexual liberal as it increases the tolerance of all to the celebration of sexual pleasure." On sale now and worth it.—Donald L. Mosher
By Carol J. Adams
Many cultures equate meat-eating with virility, and in some societies women offer men the "best" (i.e., bloodiest) food at the expense of their own nutritional needs. Building upon these observations, feminist activist Adams detects intimate links between the slaughter of animals and violence directed against women. She ties the prevalence of a carnivorous diet to patriarchal attitudes, such as the idea that the end justifies the means, and the objectification of others. In Frankenstein , Mary Shelley made her Creature a vegetarian, a point Adams relates to the Romantics' radical politics and to visionary novels by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Dorothy Bryant and others. Adams, who teaches at Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, sketches the alliance of vegetarianism and feminism in antivivisection activism, the suffrage movement and 20th-century pacifism. Her original, provocative book makes a major contribution to the debate on animal rights. On sale now and worth it.—P.W.
By Amy Sohn
"I could not put down Amy Sohn's Prospect Park West. It's hilarious and juicy, filled with Tom Wolfe-like depictions of America today. It will appeal to everyone: hipsters, non-hipsters, men, women, Brooklynites, non-Brooklynites, straight people, gay people, and hasbians (i.e. former lesbians -- one of the many words I learned in Sohn's book)." On sale now and worth it.—A. J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All
By Alan Downs Ph.D.
With a title that plays on Janet Jackson's epochal 1997 LP The Velvet Rope, and its anatomy of unmet desire, therapist Downs's book describes the paradigmatic ways in which early childhood molds the future lives of gay men: scorned on the playground, disrespected by Dad, loved only by Mom until their first sex with men. Through this mechanism of rejection, gay men feel unlovable, correspondingly angry and, he says, driven to heights of creativity and "fabulousness"—in addition to shopping addiction and obsessions with fat, muscle and penis size—in a bid to distract themselves from their inner shame. For Downs, the only thing that will bring an end to this spiral of torment is, finally, "validation," which produces "authenticity." Downs is an engaging writer, though prone to repeating the same few points in different words, while his patients, quoted in sidebars, often make witty quips that rival Quentin Crisp for dry, bitter sarcasm. While many gay readers will fail to recognize themselves here, others will find Downs's logic warming and even generous. On sale now and worth it.—P.W.
Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha
Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science--as well as religious and cultural institutions--has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity.
But this narrative is collapsing. Fewer and fewer couples are getting married, and divorce rates keep climbing as adultery and flagging libido drag down even seemingly solid marriages. How can reality be reconciled with the accepted narrative? It can't be, according to renegade thinkers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. While debunking almost everything we "know" about sex, they offer a bold alternative explanation in this provocative and brilliant book.
Ryan and Jethá's central contention is that human beings evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and, often, sexual partners. Weaving together convergent, frequently overlooked evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature monogamy really is. Human beings everywhere and in every era have confronted the same familiar, intimate situations in surprisingly different ways. The authors expose the ancient roots of human sexuality while pointing toward a more optimistic future illuminated by our innate capacities for love, cooperation, and generosity.
With intelligence, humor, and wonder, Ryan and Jethá show how our promiscuous past haunts our struggles over monogamy, sexual orientation, and family dynamics. They explore why long-term fidelity can be so difficult for so many; why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens; why many middle-aged men risk everything for transient affairs with younger women; why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality.
In the tradition of the best historical and scientific writing, Sex at Dawn unapologetically upends unwarranted assumptions and unfounded conclusions while offering a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do. On iBooks now and worth it.—N.B.