Book Reviews

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Great letter from a reader related to dating and mating

dear dr. debby ( quite an alliteration)
    my  girlfriend just  broke up with me and i’m starting  to wonder
    about the wisdom of dating at  all, given the reality  that one has
    to have  chic clothes,  a great patter of  conversation, and a bigger
    than average  … wallet.  then i read your article on barn sparrows
    attraction to the opposite sex, so my  question is is there a cross
    human  avian  compatibility  here?  if so, how  much are brown magic
    markers  these days  and  how  many  do   i need?     best  wishes,
[name redacted]
What a sweet letter! I think we’ve all wished it were as easy as brown magic markers (read the original post if you’re new to MSP or don’t recall the story). I don’t know of any quick fix to make one attractive to others – which I suppose is a good thing, though, because we don’t really want to attract everyone else – we generally just want to attract a particular person and at a particular time. Continue Reading →

Body Drama by Nancy Redd – amazing

I got an email tonight from Nancy Redd, the author of Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers and immediately it hit me that although I’ve mentioned her book in the past, I have never given it the justice it deserves: a whole celebratory post to itself. Here’s the thing about Body Drama – it rocks. This is the book that I wish had been around when I was 12 and 13 (and 16 and 18…), not knowing what was up with my body. I may be considered a "sex expert" now, but I knew so little about my body, my sexual health, or my reproductive anatomy when I was growing up. My family – bless their hearts – was generally too uncomfortable to talk to me about puberty. Continue Reading →

Free sex and relationship book give-a-way!!!!

There will be more another week, but for now I am giving away:
The Camera My Mother Gave Me by Susanna Kaysen (author of Girl, Interrupted) – a nonfiction account of her experience with vulvovaginal pain. (Update: This one has been CLAIMED)

Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood by Suzanne Braun Levine STILL AVAILABLE… GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE… Sex Matters for Women: A Complete Guide to Taking Care of Your Sexual Self by Sallie Foley, MSW, Sally Kope, MSW and Dennie Sugrue, PhD (Update: This one has been CLAIMED)

Human Sexuality: A Psychosocial Perspective by Ruth K. Westheimer and Sanford Lopater (that’s right, Ruth K. is DR. RUTH!!!) (Update: This one has been CLAIMED)
If you want one of these books, send an email to me at and I will send it to you. One book per person. Continue Reading →

Wondering what he or she is doing RIGHT NOW

" Love is wondering what he’s doing right now this very moment." – Charles M. Schulz
When I was growing up, Van Halen had a video for their song Right Now and in it they showed all these lines related to the "right now" theme. One line that always struck me was "Right now she is going on with her life." 

If you are obsessed with thoughts of someone, consider asking yourself to what extent these thoughts are contributing to your life versus keeping you stuck. Sometimes we obsess over a memory of someone, or an idea of what life could be like if only if were with that other person. It can be perfectly okay to think about someone and wonder what they are up to. Most great romances include this element. Continue Reading →

MSP Book of the Week: Helen Fisher’s Why We Love

This week’s MSP Book of the Week is Helen Fisher’s Why We Love. Dr. Fisher is a cultural anthropologist who has studied love and romance in a range of cultures. We are still learning much about this topic and this book provides some insight into the beginnings of research into this area – things like how brain activity differs in people when they love and are loved back versus when they love but are not loved back (unrequited love), or when people are newly in love or fresh from a break-up. Learn more about Why We Love from Amazon’s web site. Continue Reading →

When you’re in love…

"Love is watching someone else’s boring show on T.V." – Charles M. Schulz, in a 1979 copy of Love is…Walking Hand-in-Hand
I’m not big on TV so for me, this one has definitely been true! I have sat through so many TV shows… and all because I loved the person I was with. Sometimes I even learned to like the tv shows. It is true that there is a gray area between sharing activities together and giving up part of yourself. Continue Reading →

MSP Book of the Week: My Unwritten Books

This book is making quite a splash – in some circles, for its chapter on sex. In others, for its admission of starts and stops. My Unwritten Books amounts to seven essays on seven books that author and scholar George Steiner intended to write, or considered writing, but never really did. The Guardian focused on the sex chapter, and on Steiner’s often explicit descriptions of being fluent in four languages and making love in all of them. If you ever took French, you may find this quote of interest:
"Gloriously astride me, my first teacher in the arts of orgasm … Continue Reading →