For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy by Lonnie Barbach, PhD is a book that I commonly recommend to college students who take my human sexuality class. It is also a book that is frequently used in sex therapy for couples who are experiencing a range of issues related to their relationship and/or their sexual lives including:
- different levels of sexual desire or interest (or a significant decrease in desire/libido)
- challenges and frustrations related to women’s orgasm
- wanting a male partner to either come more quickly or to hold off and wait before having an orgasm
- body image issues and how they relate to sex
- communicating about sex
- feeling connected during sex
It’s often particularly useful for couples to read this book together and it provides concrete suggestions for “exercises” that couples can try as they work to improve their experiences with sexuality. I’ve recommended it to individuals and couples of various ages and have heard equally positive results from college students as I have heard from older adults in their forties, sixties and beyond.
Though great for couples, you might benefit from some of the information or tips even if you don’t have a partner (or even if you do have a partner but your partner doesn’t want to read it with you). The exercises in the book are broad enough, too, that they can be used even by people who are not having intercourse, but who want to be sensual or sexual with a partner in other ways, such as through sensual touching, making out or other types of sex. In fact, temporarily NOT having intercourse – and instead trying different body touch exercises described in this book- is one strategy that is sometimes used as a way to eventually have more pleasurable, enjoyable and desired sex. Though heterosexual in focus, most exercises can be applied to same-sex relationships too. Check it out and let us know what you think.