Sex Ed Book Club is a space where I offer my favorite book recommendations and tools you can use to host a group reading of these awesome texts.  

I will also highlight other great reads and resources for sexual education, health, and pleasure. 

Have a book you’d like featured? Contact me!

​Note: This used to be an interactive social media group, but the format has changed. That’s why some materials have month/year formatting. Also, some of these links are affiliate links which means we may make a small commission off items you choose to purchase. Thank you for your support. 

Come As You Are
Dr. Emily Nagoski

An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works—based on groundbreaking research and brain science. Scientists have discovered surprising truths about was does work to maximize sexual wellbeing.   

Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape
Jaclyn Friedman & Jessica Valenti

In this groundbreaking new look at rape edited by writer and activist Jaclyn Freidman and Full Frontal Feminism and He’s A Stud, She’s A Slut author Jessica Valenti, the way we view rape in our culture is finally dismantled and replaced with a genuine understanding and respect for female sexual pleasure. Feminist, political, and activist writers alike will present their ideas for a paradigm shift from the “No Means No” model—an approach that while necessary for where we were in 1974, needs an overhaul today.  

The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love
Janet W. Hardy & Dossie Easton

The classic guide to love, sex, and intimacy beyond the limits of conventional monogamy has been fully updated to reflect today’s modern attitudes and the latest information on nontraditional relationships.

For 20 years The Ethical Slut has dispelled myths and showed curious readers how to maintain a successful polyamorous lifestyle through open communication, emotional honesty, and safer sex practices. The third edition of this timeless guide to communication and sex has been revised to include interviews with poly millennials (young people who have grown up without the prejudices their elders encountered regarding gender, orientation, sexuality, and relationships), tributes to poly pioneers, and new sidebars on topics such as asexuality, sex workers, and ways polys can connect and thrive. The authors also include new content addressing nontraditional relationships beyond the polyamorous paradigm of “more than two”: couples who don’t live together, couples who don’t have sex with each other, nonparallel arrangements, couples with widely divergent sex styles, power disparities, and cross-orientation relationships, while utilizing nonbinary gender language and new terms that have come into common usage since the last edition.

  

Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture
Chris Donaghue

It’s socially acceptable to spend a day watching sports or sitcoms, but it’s shameful and embarrassing to admit to the same about erotic media. Why is it that sex is so often deemed “inappropriate” and considered something we must keep private or even ignore?

Our culture is afraid of sex. We feel the need to label what is normal and what isn’t, and as a result, we live in a relational and sexually unhealthy culture. In reality, far more harm is caused by labeling sexual expression as “obscene” than by celebrating it.

In Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture, Chris Donaghue, PhD, explores and challenges the negative ideals that have warped society’s view of sex. Sex Outside the Lines is not a dogmatic rule book, but a valuable guide to help you on your journey to sexual self-discovery and, most important, self-acceptance. Donaghue encourages you to not only explore your capacity for pleasure, but to be proud of it and to take a look at how you could be living.

In his years of training in sex and couples therapy, Donaghue has developed highly successful methods for freeing clients from sexual hang-ups, enabling them to let go of shame and embarrassment. The goal isn’t to be “normal”—there is no such thing. Donaghue pulls apart cultural phobias with a sex-positive therapy practice, as well as a kind of sexual deprograming that helps people see and accept that the desires they have—even if they don’t align with society’s expectations—are actually natural, healthy, and part of having a great sex life.

Sex Outside the Lines addresses our diversity, challenges conventional psychiatric wisdom as classifying perfectly normal behavior as disorders, and disregards conventional advice from leading experts. It isn’t advocating a “liberal” approach to modern concepts—it is seeking to redefine them altogether.

  

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution
David Carter

The basis of the PBS American Experience documentary Stonewall Uprising.

In 1969, a series of riots over police action against The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, changed the longtime landscape of the homosexual in society literally overnight. Since then the event itself has become the stuff of legend, with relatively little hard information available on the riots themselves. Now, based on hundreds of interviews, an exhaustive search of public and previously sealed files, and over a decade of intensive research into the history and the topic, Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution brings this singular event to vivid life in this, the definitive story of one of history’s most singular events.

A Randy Shilts / Publishing Triangle Award Finalist

“Riveting…Not only the definitive examination of the riots but an absorbing history of pre-Stonewall America, and how the oppression and pent-up rage of those years finally ignited on a hot New York night.” – Boston Globe

  

Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape
Peggy Orenstein

The author of the New York Times bestseller Cinderella Ate My Daughter offers a clear-eyed picture of the new sexual landscape girls face in the post-princess stage—high school through college—and reveals how they are negotiating it.

A generation gap has emerged between parents and their girls. Even in this age of helicopter parenting, the mothers and fathers of tomorrow’s women have little idea what their daughters are up to sexually or how they feel about it. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over seventy young women and a wide range of psychologists, academics, and experts, renowned journalist Peggy Orenstein goes where most others fear to tread, pulling back the curtain on the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important possibilities of girls’ sex lives in the modern world.

While the media has focused—often to sensational effect—on the rise of casual sex and the prevalence of rape on campus, in Girls and Sex Peggy Orenstein brings much more to the table. She examines the ways in which porn and all its sexual myths have seeped into young people’s lives; what it means to be the “the perfect slut” and why many girls scorn virginity; the complicated terrain of hookup culture and the unfortunate realities surrounding assault. In Orenstein’s hands these issues are never reduced to simplistic “truths;” rather, her powerful reporting opens up a dialogue on a potent, often silent, subtext of American life today—giving readers comprehensive and in-depth information with which to understand, and navigate, this complicated new world.

Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life
Justin J. Lehmiller

A leading expert on human sexuality and author of the blog Sex and Psychology offers an unprecedented look at sexual fantasy based on the most comprehensive, scientific survey ever undertaken.

What do Americans really want when it comes to sex? And is it possible for us to get what we want? Justin J. Lehmiller, one of the country’s leading experts on human sexuality and author of the popular blog Sex and Psychology, has made it his career’s ambition to answer these questions. He recently concluded the largest and most comprehensive scientific survey of Americans’ sexual fantasies ever undertaken, a monumental two-year study involving more than 4,000 Americans from all walks of life, answering questions of unusual scope.

Based on this study, Tell Me What You Want offers an unprecedented look into our fantasy worlds and what they reveal about us. It helps readers to better understand their own sexual desires and how to attain them within their relationships, but also to appreciate why the desires of their partners may be so incredibly different.

If we only better understood the incredible diversity of human sexual desire and why this diversity exists in the first place, we would experience less distress, anxiety, and shame about our own sexual fantasies and better understand why our partners often have sexual proclivities that are so different from our own. Ultimately, this book will help readers to enhance their sex lives and to maintain more satisfying relationships and marriages in the future by breaking down barriers to discussing sexual fantasies and allowing them to become a part of readers’ sexual realities.

Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity
Peggy Orenstein

Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex broke ground, shattered taboos, and launched conversations about young women’s right to pleasure and agency in sexual encounters. It also had an unexpected effect on its author: Orenstein realized that talking about girls is only half the conversation. Boys are subject to the same cultural forces as girls – steeped in the same distorted media images and binary stereotypes of female sexiness and toxic masculinity – which equally affect how they navigate sexual and emotional relationships. In Boys & Sex, Peggy Orenstein dives back into the lives of young people to once again give voice to the unspoken, revealing how young men understand and negotiate the new rules of physical and emotional intimacy.

Drawing on comprehensive interviews with young men, psychologists, academics, and experts in the field, Boys & Sex dissects so-called locker room talk; how the word “hilarious” robs boys of empathy; pornography as the new sex education; boys’ understanding of hookup culture and consent; and their experience as both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. By surfacing young men’s experience in all its complexity, Orenstein is able to unravel the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important realities of young male sexuality in today’s world. The result is a provocative and paradigm-shifting work that offers a much-needed vision of how boys can truly move forward as better men.

More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory & The Relationship Bill of Rights (Bundle)
Franklin Veaux & Eve Rickert

Can you love more than one person? Have multiple romantic partners, without jealousy or cheating? Absolutely! Polyamorous people have been paving the way, through trial and painful error. Now the new book More Than Two can help you find your own way. With completely new material and a fresh approach, Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert wrote More Than Two to expand on and update the themes and ideas in the wildly popular polyamory website morethantwo.com.

Love’s Not Color Blind
Kevin Patterson

The issues that make monogamous dating daunting for people of color—shaming and exclusion by white partners, being fetishized, having realities of everyday racism ignored—occur in polyamorous relationships too, and trying “not to see race” only makes it worse. To make polyamorous communities inclusive, we must all acknowledge our part in perpetuating racism and listen to people of color. Love’s Not Color Blind puts forward the framework—through research, anecdotal testimony, and analogy—for understanding, identifying, and confronting racism within polyamorous communities.

Building Open Relationships: Your hands on guide to swinging, polyamory, and beyond!
Dr. Liz Powell

Have you read “that book” on non-monogamy and still wondered “But how do you actually DO this?”Are you totally great on the theory of open relationships, but feel like you don’t know how it works in practice?Join Dr. Liz Powell, psychologist, speaker, and coach, as she draws from her education, research, and life experience to bring you Building Open Relationships. This new book is an all-inclusive guide to beginning and maintaining your non-monogamous life, no matter where you fall under the non-monogamous umbrella.Complete with worksheets, discussion starters, examples, and hard-won lessons (i.e. my mistakes), this book will give you all the tools you need to be more successful in non-monogamy.

S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties
Heather Corinna

The go-to sex ed guide for teens and young adults, tackling everything you want to know about sex, from consent, safe sex, emotional health and more, from the founder of scarleteen.com.

As a teen or emerging adult, dealing with all the changes going on in your life, body, and mind can be mighty overwhelming. When it comes to sex, everyone seems to have strong feelings and opinions about who you should be and what you should (shouldn’t) do. How do you decide who to listen to? Heather Corinna and Scarleteen have provided sex education and information to millions of young people, parents, and mentors since 1998; S.E.X. tackles all the big topics:

Self-image and how to find and claim your own sexual self
How to best protect and support your sexual and emotional health
Sorting out gender and sexual identities, even when they’re complicated and confusing
The latest on contraceptive methods and other reproductive choices, sexually transmitted infections, and safer sex
Finding, creating, and managing healthy and happy relationships
How to set and respect limits and boundaries, and rock consent
Identifying, preventing, or healing from abuse or assault
…and much more.

Whatever your gender or sexual identity, whether you’ve already been actively exploring your sexuality or are only just getting curious, S.E.X clearly spells out what you need and want to know–no shame, no judgement, just comprehensive and accurate info in a clear, straightforward language.

She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman
Dr. Ian Kerner

As women everywhere will attest, men are “ill-cliterate.” Most guys know more about what’s under the hood of a car than under the hood of a clitoris. But in the world of She Comes First, the mystery of female satisfaction is solved and the tongue is proven mightier than the sword. According to sex therapist (and evangelist of the female orgasm) Ian Kerner, oral sex isn’t just foreplay, it’s coreplay: simply the best way to lead a woman through the entire process of arousal time and time again. Can you say “viva la vulva”?

Fun and informative, She Comes First is a virtual encyclopedia of female pleasure, detailing dozens of tried-and-true techniques for consistently satisfying a woman and ensuring that sexual fulfillment is mutual.

Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships
Stella Harris

You can’t get what you unless you ask for it!

“My favorite thing when I’m working with clients is when their eyes go wide with the ‘ah-ha’ moment that they really can have the sex life of their dreams. It’s my hope that with this book, you can as well.”–Stella Harris

Sex is still a touchy subject despite recent sex-positive advances. We live in a culture that vilifies people who are sexually adventurous and frames our kinks as shame-inducing perversions. Many people have never been able to talk openly about sex with their partner(s). But, you can get what you want out of the bedroom–if you ask for it. Why should anyone settle for mediocre sex?!

Whether addressing sexual frustration with your partner, trying out new fantasies, or negotiating the terms of a BDSM scene, Stella Harris believes that communication skills are vital to sexual fulfillment. Tongue Tied gives readers straightforward advice on how to conquer their fears, identify their needs, and feel positively empowered. Harris charmingly takes readers through all aspects of communication, from basic interpersonal skills to negotiation advice for expert-level kink play. Learn how to have fun, embrace silly moments, support your loved ones, and take personal responsibility for your desires.

An incredible guide full of exercises, tools, and personal examples, Tongue Tied is a must-read for people of every experience level and relationship status.

Curvy Girl Sex: 101 Body-Positive Positions to Empower Your Sex Life
Elle Chase

Curvy Girl Sex provides tried and tested methods, positions, and sex hacks for plus-sized lovers of all types, and does it all in an empowering, body-positive light.

Who says you have to be a size 6 to have the best sex of your life? Curvy Girl Sex is here to show you that regardless of size, shape, or flexibility you CAN get creative and have satisfying, sultry, sensual sex!

Sex educator Elle Chase covers sex positions from basic to advanced in this new guide for plus-sized lovers. Elle covers specific challenges faced as plus-sized people, and provides precise, body positive tips, tricks and techniques that cater to your big, beautiful body.

Curvy Girl Sex also features sections on which sex toys on the market that are best for a woman of size, the one unexpected item in just about every home that’s just waiting to be used to enhance sex sessions, tried and tested methods and positions to make curvy girls quiver, and loads of “sex hacks”.

Tickle My Tush: Mild-to-Wild Analplay Adventures for Everybooty!
Dr. Sadie Allison

This smart new paperback guides women and men to the true pleasures of the under-explored seat of love. With Dr. Sadie’s trademark tongue-in-cheek narrative, together with dozens of tasteful illustrations, Tickle My Tush clearly shows how to enjoy these newfound thrills—comfortably, safely and pleasurably.

Designed from mild-to-wild, backdoor-curious couples can easily find their personal approach and comfort levels–and at their own pace. From mild outercourse joys like sensual butt massage and gentle fingerplay, to wild orgasmic sensations of butt toys, innercourse and the table-turning thrills of “pegging”, they will feel confident with the tips and techniques that dispel fears and skyrocket pleasures.

Tickle My Tush is the perfect companion for the one-third of American couples already engaging in analplay, and are interested in learning new knowledge and techniques that prevent discomfort and promote pleasure. It’s as equally inviting for anyone who’s curious about this adventure, but isn’t sure where to begin.

Enough To Make You Blush: Exploring Erotic Humiliation
Princess Kali

Enough to Make You Blush separates the rumors from the facts and explains why some people think being completely awful is absolutely wonderful.

Erotic humiliation goes far beyond the “Lick my boots!” stereotype. Princess Kali, a pioneering kink educator and presenter, goes deep into the underlying desires that fuel this kind of play on both sides of the equation.

Using both personal experience and extensive interviews she talks about the important distinctions between ideas such as embarrassment, humiliation, degradation, objectification, as well as what it is that draws people to each (“Being human is really complicated. Being a lamp is not.”).

Enough to Make You Blush is a practical guide as well, describing common forms of humiliation play with frank advice and suggestions. Things like:

+ the ten most important negotiation questions

+ financial domination as a budgeting strategy

+ the true key to chastity play

+ the surprising way sissification can be a feminist act

+ how to handle it if something goes wrong

and much more.
Through it all, Princess Kali keeps focus on the pleasure and intimacy that erotic humiliation can bring to partners. Whether you are curious to try or simply want to understand another dimension of human sexuality, Enough to Make You Blush will not disappoint you.

The Yes, No, Maybe Workbook: Get What You Want Out Of Sex & Kink
Princess Kali

It’s time for a revolution in sexual negotiation! The Yes, No, Maybe Workbook takes you beyond the simple yes, no, maybe checklists and gives you room to record the deeper nuances of your erotic desires, limits, and fantasies.

When you fill these pages, this book becomes a personal erotic encyclopedia. It’s a unique space to create an intimate reference guide where you can organize your thoughts to understand them more deeply and express them to others more clearly.

Use this book as a communication tool, and get what you want out of sex and kink! This edition is black and white.

Teaching Safer Sex
Bill Taverner

The third edition of Teaching Safer Sex is the most comprehensive educational resource published by the CFLE. Winner of the 2013 AASECT Book Award given by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, Teaching Safer Sex includes 50 lessons in two volumes. Goal To help participants explore the many facets of safer sex and sexually transmitted infections, in order to support the health and well-being of themselves, their family, friends and acquaintances, and society at large. Objectives After participating in these lessons, participants will be able to: Explain that the option not to engage in sexual behavior is a basic human right which an individual should be able to assert at any time in a relationship. Describe the possible consequences of sexual intimacy, particularly when it involves vaginal, oral or anal intercourse, and describe the actions one can take to reduce the risk of unwanted consequences. Express comfort, knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to practice safer sex if they decide to have intercourse. Assess the risks involved in their own sexual behavior and set goals to make safer sex an integral part of their sexual lives. Develop the capacity to work cooperatively with a partner to assume mutual responsibility for safer sex. Speak up for actions that help protect the sexual health and well-being of others.

Rebel Love: Break the Rules, Destroy Toxic Habits, and Have the Best Sex of Your Life
Dr. Chris Donaghue & Amber Rose

In Rebel Love, Dr. Chris Donaghue, PhD (The Amber Rose Show with Dr. Chris ), reveals how traditional dating “rules” are toxic, why everything you’ve learned about dating and relationships is wrong, and how to have the best sex of your life.

Dr. Chris is the sex expert you’ve been waiting for. He refuses to pathologize those whose sexuality doesn’t fit in a neat little box and he doesn’t just pay lip service to the pro-sex, feminist, and body-positive mores of the day — he demands them.

Rebel Love welcomes all sexualities and identities no matter where you fall on the spectrum and empowers people to be authentically who they are both in and out of the bedroom. Dr. Chris’s prescription for hotter, healthier sex — the two go hand in hand — encourages you to stop participating in patriarchal stereotypes, broaden your sexual horizons, and have amazing sex. Best of all, he shows you how with real-world examples and inspirational case studies.

The Psychology of Human Sexuality (2nd Edition)
Justin Lehmiller

New edition of an authoritative guide to human sexual behavior from a biopsychosocial perspective

The thoroughly revised and updated second edition of The Psychology of Human Sexuality explores the roles that biology, psychology, and the social and cultural context play in shaping human sexual behavior. The author – a noted authority on the topic and an affiliate of the acclaimed Kinsey Institute – puts the spotlight on the most recent research and theory on human sexuality, with an emphasis on psychology.

The text presents the major theoretical perspectives on human sexuality, and details the vast diversity of sexual attitudes and behaviors that exist in the modern world. The author also reviews the history of sexology and explores its unique methods and ethical considerations. Overall, this important and comprehensive text provides readers with a better understanding of, and appreciation for, the science of sex and the amazing complexity of human sexuality.

Features broad coverage of topics including anatomy, gender and sexual orientation, sexual behaviors, sexual difficulties and solutions, prostitution, and pornography
Offers more in-depth treatment of relationships than comparable texts, with separate chapters dealing with attraction and relationship processes
Includes cutting-edge research on the origins of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as new treatments for sexually transmitted infections and sexual dysfunctions
Is written from a sex-positive perspective, with expanded coverage of cross-cultural research throughout and material that is inclusive and respectful of a diverse audience
Includes numerous activities to facilitate dynamic, interactive classroom environments
Written for students of human sexuality and anyone interested in the topic, The Psychology of Human Sexuality offers a guide to the psychology of human sexual behavior that is at once inclusive, thorough, and authoritative in its approach. 

Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities
David M. Ortmann & Richard A. Sprott

Sexual Outsiders looks at the challenges and experiences of those in the Bdsm community and explores the erotic and psychological landscape of this often misunderstood culture, concepts of power, personal growth, overcoming challenges, and forming communities

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
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.

Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence
Esther Perel

A New York City therapist examines the paradoxical relationship between domesticity and sexual desire and explains what it takes to bring lust home.

One of the world’s most respected voices on erotic intelligence, Esther Perel offers a bold, provocative new take on intimacy and sex. Mating in Captivity invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to bring lust home.

Drawing on more than twenty years of experience as a couples therapist, Perel examines the complexities of sustaining desire. Through case studies and lively discussion, Perel demonstrates how more exciting, playful, and even poetic sex is possible in long-term relationships. Wise, witty, and as revelatory as it is straightforward, Mating in Captivity is a sensational book that will transform the way you live and love.