The seasons are changing, and with Fall well underway, it’s time we don our coziest outfits, bundle up under the blankets, and turn on the heat with some saucy literature. That’s right, we’re hitting the sex books, and we want you to join the ride. (Or should we say…read?)
Of course, not all sex books are about positions. (Though don’t stress—we’ve got those, too!) Whether it’s exploring the link between pleasure and power, sharing masturbation techniques, helping you understand your attachment style, or shedding light on some very important stories, the books below were chosen to help enhance and enlighten your understanding of modern sexuality. Let yourself disappear into anything from the list below, and see what you learn.
By Adrienne Marie Brown
What is the connection between pleasure and social justice? According to author and editor Adrienne Marie Brown, the two have more in common than we think. Exploring topics like sexuality, race, gender, sex work, drugs, and even climate change, Pleasure Activism is all about how politics, justice, and pleasure are directly intertwined. Her thought-provoking essays are balanced with thought-provoking conversations from other feminist thought leaders, including Audre Lorde, Sonya Renee Taylor, Cara Page, and Joan Morgan. Definitely read this book if you’re looking for something that’s equal parts educational and inspirational.
By Esther Perel
If you’re wondering how you can keep the heat in a long-term partnership, look no further than Ester Perel’s Mating in Captivity. In this provocative exploration of intimacy and sex, Perel boldly discusses the paradoxical union of domesticity and desire, and how we can work with our partners to sustain sexual attraction. She uses case studies, analysis, and discussion to illustrate how exciting and playful sex is still possible in long-term relationships, even if you feel as though you’ve already lost the “flame.” Spoiler alert: it IS possible to get it back.
Want more? Check out our podcast episode, “Turn Yourself On w/ Esther Perel”
By Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller
In this revolutionary study of human interaction, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Amir Levine and psychologist Rachel S.F. Heller reveal how an understanding of attachment theory, the most advanced relationship science in existence today, can be used to help us find and keep love. Using various studies, examples, and years of research, Levine and Heller break down how the parent/child relationship dictates how we approach love and intimacy. This groundbreaking book will help you better understand why you love the way that you love, as well as how you can work with your behavioral tendencies to sustain meaningful and peaceful relationships.
The first digital book in Afrosexology’s workbook series, Solo Sex is an interactive guide designed to help you foster the most important sexual relationship you’ll have in your life: the one with yourself. It contains 50+ pages of information, worksheets, and practices to help you deepen your connection to your erotic self, making it a great choice for anyone looking to enhance or explore their sexuality. It even includes “pleasure proverbs” that you can use to affirm your sexuality on a daily basis.
Want more? Check out our podcast episode, “Live an Orgasmic Life w/ Afrosexology”
By George M. Johnson
In this series of personal essays, journalist and LGBTQ+ activist George M. Johnson explores what it was like to grow up Black and queer in New Jersey and Virginia. Johnson weaves a beautiful (and sometimes tear-jerking) portrait of his past, reflecting on memories of being bullied, spending time with his grandmother, and diving into his first sexual relationships. All Boys Aren’t Blue isn’t just a memoir—it’s an evocative exploration of gender identity, brotherhood, family, consent, toxic masculinity, structural marginalization, and Black joy. Bonus? The writing style is accessible and frank, making it ideal for a teenage and adult audience.
By Latham Thomas
Okay, so this isn’t a sex book, but it is an essential guide for anyone navigating pregnancy (or who hopes to become pregnant). Written by maternity and birth doula Latham Thomas, Mama Glow is rich with tips and tricks for a supportive, rich, and nourishing journey into motherhood. The book includes illustrated prenatal exercises and yoga sequences, fleshed-out cleansing programs to boost fertility, formulas for deconstructing cravings, and specific foods to help you “glow” post-baby.
By Wednesday Martin
There are many assumptions about sex and relationships out there–one of them being that women who cheat are inherently damaged. But in this cultural and feminist critique of society, Martin reviews research, media analyses, and testimonies of real women to challenge our dated understanding of monogamy and womanhood. Get ready for a ride: this book will help you reframe your views on your own identity as well as how we as a society treat women.
Want more? Check out our podcast episode, “Untrue Sex Stats and Pleasure Facts w/ Wednesday Martin”
By Samra Habib
Samra Habib grew up thinking her wild feminist self was something that needed to be hidden. As an Ahmad Muslim who grew up in Pakistan and later moved to Canada as a refugee, Habib’s life was filled with challenges, including bullies, racism, and an arranged marriage. We Have Always Been Here is the story of her pursuit of freedom, and depicts a journey of love, faith, art, and queer sexuality. It’s an anthem for those who have ever felt alone or ostracized, and a celebration of discovering one’s truest self.
By Elle Chase
So much of pornography and mainstream media focuses on slimmer bodies, but Elle Chase’s book proves that you don’t have to be a specific size to have great sex. Informative yet oh-so-addictive, this guide shares 101 tried and tested positions and sex hacks for plus-sized pleasure. (That’s over 3 months of daily sex positions!) One of the most empowering sex books, this discussion of sex and body image demonstrates how everyone deserves creative, sultry, and amazing sex.
Want more? Check out our podcast episode, “Unconditionally Sexy w/ Elle Chase”