frequently asked questions

Q:

where are the pdf downloads for the audiobook of Come As You Are?

They're here. Sorry they were hard to find; I don't know why the various audiobook outlets didn't make them more accessible.

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Q:

how can I do what you do?

A:

There is no one path to working in the field of sexuality. It's such a large topic, approached from so many different academic disciplines. The two questions to ask yourself as you consider a career in sexuality (or any career, really) are: What kind of people do I enjoy working with? and What kind of problems do I like to solve?

SSSS has a partial listing of certification programs related to sexuality.

 

Q:

will you do therapy with me?

A:

 

Nope. I am an educator, not a therapist. I can confidently refer you to any provider connected with SSTAR or AASECT.

 

[specific question about sexual distress you are experiencing]

Q:

 

I get emails like yours literally every day, and  the answer is almost always:

What you're experiencing is normal! 

There's an exception. If you're experiencing unwanted pain, talk to a medical provider. When I ask providers where I should refer people who ask me about painful sex, they say the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute practitioner directory.

Apart from pain, your difficulties are more likely to be caused by the context in which your sexuality is trying to function, than by anything inherent in your sexuality. If you'd like you can talk with a therapist, such as the ones affiliated with with SSTAR or AASECT.

I can also tell you that worrying about your sexual functioning. is among the most efficient ways to disrupt your sexual functioning. I know it can be difficult to allow yourself to turn toward your sexuality with kindness, curiosity, and patience, if it's not behaving as you would like it to, but it turns out that's the perhaps the most efficient way to maximize your sexual wellbeing. Trust your body. Listen to it with kindness, curiosity, and patience. Believe what it says, even though it won't always be telling you what you want to hear.

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[specific technical question the science in CAYA]

Q:

I love talking about this stuff, and if you see me at a conference, let's have a drink and talk about it. In the meantime, my inbox is crammed, so if you email me about it, I'll probably "snooze" your email over and over, wanting to respond but never having time and always feeling both guilty and frustrated about it. So to spare us both, here are some short answers:

(1) There are comprehensive end notes and references in the back matter. If you'd like to know why I came to any specific conclusion or called something a "myth," read the papers and books cited.

(2) CAYA was published in March 2015, having gone to press in August 2014. The science has changed a bit since then - not in the overall conclusions, so far (in my opinion), but in the details. There are several papers that I have found especially important in deepening my understanding sexual response, including desire (ch 7) and arousal nonconcordance (ch 6). Here are a few:

(3) There is one definite, plain old MISTAKE that I know of in CAYA. It's 12% of women age 28 or younger who report never having an orgasm. The error was corrected in second printing onward of the British/Australian edition.

(4) CAYA was written for a lay audience - non-scientists who want to leverage the science to maximize their sexual wellbeing - which means we need to consider how language imposes "shortcuts" on ideas. Science itself uses shortcuts to communicate big, complicated ideas - e.g., the terms "woman" and "man" refer specifically to the participants in a study who are either presumed or verified to be genetically, anatomically, hormonally, psychologically, and socially consistently what we classify as "female" or "male" - efficiently, and the translation of science into general language uses shortcuts over those shortcuts - e.g., describing the results of research in terms of the individual reader ("if you have a sensitive brake, you might be more likely to experience responsive desire.") Neither kind of shortcut is a perfectly accurate representation of reality, but they're important bridges over otherwise impassably complex or difficult ground.

Wherever possible, I sent the chapters to the researchers on whose work it is primarily based, and, wherever possible, I adapted the language to accommodate their desire for clarity and precision. But yes, whatever shortcuts, fudging, and metaphors bother you, probably also bother me. I chose them for the lay audience, valuing accessibility and helpfulness over scientific comprehensiveness.

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What book would you recommend as a "male" counterpart to Come As You Are?

Q:

As far as I know, there isn't a recent book about the science of men's sexuality, specifically. But one of the things I learned both while writing CAYA and, even more, while talking with people about it as I traveled all over the world, the ideas in CAYA apply as much to men as to women. So even though it has a pink cover and assumes the reader is a woman - and after all, women spent decades and centuries reading books that assumed the reader was male; if we can adapt, so can dudes! - I think CAYA is the male counterpart of CAYA. 

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What book would you recommend for young people?

Q:

S.E.X. by Heather Corinna

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Q:

Is it true you wrote a romance novel?

A:

It sure is. In fact, I wrote two:

 

a + bn + ib + iB + gp

a + bn + ib + iB + gp

 

Where did your blog go?

Q:

My ISP had a meltdown and I had to rebuild it from scratch. My marital euphemism is working on it right now and I'll put it up just as soon as I can.

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