cover image Sex Talks: Five Conversations That Will Transform Your Love Life

Sex Talks: Five Conversations That Will Transform Your Love Life

Vanessa Marin, with Xander Marin. Simon Element, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-668-00001-4

In this approachable debut, sex therapist Vanessa Marin and husband Xander Marin propose that better communication makes for better sex. Marin asserts that, though often discouraged by social or religious taboos, frank discussion about sex is vital for couples looking to improve both physical and emotional intimacy. Debunking Hollywood portrayals of sex with “chemistry so intense you can... feel it through the screen,” Marin urges readers to abandon notions of “sexual perfection” and open up about one’s desires to a partner. Marin outlines how to begin the conversation (“talking about sex has to start with even acknowledging [it]” ) and to discuss connection, desire, pleasure, and exploration. Chapters contain useful suggestions for handling potential conversational pitfalls, and sample questions (“What are your three to five favorite ways to receive love?”). Marin also strives for inclusivity for readers of all sexual orientations. Periodic asides from Xander complement Marin’s therapist’s perspective with “regular dude” commentary on the same issues, suggesting, for example, low-pressure ways to initiate intimidating conversations. Compassionate and witty, Marin makes what many find a challenging discussion manageable, even for readers with little idea of where to start. Anyone looking to improve their communication with a partner will find valuable takeaways. (Feb.)