Beacon Press: Desire
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An Inclusive Guide to Navigating Libido Differences in Relationships

Authors: Lauren Fogel Mersy, Jennifer A. Vencill

A radically inclusive, sex-positive guide to managing the inevitable libido differences in our relationships, authored by two licensed sex therapists who are passionate about good sex

Desire invites readers of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, and relationship structures to shed the shame and misinformation that surround the topic of sex and instead learn from 2 certified sex therapists about how libido really works. Desire differences are one of the most common relationship issues, yet, with fewer than 1,100 certified sex therapists in the country, it can be difficult to find help. This essential book breaks the mold of the sex self-help genre, which typically focuses only on cisgender women.

Through the authors’ expert guidance readers will learn about

  • embracing a more expansive definition of sex,
  • identifying various factors that can impact libido
  • managing anxiety around sex (one of the biggest libido killers),
  • the structural oppressions—from cisnormativity to heteronormativity to compulsory sexuality to minority stress—that affect our libido,
  • and much, much more.

It rejects the narrow, heteronormative, “staircase” model of sex—a way of thinking where many relationships get stuck. It integrates evidence-based relationship therapy techniques for better communication around sex.

Included are dozens of techniques, exercises, checklists, and journal prompts for readers to use at their own pace to fit their needs, including mindfulness, body mapping, and sensate focus. Whatever your identity, sexual practices, or reason for picking up this book, Desire will help you reach your personal sexual health goals.
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“Fogel Mersy and Vencill’s advice is grounded in clinical experience, delivered in accessible prose, and backed by a sex-positive attitude that accounts for a host of sexual orientations, preferences, and other factors . . . Those seeking to strengthen their sexual connections will find this a comprehensive place to start.”
Publishers Weekly

“Sexual desire is one of the most common issues people bring to sex therapists and one of the most misunderstood aspects of sexuality for both lay people and therapists alike. In this brilliant book, Drs. Vencill and Fogel Mersy explain sexual desire with clarity and finesse, elucidating concepts that even many seasoned sex therapists are unfamiliar with. Most importantly, with equal doses of wit and compassion, they provide a road map for anyone struggling with sexual desire. This is the most inclusive, up-to-date book on sexual desire I have ever encountered, with the potential to help countless individuals.”
—Laurie Mintz, PhD, author of Becoming Cliterate

Desire is the most important sexuality book of the last decade. Lauren Fogel Mersy and Jennifer Vencill explore the complex issue of desire discrepancies—the most common sexual problem that couples bring to therapy. The audience for this welcoming book is not just heterosexual married couples but people of all sexual orientations and genders. This is a respectful, inclusive book that encourages individuals and couples to find their authentic sexual selves and express sexuality to enhance their life and relationship. It is a must-read for the public as well as relationship professionals.”
—Barry McCarthy, PhD, author of Couple Sexuality After 60

“This book is useful for lovers and those who work with lovers therapeutically. It is simple and straightforward, with thoughtful exercises specifically designed to explore and increase intimacy, while gently explaining various challenges and how to meet them with success. I recommend this for anyone who is seeking to strengthen their relationship and for any professional who is working to help lovers find more success in intimacy.”
—Lexx Brown-James, PhD, LMFT, CSE, CSES, author of The Black Girls’ Guide to Couple’s Intimacy

“Drs. Fogel Mersy and Vencill have written the most comprehensive book on sex and desire that I've read as a couples therapist. Filled with reassuring science and exercises, this book should live on the shelves of every therapist and person curious about sex and desire.”
—Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT, CGT, author of I Want This to Work

Desire is an incredibly comprehensive, thoughtful, inclusive, and encouraging book for anyone looking to understand sexual desire or improve their relationship with their partner. Highly recommended!”
—Dr. Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction

Authors’ Note

It’s Complicated

Part I

The Lowdown on Libido

Cultural and Societal Factors

Interpersonal Factors

Individual Factors

Part II

Connection with Self

Connection with Partner(s)

Sensate Focus

Part III

Partners with Higher Libido

When to Kick It Up a Notch

About the Authors

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ISBN: 978-080700678-8
Publication Date: 8/22/2023
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $28.95
Format: Cloth
Not Yet Published
Will Ship On: August 2023
(Backorder policy)
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