Monday, January 09, 2006

Sex & Love Book Review


A Review by Lyn Perry:
Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships
by Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D., Lisa A. Firestone, Ph.D., & Joyce Catlett (Read the authors' introduction from the jacket.)

This is not a "how to" manual.

It is a "how to think" analysis of human sexuality and whether or not we will develop loving, intimate relationships in order to live healthy, integrated lives. It is not a handbook on what to do in the bedroom, rather it is a resource on what makes the bedroom experience fulfilling. It is not, however, for the casual reader.

Firestone et al pursue an academic yet accessible approach to this profound topic. Although probably utilized predominately by college psychology majors, this volume can be a helpful guide for those who desire to work through issues that are impeding healthy sexuality, as defined as:

[A] mode of sexual relating that represents a natural extension of affection, tenderness, and companionship between two people. . . . When both partners are fully present, in close emotional contact with each other, and enjoying the spontaneous giving and receiving of affection and sexual pleasure, their lovemaking contributes significantly to their emotional wellbeing and overall satisfaction in life. (p. 13)
This is a good definition, although you'll be aware as a Christian reader that the context of this "giving and receiving of affection" is between two people. No attempt is made in this book to evaluate the morality of same gender or non-marital relationships. This is in keeping with a perspective that "what is considered 'normal,' 'natural,' or 'moral' in one society may well be considered 'abnormal,' 'unnatural,' or 'deviant' in another." (p. 12)

The themes that are evaluated include characteristics of an "ideal" partner and sexual experience (Part I); factors influencing sexual development and adult sexual functioning (Part II); the defensive process of protecting ourselves from emotional pain (Part III); and the various therapeutic approaches to problems in sexual relating (Part IV).

The authors access a broad range of sources - with generous endnotes for further reading - and provide several case studies to help the reader with examples and applications. Although academic in nature, Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships can be a solid resource for mature couples seeking to develop a deeper and more fulfilling relationship or for individuals who want to explore the factors that may be hindering their sexual experience.


This book review by Lyn Perry
was sponsored by
Mind and Media.
The book was donated by the publisher.


UPDATE: Jan 11, 2006 ~ Visit The Rogue Angel for another review.

Thanks to the following blogs for allowing me to promote this post: Land of Ozz, Committees of Correspondence, Pirate King, Conservative Cat, Basil's Blog, Outside the Beltway, Jo's Cafe, bRight & Early, Two Babes & A Brain.

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