Good Sex: Get­ting Off With­out Check­ing Out

Jes­sica Gra­ham

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Nonfiction - CLAIRE FOSTER

North At­lantic Books (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $16.95 (192pp) 978-1-62317-234-3

Gra­ham sounds like a clear-eyed friend of­fer­ing ad­vice for the morn­ing af­ter.

Mind­ful sex can ab­so­lutely in­volve hand­cuffs. Or can­dles and in­cense. Or even eye con­tact! Jes­sica Gra­ham’s won­der­ful new Good Sex is an hon­est, in­sight­ful guide to ex­plor­ing your deep­est de­sires through med­i­ta­tion and mind­ful­ness.

Sex, Gra­ham points out, is fraught with fear for many peo­ple. Fear of not be­ing “enough” sex­u­ally, or fear of be­ing seen by a sex­ual part­ner, can block true con­nec­tion. Gra­ham sug­gests that sim­ple med­i­ta­tion tech­niques can help re­store sex­ual joy—and other kinds of hap­pi­ness too. “If we put our sex­u­al­ity in a shoe­box un­der the bed, we are putting a part of our­selves in there too,” she says.

The lan­guage in Good Sex is salty and re­lat­able. Gra­ham sounds like a clear-eyed friend of­fer­ing ad­vice for the morn­ing af­ter. She in­cludes sim­ple, prac­ti­cal med­i­ta­tion guid­ance to get in touch with what’s hap­pen­ing below the sur­face. Whether it’s con­nect­ing with a part­ner or be­com­ing aware of life’s im­per­ma­nence, Good

Sex pushes for a change of per­spec­tive. The tools are sim­ple, and de­signed for peo­ple at all stages of their spir­i­tual devel­op­ment.

Gra­ham’s own spir­i­tual prac­tice started with re­cov­ery from al­co­hol and drug use. She found a suf­fi­cient sub­sti­tute in med­i­ta­tion. Her ex­pe­ri­ences “were deep states of bliss­ful con­cen­tra­tion, and some were full on six­ties-style acid trips.” Gra­ham’s clear mem­o­ries, both the sa­cred and the pro­fane, make for ex­cel­lent read­ing.

She ap­proaches her un­en­light­ened, pre­re­cov­ery es­capades with hu­man­ity, never bash­ing or sham­ing her­self. Chap­ters that openly dis­cuss polyamory, three­somes, kink, and other sex­ual taboos im­part a sense of con­fi­dence and clar­ity. The mes­sage on ev­ery page is to take what you like and leave the rest.

There are a few mis­steps. Gra­ham’s opin­ion on abor­tion is framed as a fact, and her lan­guage around sex­ual au­ton­omy is prob­lem­atic: in a uni­verse where all things are con­nected and in flow, she im­plies, we can’t make de­ci­sions for our­selves. How­ever, most of Good Sex stays in its lane, fo­cus­ing on self-dis­cov­ery in­stead of pre­scrip­tive out­comes.

In­ti­macy and plea­sure be­gin with the in­di­vid­ual. Good Sex is a won­der­ful guide for putting lovers in touch with their deep­est de­sires.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.