Good Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out
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.