Suggested Reading Lists

Below is an evolving list of books, & some articles, aimed at, or accessible to, the general public that Beth feels comfortable recommending, authors she knows or has read, or books recommended by people whose opinions she values.

It's not comprehensive, will be regularly added to & you're urged to read reviews & book descriptions before purchasing - as with anything we invest our time & money in; be discerning! There are a great many different perspectives and none are complete nor will meet everyone's needs nor be in alignment with everyone's values.

It is hoped that you find the Free Resources page useful & if there are any books you'd like to recommend please feel free to email - equally, if a publication of yours is listed & you'd like it linked to a different URL please feel free to get in touch. Sections & items are listed in no particular order - click on the red text to follow the link. Beth introduces you to her recommendations below....

::: Adult Sex Ed. :::
I've yet to meet anyone who learned all they needed or wanted to know about sex, sexuality & adult relationships at school - is it even possible? I don't think so, we learn a lot as we grow & experience life, but, there is usually a lot missing from sex education when we're young that would support us to have better, freer and more pleasurable sex lives, together with more graceful & easy relationships, these books might fill in some of the gaps in relation to sex, sexuality & intimacy from a variety of perspectives.

The Sex Book (2002) Suzi Godson
Girl Sex 101 (2015) Alison Moon
Guide To Getting It On (2010, 8th edition) Paul Joannides, Daerick Gross
The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone (2015) Carol Queen Ph.D., Shar Rednour

The Multi-Orgasmic Couple: How (heterosexual) Couples Can Dramatically Enhance Their Pleasure, Intimacy & Health (2002) Mantak Chia, Maneewan Chia, Douglas Abrams, Rachel Carlton Abrams
Slow Sex: The Art & Craft of the Female Orgasm (2011) Nicole Daedone
Tell Me What You Want. The science of sexual desire and how it can help you improve your sex life (2018) Justin Lehmillier

::: For Parents & Children :::
As previously said, it's not possible, nor appropriate I think, to learn all one needs to learn as a child and/or young person at school - home is where our values are instilled, it's also where we learn from the behaviour of those closest to us, primarily our parents, about what intimate relationship is supposed to look like, and, of course, that's not always the ideal example.

It can be difficult if we, as parents, did not have the best examples growing up to know how and what to impart to our own children, or the children in our care - the following are some suggestions for sex-positive sex education.

Notes - the term 'sex-positive' simply means having a perspective that sex is, for the most part, a good & pleasurable thing that is, most often, not about reproduction. Also, please note that most of these books are from the USA or Australia and so the language, cultural norms & legalities may not be a fit for you and your child/ren - I advise reading the reviews & introductions before purchasing any book, and, reading a book yourself before either reading it to or giving it to your child.

Ages 3+

What's in There? All about before you were born - Robie H. Harris (pregnancy)
There's a House Inside My Mummy - Andreae Giles (pregnancy & a new baby's arrival)

Ages 4+
Everyone's Got a Bottom - Jodi Edwards (body parts)

The Underwear Rule (keeping safe)
The Baby Tree - Sophie Blackhall (where babies come from)
Hello Baby - Jenny Overend (birth)

Ages 5-8
How Did I Begin? - Brita Granstrom (age appropriate information about how babies are made through sexual intercourse)

Ages 7+
It's Not The Stork: A book about girls, boys, babies, bodies, families & friends - Robie H. Harris (author), Michael Emberly (illustrator)
It's So Amazing! A book about eggs, sperm, birth, babies & families - Robie H. Harris (very comprehensive, lots of topics)

Ages 8 - 12
Sex is a Funny Word: A book about bodies, feelings & YOU - Cory Silverberg (a book for children who already know about sexual intercourse, it covers consent, relationships etc)

Everybody Mastrubates (for boys) - Cristian YoungMillarEverybody Masturbates (for girls) - Cristian YoungMillar
A Smart Girls Guide To The Digital World: How to connect, share, play & keep yourself safe - Carrie Anton

Ages 10 - 14
It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex & Sexual Health - Robie H. Harris (ideal for those approaching & entering into puberty)

Ages 12+
The Secret Business of Relationships, Love & Sex - Heather Anderson (Australian in origin so worth noting that legal information may not apply)

S.E.X: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens & Twenties - Heather Corinna

Ages 14+
Dating & Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy - Andrew P. Smiler

Enjoy Sex (how, when & if you want to): A Practical & Inclusive Guide - Dr Meg-John Parker & Justin Hancock
Sex & Other Stuff: The A to Z of Everything You Need To Know - Rose Annie

Ages 16+
For Foxes' Sake: Everything A Fox Needs To Know About Sex - Row Murray

Sex & Lovers: A Practical Guide - Anne-Marlene Henning & Tina Bremmer-Olszewski

For Parents
Boy Puberty: How to talk about puberty & sex with your tween boy - Cath Hakanson (for parents of boys aged 9 - 13)

Girl Puberty: How to talk about puberty & sex with your tween girl - Cath Hakanson (for parents of girls aged 8 - 13)
Help Your Kids with Growing Up: A No Nonsense Guide To Puberty & Growing up - Robert Winston
Our Bodies, Ourselves - Judy Norsigian (pretty much covers all one needs to know in relation to female reproductive health)
Hayden-Reece Learns What To Do If Children See Private Pictures or Private Movies - Holly-ann Martin (talking with children aged 5 - 10 about pornography online using age appropriate language)

::: Consensual Non-Monogamy :::
Few of us are taught how to navigate relationships in really healthy ways, most of us fumble & stumble our way through, learning from experience & particularly the example of the adult relationships around us as we grow up - which can sometimes be a challenging & painful route. For those choosing the paths of consensual non-monogamy, which is one of my areas of particular interest & expertise, there are even fewer resources, I hope some of the following are of benefit & if you've any further suggestions please feel free to email

Sex at Dawn: How we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern relationships (2010) Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha
Mating in Captivity (2007) Esther Perel
More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical non-monogamy (2014) Franklin Veaux, Eve Rickert, Tatiana Gill, Janet Hardy
The Ethical Slut; a practical guide to polyamory, open relationships & other adventures (2017, 3rd edition) Janet Hardy, Dossie Easton
Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love & Intimacy with Multiple Partners (2012) Deborah Anapol
Eros Unredeemed: The World Power of Sexuality (2010) Dieter Duhm 
Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory and Optimistic Open Relationships (2016) Mark A. Michaels, Patricia Johnson 

::: Neo-Tantra :::
I'd like to make a distinction here between neo-tantra and Tantra. When I refer to 'neo-tantra' I'm referring to what the majority of people in 'the west' think of when they hear the word 'tantra' - it has it's origins in the 1960s onwards mostly in California, but it has spread almost worldwide now, & focuses mostly on sexuality with a, to a greater or lesser degree, flavour of general 'spirituality' to it. I think what is called 'tantra' in the west can often be a useful way to deepen connection, develop intimacy & therefore improve the human experience of sexuality & intimate relationship & is not what people in the countries that hold the origins of Tantra, countries such as India, Tibet & Nepal, are referring to when they talk about Tantra.

::: Relationships & Intimacy :::
The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel
The Normal Bar by Crisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz & James Witte
The New Rules of Marriage by Terry Real
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Dummies by Brent Bradley & James Furrow

The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman

::: BDSM :::
Bondage, Domination/Discipline, Submission/Sadism & Masochism - I'm often asked for further resources on these much misunderstood aspects of sexuality. I appreciate & know that it's really only through experience that one learns best, however, there are some good works available that I suggest reading if you're curious to learn more or before getting into any serious engagement with another person.

While BDSM can be fun, it can also link us in to our deepest desires allowing us to drop shame about them & allow us explore much greater freedom & empowerment through our sexuality, it is also a world where unconscious behaviour in relation to abuse, both of oneself & others, can emerge & go undetected, unmanaged & reinforced. That said, it can be a way to explore these depths, to consciously open & explore them provided it is within the safe, sane & consensual container of a trusted relationship or situation with someone who is experienced & proven to be trustworthy.

Playing Well with Others: Your field guide to discovering, exploring & navigating the kink, leather & BDSM communities (2012) Lee Harrington & Mollena Williams
50 Shades of Kink (an introduction to BDSM) (2014) Tristan Taormino
The Ultimate Guide to Kink (2012) Tristan Taormino

The New Bottoming Book (2001) Dossie Easton, Catherine A. Liszt & Janet Hardy
The New Topping Book (2011) Dossie Easton, Janet W. Hardy
The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage (2002) Midori, Craig Morey

::: Sex & Porn Addiction :::
The Myth of Sex Addiction, (2012) David J. Ley PhD

Data do not support sex as addictive. Prause, Nicole et al. The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 4, Issue 12, 899

::: Special Mentions ::: 
In this section I'd like to include books &/or authors that don't neatly fit into any of the previous categories, or that have too many relevant books to individually list.

Betty Dodson
Violet Blue
David Deida
Jesse Bering

Updated: 30/08/19