Suggested Reading Lists

Below is an evolving reading list aimed at the English speaking general public.
It's not exhaustive, it is 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 in the general fields of adult relationships & intimacy and none are complete nor will they meet everyone's needs nor be in alignment with everyone's beliefs or values, I have tried to reflect mine here while also ensuring I'm pointing you towards reputable, useful, accessible & evidence-based reading material.


It is hoped that you also find the Free Resources page useful. 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.


::: 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 or appropriate? No, 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, safer & more pleasurable sex lives, together with more graceful, satisfying & easy relationships, these books might fill in some of the gaps in relation to sex, sexuality & intimacy from a variety of perspectives. 
Also, I'm coming across increasing numbers of men & women who have used their ease of access to the internet to 'learn' about sex from porn - I'm going to be unually categorical here & say ''don't do that''! Porn is not sex education & does not reflect the 'real' sex lives or desires of 'real' people.




Mind The Gap; the truth about desire & how to futureproof your sex life. (2020) Dr Karen Gurney


::: For Parents & Children :::
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 ''normal'' intimate relationship is supposed to look like, and, of course, that's not always the ideal example nor does it necessarily fit with our own preferences & orientations.

It can be difficult if we 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.

Note - the term 'sex-positive' simply means having a perspective that legal & consensual 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 YoungMillar

Everybody 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


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.
If you'd like to book an online consultation to discuss any aspect of consensual non-monogamy contact info@bethwallace.org to discuss.
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. 

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. I wrote about the difference from my perspective here, in an article entitled 'Why Neo-Tantra isn't Tantra''.


Also, check out the books written by Daniel Odier



::: 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 sexual exploration. 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 new to the idea & curious before getting into any engagement with another person, even if it's an existing lover or partner.

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, however, 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. If you'd like to book a short online consultation to discuss your thoughts, feelings & any concerns about experimenting with BDSM email info@bethwallace.org to discuss.

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 Addiction :::

Updated: 01/01/21