Blog, Book Reviews, Bookish Life, Social Justice

Book Review: Come As You Are by Dr. Emily Nagoski


Summary

“Is this normal?”

“Am I the only one who experiences this?”

“What’s wrong with me?”

These are a few of the many questions that women ask themselves when it comes to their sexuality and sex life. If you’ve ever asked one of these questions – you’re absolutely not alone. Dr. Emily Nagoski discusses, myth-busts and re-writes the narrative of women’s sexuality in Come As You Are: The Surprising Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life. Through the biological lens that Dr. Nagoski provides, she uses her experience as a sex educator and researcher to tackle common challenges that women face in their sex lives and normalize the everyday struggles of female sexuality. Most of what you think may be “weird” or “wrong” is probably, almost certainly, normal. She creates scenarios based on her past patients to showcase and follow certain couple’s journeys, has interactive worksheets and quizzes throughout the book and an in-depth appendix that dives deeper on certain topics. 

Whether sexuality makes you uncomfortable or curious, Come As You Are should be an integral part of every women’s sexual education that tackles societal impact on sexual narrative, the true biology behind women’s health and, frankly, why we are the way that we are. The take-home message from Dr. Nagaoski is this: no matter how weird you might feel about something related to sex – you are completely normal! 

Review

I said it in the summary and I’ll say it again in the review – Come As You Are should be an integral part of every women’s sex ed. Learning about the biology, research and conversations behind women’s sexuality was fascinating, eye-opening and, at times, uncomfortable. I think as women we all know how much society has influenced our sexual narratives. But I don’t think you really know until you know. Ya know?

This book helped me unlearn and relearn so many aspects about what it means to be a women, what’s considered “normal” in our daily sex lives and how to shift towards a healthy and intrinsically motivated narrative. I know that growing up I experienced a lot of shame when it came to sex and the more I learn, the more normal I realize that is. This book can help you open your eyes to the hidden biases and stories you’ve been told about your body – and figure out a way to reclaim it into something that serves you.

Thank you to Dr. Nagoski for writing this inspiring and biological sex-ed guide that will help women all over the world learn that they are in fact – 100%, without a doubt, completely normal when it comes to sex! 

A pitfall with this book, that Dr. Nagoski acknowledges, is that there is too little research on trans women. This book’s basis focuses on sexuality for cisgender women. The lack of research when it comes to trans women and their sexuality is an ongoing issue that needs more funding and time. We need to lift trans voices and this is a place to start – to learn more about queer and trans sex ed, here are a few resources – thank you to Steph Auteri’s resource guide, Guerilla Sex Ed:

A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

By Mady G. and J.R. Zuckerberg

Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens (2nd Edition)

By Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke

Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You

Book by Karen Rayne and Kathryn Gonzales

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community

Edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth, Introduction by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Yasi Agah is a San Francisco native who loves to read, write, roller-skate and listen to Blink 182. Her favorite genre is definitely memoirs. Becoming by Michelle Obama makes her tear up every time she reads it.

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