Date Published: March 3, 2015

Come as You Are: Summary

Ever wondered why your sex life isn’t Hollywood-perfect? It’s not you; it's science. Emily Nagoski's groundbreaking work, "Come as You Are," pulls back the curtain on the complex machinery of women's sexuality. Based on rigorous scientific research, Nagoski challenges societal myths and delivers a fresh perspective on women's sexual well-being. Every woman has her unique sexuality, shaped by biology, personal experiences, and culture. Yet, at its core, this variability is normal. The metaphorical 'sexual gas pedal and brakes' explain why arousal and desire can seem capricious. Some factors hit the accelerator, while others tap the brakes. But understanding and harnessing these can unlock profound sexual satisfaction. For every woman ever told she's "not normal," this book is a clarion call to embrace their genuine sexual self. Dive into a transformative journey and learn how the right knowledge can pave the path to sexual serenity.

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Come as You Are

Author: Emily Nagoski Ph.D.

Date Published: March 3, 2015

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Come as You Are: Genres

Sexuality and Relationships
Science and Research
Women’s Health

Come as You Are: Themes

The Dual Control Model: Nagoski introduces the concept of a ‘sexual gas pedal and brakes.’ While the accelerator responds to sexually relevant stimuli, the brakes can be hit by anything perceived as a potential threat. For instance, a romantic setting might activate the accelerator, but stress from work can slam the brakes.

Embracing Variability: The idea that there’s no “normal” when it comes to women’s sexuality is emphasized throughout. Whether it’s differences in anatomy, like the distance between the clitoris and the vaginal opening, or differences in desire, variability is natural. A woman’s arousal might be instantaneous in one scenario but slow and gradual in another – both are valid.

Impact of Culture and Education: Cultural myths and miseducation can negatively influence a woman’s perception of her sexuality. For instance, the common but misguided belief that all women should climax from penetrative sex alone can cause undue stress and feelings of inadequacy.

The Role of Stress: Nagoski dedicates significant discussion to the impact of stress on women’s sexual well-being. Chronic stress not only affects libido but can also interfere with the body’s natural ability to experience pleasure. A woman might find herself less responsive to a partner’s touch after a taxing week at work, underscoring the interconnectedness of mental well-being and sexual health.

Emotional Context: The book delves deep into how emotional context can profoundly influence sexual experience. Feeling safe, respected, and emotionally connected can enhance intimacy and pleasure, while negative emotions or unresolved conflicts can hinder them. A loving gesture, like a partner taking time to understand and validate a woman’s feelings, can elevate the overall sexual experience.

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