According to a recent survey of sexually active adults, 75% of men reported always reaching climax during sex. For women, that number drops to 29%. This isn’t the only way sex differs for men and women.
For many women, arousal and sexual desire is higher during times of infatuation or falling in love. And while men can often become aroused at a moment’s notice, women may need more stimulation and foreplay. Even the ways we look at masturbation differ, as more than 70% of men under 60 report masturbating semi-regularly, while only slightly more than 50% of women did.
Pornography now plays a bigger role in sexuality, too. And, contrary to popular opinion, porn isn’t just for men anymore. In a survey of more than 3,000 women, Marie Claire found that 30% of women watch porn “a few times a month.”
Clearly, there’s a lot to learn about sex and sexual desire, especially when it comes to fulfilling your partner’s needs. We’ve rounded up some of the best couples books that will provide you with meticulously researched, often surprising sex advice on how to improve your love life and satisfy your partner. Keep reading to discover the best sex books.
1. She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman
With more than 300,000 copies sold and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this is the ultimate guide to female pleasure. Author Ian Kerner wrote a book that Cosmopolitan described as “every man’s must-read.” It’s an indispensable guide to oral sex, female pleasure and great orgasms. This book focuses on how to put the woman’s needs first in the bedroom and how this will lead to a more enjoyable and fulfilling sex life for both partners.
2. The Joy of Sex: The Ultimate Revised Edition
A classic for a reason, The Joy of Sex has been teaching couples to communicate about sex for decades. This book has been a bestseller since it was published in 1972 by Dr. Alex Comfort. The latest edition has been updated by Susan Quilliam, a relationship psychologist, and features new information, illustrations and tips to keep the flame alive. If you’re interested in learning some new tricks to satisfy your partner (and yourself!), this book is a must. In fact, we added it to our list of 25 Best Books for Men To Read Before They Die.
3. 101 Nights of Great Sex (2020 Edition!)
Spice up your love life with this well-loved guide to pleasure. Recommended by Hollywood stars, wellness gurus and even physicians, this book has received a lot of praise for helping couples rekindle their flame. The book itself consists of 101 sealed envelops, half for each partner and a plus-one special. Each envelope leads to a sexual adventure to be completed by you or your partner. The end result is, you guessed it, better sex. So if you’re trying to take your love life to the next level, we suggest adding this book to the mix.
4. Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship
Monogamy doesn’t have to be synonymous with monotony. That’s the principle that guides the work of author Stephen Synder, M.D., a sex and relationship therapist who’s making waves with his creative thinking regarding sex. This award-winning book is filled with interesting (and many times relatable) stories of Dr. Synder’s long career as a therapist. His writing reminds us that while sex is supposed to be about connection, it’s also supposed to be easy and freeing. Whether you’re keeping the flame going with your long-time partner or are in a new relationship, this book can help you establish a long-lasting physical relationship.
5. The Technology of Orgasm
Even in 2020, there are a lot of taboos surrounding sex, and this book does an amazing job of putting things into perspective. Taking a look at the wild world of sex throughout the ages, this illuminating (and often hilarious) book focuses on how vibrators can help enhance women’s pleasure in the bedroom. Written by independent scholar Rachel P. Maines, The Technology of Orgasm is a winner of the Herbert Feis Prize from the American Historical Association.
6. The Guide to Great Sex: How to Get Better in Bed and Take Your Sex Life to the Next Level
While many men have insecurities about their performance in bed, it can be hard to voice those concerns (or to seek help or guidance). This book skips all of the awkwardness and jumps straight to the point. Michael Karp is a former sex columnist who not only studied human sexuality but is also very open with his readers about his own sex life. He covers a wide range of topics, from toys to sex positions, and also gives honest advice on how to overcome sexual anxiety.
7. Women’s Anatomy of Arousal: Secret Maps to Buried Pleasure
While you may think you know all you need to know about female arousal and sexual pleasure, Sheri Winston’s book goes deeper and more detailed than you probably ever thought possible. This knowledge could mean the difference between good sex and great sex. Winston is the executive director of a Kingston, NY-based Center for the Intimate Arts, and she combines a lifetime of teaching with scientific and historical research to create this powerful book. Your partner will definitely appreciate the effort.
8. Good Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out
Sex isn’t just about physical connection; it’s also about the emotional connection. Being aligned with your partner in a meaningful, intellectual and even spiritual way can heighten your sexual experience. Jessica Graham’s book focuses on remaining mindful during sex and the positive benefits this can have, from deeper intimacy to longer-lasting pleasure. Graham’s book is a helpful read if you’re dealing with difficult sexual problems, from non-monogamy to the role of pornography in a relationship.
9. Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life
This New York Times Bestseller by Emily Nagoski is also a #1 Bestseller in Amazon’s Sex & Sexuality section, and with its combination of new, ground-breaking research and non-judgmental writing, it’s easy to see why. Nagoski takes a deep dive into women’s sexuality, addressing how each woman’s sexual needs are different and unique to her, like a fingerprint. It’s a great read for men and women. Come as You Are will open your eyes to factors you may not have thought of in the bedroom before, such as the context in which a sexual experience takes place and how that affects her pleasure.
10. Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
From Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha comes this controversial bestseller that takes a critical approach to all the assumptions we make as a society regarding sex, monogamy and relationships. At a time when many couples are experimenting with open relationships and ethical non-monogamy, this book can help you better understand love. Newsweek called Sex at Dawn “a scandal in the best sense”, and comedian Illana Glazer praised it as helping her better understand both herself “and the world so much more clearly.” This book will help you unlock new levels of sexual knowledge, and you, and your partner, will wonder how you ever lived without it.