Come as You Are

Come as You Are

The Surprising New Science That Will Transform your Sex Life

Book - 2015
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An essential exploration of why and how women's sexuality works based on groundbreaking research and brain science that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, [2015]
Edition: First Simon & Schuster trade paperback edition
ISBN: 9781476762098
Branch Call Number: HQ46 .N32 2015
613.96 Nagoski
Characteristics: xi, 400 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


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Aug 05, 2019

If you read only one book on human sexuality, make it Come as You Are. This isn't your standard sex book. There are no promises here that learning one trick will drive you or your lover wild. But there is a lot of science, presented in an approachable manner, that provides great insight into how people work sexually (and, to be honest, in general as well). The book's stated audience is women, but I think anyone can benefit from the science that Nagoski covers in her book, regardless of sex. Sure, if you are a guy you'll read some things that don't directly apply to you, but I recommend you read this book anyway. It is that important.

Why? Because what this book teaches you is immently important to your health, your sexual well being, and just general understanding of how you, and those you are intimate with, work. For instance, Nagoski's discussion of the dual control model, or the "brakes" and "accelerator" of arousal, provides an understanding of people can have a different level of arousal for similar events.

Nagoski also talks about how stress impacts your arousability, and how stress can affect level of arousal differently for people (some people more aroused, others much less). She discusses how stress worked in the past for humans (when running from lions, for instance), and how we no longer allow stress ourselves to complete the full stress cycle. This discussion of how we, as a society, don't allow stress to complete the cycle is important, regardless of how it affects your sex life. I thought her point of how our method of dealing with stress is to avoid stressors, when it would be much healthier to learn to allow the stress cycle to complete, spot-on and more sensible than the common advice to avoid stress.

One important item the book covers is genital nonconcordance, or how the brain and genitals can react two very different ways to the same stimulus at the same instant. I'd argue that it is important not only for couples to understand that, but individuals, both men and women, and for society at large. Why? Because we have this assumption that the genitals are the best, or the only way, to determine if someone is turned on, and it has dangerous repercussions in our society.

I'd love to point to any particular section and say that it is the most important section. But I can't. Nagoski has provided a whole book full of facts, research, and understanding that makes it impossible to say any one part is more important. The whole book is important. I doubt you'll get through the book without wondering, "why haven't I learned this before?"

Why haven't I learned this before? Because no one told us. But Ms. Nagoski has, in an very approachable, and very readable book. Please, consider purchasing it, and highlighting it. Mark it up and dog-ear it. I honestly think that this book is that important to your, your health, and that of our society at large.

Aug 04, 2015

I don't normally read self-help books, and some science/educational stuff can be a real snoozefest, so I was hesitant to check out Come As You Are, despite the fact that it was recommended to me by about a dozen woman. I'm really glad I got over myself, because this book is fantastic.

There's a lot of science referenced here, which she footnotes so you can dig even further if you want. And the science is stuff above, beyond, and more recent than what I learned in high school and college. Which is why I was constantly amazed that what I learned (in the classroom, and by living in society) was so very wrong. The crux of why is that sex has been studied and understood as a men-as-default thing, which by nature sets up the differences between the sexes as "women are broken". The truth, as the author repeats often, is that there is no default or normal, and as long as you aren't experiencing pain with sex, your sexuality is healthy and normal.

She goes into the biological aspects (how we all have the same parts, arranged in different ways), the psychological aspects (how control centers in the brain act as taskmasters and why we experience frustration, orgasm, nonconcordance, etc), the physiological aspects (how you feel about how you feel during sex, for example, being a huge detractor from enjoying the experience), the cultural aspects (contrary to social shorthand, sex is NOT a drive), etc.

She throws in anecdotes as well, which I found helpful in breaking up the science parts and giving me a context for real-life application. She also has worksheets and suggestions about addressing any of a myriad of issues, which she encounters commonly as a human sexuality educator. Occasionally, as the book goes on, her repeating of phrases and question/answer posing felt a little too "in the classroom" to me...I didn't feel like she was speaking down to me, necessarily, but it made me twitch just a bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book: I learned a lot, it empowered me to improve some areas of my sexuality that I've been unsatisfied with (and did that beyond platitudes, with actual, practical advice), and it made me realize the root of some of my core issues (not just as pertains to sex, but with my self-esteem, my self-definition as an adult woman, my relationship fears, etc). I guarantee you, even if you're 100% happy with your sexuality and body, you'll still get something out of this book. And while the tone is definitely specifically aimed at women, it's got a lot of info in there useful to men (in understanding their own biology, brain relationship to sexuality, etc).

Jun 05, 2015

The author presents a most lucid and cogent and scientific (should spell that: SCIENTIFIC) and successful argument as to why there will most likely NEVER be a Viagra for women, their unique sexuality is contextual and individual and considerably more sophisticated. The author presents this in a most learned fashion and it is even more important this moment as biopharmaceutical corporations are trying to market a // female Viagra \\ which previously they tried to market the very same drug as either a depressant or some other such remedy! Drug trials FAILED in Europe, and the percentage was so suspect in America - - consider them having failed here as well! [Book is really directed at the female audience, but men will find it interesting as well.]


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