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5 Books That Will Boost Your Love Life – Everyday Health

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Forget 50 Shades of Grey: Check out these science-backed reads instead to create more heat between the sheets.
We’ve got nothing against romance novels, but when it comes to boosting your love life, sometimes it pays to look at science. Sex therapists often recommend research-backed books to their clients to help them put the sizzle back in their relationship.
We asked three experts to reveal which books they suggest most often. Whether you’re looking to spice up your sex life or want to understand what makes your partner tick, read on to discover their top five picks.
By Emily Nagoski, PhD
“This is a very empowering and accessible book that helps women feel normal about their sexuality while at the same time providing solid advice about how to increase their pleasure,” says Aline Zoldbrod, PhD, a sex therapist and psychologist in Lexington, Massachusetts. Filled with up-to-date research and brain science, the book explains how a woman’s sexuality is different from a man’s, and what women can do to empower themselves in the bedroom.
By Stella Resnick, PhD
How can you keep sexual desire alive in a long-term relationship? That’s what researcher and therapist Stella Resnick, PhD, reveals in this book. She draws on scientific research to explain how to stay both emotionally and sexually satisfied over the years and even dives into how your childhood shapes your love life. “It goes back to how you were brought up to love and show affection, like if you went to give someone a hug and they turned away from you,” explains Katherine Bettin, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist in Midlothian, Virginia. She loves the questions and quizzes in the book that can help you understand your partner better.
By Sue Johnson
This book, recommended by Kristin Zeising, PsyD, a sex therapist and psychologist in San Diego, focuses on a therapy technique called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). It was developed by clinical psychologist Sue Johnson, doctor of education, who defines EFT as recognizing and admitting “that you are emotionally attached to and dependent on your partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing, and protection.” The book reveals seven transformative conversations that every couple should have.
By Ian Kerner, PhD
Though the title implies that this book is for men, both women and men can learn a lot about lovemaking from this read, says Dr. Bettin. Loaded with practical information about the female anatomy (the clitoris has 18 distinct parts and twice as many nerve endings as the penis, for example), the book demystifies oral sex by offering step-by-step techniques and ways to open up a conversation about it with your partner.
By Esther Perel
This best-selling book is beloved by both Bettin and Dr. Zeising. In fact, many sex therapists rely on it as a well-researched, cutting-edge guide for helping their clients improve their sex lives and maintain — or recapture — desire for each other, says Bettin. Through case studies and lively discussion, the author shows that exciting, playful sex is possible in long-term relationships.
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