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Desire: An Inclusive Guide to Navigating Libido Differences in Relationships (Paperback)

Desire: An Inclusive Guide to Navigating Libido Differences in Relationships By Lauren Fogel Mersy, Jennifer A. Vencill Cover Image
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A radically inclusive, sex-positive guide to managing the inevitable libido differences in our relationships, authored by two certified sex therapists who are passionate about good sex

2024 Distinguished Book Award Winner, selected by the American Psychological Association’s Division 44

Desire invites readers of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, and relationship structures to shed the shame and misinformation that surround the topic of sex and instead learn from 2 certified sex therapists about how libido really works. Desire differences are one of the most common relationship issues, yet, with fewer than 1,100 certified sex therapists in the country, it can be difficult to find help. This essential book breaks the mold of the sex self-help genre, which typically focuses only on cisgender women.

Through the authors’ expert guidance readers will learn about

  • embracing a more expansive definition of sex,
  • identifying various factors that can impact libido,
  • managing anxiety around sex (one of the biggest libido killers),
  • the structural oppressions—from cisnormativity to heteronormativity to compulsory sexuality to minority stress—that affect our libido,
  • and much, much more.

It rejects the narrow, heteronormative, “staircase” model of sex—a way of thinking where many relationships get stuck. It integrates evidence-based relationship therapy techniques for better communication around sex.

Included are dozens of techniques, exercises, checklists, and journal prompts for readers to use at their own pace to fit their needs, including mindfulness, body mapping, and sensate focus. Whatever your identity, sexual practices, or reason for picking up this book, Desire will help you reach your personal sexual health goals.

About the Author

Dr. Lauren Fogel Mersy (she/her) is a licensed psychologist and an AASECT certified sex therapist. She owns a virtual private practice specializing in sex and relationship therapy in a surburb of Minneapolis, MN. She can be found on Instagram at @drlaurenfogelmersy.

Dr. Jennifer A. Vencill (she/her) is an assistant professor, board certified clinical health psychologist, and AASECT-certified sex therapist. Dr. Vencill provides integrated sexual health care at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and sits on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sexual Health and Psychology of Sexual Orientation & Gender Diversity.

Praise For…

“Fogel Mersy and Vencill’s advice is grounded in clinical experience, delivered in accessible prose, and backed by a sex-positive attitude that accounts for a host of sexual orientations, preferences, and other factors . . . Those seeking to strengthen their sexual connections will find this a comprehensive place to start.”
Publishers Weekly

“Brilliant. . . . This is the most inclusive, up-to-date book on sexual desire I have ever encountered, with the potential to help countless individuals.”
—Laurie Mintz, PhD, author of Becoming Cliterate

Desire is the most important sexuality book of the last decade.”
—Barry McCarthy, PhD, author of Couple Sexuality After 60

“An incredibly comprehensive, thoughtful, inclusive, and encouraging book for anyone looking to understand sexual desire or improve their relationship with their partner.”
—Dr. Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction

“We (and our partners) are the lucky beneficiaries of the brilliance and generosity of Dr. Lauren Fogel Mersy and Dr. Jennifer A. Vencill.”
—Alexandra H. Solomon, PhD, author of Loving Bravely

“This is an incredibly comprehensive book on all things sexual desire! . . . A must for any person wanting to want in the context of a relationship.”
—Lori Brotto, PhD, author of Better Sex Through Mindfulness

“This book is useful for lovers and those who work with lovers therapeutically. . . . I recommend this for anyone who is seeking to strengthen their relationship and for any professional who is working to help lovers find more success in intimacy.”
—Lexx Brown-James, PhD, LMFT, CSE, CSES, author of The Black Girls’ Guide to Couple’s Intimacy

“Essential, comprehensive, and inclusive. . . . Guide[s] the reader not only to understand the complexities of desire but also to implement changes that will hopefully lead them to their best sex life yet! . . . Once you read this book, you will never think of desire in the same way again!”
—Alex Iantaffi, PhD, SEP, CST, CST-S, LMFT, coauthor of Life Isn’t Binary

“Drs. Fogel Mersy and Vencill have written the most comprehensive book on sex and desire that I've read as a couples therapist. Filled with reassuring science and exercises, this book should live on the shelves of every therapist and person curious about sex and desire.”
—Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT, CGT, author of I Want This to Work
Product Details
ISBN: 9780807020296
ISBN-10: 080702029X
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English