Monday, October 8, 2018

Book Review - Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski

Today, I'm doing something different - I'm reviewing a non-fiction book I read, just because I loved the book so much. Not as a favour to the author or upon request, or in exchange for anything. I don't have the book cover art then, but I'll post a link to where you can buy it on Amazon.


An essential exploration of women’s sexuality that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.

After all the books that have been written about sex, all the blogs and TV shows and radio Q&As, how can it be that we all still have so many questions? The frustrating reality is that we’ve been lied to — not deliberately, it’s no one’s fault, but still. We were told the wrong story.

Come as You Are reveals the true story behind female sexuality, uncovering the little-known science of what makes us tick and, more importantly, how and why. Sex educator Dr Emily Nagoski debunks the common sexual myths that are making women (and some men!) feel inadequate between the sheets.

Underlying almost all of the questions we still have about sex is the common worry: ‘Am I normal?’ This book answers with a resounding Yes! We are all different, but we are all normal — and once we learn this, we can create for ourselves better sex and more profound pleasure than we ever thought possible.

For all those science nerds out there, this book is definitely for you. I'm NOT a science nerd, so I did struggle in some parts to read this book, although she mostly wrote it in layman's language, but still, it made my brain boggle a bit. (Maybe that's easy, lol.)

Anyway, I truly feel that this book is an essential read for every woman out there (and also for their partners). It's for straight or gay women, although she mentioned that she hasn't done enough research to help transgender people.

There is so much out there in the media, which is largely accepted as true about women's sexuality, which is a far cry from scientific fact. Yes, the science is still evolving and growing, and they haven't discovered everything, but it's high time that people got wind of how we work as females.

I'm going to summarise what she covers, in brief, as I don't want this review to be a spoiler, but I do want people to get an idea of the powerful message she conveys:

1. We are all different down there physically and unless our body causes us discomfort or pain, we are normal and beautiful! (Porn stars are just that - porn stars, and oftentimes photo-shopped or changed.)

2. Physiological response is not the same as desire. Women need desire for true pleasure. Desire goes a lot deeper than just a physical thing.

2. Just like our physical parts are all arranged differently, so our way of functioning as a sexual being is unique. Not all women get aroused a certain way, orgasm the same way, and find the same things pleasurable. (Yes, I've written a post about this before and this book only confirmed my concerns about how women are portrayed sexually in media - 18+ movies, magazines, and some erotic fiction.) These images we have in our heads about how we should behave don't always measure up to our own realities, and when they don't, we start to believe that there is something deeply wrong with us. And that belief is the biggest downfall in our sexual pleasure.

3. Women are not the same as men. Yes, physiologically, we actually are fairly similar, if you look at the internal biology of our parts, but, as women, and some men, we are deeply affected by external matters when it comes to how ready and seamless we are in times of intimacy. We have brakes and they're all connected to our brains. And it's quite complex what causes those brakes. She goes into it in great detail and it is an enlightening read. Unfortunately, women are expected to act like men sexually and they are, once again, portrayed like that in magazines, movies, porn, etc. They are expected to be in the mood all the time, to have spontaneous desire (i.e. non-responsive desire) like men.

4. We don't actually have a sex drive. We have a sex desire. A drive is something that pushes us onto survival. We can survive as individuals without sex, but not as a species. That gives no excuse for sexual assault or the non-consensual stuff. NO ONE has any excuse to say that they need sex and that they had to have someone for their own needs to be met!

5. She goes into how to eliminate or work through the brakes that hold us back. Great advice. And a lot to chew on.

I don't know if I've conveyed her thoughts properly as I'm not very scientific, so I really think you should read it yourself, if you're interested.

Added thoughts on the book as copied from my Goodreads review:

Thank you so much, Emily. You have healed my broken heart!

This amazing scientific book (which did go over my head a little bit at times) showed me that I'm perfectly normal and wonderful just as I am. I understood myself for the first time. I'm not broken; I'm not "not enough". I just have sensitive brakes.

This book empowers women. There is so much in the media - magazines, TV, porn, romantic fiction, that gives false messages on women's sexuality. Everyone is buying into these lies (based on ignorance and thinking women are the same as men). It's making women believe they are messed up sexually, and making men less than loving and patient toward their partners. The book goes into almost every dynamic of issues (which are actually caused more by stress, low self-esteem and a misunderstanding of our brakes and accelerators than anything else) - you need to read it to understand.

I feel like Emily is a strong sister who has taken my hand and raised it up to the sky and shouted to the world that "She is enough".

Amazon link:

Friday, October 5, 2018

Why I Said "Thank You" and How It Helped

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a spiritual teaching by Matt Khan, as recommended by a friend who did Reiki on me. I don't resonate with everything he teaches, but I was challenged and stirred by a strong message he gave about our soul's purpose and the pain we face in our lives.

For quite some time now, I've realised that my painful marriage breakup and divorce was something that my soul had chosen to go through before I came to this planet at this time. I don't know why, whether it was a karma thing that I had to learn (karma, I believe, is to learn self-forgiveness), but more so, I believe it was to grow me as a soul.

My husband of twenty years broke it to me in July 2016 that he didn't love me anymore. It was a total shock and devastation. It's been over two years now since that dark day, and the past few months I've been partly annoyed with myself for not being able to move on and get over the grief. Yes, sure I accepted myself, but I was kind of sick of the negative emotions. Although they'd eased quite a bit, they were still hurting me. All the memories - good and bad - would roll around inside me. It wasn't a constant, all-day thing, like in the beginning, but then something would happen to make it come out - like him talking to me, seeing an old photo, or me hearing about the other woman. Several messages from Spirit (like pulling cards), had relayed to me that it was time to let go of the heartbreak. I really wanted to, but how?

Then Matt Khan told his YouTube listeners to say, "Thank you" to the very people who cause us the most pain. As hard as it was, I said "Thank you" to my ex, and I meant it. I knew that what he'd done was for the growth of my soul. I trusted that the emotions would follow that decision to thank him. And to thank The Universe and my soul for choosing this path.

My Reiki friend's session may have helped too as she felt a blockage in my sacral (relationship/sexual/creative) chakra. She told me to wear orange. 😀 Interestingly enough, she said my heart chakra was very clear and open. Matt Khan said that grief and loss breaks open our hearts.

Anyway, my ex has recently gone on a trip to Australia to visit the woman he left me for. Normally, just the knowledge of it would get me into all the negative thought patterns - why am I not good enough but she is, why did he commit to loving me forever and break that promise, and many more. And the emotions would be bad! But something has happened. It's like I suddenly realised, I get to have the juicy goodness of soul growth. I have grown so much the last two years, spiritually, mentally, and practically. I've learned how to be independent, I've learned self-love, I've learned about codependency and unhealthy relationships. I get to be at peace and no longer in a codependent relationship. I get to be free to love myself, without anything holding me back. I get to follow my own path without having to hide it. I don't have to work like a hamster on a wheel to please him for fear of losing him, like I had been for years.

As spring has arrived in my country, I also feel like it's a period of fullness and new growth for me. I'm now finally seeing the new shoots of growth and freedom that I've been planting after two years of working on my healing and self-love and forgiveness. I've grown in unconditional love and non-judgement. Sure, I'm not totally there yet, but there are new, lush shoots of growth. There's a shrub / tree - I'm not sure what - in my tiny front yard that's called the Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Last year, spring, just after we'd moved here, the tree had one or two flowers. The bush has the most beautiful flowers, in shades of white, lilac, and purple, with a sweet, feminine scent. I wondered why it wasn't covered in them, as I knew the bush to be. Two new little bushes have also sprouted up in the garden! Anyway, this year, it's full of life. It's as though it's a message to me of the life that has bloomed in my soul the last year. I'm so grateful.

I'm glad I said "Thank you." Sure, I still get negative thoughts, but they don't pierce me as strongly. I get to create new happy memories with my kids, my pets, and my new path in life. I live back in my home town where I get to see my family I've been away from for so long. I get to do fun things like go to dance class, or follow the spiritual path that makes me happy.

Grief is real, and many of us go through things on this planet that are very painful. But I believe that our souls have chosen to go through things to grow. At the time, it's so painful that we don't see the message and the lesson, but over time, it begins to unfold, if we are willing to surrender and trust. When we say "Thank you" to our greatest pain and pain-causers, something happens that propels us forward into exponential growth.