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3 Must Read Books on Women's Sexual Health


    Ladies, can we talk? While the good folks at GetLusty want you and your partner to get your freak on as much as possible, we know it’s just not as awesome if your bodies aren’t feeling so great. So we’ve put together a list of books geared toward all the crazy things that go on inside those beautiful bodies. And, let’s face it, there’s a LOT going on. These books rock because they are straightforward and sex-positive. Take care of you! GetLusty writer Stephanie Vanderwall reports.

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    #1 Sex Matters For Women, Second Edition: A Complete Guide to Taking Care of Your Sexual Self


    By Sallie Foley, MSW, Sally A. Kope, MSW, and Dennis P. Sugrue, Ph.D.

    Sex is talked about more openly today than ever before, but if you still struggle with sexual myths, self-doubt, and "embarrassing" questions, you are in good company. Now in a fully updated second edition, this trusted guide has already helped many thousands of women understand how their bodies work and take charge of their sexuality. The authors are experienced therapists who interweave candid reflections from diverse women with current, science-based information, exercises, and advice. You'll find answers to everything from how to have more satisfying sex to questions about body image, anatomy, hormones, relationships, sexual orientation, sexually transmitted infections, and trauma. If sexuality is a lifelong journey consider this book a roadmap for self-discovery and growth.

    Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., author of What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex says: "This second edition takes a classic book on female sexuality to another level. It is comprehensive and grounded in research, yet fun to read alone or with a partner. With a focus on female sexual satisfaction and pleasure, this book is a 'must have' for women of all ages and backgrounds. I can't wait to share it with my daughter!"

    Beverly Whipple, Ph.D., coauthor of The G Spot calls it "the most comprehensive book on women's sexual health I have ever read. The clear, positive information and the suggested exercises cover all aspects of women's sexuality and offer ways for women to take charge of their sexual selves. The second edition features new information and resources, offered in a supportive and affirming manner, which will help readers, develop sexual comfort, confidence, and satisfaction. A 'must read' for women of all ages."

    #2 What’s Up Down There?: Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend

    By Lissa Rankin, M.D.

    Suppose you had a wise, warm, funny best friend—who just happened to be a gynecologist. You’re out with the girls for cocktails and the conversation turns to sex, and then to girly parts. One by one, you start asking her all the questions you’ve secretly wondered about—and discover that you have a lot in common.

    If you were to write those questions down, then you’d have What’s Up Down There?, a life-changing little book that answers: Do old ladies have saggy vaginas?, How do male gynecologists have a sex life without feeling like they’re stuck at the office?, Is it normal for your inner labia to hang out of your outer labia?, Can the baby feel its mom having sex during pregnancy?, How common is it for one's boobs to be two totally different sizes? And so much more! As outrageously funny as it is empowering, this book reveals how to love yourself and your body; and will have you recommending it to every woman you know.

    Diana Daffner, author of Tantric Sex For Busy Couples says: “Dr. Lissa Rankin has written a courageous book, providing information about topics that few others are willing to tackle. And when she doesn’t know the answer, she says so, giving us all the more reason to trust the answers she does give. What’s Up Down There dispels myths while reminding us of the beauty and mystery of our girl-bodies.”

    “This was a really fun book to read, a real treasure trove of user-friendly information about the female body. Dr. Rankin really does come across as the reader's girlfriend, with her fun, down to earth, informal writing style…I love how the book ended with chapters on female empowerment and reclaiming ownership of your yoni. This isn't just some book of medical information; it's a gateway into learning to love the female body and to take it back from all the negative societal messages out there denigrating women and female sexuality. These really are the types of questions most women would never think to ask their gynecologist unless she were their best friend, and the kinds of dialogues that the average modern doctor doesn't have time for.” –Amazon Customer

    #3 When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide To Banishing Sexual Pain

    By Andrew Goldstein, M.D., Caroline Pukall, Ph.D., and Irwin Goldstein, M.D.

    For the 20 million women who suffer from painful intercourse: this is the first book to address the multiple causes and the available treatments. Painful sex is a condition that causes embarrassment and silence—often going undiscussed or misdiagnosed. As many as 40 percent of women that suffer from pain during sex won’t seek medical care. And most medical professionals are still in the dark when it comes to women’s sexual pain.

    Now, three leading experts tackle the stereotypes, myths, and realities of sexual pain in this easy-to-understand, accessible guide that will help you get the help you need and deserve. Drs. Goldstein, Pukall, and Goldstein offer answers to your most pressing questions, as well as: up-to-date information on the more than 20 causes of sexual pain, how to choose the right doctor—and how to interpret your doctor’s lingo, valuable tips for understanding sexual pain, and what can be done about it, and how to rebuild sexual intimacy once the pain is gone. Featuring groundbreaking research and stories from women who’ve also suffered—and recovered—When Sex Hurts provides all of the tools you need to stop hurting and start healing.

    Cindy Meston, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, author of Why Women Have Sex calls it “the most comprehensive, accessible, and illuminating look into women’s sexual pain ever written, packed with up-to-date and invaluable information. When Sex Hurts is a must read for any woman, or partner of a woman, who has experienced painful sex.”

    “I really enjoyed this book. It goes into so much detail and lets you know all the possible causes and it tells you how to talk to your doctor and working together for the best treatment. It also made me hopeful that I may not have to live with this forever and that there are treatments that are less invasive then surgery that may work. I think anyone suffering from vaginal pain should read this book!” –Amazon Reader


    Stephanie Vanderwall has long believed she is a gay man trapped in a woman's body. She is a lover of good food, good sex and good grammar. A recent transplant to Chicago, she spends her free time with her super-duper-fly boyfriend and their three "kids" (2 cats, 1 dog). She has a blog she writes in every so often. She's still trying to get the whole Twitter thing down, but you can follow her @Vanderfloozie. Want to get in touch with her? Email stephanie@getlusty.com.
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