Our favourite sex positive books

As Spring and Summer approach, we can’t deny that the idea of staying in or sitting in the garden with a good book is more and more enticing. Sounds tempting, right? If you´re on the hunt for something sex-positive to laze around with, we at ellaOne can help. These are some of our favourite sex positive books…

Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski

A sex positive essential, really. Come as You Are has been written to change the way you think; about your body, about your relationships and about sex. There are so many questions and unbroken taboos when it comes to sex and pleasure (particularly for women and people with uteruses), and Emily Nagoski seems to have presented us with a bit of a masterclass in the science of sex. 

Doing It by Hannah Witton

If you aren’t already familiar with Hannah´s work, she is big on social media for having open and honest conversations online about practically everything from motherhood to sex toys. Doing It is her debut book, delving even more deeply into the themes of sex and relationships. Expect to laugh, nod along in agreement and even learn something new. The book also features commentary and advice from outside contributors, which gives the reader a further insight into how different people feel and have experienced different things.

The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy

Intrigued about polyamory? Then this one’s for you. The Ethical Slut is essentially the go-to handbook for people – either single or in a relationship, who are interested in exploring or learning more about polyamorous living in ways that are ethical and emotionally sustainable. Think running themes of communication, safe sex and breaking down the ´slut´ stigma.

Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers Rights by Juno Mac and Molly Smith

Something slightly different… This book is a look into the current and historical rights of sex workers. Written first hand by two sex workers, Revolting Prostitutes has a voice that is distinctly unique, experienced and groundbreaking. Here you’ll learn how specific laws can affect or jeopardise the safety of sex workers, the effect of cultural movements like feminism and how we can best move forward as a progressive society in the fight for justice and freedom.

We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib

Dubbed ‘the queer muslim memoir’, Samra Habib writes powerfully about her life story to date – fleeing the religious constraints of her home country Pakistan and settling in Canada where she has been able to explore sexuality, freedom and so much more. Read this if you’re in the mood to be moved and empowered, and further your knowledge of sexuality in different cultures.

Sex for One by Betty Dodson

Perhaps more than slightly alluded to in its title, Sex for One is a love letter to masturbation and self love, written by a renowned sex educator and experienced teacher. Betty Dodson explores masturbation as a healthy form of sexual expression and – using warmth, intelligence and informative life drawings – confronts what is undoubtedly one of our most deeply-rooted sexual taboos.

Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown

You might not be into politics… until you start reading about the politics of healing and happiness, and learning how fighting for complete equality can be an entirely pleasurable experience. This book is slightly less sex-focused, but explores how sex and sex positivity fits into the wider narrative of social justice. Adrienne Maree Brown´s essays, whilst fascinating alone, are in the company of a whole host of others written by inspirational people from a variety of areas of expertise. 

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Or just anything by Caitlin Moran, really! She writes in a hysterical yet poignant way and every page feels like you could well be reading from your own diary. She tells of her own life story, her journey from a council estate in Wolverhampton to a career in the national spotlight. She recounts becoming the woman she is today, whilst touching on subjects like masturbation, sex, menstruation, marriage, sisterhood and celebrity crushes.

We hope there might be a little something for everyone in this list, but it goes without saying that the literary world has much more to give in terms of sex positive subjects. Feel free to do your own research and find what else might work for you! We would love to hear your further recommendations, or if you think there is anything that should have made this list. Get in contact or tag us online using #EllaOneBookClub.

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