Friday, June 02, 2006

Encore Blog: Valentine's P.S.A.

If I'm not a relationship advice columnist, I'm certainly not a sex therapist. But here is my Valentine to you and yours. I consider my offering it nothing less than a public service.

Ian Kerner, Ph.D. has written two of the best books I've ever read about getting sexual intimacy right, "She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman," and "He Comes Next: The Thinking Woman's Guide to Pleasuring a Man."

Buy them and read them with someone you love.

Ian looks pretty cute to me on his book jacket, in that "I'm a really mencshy smart guy" kinda way. He also writes that when he met his wife he, "found [his] Stradivarius -- unique, beautiful, and priceless." And, he's a big fan of Strunk and White, "Elements of Style." If those aren't things that make a heart quiver, I don't know what else would.

Now, Ian is a sex/relationships therapist. And he worked hard to learn as much as he could about pleasing women because he was trying to overcome his own sexual disfunction. Boy, did he succeed, because he came up with the goods/books that are compassionate, intelligent, and thoroughly indispensable.

Don't bother thanking me. It's all in a days work for a Romance Novel Columnist who happens to love reading about sex and romantic love.

What are your thoughts on reading books to help jazz up,
work out your sexual relationship?
Encore! Did I mention you can visit my hero, Ian, at Ian Kerner, Ph.D?
Encore due! Feel free to add an "s" to the end of the word relationship, if necessary.
Encore tre! Have a spectacular weekend. And, yes, I couldn't come up with a blog, and decided to recycle from way back when.


Julie in Ohio said...

I won't say that I would never buy a sex self help book. However, I can say, with all absolute positivity, that I wouldn't buy it at a bookstore. That would be a purchase from Amazon or the like. I wouldn't be able to walk up to a cashier with that or Kama Sutra. My face would be seven shades of red.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LOL! I used to be the same way. Now, I'm so used to the craziest romance and erotica, I don't think I can't even judge what's proper in polite company any more. Also, I'm kinda into this whole "embracing my feminine sexuality" thing. That was my husband you just heard groaning.

Guess you could interpret that a couple ways. I meant it in that he's never really sure any more what I'll say.

But these books are great. I gave my husband the first, and he said he read it on a business trip. He kept wondering if the attendents and fellow passengers were wondering why he was grinning the entire three hours. :)

All I can say is, Ian Kerner rocks.

Vivi Anna said...

I love those books Michelle. Of course, I read them for research I am without partner right now, but it's never too late to brush up on how to blow a man's mind! And other things.... ;-)

Kati said...

it's never too late to brush up on how to blow a man's mind!

Or other things...

Was that out loud?!?!?!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Guess for whom I added Encore tre, Miss Viv?

Yes, MaryKate. Welcome to my world of uttering (or typing) abssolutely every thought that comes into your mind.

Isn't it liberating?

Michele said...

"What are your thoughts on reading books to help jazz up,
or work out your sexual relationship?"

I will say this here.
Romance books worked out a kink in my marraige three years ago that no counseling had touched. Within three months of rediscovering romance with the refreshingly explicit enjoyment of "making love" explored within them, things improved dramatically.

I am FOR them. I believe they help, even if people aren't able to vocalize it or recognize it.

"How-to" books usually are dry, boring and preachy. (except for the ones that think out-of-the-box). Sex read within the realms of romance books make a bigger impact. It's called "Application".

Hey, I've got 21 years under my belt, and still going strong.
Reading Romance has helped.
It's not why I started reading them.
It's not why I still read them.
But it sure hasn't hurt, *wink*

Vivi Anna said...

And that's why I adore you Michelle!

On The Rebound said...

If only you knew how my day was going. I was searching for one thing and I ended up here. Now you see how that might affect me!

Rach said...

Right after the baby was born I was staying home and reading romances all day long. I was even reading some romantica. Well, let me tell ya, I could not WAIT for the six week waiting period to be over!! After our first I had no interest in sex or anything else for about six months. So different this time around. Definitely because of romances.

Stacy~ said...

I think I understood the "appeal" of romances (outside of the romantic part, that is) when I was in my teens and the hormones were raging. It just makes sense that they would be beneficial and used for enhancing the intimacy between two people.

I like how romances have given women a more positive attitude towards sex and exploring their sexuality. And how it teaches women to be the one to initiate sex with hubby or a partner, try new things and act out fantasies she may have always had or just discovered she's interested in. Obviously it's not the answer if there are other problems in the relationship (at least not for too long) but sex is a huge part of a relationship and should not be ignored or dismissed, nor should it be thought of as "dirty". It's one of the reasons I love reading the Elloras Cave books - they are very open about a lot of things and though not all of the encounters work for me, there is lots of great stuff in those books, and most importantly, they celebrate women's sexuality. Gotta love that.

I think it's also a wonderful thing for children to get a sense that their parents are in a loving, committed relationship and enjoy being intimate - it gives them something to draw on when they reach that point of getting into their own relationships and hopefully will have healthy feeling about them because of it. (Note to the moms here: that's a long way off you you guys to worry about LOL)

And you go, girls Michele and Rach! LOL Vivi Anna ;)

Rach said...

You know, Stacy, I found romances helpful when I was in high school, too! I was curious, inquisitive, but not really ready to go "all the way" just then (history of teen pregnancies in my family, and me thinking I was SO not interested in that--birth control does fail you know, my oldest being a prime example), but wondering what was out there and what it was like, and gee, wouldn't that be fun to try eventually.

I have also heard of some sex therapists telling women to go and read romance novels to discover what they would like, not like, etc. I know I was excited to read about things other than straight up missionary position.

As for the girlies, well, when they are old enough, I'll definitely give them some "tamer" books to begin with and then work them up to Kleypas, etc. *grin* A gradual introduction if you will. What better place to get an understanding of a sexual relationship within a more committed relationship than through a good romance?

amy kennedy said...

Michele (one "L")Ian Kerner is not boring. Not.

But I agree with everyone how reading romance has helped me explore...things. And being on this side of 45, I am ready, willing AND able.

I wish I had the romances that are being written today when I was a teen/young adult. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten over the whole "I'm not worthy" thing much sooner.

But, c'est la freakin vie. I'm there now.

Manda Collins said...

As a librarian, I am, of course, all for reading books to help with just about everything! Am very interested in the Kerner books but since I'm not in a relationship I don't really have anyone on;)

Amy, I agree 100% about wishing I had read the romances of today back in my teens and early twenties. I'd have been much less shy--or at least I would have been more outgoing if I'd been armed with more information.

amy kennedy said...

And Mandacoll, I think I would have been better equipped to say, "Hey, you're acting like a jerk."

But I also think you don't have to be in a relationship to read the Kerner books--why not be ready?

Michele said...

OK, What are the odds.
Here , the books of Ian Kerner are being touted as a kind of "must read".
Amy*skf even seconded them.
And guess what?
I just went to check my library book due dates and lo! I discovered that I had picked up
He Comes Next : The Thinking Woman's Guide To Pleasuring A Man / Ian Kerner without knowing a thing about the author or truly the subject matter.
Why did I get it then?
The Banana and my curiosity.
Isn't Seredipity great?
Now I'll have to read it for sure.
I hesitate to tell you the "other" book I got ...*giggle*

Stacy~ said...

Way to go, Michele! But now you've got me curious - what other book? *g*

You've got the right idea Rach about letting your girls read those books when they ar (much) older.

I think we have a lot of the same ideas and values and want to pass that along to our kids, or at least have better relationships ourselves. I'm not in a relationship either, but I don't have a problem with it because I think reading romances most of my life have taught me not to "settle". Women should value themselves more. Yes, it's very easy to say it, not always so easy to believe it, especially when you're having a bad hair day and you're feeling bloated and irritable, but hey, we're still perfect, right? *g*

You know, not to get too serious, but I think that they are also very helpful for women who've been in abusive relationships, so they see that getting hit and being treated like a slave is NOT normal, and yes, they do deserve better. Next weekend (yeah, I know, I go on and on about this) I'm going to Lori Foster's get-together and 2 of the groups we support are the troops (bringing donations) and the battered women's shelter, where money and books are donated. Some of Ian's books might be great follow-up for these women once they break out of those patterns - it's good to have a man write about relationships in such a healthy way.

Michele said...

You REALLY want to know?
Get ready for this title:

Sex for Busy People by Emily Dubberley

It is a small, short, quick book packed with fun , silly and not so silly ideas to keep things humming.

So, what do you think?

Rach said...

Okay, Michele, I NEED that book!! ;-) I am most DEFINITELY busy.

So, it's the busy book for people who want to get busy *grin*!

Michele said...

Um, yeah, Rachd - busy in the kitchen, office, elevator and at wedding receptions - to hint at a few, LOL

It breaks it down to 5 minutes, 15 minutes and 30 minute time frames. I have recipe books that list recipes in time and ingredient breakdowns, imagine my surprise when I found a book that did that for - happy quickies.

*ahem* there MUST be a better euphamism than the one I used...

Rach said...

Excellent! Hee hee hee =).

Checkiing it out for Father's Day for the one I love. ;-)

Stacy~ said...

LOL. Love it Michele. "Busy people who wanna get busy". That coule be our motto ;)

Anonymous said...

I'll read everyone's responses in a moment but thought I'd respond first.

What are your thoughts on reading books to help jazz up,
or work out your sexual relationship?

Reading romantica itself has sure pumped things up but I'm not sure if that's the type of book you're asking about.

I've got one or two self-help type books, like these ones you've mentioned, but it doesn't do a whole lot of good if I'm the only one reading them. And my RH does good to read the fishing mag while he's in the bathroom. He won't even read the good parts of the erotica I pass to him.

Julie in Ohio said...

Boy, am I sorry I missed most of this discussion this weekend.
I was in birthday parties hell. My DD turned 10 and you would think she was the Queen of Sheba, which she was this weekend.

Rach, LOL. I love the "busy people who want to get busy" line. Although, I have a hard time believing that DH and I would ever get it on in an elevator. The wedding reception sounds interesting, though.

My daughter, who JUST turned 10, is already wanting to raid my bookshelves. She loves to read and I encourage her completely but I have to keep buying her books for her age so she doesn't try to sneak one of mine. She is a fast reader, so between her and I, we rack up a pretty nice bill at the bookstore. *g*