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I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido Hardcover – January 23, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1 edition (January 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767922670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767922678
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,552,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sewell understood that a huge inequality existed between her and her husband, Kip, in their levels of sexual drive. With humor, she recounts her journey to reconciling this disparity, creating along the way an ad hoc social commentary on the way both men and women look at sex. Sewell consults many experts: marriage counselors, relationship experts, sexperts, women's magazines and Oprah. Sewell determines that much of the advice is based on the ideals of men, and she finds that many ideals of the prosex feminist revolution have morphed to focus on male desires rather than women's liberties. This first-time author disagrees that women should live by such standards and sets out to prove that a healthy relationship can be had despite vastly differing levels of desire. And while it isn't an easy journey (a fight over porn and a time of separate beds are just some of the hurdles), the love and openness of their marriage allows Joan and Kip to reach a conclusion by which they are both satisfied—sexually and emotionally. Honest and accessible, this is not just a guide for libido-impaired individuals, but for anyone who wants to take a closer look at one subject that continues to gap the genders. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

In the sex-frequency wars, an authentically fresh new voice has arrived.”
Atlantic Monthly

“The best part of this intelligent book is how Sewell subtly frames her sexual issues within modern culture, from Sex and the City to Girls Gone Wild to pornography and lap dances.” –USA Today

“Amid all the cheesy surveys and hand-wringing talk shows . . . a bright spot in the discussion of lackadaisical libidos.”
—Salon.com

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Customer Reviews

If you aren't interested in having sex with someone, why would you care if he gets his needs met elsewhere?
Jasha
Joan Sewell does not gloss over the tough parts of being asexual, she touches upon very intimate topics and I applaud her for her honesty.
D. Zarzyckd
This book is about emotional dependency, not wanting to be alone and the lack of desire to deal with sexual issues.
Bart Kovac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jasha on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this book on a intercontinental business trip on a recommendation from a female friend. It was good for this purpose because its really a page-turner and puts some pretty common sexual dynamics into sharp focus. The author makes a pretty good case that she (and so many other women) shouldn't be judged as flawed because they are barely interested in sex. She also thinks the conflation of love=sex is a BS guilt trip to get wives to put out more lest they be withholding love from their spouses.

I get it. I feel sorry for her and her husband, but I get it.

But there's something I really, really didn't get: if sex is NOT a form of love, and if it is such an infinitesimally low priority for her, then why does she care if her husband gets it elsewhere? If I take her at her word that she doesn't care about sex hardly at all, then why does she need to control her husbands sex life, including (and this made me a bit angry) putting restrictions on his access to pornography?

I don't get it. I really don't. If you aren't interested in having sex with someone, why would you care if he gets his needs met elsewhere? I wish someone would explain it to me.
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40 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Computer Cheese on February 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Joan Sewell's memoir, "I'd Rather Eat Chocolate" could not be more timely: Redbook magazine just printed a survey sating that 70 percent of women would choose chocolate over sex. The author finds herself squarely in that camp. It's not jthat she has no libido (she masturbates)or can't orgasm through intercourse, etc. Her husband has skills, but sex is such a low priority that if left up to her, she'd never get around to initiating it with an actual partner. Like me, she fakes lust until she can't fake it anymore.

Her sexual compromise with her husband is unlike any I've seen. She admits that this part is not supposed to be example for everyone. But that's what it takes for Joan to feel autonomy over her own body (that's important to her)while giving Kip the sex he hasn't been having at all during their platoic stalemate. A small part of the book, this part does seem incomplete. But it's a start in breaking the iceberg that developed between them. (And you've got to have a guy like Kip. They argue, but really he's pretty open-minded. I don't know if most husbands would be that understanding. Maybe they should be.)

The book isn't a self-help manual anyway, offering "10 sure-fire way to light her fire" or "7 steps to boost your libido." The main atraction fo me is Joan's often hilarious step-by-step story of what it's like to try what the sexperts, the magazines, and pop psychologists say will help her "dsyfunctional" drive.Instead she shows that most women who think they have a low sex drive are really only low compared to men. It's biological. Final judgement: Put it on your bookshelf if you're looking for a funny, poignant, and subversive book for any woman who's ever felt "les than" because of her sex drive.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Laura L. Brown on January 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a funny and enlightening book. The author says that a sex drive is based mostly on higher levels of testosterone in men--nature rather than nurture.

The book also shows how couples with a libido gap can reach a compromise, albeit one that favors the lower libido woman over the higher libido male partner. That's something most men sure won't be keen on if they want all their fantasies fulfilled. But she claims that she and her husband have sex more frequently and without all the squabbling over their differences.

One thing I liked best about this book is its critique of pop culture's take on women's sexuality. The media likes to talk out of both sides of its mouth, painting women as highly libidinous in one venue and hard to talk into bed in another. This book really cuts through all the BS. I highly recommend it.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Denver Dancer on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm only twent-four and have been living with my boyfriend for two years. I've had sex with other guys and surprisingly, most of them have been skilled in the sex department. But still I'm not as close to being as horny as them or even like Joan Sewell says, as horny as all the women that are on TV and movies now. I feel it's secret I have to keep. Because like the author says, having a libido lower than I guy seems to be a reflection on me. I am a confident and I think pretty well adjusted woman in other areas. For me not wanting sex is not from a psychological hangup (though I'm getting one now from being "undersexed". I read this book in throughout the night and into the morning. This woman could have been my clone. She's funny, smart, and outrageous. Her solution is not for everybody. I just went to her website today and wrote her an email. Maybe I'll find more details about how she got from her sexual stalemate to where she is now in her marriage.

All in all a great book. If nothing else, you're going to get a lot of laughs and a radical new way at looking at women's sex drives.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By a_green on September 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a woman, and I think that I have a higher libido than either Joan Sewell or her husband, but I really enjoyed this book. It made me think about the way female sexuality is portrayed in our culture. It also made me think hard about my libido and what sort of sex I'd like / need in a long term relationship. I have found myself taking an inventory of my sexual desires and priorities and asking my boyfriend about his.

I don't necessarily agree with the author that all women have lower sex drives than men, since I feel very differently about sex than Joan, but I do think it's important for women to acknowledge their own desires and limitations prior to making a commitment with someone. Also, it's important to think about whether we're really respecting our own desires, or whether we're blindly responding to media portrayals of women, a la Sex and The City.

I think this book challenges women to look honestly at themselves and their sexuality. Joan Sewell has a low libido, which is not a failing on her part, but just a biological fact. I have a higher libido, but I still found this book useful. Whatever your libido, I think it's good to take stock and to be honest with your partner about what you really want and need.
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