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Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships Paperback – October 31, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1433804304 ISBN-10: 1433804301 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Amer Psychological Assn; 1 edition (October 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433804301
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433804304
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Fred Branfman on October 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is an important book which, if understood and incorporated, can improve our capacity for both sexual pleasure and love. It is sad how often so many of us assume a diminishing capacity for love and sexual pleasure is inevitable, and acquiesce to an insidious internal process that robs us of one of life's greatest pleasures. Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships resoundly demonstrates that we can maintain a healthy sexuality throughout our lifetimes, if we understand and confront the real internal obstacles to ongoing sexual fulfillment.

This book provides an important answer to the great mystery concerning sexuality in America: why is that despite a tidal wave of Dr. Phil-type experts and Mars and Venus books, Americans seem to be having less and less sex?

Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships reports, for example, that a 1994 survey of 7000 couples reported that 59% of men and 63% of women said they were not emotionally satisfied in their sexual relationships. Other surveys indicate that most couples, particularly as people get older, have sex just once or twice a month. Why do people have sex so infrequently, despite the growing mountain of books, video tapes and workshops promising new vistas of sexual adventure and ecstasy?

The answer, if one believes Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships, is that most our real sexual problems derive fgrom deep inner psychological defenses that are untouched by the superficial focus on technique offered by most sex experts. It is fine to prescribe telling your partner what you like, wearing pink nighties or making love in a phone booth. But unless we dare tackle the deep inner causes of sexual dissatisfaction, such outer prescriptions rarely offering lasting results.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dan Staso on January 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Well researched and documented, this book goes in depth into how psychological defenses all too often limit one's full enjoyment of their own sexuality. It could be used as an academic text or as a self-help for the educated reader. Included in this work is a longitudinal sample of couples as they progress over time with their sexuality. It's informative, insightful, and offers many practical suggestions. What impressed me greatly was the sensitivity the authors brought to the subject. There is clarity in their presentation of healthy sexuality, love, and what causes the difficulties that couples routinely face. The chapters on jealousy and sexual withholding are easy to understand and relate to. The core theoretical concept embraced is the fantasy bond. The fantasy bond is the illusion of connection rather than a real connection. I recommend this book highly to readers who are seeking to improve their own sexual intimacy and fulfillment. It offers hope despite the inherent divide between the sexes.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Angel on January 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Let me say up-front that Sex And Love In Intimate Relationships is an interesting book. As a former psychology student--it was one of my minors in college--I was quite encouraged with the approach taken. It is quite unique, in my opinion. Usually when the psych field takes on sex, they take on sexual dysfunction from a purely technical standpoint or they focus on the deviant. This book takes on sex from an intimate point of view. It focuses on our internal makeup and the deep inner psychological defenses we form throughout our lives. It also discusses sexual intimacy in relation to love and how rewarding they are together.

There are a lot of case studies documented as well. While the book is quite easy to read and understand, the case studies help give the principles expoused a more personal flavor. They help the reader better understand the concepts they are reading and how they can better utitlize them in their own life. The case studies also allow the reader to see their own triggers and circumstances in the lives of others. I really like that! Readers immediately see themselves and that they are not alone. They see that someone else, and in some cases many others, have went through similar experiences and have had similar reactions.

For anyone looking to expand their sexual pleasure and the ability to love and be loved, I highly recommend this book. Not only will it help you pinpoint the defenses you have built, it will help you overcome them. This book provides a valuable resource to individuals and couples alike. Also, couples would do well to read this book together. With the right tools and a "can do" attitude, any couple should be able to attack the internal demons that prevent them from obtaining true sexual intimacy. This book will definitely put them on the right track.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on May 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Intimacy in a relationship should be a highly joyful, pleasurable and sharing time. But it oftentimes brings fear, frustration and negativity towards the experience and/or the partner.

In 287 pages that are split into four sections - Exploring Sexuality and Love; Factors Influencing Sexual Development and Adult Sexual Functioning; The Defensive Process of Sexuality; Therapeutic Approaches to Problems in Sexual Relations - and ten chapters, there is a solid, understandable holistic approach in exploring the various dimensions of sexuality and love.

Authors Robert W. Firestone, Lisa A. Firestone and Joyce Catlett argue that everyone is damaged in their sexuality, whether it is feelings about oneself as a man or woman, or excessive guilt/inhibited sexual drive, or perversion/shame about the body or performance anxiety.

And, truly, we learn about sexuality during our formative years, and, according to the authors, can carry positive and negative interpersonal factors into adulthood. Those factors include parental attitudes and behaviors, cultural and societal influences & verbal/sexual abuse and incest.

Particularly interesting are the case studies and charts - which include Negative Thoughts Toward One's Partner and An Imaginary Conversation About Sex - that can be used as self-exploration, self-help tools while reading the book.

A major plus is the chapters are broken into specific parts with titles, which assists the reader in focusing on areas of interest or need. "It is important to bring the subject of sexuality out in to the open, as we have done in this book," says Robert W. Firestone, in an interview that is part of the Epilogue.
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