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Partners In Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-term Love Paperback – February 18, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Winner of the Independent Publisher Award Gold Medal in Sexuality/Relationships
Winner of the International Book Award in Relationships
Winner of the Readers' Favorite Book Award in Relationships
Winner of the Living Now Book Award Gold Medal in Sexuality/Femininity
Winner of the USA Book News Best Book Award in Self-Help: Relationships

"Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson ask whether 'designer' relationships that include more than two people could go mainstream in the future, offering people more options when it comes to romance and marriage."

"How to customize your very own delicious route to personal pleasure."
—Twanna A. Hines, Metro US

"Patricia johnson and mark A. Michaels counsel couples on how to be in an open relationship."
—Fox News, My Fox DC

"With a thorough resource guide included, this book runs the gamut on sex education, and the authors’ sex-positivity, feminism, and rejection of gender stereotypes makes it a welcome addition to the genre."
Publishers Weekly

"Those seeking to create conscious, loving partnerships will find a compendium of concrete tools and resources in this important book. I will be encouraging clients, students, and colleagues to share this work. Bravo!"
—Nan Wise, PhD candidate
Cognitive Neuroscience, Rutgers-Newark
Certified Sex Therapist, AASECT

"If you’re in a relationship, you need this book. If you’re single, you need this book. If you’re having sex or ever plan to have sex–good sex, hot sex, toe-curling sex–you need this book. Clear off your night stand. This is the only volume you need."
—Jenny Block, author of Open

"Patricia and Mark don't only write about being partners in passion; they are partners in passion […] Their book is an absolute must if you are in a relationship or hope to be."
—Jamye Waxman, sex educator and author Hot Sex: Over 200 Things to Try Tonight and Getting Off: A Woman's Guide to Masturbation

"It's not everyday that I learn something new about sex; the chapter on Tantra is amongst the best introductions to the topic I've ever come across"
—Ian Kerner, PhD, NY Times best-elling author of She Comes First

"Gifted teachers and writers, Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson challenge conventional wisdom and offer bold, fresh strategies for real connection and intimacy in long-term relationships."
—Tristan Taormino, author, Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

"At last! The new Holy Grail for how to sustain sexual fire and keep loving passion alive. The authors reveal the truths about ecstatic and joyful sexual expression--debunking common myths, providing understanding about sexual energy flow, while offering refreshing, sound and sensitive guidance for couples seeking to thrive over time. I love this book."
—Dr. Patti Britton, Clinical Sexologist & Sex Coach, author of The Art of Sex Coaching and Co-Founder of SexCoachU.com

"Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels have done a fantastic job of offering compassionate advice and clear steps to building the kind of relationship that can support and contain the sex life you deserve."
—Dr. Charlie Glickman, author of Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure

"Written with emphasis on the kindness, trust, and presence that are required in any healthy relationship, Partners in Passion illustrates delightful depths of insight, providing practical solutions to the very real issues that kill the passion and love in so many partnerships. Every couple needs to read this book!"
—Mikaya Heart, author of The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm For Women

"Partners in Passion is a contemporary sexuality book for both the novice and sexually experienced. The authors' practical and casual manner makes it easy to follow and appreciate the many topics ranging from sexual adventuring, safer sex, designer relationships to sexual communication, desire discrepancy, and aging. Reading it is like talking to a big brother or sister about all aspects of sexuality!
—Sally Valentine, PhD, FAACS, LCSW, AASECT Certified Supervisor and Sex Therapist

"Partners in Passion is an outrageous, courageous and much NEEDED endeavor. Michaels and Johnson distill the collective erotic wisdom of the ages, rewrite it with their own unique wit and generosity, and offer it back to us as a true gift!"
—Jennifer Pritchett, founder and owner of The Smitten Kitten, MN

"Partners in Passion by Michaels and Johnson is the most comprehensive compendium on sexuality to date ... This is a book for the whole family."
—Dr. Winston Wilde, sexologist, sex therapist, marriage therapist, author of Legacies of Love

"Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson are the authors of some of my favorite sexuality books, and in Partners in Passion they have taken their unique approach to intimacy to a whole new level ... I look forward to recommending Partners in Passion to my clients!
–Dr. Ruth Neustifter, Author of The Nice Girl's Guide to Talking Dirty

"These two passionate partners have done it again! Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy, and Long-Term Love ought to be the graduate's gift, the newlywed's gift, your lover's holiday surprise and the birthday present for your best friend's 50th, too! […] This is a grand blend of neuroscience, the most advanced thinking on relationship and sexuality education and practices—every lover's library needs one!"
—Suzie Heumann, founder of Tantra.com

"Finally, a smart, sexy and practical sex and relationship book! Mark and Patricia meld their knowledge of tantra and alternative sexuality with accessible, practical techniques for building (or rebuilding) passion in long term relationships."
—Jacq Jones, sex educator & owner of Sugar The Shop in Baltimore, MD

"Partners in Passion is the smartest and most comprehensive book on partner sex and erotic relationships available today. Brava, Mark and Patricia! I love this book.
—Barbara Carrellas, author of Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex For The Twenty-First Century and Ecstasy is Necessary

"Partners in Passion is not only a sensible, compassionate, readable book; it is the best book I have ever read about the varieties of love and physical/emotional intimacy […] This book is must reading for all people, young and old, of whatever sexual persuasion and culture, who are on relationship adventures seeking fulfilling intimacy and passionate partnership. My clients will benefit hugely from reading it."
—Alice Kahn Ladas, Ed.D, co-author of The G Spot and Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality and Women and Bioenergetic Analysis

"Partners in Passion is the perfect title because Mark and Patricia are just that – passionate about each other and passionate in their commitment to explore human sexuality together."
—Betty A. Dodson, Artist, Author and Ph.D. Sexologist

"Partners in Passion comes straight from the heart. Use this book as a gourmet guide to trust, touch, and ongoing adventures of discovery in the vast playing fields of loving relationship."
—Gina Ogden, PhD, LMFT, author of Expanding the Practice of Sex Therapy and The Return of Desire

"Other than our need and desire to eat, sex is what we crave the most. It’s what drives us. It needs to be fun and varied. Religion, politics, government intrusion, imposed morals, have all tried to suck the fun out of sex. Partners in Passion puts the fun back! It's a comprehensive and insightful guide for people who take their sex play seriously and are committed to leaving the bedroom with smiles on their faces. Even I can learn a few things from this fascinating book."
—Larry Flynt

From the Back Cover

The Definitive Guide to Building Sexual Heat and Deep Emotional Intimacy for a Lifetime 

Happily married partners in passion themselves, award-winning authors Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson provide readers with a fun, step-by-step manual to creating a lasting, loving and erotic relationship. 

Partners in Passion proposes alternative models of long-term connection, founded on mutuality, a collaborative mindset, empathy and transparency. It features interviews with long-term couples and includes an extensive resource guide that covers everything from health to erotica, with excellent advice from many of today’s leading sexuality and relationship educators. 


  • Why communication is important but talking is overrated

  • How to balance the need for intimacy with the need for personal freedom

  • Ways that sexual adventuring can strengthen your bond

  • Tips to deal with discrepancies, distractions and disruptions in your sex life

  • Ways to maintain a vibrant erotic connection throughout your lives


Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1627780289
  • ISBN-13: 978-1627780285
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
“Love is Profound Interest” according to authors Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson. They write about love and relationships with a fluidity born of their own great experiment in marriage and committed love. As they explore common themes of love and sex, they consistently model a very different way of being in relationship. A way that is not based upon the June and Ward Cleaver mythology that still informs our morphic field, but is based instead upon themes of experimentation and play, intimacy and mystery, expectations and explorations.

I will not outline the book or address specific chapters, other reviewers have done an excellent job of that. I will say that the wisdom reflected in these pages, when applied within a relationship, will result in greater joy within the relationship. This is not a quick fix book (“Ten Steps to the Romance of Your Dreams!”) but neither is it a WORKBOOK. It is, instead, a way to deeply reframe expectations, responses, and our own availability within our relationships.

I will recommend this book to friends, those newly in relationships and those who have been happily together for years. I will recommend this book to students of Tantra, as a living illustration of bridging spiritual practice with relationship. I will especially recommend this book to those who are “slogging it out” in their relationship, and to those who council couples who are “slogging it out.”

I often found myself underlining sentences or paragraphs. I occasionally thought about various events in my own life, and how they may have turned out differently if I had applied this or that particular point of view. I wish I had read it years ago.
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Format: Paperback
If this is your first sexuality or relationship book, you are sure to find good information on almost any topic that could come up in your relationship(s). Given how little information is generally available on intimacy, relationships and sexuality, this book can be of great service.

If you are a sexuality educator or professional, the list of resources itself is very extensive and worth having even if all of the other information is not novel.

I have rarely come across a book that covers such an extensive range of topics and certainly appreciate the open-mindedness in Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson’s work. They are inclusive of a large range of sexual orientations, relationship styles and sexuality practices. I knew the authors had done their research when they referenced Adele P. Kennedy and Susan Dean’s book Touching for Pleasure: A 12 Step Program for Sexual Enhancement. It was in Kennedy and Dean’s book (and that of other individuals who have worked as a partner surrogate) where I first heard of the concept of touching for our own pleasure.

A book that takes the time to mention treating sex workers as equals, and one that has extensive writing on non-monogamy as well as covers so many other complex issues in sexuality and relationships, is very rare indeed.

I appreciated the nuanced discussion about non-monogamy that can help couples, partners, and even friends of all kinds in their own conversations on sex and intimacy. In particular, the book's material on the concept of a couple falling in love with another couple furthers the dialogue on polyamory.

I always appreciate any discussion on the topic of jealousy, and Michaels and Johnson have included that as well.
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Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have noted, there is a lot of info packed into this book, ranging from basic sex ed to relationship issues to adventurous sexual lifestyles. I am always looking for good support resources for my sex therapy clients (I don't know the authors, but wish I did), and I am happy to find this volume. It's both a guide and a reference book, and it's written in a narrative style rather than as a textbook. It's well indexed, and very accessible...an easy read.
The strengths are that it is written in a way that pertains to people of all orientations and all age groups. Vibrant sexuality during the experience of aging is well included. There are lots of overview discussions that then focus on quite specific how-tos with regard to technique or how to create a new experience for yourself or in relationship. There are lots of sidebars that offer tips or further explanation of key details. I especially appreciate the weaving of communication skills throughout the book (It's one thing to know how to do a specific technique, it's not always easy to successfully communicate the desire to try it with a partner). The information presented is accurate as I know it. The book offers inspiration for those who feel "stuck" and want to energize their sexual relationships. Another notable strength is the authors' use of themselves as examples in many of their discussions.
One very small weakness has to do with illustrations. There are a few line drawings scattered through the book that demonstrate anatomy and technique, and these are good...they do a fine job. But I wish there were more of them. Given how much this book has to offer (and offers so well), this is a small quibble.
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