23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2012
Sexual Intelligence is a really easy book to read. Klein's information is very straightforward and quite accessible. But that doesn't mean you'll get through it all in one sitting, because you'll find yourself putting it down and thinking a lot about a story, or a suggestion, or an example. Odds are that you'll find yourself reflected back from the page somewhere along the way, but don't let that scare you. Klein's compassion is so clear that it becomes more of a revelation than a threat.
In addition to offering lots of great information about each of the components of Sexual Intelligence, Klein also discusses some of the common obstacles to developing it, how to respond to the sexual effects health issues & aging, and letting go of the idea of sexual success or failure. I really do wish I'd had this book when I was younger, if only because it would have helped me respond to some of the difficulties that I faced. But no matter where you are on your life's path, if you want to get the most out of sex and relationships, there's something here for you.
I don't think that this book will replace the amazing how-to books and movies that are available because even with Sexual Intelligence, people still need to learn how to explore and enjoy the many kinds of sexual pleasure that are available to them. And I think that it offers a solid starting point for figuring out how to get the most out of sex and our relationships. So I'm giving this book a big thumbs up!
38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2012
My partner and I greeted this book with great anticipation, reading it aloud to each other, as we're both focused on what makes for a solid, later-in-life relationship. We were disappointed. We get Dr. Klein's point that striving to be "normal" in sex assures that one performs sex (or doesn't) rather than enjoys love making. But he repeats this theme over and again to the exclusion of anything new. For us, the book was not complex enough for our liking. We kept asking ourselves, "Who is he writing for?" Sexual Intelligence did not take us inside the bedroom into the minds and hearts of those who love and seek to be happy. The author speaks of "sexual intelligence" but where is the emotional intelligence of the stuck places of of his case studies? How does it feel to want intimacy but be fearful of it? What is is like to struggle with sex and aging, or sex and pregnancy? For example, Klein offers up the case of a young pregnant woman who sexually withdraws from her husband. In place of the normal anxiety that occurs during this period (which we know from our own past lives), the young pregnant woman comes off, not as understandably anxious about sex, but as spoiled and immature. How are we to relate? Frankly, we had trouble attaching emotionally to the book. While we agree with the call for "sexual intelligence" (especially as one matures in life), we didn't feel drawn in to a deeper understanding (and appreciation) of what it means to be a sexual being.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2014
I picked up a copy of this book after reading a review which suggested that it could help me cope with the effects of aging on a satisfying sex life. My wife and I, both in our late 50s, read the book to each other, and it provided a good springboard for some helpful conversations. We found that Dr. Klein really does have some worthwhile insight into our concerns, and in fact, his insight covers a wider range of `troublesome' situations.
His central, core insight, roughly paraphrased, is, "Relax and enjoy the sex you have, with your actual body, and your actual partner, with her/his actual body. Stop worrying about what's `normal', or whether you and/or your partner are `good enough', and just enjoy the sex that the two of you actually have together." Pretty simple, really, but definitely in the category of `easier said than done'. So, yes, certainly - this is a helpful book, written with sympathy and wit.
That said, it contains a perplexing number of befuddling head-scratchers. For one, he perpetuates the bizarrely reductive caricature (distressingly common among otherwise-highly-trained medical professionals) of the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning as "marking days off the calendar" and "The Rhythm Method". I could recommend that he audit an NFP class, to come up-to-speed on the current state of the art.
In a related vein, he tells us that contraception is "a special part of Sexual Intelligence", because "to reduce . . . anxiety, we have to make sex essentially harmless and meaningless." Huh?? That just seems incredibly lame. Hooray for meaningless sex! Really?? Our experience has always been that participating in the `transcendence' of sex (its `cosmic meaning', if you will) has made it immeasurably richer, not anxiety-provoking. And over the three-plus decades of our marriage, my wife and I have had lots and lots of really satisfying (and occasionally mind-blowing) sex, without contraception. In fact, the generation of a new human being literally from the `stuff' of the two of us, is one of the most powerfully erotic experiences we've known. Your mileage may vary, I suppose. . .
In the further context of `sex is better if it's meaningless', he delivers, on page 158, an odd mini-rant about `organized religion', `American Christianity', and others who "claim to know what sex `means' or what its `purpose' is", so they can `control you'. Huh?? Aside from the negative stereotyping and imputation of nefarious motives to his philosophical adversaries, one wonders what he makes of the various well-known surveys indicating that religiously-committed married couples report the highest levels of sexual satisfaction.
To sum up, I want to be clear - on balance, I thought this was a helpful book, and we have recommended it to friends. It contains some helpful insights. But more often than I liked, it left me scratching my head, saying "Huh??"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
Interesting and Excellent. There may be well satisfied and adjusted, and intelligent people who have ultimate sexual practice, but my guess is there are many who wish it was easier to do and communicate. Relaxing into great sex as an older man with medical problems who can talk about anything without being upset with a partner who is happy and can do the same is a beautiful conscept. Sex changes as life goes on, but it can always be beautiful if we are free to talk about it when a problem arises and also not talk about it if there is no need. We always seem to have something lurking in the background in our subconscious or cultural conditioning. Once we understand ourselves and each other, communication is good at any level, sexual or otherwise. It requires listening, patience, intelligence, and true compassion. That is what the world needs now. This book is about all of the above, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2012
What I really wanted out of Dr. Marty Klein's new book was a synthesis of the many times I have listened to him present his sex therapy ideas and clinical work. I wanted his brash sense of humor, his ability to integrate sociological influences with sexual complaints. I wanted to hear his vision for liberating sexuality from the curse of "normal" or "mind blowing" to the everyday realities of our thoughts, emotions and body as the vehicle for our sexual pleasure and connection. I wanted Dr. Klein's unique talent for describing how collective sexual/cultural blind spots symbiotically suck the life out of so many women and men's sexual passion. I wanted his synthesis of sexual intelligence within couples or individual therapy. I wanted a sex therapist resource as well as a book I could suggest to clients. I wanted a fresh perspective on age old sexual problems. I wanted a resource that archives his mindful presence for holding a client's unhappiness while shifting their focus to "the other stuff" like emotional needs, reassurance, validation and the relief that comes with intelligently passionate sex. I feel torn in describing this book as a success. The very idea of "the perfect sex book that blends everything I have been waiting to hear from Dr. Klein" runs the risk of sounding like the very same tyranny Dr. Klein is asking the reader to intelligently let go of in our sexual lives. This book is guaranteed to disappoint, it must, it is about sex. Adult sex integrates shattered sexual myths in order to find an authentic space in which to enjoy our mind, heart and body. Sexual Intelligence teaches us how to use our disappointment to create an ever expanding space for sexual connecting. Enjoy this book as much as you can and then become interested in what disappoints. Each is illuminating.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
Sexual Intelligence is a wonderful book--easy to read, relevant to a wide range of situations, and full of interesting ideas and practical suggestions. The case studies are filled with rich detail, and they don't all end "happily ever after"--the author even includes cases that didn't work out well; he lets the value of his approach speak for itself. The author's sense of humor helps move things along--and it's grownup humor, not the predictable sex-comedy stuff you often see in other books. In summary, the book is enjoyable to read, filled with useful insights, and will help a wide range of people to understand and improve their sexual situations.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
In this new book Marty Klein uses humor and everyday language to talk about aspects of relationships that some people are not comfortable to discuss. Instead of giving a list of "to do" suggestions Klein offers his readers ideas about how to approach the topic of sexuality, how to create a narrative that focuses on people and their feelings instead of body parts and function. Case studies that are presented in every chapter make Klein's words alive and applicable to everyone. Dr. Klein mastered one of the most difficult tasks - convey a profound and complex message in an easy to understand language. I hope that people will pick up this book and look at their lives through the prism presented by Dr. Klein.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2012
Common sense is not so easily come by these days. After two marriages and twenty years as a social worker and later a lawyer, mostly working with dysfunctional families, dealing with sexual stereotypes and ignorance which was not to be believed, while reading this book, I found myself, time after time, muttering, "yes,` "of course," and found myself agreeing, to new ideas which Dr. Klein makes profoundly simple.
I found the book to be like that, a clear, easy and obvious way for each of us to see ourselves and how we relate, or not, to sex, to ourselves, and to our partners. Over the years, it has become a tautology to say that we should, "be ourselves," and. "be in touch with ourself." Dr. Klein explains what those words mean and how to make the process, if not easy, is at least straightforward and fun. I would not have thought it possible that one book could at once be so simple and have the breath and scope of "Sexual Intelligence".
I am delighted to have this opportunity to share my enjoyment of this book.
Robert Grodsky, JD.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2013
If you're looking for a book about examining some of the ways humans get tripped up in their intimate relationships, you'll find that in Sexual Intelligence. Like a strong cup of coffee, it's awake, straightforward, to the point.
It's a very easy read and the author doesn't mince words. Important to note: There's not a lot of hand-holding, nor does this book delve deeply into the emotional aspects that are inseparable from our sexuality.
Massive sexual revolution doesn't happen overnight- especially for those shaking off a lot of repression. This read isn't a gentle wake-up call. Maybe that was the intention.
Overall, a thumbs up for the very readable messages in Sexual Intelligence.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2013
Marty Klein really expanded my thinking around sex and relationships. He explains how the body works, like how your spine delivers emotions, and how that impacts your sex and your life. And even though I've read that before, his brilliant ease with words transformed that insight into an epiphany. Really, he takes a lot of the pressure off sex by showing the ways we've added pressure to something that only has the meaning we decide to give it. So this book truly lives up to its title and promise of sexual intelligence. I highly recommend this book, even if you've read tons of them on sex and relationships. Definitely a fresh, brilliant voice on the topic and I'm looking forward to the Beyond Orgasm book.