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Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship Paperback – May 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Readers sick of typical glossy-magazine self-help patter about reigniting romance, or the droning pomposity of most author-experts, will be pleasantly surprised with psychologist and sex therapist Schnarch (Passionate Marriage). He immediately catches readers' attention by agreeing that the common "just do it" approach to solving sexual problems is not only ineffective, but often results in one partner responding with a decisive "Don't tell me what to do!" That kind of understanding produces a number of unexpected bombshells-including "Marriage does kill desire"-which produce an uncanny effect: getting couples to stop and reconsider their emotions, quit blaming each other, and start to think (and act) differently regarding sexual situations, behaviors and attitudes. The book's flaws are more aggravating than genuinely problematic-a tendency to lean on jargon and trademark key phrases ("Four Points of Balance(tm)")-but O'Neill breaks down complex issues with loosely-drawn real life examples, illustrating the dramatic and fundamental changes that occur when couples have a greater understanding of desire, monogamy and the brain. The process is neither easy nor quick, but Schnarch's confidence is contagious. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Readers sick of glossy-magazine self-help patter about reigniting romance, or the droning pomposity of most author-experts, will be pleasantly surprised with psychologist and sex therapist Schnarch (Passionate Marriage). He immediately catches readers' attention by agreeing that the common "just do it" approach to solving sexual problems is not only ineffective, but often results in one partner responding with a decisive 'Don't tell me what to do!' That kind of understanding produces a number of unexpected bombshells--including 'Marriage does kill desire'--which produce an uncanny effect: getting couples to stop and reconsider their emotions, quit blaming each other, and start to thing (and act) differently regarding sexual situations, behaviors and attitudes breaks down complex issues with loosely-drawn real life examples, illustrating the dramatic and fundamental changes that occur when couples have a greater understanding of desire, monogamy and the brain. The process is neither ea --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books; 1 edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825305675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825305672
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Because of the considerable attention Dr. Sandra Pertot's review has attracted, and the fact it is offered as a professional opinion, I feel it necessary to offer a different perspective on Intimacy and Desire (I&D) and her comments about it. I am a licensed therapist with 22 years of experience, and have not written any books (although I hope to). I have studied Dr. Schnarch's work for many years, including I&D, and consider myself knowledgeable about his approach. The one thing I have learned from studying Dr. Schnarch is he works tirelessly to pursue the truth in his work as well as his life. I am amazed at how much "The Old Man" continues to grow and evolve, and challenge himself to live within his principles of 4 points of balance. Dr. Schnarch as well as his wife Dr. Ruth Morehouse are serious clinicians as demonstrated in their articles and books. They are not carnival barkers with the newest way to make your relationship of 20 years "get that new car smell". On the contrary, they help you read your relationship's owner manual and learn to drive it better, so you can get more out of it and yourself. My opinion of Dr Sandra Perot's critique grows out of my love for my field and a quest for professional grace, and I hope it is received in the spirit in which it is delivered.

Professional standards require disclosure of commercial and other considerations that might bias statements made by psychologists regarding products and services. Dr. Pertot is the author of what might be considered a competing book in which she clearly aligns with the lower desire partner. (Read reviews of her book "Perfectly Normal: Living and Loving with Low Libido.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book whose greatest gift is that it makes the vast ground plowed 13 years earlier in the author's 2nd book, Passionate Marriage, readily accessbile. The latter was a great book but a dense, difficult read that gave its greatest gifts only after repeated readings. This book, in contrast, makes the author's approach to self and relationship development easily understood. It brings his theory down to earth and gives guidence in applying it to one's life. I highly recommend it.

The book is, indeed, fun to read. Schnarch can deftly shift between transcribing the words & thoughts of a counseling session to his principles of human interaction & growth, and on to sometimes salacious stories of couples getting it on -- not only sexually but mentally & emotionally, and in a more open, enlightened way. He breaks into a mercifully short few pages of techno-babble at the beginning of one chapter to show his inclusion or understanding of brain science, but that is the only lapse in the smoothly flowing writing in this book.

Schnarch presents a number of "moving parts" within our relationships that work to grow us personally & as a partner. And his approach is generally at odds with the common approach within our culture of accomodation or withdrawal from conflict. Instead, he suggests that confronting one's issues -- from one's family of origin or from one's current partner (and commonly they are one & the same) -- is the real path to growth. The process involves these key variable:

* All key dimensions of activity, including sex, have a high & a low desire partner.
* Our sense of self can be based on others' opinion (other validated) or on our own heart (self validated).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found my relationship falling apart after 8 years together with my husband. After reading Intamcy and Desire, I found that many of the problems that I thought were my partners were things that both of us needed more insight into and that they were problems set up to reoccur throughout our lifetime if not addressed.This book is a lifesaver for the intelligent mind.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is not just sex. Dr. David Schnarch, a sex psychologist, gets this. Intimacy and desire is all about loving and becoming truly your best. This is Dr. Schnarch's clearest book to date bringing together family system theory and neurobiology research findings to create sense out of the "people-growing" machinery of marriage.

My own 27 years experience as a marriage counselor makes two things increasingly inescapable: Family System Theory is the best way to do family and Schnarch is the only one using it to really do our partner. Intimacy & Desire unravels the mystery. To want to want is faithfulness to grow intimately, live and in person, at home with those who know you best: lovers, family, and friends. The reader gets to know the sexual struggles of real life couples who all discover how true love can change their life, except of course Barbie and Ken who were remained too sadistic to get it.

Dr. Schnarch is the only writer out there in the wilderness of self-help books, who graphically demonstrates how humping says something about who you are and how you family. He shows how f**king (see Chapter 14 for "The hardest person to f*** is your spouse"), having oral sex, solving premature ejaculation, overcoming tickles, and engaging in normal marital sadism affects how you are you and how lovingly you are married. In so doing, you find you have to have a solid sense of yourself, discover how to own and regulate all of your passions, wisely act (rather than blindly react), and hold on and hang in there when growing gets uncomfortable.

As the only book about intimacy you will ever need, Intimacy & Desire gets five stars. But be careful what you wish for. Intimacy and desire will make you become more yourself and give more than you ever thought you could love. And that can happen when you do not have sex with your partner and also when you do. It is all about sex, too. Just read Schnarch.
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