A debut self-help book that aims to help individuals and couples work through their sexual fears.
The cornerstone of French sexologist Six’s therapy, “Erotic Integrity,” incorporates three principles: self-examination, self-acceptance, and self-actualization. She corrects important misconceptions regarding the differences between intimacy and sex, desire and arousal, and fidelity and nonmonogamy. She points out that couples will often misguidedly enter into open marriages or secret affairs to “spice up” the marital relationships or to find intimacy on the side. However, she says, these are both losing prospects when people embrace self-deception instead of informed choices. Erotic Integrity, she says, requires honesty, not exoticism, and the key component of honesty is communication. The book includes 10 chapters on a wide range of subjects, including lies and secrets, sexual boredom, sexual violation, dating, performance anxiety, gender nonconformity, and sexual addiction, followed by relevant, probing questions that underpin the author’s insights. Through case studies, Six details real-world couples coping with complex issues of misunderstandings and miscommunications. She says that low desire, a common problem in women, especially during menopause, has a psychological component and can be treated as long as a person wants to change. She stresses that the purpose of her work is not to “fix” people but to help them discover who they are and what they truly want. This book will calm the secret fears of even casual readers, as Six speaks with authority, compassion, and humor: “The term ‘sex addiction’ has been popularized, overused, and misapplied to anyone engaging in sexual behavior that someone else disapproves of.” She’s also critical of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and clearly explains how and why she thinks it’s inaccurate in certain cases. Overall, she’s emphatic that no obstacle is insurmountable, that no honestly confessed desire is shameful, and that no one need follow anyone else’s choices. Sexuality, she emphasizes, takes place in the heart and in the head—as well as elsewhere.
A bold, refreshing call to discover and own one’s sexuality.