It's about time someone brought it up: Even the most happily-married couples can experience trouble between the sheets. Psychologist and expert Anne Stirling Hastings knows all about getting couples back to a happy place, and she's ready to tackle the sticky issue of a poor sex life in a whole new way.
Hastings has written the entire book — literally! — about maintaining a healthy and satisfying sex life with your spouse, but it's nothing like you've ever read before. Her novel, Sex Ed With Sharon And Robert, tells all about Sharon and Robert, a normal, happy couple who just doesn't totally jive in the bedroom. Sharon is dealing with body insecurity and feelings of shame, guilt and fear over sex and Robert's acceptance. Robert, a red-blooded American male, has some sexual hangups as well, and he's frustrated by his partner's often-cold shoulder.
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But this book is no boring clinical study. Instead, Hastings tells the fictional story of Sharon and Robert through engaging can't-put-it-down dialogue and description that's full of ideas for how to bring that same level of intimacy, passion and pleasure into your own marriage. YourTango was lucky enough to get our hands on the manuscript, and Hastings has agreed to share the book's hottest moments. Ready to get busy? Here's an excerpt from chapter one:
"Babe, come on, let's go to bed and try one of those positions." He started taking off his clothes, and already had an erection. My fear eased a little. Only a little. I knew it was right to go ahead even if it was scary.
"Tell me about one of the five positions," Robert said. "Show me how it goes. But, Sharon, first tell me. Use words. I want to practice talking. I want to make that feel normal. Is that okay?"
I nodded. I couldn't speak. How was I going to describe a position?
Robert put his arm around my waist, and we walked into the bedroom. As we pulled the covers off I tried to breathe to get my heart to slow down. Looking at the bed, not at Robert, I explained what we were to do.
As I imagined this, I got aroused. The fear was going away. Now I wanted to do it, feel him inside me while playing with me. Maybe I could even tell him how to touch me. Keep reading ...
Ready for a little sex ed? Here's Hasting's top teachable moment from chapter one:
Great sex starts with great conversation: No, we're not talking about chatting up a stranger at a bar. We're talking about talking about sex! When you've suppressed your desires, fears or concerns for years, it's natural to have some pretty big anxiety over baring your sexual soul to your partner. But here's some real talk: You're not going to get what you want — or feel good in bed — unless you start having those big conversations. Ready to have the talk? Learn from Sharon and Robert with these top tips:
- Approach your partner in a non-confrontational manner: Consider how your honey likes to communicate, and don't be accusatory. Deliver a criticism or a request with a compliment.
- Enlist professional help: A marriage counselor can help you define and say those hard words.
- Talk to each other: Talk about everything: all those feelings including arousal, fear, shame, loss of arousal, joy, love, and gratitude. Put feelings before actions so you can join each other well.
Ready for more? Head on over to chapter one to find out what happens to Sharon and Robert in bed. C'mon, aren't you curious?
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