Ecstatic sex offers profound healing to those who have suffered sexual abuse, are physically or emotionally ill, or who have been wounded by the pervasive sex-negativity of our culture. For everyone, ecstatic sex promotes wholeness, self esteem and a sense of well-being.
Since ecstatic sex is powerful, it is important to approach it mindfully. See the following books in this section for guidance and more information on how to connect with the healing power of ecstatic sex.
The recommended books listed below are great resources!
Recommended Books on Sexual Healing
Based on in-depth interviews and her workshops for partners across the country, Laura Davis offers practical advice and encouragement to all partners -- girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses, and lovers -- trying to support the sexual abuse survivors in their lives while tending to their own needs along the way. She shows couples how to deepen compassion, improve communication, and develop an understanding of healing as a shared activity. 1991, Harper Paperbacks
Amid the bewildering bounty of Tantra- and Taoist-based sex books, Beyond Tantra stands out as an engagingly simple, friendly, and motivating resource for Westerners. The Wiks turned to Eastern spirituality to reawaken their love life and direct energy toward healing physical problems. First they explain the differences between Tantra and Taoist schools and sources, the disciplines' relationship to Western medicine, and how their own research and practice of Taoist-based "Dual Cultivation" - a couple's conscious use of sexual energy for health and spiritual development - affected their lives. The remainder of the book walks readers through a series of exercises that includes an explanation of the approach, historical references and background, personal stories from the Wiks, and a hands-on presentation of technique: goals, time needed, components/supplies, and description. 2005, Findhorn Press
Coming Home to Passion is an invaluable tool for couples searching for a roadmap out of the familiar but lonely patterns afflicting many pairings of adult children of trauma with adult children of neglect. Drawing on two decades of work as a psychotherapist in the field of trauma, the author stands out as a sharp and careful observer of the heartbreaking relationship patterns of such long-suffering couples. Ms. Cohn's confident humanity and clarity offer an unblinking beacon of hope. 2011, Praeger
The Courage to Heal
This self help book is a classic resource for women who were sexually abused as children. Clearly written and filled with writing exercises and self-assessments, it is a reliable guide to the healing process from childhood sexual abuse. Many survivors' stories are woven into the text. 2008, Harper Paperbacks, 20th Anniversary Edition
The Courage to Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
This is an inspiring self help book for all women healing from the effects of child sexual abuse. It is in a workbook format, and includes checklists, writing and art projects, open-ended questions and activities which serve to guide the survivor through the healing process. 1990, Perennial Currents
Isa Herrera, a New York physiotherapist, has written the quintessential self help book for women suffering from chronic pelvic and sexual pain. The book fuses yoga, Pilates, internal massage, scar therapy, visualizations, and vulva self-care, ensuring there is something for every woman who has suffered long enough with sexual, pelvic, or scar pain. 2014, Expanded 2nd Edition, Duplex Publishing
Organized into three parts -- understanding sexual pain, possible diagnoses, and redefining sexuality -- Healing Sexual Pain includes medical checklists, illustrations, vignettes based on interviews with women and their healthcare professionals, treatment options, and guidance for moving forward after healing. Coady and Fish speak honestly and directly to sexual pain sufferers' experiences, helping them address the problem of chronic pain, understand and prevent misdiagnoses, define medical terms and conditions, and regain sexual joy. Comprehensive, multi-dimensional, and deeply insightful, Healing Sexual Pain offers women the tools to successfully take on the many challenges of sexual pain and move toward a healthy, happy future. 2011, Seal Press
Sex therapist, educator, and consultant Sachs promotes healthy sexual behavior and intimacy as a way for people to experience a greater sense of wholeness and well-being. But this guidebook does not target the sexually dysfunctional. Instead, Sachs relies on research, case histories, and personal experiences to illustrate the "everydayness" of sexuality, emphasizing how sex takes place simultaneously on biological, psychological, emotional, and social planes. She provides a variety of tools for understanding and evaluating our sexual lives, including techniques, exercises, and advice for improving sexual experiences, open-minded discussions of sexual orientation and exploration, and a much-needed chapter on introducing children to a healthy sexual development. 2008, iUniverse
The first encouraging, sex-positive guide for all women survivors of sexual assault -- heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, coupled, and single -- who want to reclaim their sex lives. While most books on the topic broach sexuality only to reassure women that it is all right to say "no" to unwanted sex, Healing Sex encourages women to learn how to say "yes" -- to their own desires and on their own terms. This mind-body approach to healing from sexual trauma was created by Staci Haines, who has been educating in the area of sexual abuse, sex education, and somatic healing for over 15 years. Her techniques are ideal for anyone looking for a new way to heal from trauma, beyond traditional talk therapy. 2007, Cleis Press
In order to fully heal from trauma -- whether from abuse, accident, or war -- a connection must be made with oneself, including one's body. The trauma-sensitive yoga described in this book moves beyond traditional talk therapies that focus on the mind, by bringing the body actively into the healing process. This allows trauma survivors to cultivate a more positive relationship to their body through gentle breath, mindfulness, and movement practices. Overcoming Trauma through Yoga is a book for survivors, clinicians, and yoga instructors who are interested in mind/body healing. It introduces trauma-sensitive yoga, a modified approach to yoga developed in collaboration between yoga teachers and clinicians at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. 2011, North Atlantic Books
Reclaiming Eros reminds us that erotic energy is our birthright and that it is essential to our vitality, creativity and optimum living. Blackburn writes of women and men who work inside and outside of conventional society to remove shame and restore the divine power of erotic energy. Here you will find stories of courageous healing and new possibilities, the work and the vision of pioneers like Betty Dodson, Annie Sprinkle, Rudy Ballentine, Joseph Kramer, Alex Jade, Isa Magdalena and more. You will also find useful information about eroticism, sexuality and alternative healing. Reclaiming Eros challenges us to examine what roles eroticism and sexuality play in our lives. It brings to focus how we regard these powerful forces in ourselves, in others and how we might, if we dare, change our beliefs. 2008, Suade Publishing
In this warm and insightful book Barbara Keesling describes the many benefits of a healthy sex life, teaches readers how to recognize a healing partner, and demonstrates how to introduce sexual healing into a relationship at any stage. Packed with intimate exercises that can be practiced with a partner or alone, the book eases performance pressure and encourages readers to explore how touch and arousal can improve all areas of life. 2000, Hunter House, 3rd Edition
Maltz offers this how-to, personal therapy book written in the form of a detailed case study. She gives specifics on what constitutes abuse and shatters the myths surrounding double standards (e.g., actor Don Johnson being seduced by a female babysitter when he was 12 constitutes abuse, yet this "older woman on younger boy" style of abuse is sometimes written off). In addition to identifying the many types of abuse, Maltz demonstrates how abuse may get buried in a victim's unconscious mind and subsequently cause sexual dysfunction. She carefully deconstructs the common negative sexuality that often acts as a defense mechanism, and shows how to replace it with a healthy, positive approach to sex. 2001, Harper Paperbacks, Revised Edition