Helen Fisher’s Why We Love (2004) is not only a report on her latest astonishing research but a sensitive description of the infinite facets of romantic love. This book is a scientifically grounded examination of love that reveals how, why and who we love.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“Curious to find out why love affects our brains the same way as cocaine? Want to understand how evolution is linked to the prevailing structure of monogamy? A perfect title for those interested in the biological side of love.”
– Justyna, Web Product Designer
Sex At Dawn argues that the idealization of monogamy in Western societies is essentially incompatible with human nature. The book makes a compelling case for our innately promiscuous nature by exploring the history and evolution of human sexuality, with a strong focus on our primate ancestors and the invention of agriculture. Arguing that our distorted view of sexuality ruins our health and keeps us from being happy, Sex At Dawn explains how returning to a more casual approach to sex could benefit interpersonal relationships and societies in general.
Sex, Murder and the Meaning of Life (2011) looks at the many ways in which our evolutionary survival and reproductive instincts influence our behavior in the modern world. From conspicuous consumption to cold-blooded murder, it often seems that humans will do just about anything to survive and reproduce, and these blinks takes a closer look at what drives these profound desires.
Everybody thinks about sex. However, we seldom consider the extent to which human sexuality differs from the reproductive habits of other species. In Why is Sex Fun? (1998), Jared Diamond presents an exploration of humans’ sexual history, and explains how our unusual sexual behavior might be the reason we ascended to the top of the food chain.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“This curious look into human sexual behaviors is a great read for anyone wanting to gain a deeper understanding of, for example, why we can flip from hot under the collar to “not tonight, honey,” in a flash.”
– Julian, Customer Support
The Game (2005) gives readers an inside look into the “pickup community” frequented by men desperate to convince women to sleep with them. These blinks share the advice of a leading seduction guru, and the less than great consequences of his successes.
30 Lessons for Loving (2015) shares advice from hundreds of elderly people to reveal the secrets of building a long-lasting relationship, from first encounter to “happily ever after.” You’ll learn how to tell if your current crush might be “the one,” how to communicate in a healthy way and how to keep the passion alive in a long-term relationship.
The internet and modern technology have revolutionized the way we communicate, learn, work and live. They’ve even revolutionized our concept of love. Modern Romance (2015) explains how our idea of “love” has changed in recent generations, and how you can make the most of today’s technology in your quest to find it.
Kissing: it’s a normal part of life. But few people understand its true significance. The Science of Kissing (2011) explains why kissing is so rooted in both human and animal biology, what happens physiologically when we do it and why it’s a lot more important than you may realize.
Improving Your Relationship For Dummies (2010) provides simple techniques for couples hoping to boost their intimacy, sharpen their communication and overcome challenges in a productive, healthy way. It offers advice for both new couples that want to start off on the right foot and long-term couples that hope to get things back on track.
The Truth (2015) takes a close look at relationships, sex and trust, unpacking our assumptions about sex and arguing that monogamy may not be right for everyone.
The Invisible Orientation (2014) provides a helpful introduction to asexuality, including valuable information on both what it is and what it is not. You’ll also learn about how people experience this sexual orientation, the difficulties that come with it, and why there is no need to cure it, condescend to it or consider asexual people as being any different from you or me.
Asking for It (2015) is about rape culture, the social and cultural practices that normalize rape by diminishing the experiences of victims and vindicating perpetrators. These blinks outline the various manifestations and effects of rape culture, and the steps we can take to dismantle it.
The Boundaries of Desire (2015) explores the checkered history of sexual relations and the law in the United States. These blinks show how women have struggled with sexual harassment and abuse, pointing out that a system run by men for men has simply perpetuated systemic injustice. What’s more, you’ll learn how US law historically has failed black people, homosexuals and children, too.
Sex and the Citadel (2013) offers a revealing look at the sex lives of people in Muslim countries, especially Egypt, which, about 200 years ago, was a hotbed of sensual and sexual activity, but has since become a conservative and sexually repressed society. These blinks take you through the taboos, censorship and gender discrimination that many Muslims continue to resist.
Playing The Whore (2014) busts the myths still surrounding the topic of sex work and explores how and why society continues to shame the chosen profession of the sexually liberated. Unfortunately, society’s attitudes and laws often endanger, rather than protect, those who work in the sex industry. Discover why that is and why it’s time to change our perspective on one of the oldest professions in the world.
Galileo’s Middle Finger (2015) tackles head on the controversial issue of transgender research, intersex issues, and the conflicts that have arisen between academics, scientists and activists. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at just how dangerous an idea can be when it challenges a familiar narrative or an established ideology and reminds us that, in the face of harmful threats and accusations, it’s important to be open, honest and persevering—and that science and social justice need each other in order to work.
Labor of Love (2016) is your guide to the history of dating. These blinks walk you through the social, cultural and economic shifts that have shaped modern rituals of courtship and explain the curious fads and fashions of flirtation that have come and gone through the ages.
The All-or-Nothing Marriage (2017) shows us the many ways in which the institution of marriage has changed over the years. Supported by a wealth of data and sociological studies, these blinks explain what makes the best marriages work and what causes the vulnerable ones to fall apart.
Girls & Sex (2016) illuminates the shadowy landscape of sex and sexuality that girls and young women struggle to navigate today. Many developing women are trying to find the right balance between who society wants them to be and who they want to be themselves. This is no easy task, but we can make it easier by changing the way we talk about sex and by empowering girls to shape their own future.
The Art of Seduction (2001) examines the amoral game of seduction, explaining how seduction always starts in the mind and that the most successful seducers know this very well indeed. It explains strategies for inciting interest, disorientating the target of seduction, stirring desire and kindling emotions. These tactics will lead to the eventual seduction of the target.
In What Do Women Want? (2011) Daniel Bergner casts doubt on common preconceptions about women’s desires. Drawing on history and recent scientific research, Bergner exposes the myths about, and the ingrained societal norms that often dictate, women’s sexuality. We may only just be beginning to uncover what women really want.
Dollars and Sex (2013) demystifies the complex issues of sex and love by looking beyond the raging hormones and cultural mores and exploring the driving force behind most of the world’s sexual trends: economics. By applying simple economic theory, we can better understand why we regard romance the way we do as well as why contemporary relationships face so many challenges.
The Red Queen (1993) takes a close look at evolutionary trajectories and how they have been guided more by reproduction than by survival. These blinks describe how the search for suitable mates has produced such remarkable phenomena as the spectacular tails of peacocks and the powerful intelligence of humans.
American Savage (2014) explores some of the most contentious social and political issues in the US today, ranging from religion to gay rights, and from health care to education. It offers a fresh, humorous and unconventional perspective on today’s most divisive subjects, while also sounding a rallying cry to fight oppression and stand up for human rights.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“Podcast fans will no doubt know Savage from shows like This American Life and his own wildly popular podcast, Savage Love. His unflinching, playful style provokes honest thought about gender, orientation, love, sex, and why we all have a blinkered view of what constitutes a healthy relationship. Read, think, enjoy — and never, ever Google “Santorum”. ”
– Carrie, Managing Editor of Blinkist Magazine
She Comes First (2004) is a guide to improving a woman’s sexual experience through the act of cunnilingus. It emphasizes the value of the female orgasm and argues for a reduced focus on penetration.
Hold Me Tight (2008) focuses on one of life’s greatest challenges: building and sustaining an intimate relationship. Drawing on the author’s own highly successful couple therapy form EFT (Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy) – based on the idea that the quality of relationships are defined by key emotional moments, both positive and negative – these blinks show you how to form a deeper, and more enduring bond with your partner.
He Comes Next (2006) is the ultimate guide to understanding the desires of men and the intricacies of their sexual response process. This understanding that can help bring more pleasure than your male sexual partner has ever experienced before. These are tips that can help you touch his heart and know what to do when you’re touching his other parts.
Focusing on women, Better Sex Through Mindfulness (2018) explores why stress and a lack of attentiveness are the root causes for many sexual problems, and shows how mindfulness can help all women be more satisfied, both inside and outside the bedroom.
In How to Think More About Sex (2012), Alain de Botton dives into the strange and often uncomfortable world of sex. A nuanced reflection on the true meaning of sex and its place in our lives, these blinks are full of both insights into the psychology of desire and practical advice, such as how to maintain sexual interest within long-term relationships. Sex, de Botton ultimately concludes, will never be simple, but it can be enjoyable. All we need to do is think about it more.
The State of Affairs (2017) tackles the tough subject of infidelity. Cheating is widely condemned as immoral, and yet, at some point or another, many people do it anyway. This book offers a fresh look at infidelity and asks a difficult question: Is it such a bad thing after all?
How to Love (2015) is an indispensable collection of teachings on the subject of love from the world-renowned Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. Packed full of wisdom and insight, this aphoristic handbook unlocks the mysteries of true love in its exploration of what it means to love ourselves, our partners and the world itself.
The 4-Hour Body (2010) is a collection of research and findings about unconventional body-regulating methods from doctors, scientists, professional sports trainers and the world’s top athletes. These methods are personally put to the test by the author, leading him to unearth life-changing shortcuts to improving his body and overall lifestyle.
The Curious History of Dating (2017) guides readers through the history of dating and relationships in the United Kingdom. From the formal dances and rules of the 1700s to the growth of online dating in recent years, these blinks show that dating and finding true love has always been a difficult affair. But thankfully, today it’s easier than ever before.
Women Who Love Too Much (1985) explores the unhealthy relationships that some women find themselves in again and again. Using real-life case studies and devastating insights, the blinks explain the true reasons behind women’s fascination with unsuitable men and describe how we can move past our insecurities for good.
Eight Dates (2019) helps couples navigate the ups and downs of a relationship. Whether you’ve been married for years or have just met the love of your life, the bedrock of any relationship is quality conversation. Uncover your partner’s innermost needs and desires by going out on the eight themed dates set out by the authors in this book. But don’t stop there – the wisdom from these eight recommended dates can be applied to any date you and your partner go on.
Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism (2018) makes an argument that’s even more provocative than its title suggests. More than just better sex, it claims that women have better lives in general under socialism. To prove this claim, it compares and contrasts women’s lives under state socialism, democratic socialism, and neoliberal capitalism.
Mating in Captivity (2006) explores the question that everyone in a committed relationship asks: Is it possible to sustain passion over a long period of time? Author Esther Perel believes it is, but she thinks we can only generate sexual excitement by reassessing modern ideals around commitment and better understanding how our personal histories affect our behavior in the bedroom. If we can do this, we’ll fuel our relationships with the mystery and excitement that keep passion burning.
Shameless (2019) explores how the church’s view of sex and sexuality as sinful has guilted and shamed its congregants. Through personal stories and those shared with her by members of her church, the author demonstrates the harmful effects of the church’s teachings. She offers a new, inclusive way of approaching sexuality and ensuring fulfilling sex lives for everyone.
In Boys & Sex (2020), acclaimed journalist Peggy Orenstein asks young men all about their sex lives – and gets the uncensored answers. Drawing on two years of interviews with young men, academics, psychologists, and sex educators, Orenstein offers an unfiltered yet informed perspective on young men’s relationship to sex, from the pleasurable to the problematic.
Relationship Goals (2020) offers a blueprint for developing long-lasting relationships with your friends, your spouse, and God. Narrating his own experiences of heartache and healing, author Michael Todd examines common obstacles in modern relationships and gives tips for overcoming them. He also demonstrates how to set precise goals to help you aim for the right relationships.
The Four Noble Truths of Love (2018) brings ancient Buddhist wisdom out of the monastery and into the bedroom. By adapting the timeless insights taught by the Buddha 2,500 years ago to the nature of love, it shines a light through the murky mess of modern romance.
Vagina (2019) aims to offer a greater understanding of the female sex organs, which have been misunderstood and neglected by science, education, and culture at large. From debunking the persistent myth of the hymen to exposing the economic and social forces that make getting your period even more of a nightmare, Lynn Enright explores and illuminates everything we weren’t taught about women’s sexual health.
Untrue (2018) aims to challenge the long-held assumption that women are less interested in sex than men. Diving into history and the details of the human body, Untrue reveals that not only do women have strong sexual desires, they’re wired to seek satisfaction from a variety of partners.
Slow Sex (2011) makes a powerful case for a deceleration of our love lives in order to have more fulfilling sex and deeper, happier relationships. In our hectic and consumer-oriented society, sex is often used as a quick fix for physical satisfaction – but this can leave us feeling empty. Slow sex helps us unfold the potential of our sexuality by learning how to make love in a conscious, mindful way that is ultimately as healing as it is stimulating.
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992) is the best-selling relationship book that helps men and women understand each other and reconcile their differences. The book’s author, John Gray, uses the playful metaphor of opposite sexes being from different planets, and creates a translation guide that can help men, “Martians,” and women, “Venusians,” to understand each other better. This guide can help them build intimacy and create stronger relationships.
The No Contact Rule is the tough-talking guide you need if you’re feeling battered by a breakup, can’t seem to let go of your ex, or are stuck in an on-again off-again relationship. Here you’ll find tips and tricks on how to find emotional distance, refocus on yourself, and finally attain closure.
Pleasure Activism (2019) offers an introduction to the politics of pleasure. It explores the ways in which we can break free of repression and marginalization – and instead embrace the feelings of freedom. It offers ways in which we can gain a better understanding of past traumas and move forward with a deeper connection to our bodies and our communities.
The Book of Humans (2018) is an accessible tour of evolutionary history. It illuminates both the many qualities we share with animals and the many others that set us apart. Incorporating the latest scientific discoveries from genetics and archaeology, it provides a thrilling compendium of the rich variety of life on Earth.
Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship (2009) explains why all people in committed, long-term relationships run into sexual problems. Driven by case studies of real couples in sex therapy, the book demonstrates how people in relationships can transform their perspective – and confront themselves and each other – to reawaken sexual passion.
Opening Up (2008) demystifies nonmonogamous relationships, and shows that there are many different ways of creating loving partnerships and building alternative families. By opening up their relationships, people can explore hidden desires, have lots of fun, and radically improve their self-awareness and communication skills.
Urban Tantra (2007) is a no-nonsense, dogma-free guide to Tantra – a spiritual practice that will give you a fresh look at your sex life. It shows that Tantra can work for anyone; it’s as useful to a BDSM practitioner who wants to intensify her rituals as it is for a hurried parent seeking to reconnect with his sexuality. To practice Tantra, you don’t need to master complex positions or learn to chant in Sanskrit. All you need are a few simple tools that’ll help you become more mindful and drop into your body.
The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship (2012) is aimed at women who expect too much from unavailable, unreliable men, and want to change their ways. By examining the reasons that women delude themselves about men, as well as the specific lies they believe, it ultimately points the way toward happier relationships and more realistic dreams.
The Complete Kama Sutra (1994) is a translation of the classic Indian text, which was compiled in the fourth century. It’s an enduring guide to the pleasures of love and sex.
Mr Unavailable & the Fallback Girl (2008) provides a lifeline for anyone who keeps getting messed around by emotionally unavailable partners. With searing personal insights, tough love, and a large dose of humor, Mr Unavailable is an essential guide to breaking destructive relationship patterns and finding love.
Deeper Dating (2014) is a roadmap to intimacy and loving relationships. It breaks down how looking inward can help us identify the kinds of people we’ll connect with most deeply, and shares tools for finding these people and fostering relationships that will inspire and fulfill us.
Resurrecting Sex (2002) is a guidebook for couples struggling to connect intimately and emotionally due to sexual dysfunction. It offers a holistic approach to addressing these issues – and to exploring the erotic potential of your relationship.
Sex for One (1987) is a part-memoir, part-guidebook by Betty Dodson, a pioneering pro-sex feminist and masturbation advocate. Dodson recounts her own erotic journey and offers a step-by-step approach to embracing self-love.
Magnificent Sex (2020) is a guide to having outstanding sex, time after time. Rather than focusing on specific sexual techniques, it draws on interviews with extraordinary lovers to dive into the qualities and characteristics that make magnificent sex possible.
Love Worth Making (2018) is a guide to enhancing sex and intimacy within committed partnerships. Drawing from real-life examples of sex and couples therapy sessions, it shows how both daily life and trauma affect our sexual feelings. It takes an emotional approach to untangling sexual problems and offers ideas on maintaining an erotic climate in a relationship.
In Praise of Love (2012) is a passionate defense of love in an age when romance is threatened from all directions. The product of a dialogue between French philosopher Alain Badiou and journalist Nicholas Truong, the book lays bare how our sex-obsessed media, our individualistic striving, and our online-dating culture are all setting love up to fail. Its thesis: love needs to be reinvented for the modern world.
Sacred Marriage (2000) is an exploration of how to bring God into your marriage. Probing the boundaries of love, it provides practical advice and spiritual wisdom to help you and your marriage transcend to a holier place.
Sheet Music (2002) helps Christian couples unlock the secrets to marital bliss. It will have you and your spouse dancing and laughing, as you master the art of harmonizing your sex life.
Existential Kink (2020) invites you to transform your life by embracing your deepest desires and hidden shadows. Through a radical and intriguing journey, you'll discover the power of turning your “wrongness” into personal growth and self-acceptance. With the help of seven axioms and practical exercises, prepare to unleash your true potential and create positive change.
Passionista (2008) is a guide to understanding male sexuality and satisfaction. It offers answers to the questions partners may have – and shows that giving pleasure can be just as fun as receiving it.
Your Brain on Porn (2014) examines the explosion of internet pornography addiction. In the age of high-speed internet, porn is more widespread than ever. And although excessive porn consumption can negatively affect mental health and sexual function, the damage can be reversed.
The Menopause Manifesto (2021) is your roadmap to health and happiness before, during, and after menopause. Despite being the most important transition for uterus-owners after puberty, menopause is shrouded in mystery and prejudice. This guide combats ignorance with scientific facts, expert advice, and a healthy dose of feminism.
The Five Core Conversations for Couples (2020) examines the five important topics every couple should talk about. It offers expert guidance on the core facets of a relationship that can help you strengthen yours.
Marriage Be Hard (2022) offers advice on how to effectively communicate important topics with your partner. Chronicling the ups and downs of the authors’ own marriage, it shows how to form loving, lasting relationships.
The Rational Male (2013) implores men to adopt a pragmatic view of intersexual relationships founded on evolutionary and behavioral concepts. Waking up to the evidence, it argues, will set men on a course to prioritizing their needs over the survival instincts of women who currently (covertly) rule the roost.
The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality (2017) is the ultimate resource for postpartum women who are navigating life with a newborn and want to discover how to reclaim their health, their bodies, and their spirits.
No More Mr. Nice Guy (2000) is the Nice Guy’s guide to recovery. Learn how to stop seeking the approval of others, live your life the way you want to, and ultimately get the love, life, and sex that you crave but that your Nice Guy Syndrome actually stops you from achieving.
The Evolution of Desire (1994) drew on the largest study of human mating at the time to analyze the evolutionary foundations that lie behind our everyday desires and mating preferences. It was updated with new material in 2016.
The Ethical Slut (1997) has long been the trusted handbook for anyone exploring sex, romance, and intimacy outside the constraints of monogamy. An updated 2017 edition combines time-tested strategies for navigating polyamory with advice on how to embrace an even greater diversity of orientations and relationship configurations.
We Over Me (2023) is the story of the podcasting-and-influencing power couple Devale and Khadeen Ellis – in their own words. With trademark disarming honesty, the Ellises lay bare the struggles and successes that have shaped them as a couple, and share the strategies that allow them to thrive as a partnership.
Unscripted (2023) is the outrageous true story of Sumner Redstone, the former chairman and controlling shareholder of ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global). It focuses on the eventful final years of Redstone’s life, as well as the downfall of his successor at CBS, Les Moonves.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (2012) is a playbook designed to unlock enduring passion in your marriage. It blends faith, self-love, and open communication for transformative sexual satisfaction.
Polysecure (2020) unites attachment theory, which explains the different types of attachment people form with each other, with consensual nonmonogamy – the increasingly popular practice of having multiple romantic partners. By learning more about your attachment style, you can develop healthy relationship habits, even in nonmonogamy.
Love More Fight Less provides straightforward directions on how to develop communication skills that will help you and your partner handle conflict. Various activities let you practice the skills, and this Blink details how to use these communication techniques in real-life situations.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2011) is the first in the Fifty Shades trilogy, telling the story of student Anastasia Steele and businessman Christian Grey – who introduces her to his dark world of sensuality, bondage, and discipline.
The Bluest Eye (1970) is the debut novel of author Toni Morrison. It tells the story of Pecola Breedlove and her parents, and reflects upon the familial and societal circumstances that would lead a Black girl to wish she had blue eyes.
The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure (2017) is a guide to overcoming any jealousy about your partner’s romantic and sexual past. It introduces what retroactive jealousy is, the mindset shifts needed to get past it, and actionable changes you can make today.
The Man’s Guide to Women (2016) is a comprehensive and scientifically backed look into the mind, emotions, and habits of women. Drawing on decades of research, it examines the hidden and not so hidden factors that drive women’s behavior and leave many men perplexed. Whether you’re married, dating, or just looking to better understand the women in your life, there’s always room to learn and add a little more compassion into your relationships.
Smart Sex (2023) unlocks the intricacies of human sexuality through a blend of science-backed knowledge and practical advice. By demystifying sexual health and relationships, it provides a transformative journey toward understanding and improved personal experiences.
Sexploitation (2015) is an up-to-date take on sexual education, aimed at arming parents, carers, and educators with the best advice for supporting kids to make healthy sexual choices.
The Porn Trap (2010) is your guide to understanding the powerful grasp that porn can have on people’s lives, and how to escape it. Drawing from real cases, it outlines what porn addiction is and the real consequences it has had. Then it provides six steps for those suffering from addiction to take back control of their lives.
Worth of Her Trust (2014) is a guide for men looking to restore trust in a marriage damaged by infidelity. With exercises and tools based on counseling techniques, it offers practical advice for rebuilding connection and intimacy – and hope that, with sincere effort, even the most difficult challenges can be overcome.
Sexual Detox (2010) diagnoses the corruption of conscience and twisting of sexuality wrought by pornography. Written for Christians, it prescribes a moral reset to reorient understanding toward God’s redemptive vision of human intimacy.
The Unemployed Millionaire (2009) takes you on a transformative journey from financial despair to self-made prosperity. It provides actionable insights and strategies for aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasizing the significance of mindset, persistence, and smart decisions in achieving financial freedom. Through a blend of personal anecdotes and practical advice, it offers a roadmap to success even in challenging circumstances.
More Than Two (2014) is a guide to ethical polyamory that delves into the complexities of building and maintaining relationships with multiple partners. Through a combination of real-life examples and thoughtful analysis, it explores some of the possibilities of polyamorous relationships, provides practical advice on navigating common challenges, and offers insights into fostering open and honest communication.
Pornland (2010) invites you to dive deep into the world of modern pornography and its implications. Discover how the industry's evolution has led to the commodification of women, reshaping societal norms and expectations. Embark on a thought-provoking journey that challenges perceptions of intimacy in our digital age.
Wired for Intimacy (2010) is a practical and hopeful guide for Christian men looking to find freedom from pornography. Combining science and spirituality, it reveals how pornography affects the male brain and provides hands-on solutions to redeem modern masculinity.
The Porn Myth (2017) offers a secular rebuttal to pro-pornography advocacy, drawing on research in neuroscience, sociology, and psychology. With insightful analysis of the latest scientific findings on addiction and harm, the book dispels myths, exposes porn's negative impacts, and provides advice on overcoming porn addiction.