Love Worth Making Book Summary - Love Worth Making Book explained in key points
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Love Worth Making summary

Stephen Snyder

How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship

4.2 (569 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

Love Worth Making by Stephen Snyder is an informative and engaging guide to sexual relationships. Snyder explains how to navigate various common issues such as low libido, infidelity, and mismatched desires, and offers practical solutions for cultivating healthy and satisfying intimate partnerships.

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    Love Worth Making
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    Reaching true arousal is possible once you’ve learned how to nurture your sexual self.

    Many therapists and sex help books will tell you that sex can be summed up as “friction plus fantasy.” But couples who have tried and failed to reignite their desire know that there’s more to it than that. There’s something else that’s missing, something more elusive: the feeling of true arousal.

    Three psychological changes happen when we’re aroused. First, we feel captivated, are absorbed, and lose all sense of time. Next, we regress to a more primitive, selfish state of mind. Finally, we feel good about ourselves – like our partners can really see us. Formulas can be quite useless in the pursuit of arousal. But there are certain rules of the heart you can learn to help cultivate the ideal conditions for arousal to thrive. 

    The key message here is: Reaching true arousal is possible once you’ve learned how to nurture your sexual self.

    Rules of the heart need to be understood more than they need to be followed. They exist in a realm of genuine connection and authenticity. Here, you’ll find your sexual self: a highly personal, erotic feeling. It’s marked not by lust, but by gratitude and awe.

    The sexual self is very honest, but its vocabulary is mostly limited to “yes” or “no.” Trying to force the sexual self to turn a “no” into a “yes” will pretty much guarantee bad sex.

    This is what happened to Carmen, who couldn’t feel anything during sex with her husband Scott. She got aroused when they’d kiss on the couch in the living room. But once they’d moved to the bedroom, she’d become fixated on the worry that there was something “wrong” with her – and mentally shut down.

    What most people don’t realize is that they’re responsible for their own arousal. So the author suggested that Carmen do two things to set the mood for herself. First, ask Scott not to try to make her climax – she worried he’d get upset if she didn’t, which pulled her out of the moment. Second, if she felt turned on when they were on the couch, then try staying on the couch. 

    The next week, Carmen reported that their couch sex was more erotic. But she was still distressed. She confessed that she gave herself orgasms the “wrong way”: in the bathtub, with her clitoris under running water.

    The author told her that she wasn’t doing anything wrong. But the belief that she was damaged had garnered a lot of power over the years. For her sexual self to be happy, it needed acceptance. Reassured, Carmen gave herself an orgasm for the first time with her hands a few weeks later. And during sex with Scott, she was able to hold on to her arousal – and finally climax in her husband’s arms.

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    What is Love Worth Making about?

    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.

    Who should read Love Worth Making?

    • Partners who love each other but are struggling to keep desire alive
    • New couples who want to learn how to sustain their sexual relationship
    • Anyone interested in the emotional side of sexual connection

    About the Author

    Stephen Snyder, MD is a sex and couples therapist, psychiatrist, and writer in New York City. He’s an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital, and has served as Chairman of the Consumer Book Award Committee for the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR). He writes for Psychology Today and the Huffington Post.

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