Evelyn Resh provides an in-depth look at the psychological and physical issues that occur naturally in a woman's life as she ages. She identifies six markers of emotional well-being: self-confidence, health-seeking behaviors, spiritual satisfaction, creativity, resilience, and compassion. The author states these elements are important for a woman to fully express herself. Resh then helpfully guides the reader through how to have to a more fulfilling experience.
Resh explains that once a woman has these markers maxed out, her sexual energy will naturally come forth. The primary concerns that constrain her revolve around the fact that "women's perceptions about their value as people are simultaneously affected by two routes: how physically attractive they are and how much they do for others" (p.30). The author tackles the most common reasons that women do not want to have sex: being too busy, dislike of body, difficult emotional states, menopause, and not advocating for self.
An entire chapter is devoted to how men and women relate to each other in sexual expression. Resh clearly identifies that most men express through physicality while most women express themselves verbally. The author honestly addresses how the push-and-pull within the relationship can shift into a more sexually inviting environment for women. She provides approaches on how to navigate those differences in a way that brings the reader and her male partner closer. Finally, Resh makes outstanding points about self-advocacy. In straightforward fashion, she states, "I see nothing wrong with keeping sex and pleasure in the foreground of my thinking, in order to make my sexual life... the best it can be." (p.169). It is Resh's belief that doing so will then continue to enhance the relationship.
While this book is a good read for heterosexual women in long-term relationships, it is not recommended for those outside of this context. The information provided is helpful to this specific group but rather basic for those with clinical therapeutic experience. I found myself thinking that there were many great passages to have a client read for homework, but that it was limited in the number of clients to whom it would really apply given the narrow hetero-normative approach.
Women, Sex, Power, And Pleasure: Getting the Life (and Sex) You Want. By Evelyn Resh. New York: Hay House Inc., 2013. Paperback, 9781401936310, $11.59.