What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl's Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety by Jaclyn Friedman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's been awhile since I sat down and read this book cover to cover, but I recommend it often. There are so many amazing exercises to help deal with toxic shame and get rid of external messages about sexuality. One of the most powerful included writing a letter from your future self to your present sex with what she would want you to know about sex and sexuality.
The book addresses self-love, and includes really moving "go deeper" prompts like choosing a photograph of yourself you like and writing a love letter to the woman in the photograph. I've often given this exercise to group members as homework and it's *always* really moving.
One of my favorite chapters delves into boundaries. It starts with listening to your intuition and then introduces readers to the "Nice Person Test" (so good!).
I love the feminist perspective - she starts off with helping readers understand where all the shaming messages about sex came from through a bit of personal inquiry, she breaks down the myths and facts, and she offers a really direct and nonjudgmental space to explore sexual desire.
The book has a ton in it to explore and I could imagine using it for group therapy, a book club, or revisiting again and again over the years.
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I'm a psychologist, activist, and writer. I believe in sharing our stories and wisdom as a tool for our own healing as well as the healing of those around us. For this reason I've chosen to share what I'm learning, as well as guest posts from other people who've been there.
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This space will provide information, stories, and answers to big questions about some of my favorite topics - boundaries, burnout, trauma, self compassion, and shame resilience - all from a feminist counselling perspective.