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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Nicole Perry is a Registered Psychologist and writer with a private practice in Edmonton. Her approach is collaborative and feminist at its heart. She specializes in healing trauma, building shame resilience, and setting boundaries.
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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. It's also a space I'm exploring and refining new ideas.
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