Sexuality is multi-causal and multi-dimensional, with large individual, couple, cultural, and value differences. Each person and couple deserve to experience sexuality as a positive factor in their lives and relationships. Enhancing Couple Sexuality is an accessible guide that will help you to explore couple sexuality, with a focus on promoting healthy sexuality and overcoming sexual dysfunction, conflict and avoidance.
The couple challenge, regardless of relationship status or sexual orientation, is to integrate intimacy and eroticism into your relationship, while reinforcing the new sexual mantra of desire/pleasure/eroticism/ satisfaction. Healthy sexuality is a combination of responsibility for your authentic sexual self and being an intimate sexual team. Each chapter in this book presents scientifically-validated guidelines, a compelling case study, and a psychosexual skill exercise to make every concept personal and concrete.
Enhancing Couple Sexuality will motivate and empower couples to create and maintain a satisfying, secure, and sexual relationship. Whether you are married or dating, 25 or 65, this valuable resource will provide strategies to enhance your sexual relationship now and in the future.
Table of Contents
1. Sex Myths: Old and New 2. The New Sexual Mantra 3. Psychobiosocial Model for Understanding and Change 4. Female-Male Sexual Equity 5. Dimensions of Touch, Pleasure, and Sexuality 6. Good Enough Sex (GES) 7. Integrating Intimacy and Eroticism 8. Your Couple Sexual Style 9. Personal Responsibility/Intimate Sexual Team 10. The Paradox of Sexuality 11. Vulnerabilities and Challenges 12. Sexuality and Aging 13. Sexually, One Size Never Fits All 14. Monogamy vs. Consensual Non-Monogamy Appendix A Appendix B References
Barry McCarthy is a professor of psychology at American University, a diplomate in clinical psychology, a diplomate in sex therapy, and a certified couple therapist. He has published over 115 professional articles, 32 book chapters, and 20 books. He has presented over 450 professional workshops nationally and internationally. In 2016, he received the SSTAR Masters and Johnson award for lifetime contributions to the sex therapy field.
Emily McCarthy received a B.S. degree in speech communication, and her writing and wisdom provides a balanced, humanistic perspective. This is Emily and Barry’s 14th co-authored book.
"Barry and Emily McCarthy give practical, reassuring, knowledgeable, and wise suggestions for living a partnered life with satisfaction, security and sexuality. They write for everyone whether monogamous, monogamish, polyamorous, pansexual, straight, gay, bi, or more. Their point is that sex is good for us, our lives, our relationships, adding 15 to 20% to our satisfaction. Their plain, clear writing helps people decide what is right for them and their relationships so that their relationship agreements can promote desire/pleasure/eroticism/satisfaction. Whether you are a therapist, client, or student wanting clarity on what works and doesn’t work in significant relationships involving sexual expression, Enhancing Couple Sexuality will be an important contribution to your thinking."
Susan E. Stiritz, MBA, PhD, MSW, AASECT president, associate professor of practice, chair of the specialization in Sexual Health and Education, The Brown School, Washington University, St. Louis
"Barry and Emily co-authors of 14 books, are themselves skillful, cherishing and have a positive sexual relationship of 52 years. In their book they encourage each person, of any sexual orientation, to be their "authentic sexual self", affirming healthy sexuality, at any age, whether you are married, partnered, divorced, single, or widowed. Rich with information and case examples, as well as providing many thoughtful exercises, this book is a must read for all those who want to feel connected and have a joyous sexual relationship."
Clare E. Mézes, MSc, RP, RMFT, Individual, Couple, Sex and Family Therapy
"This is an incredible book – easy to read, couple friendly, and evidence based. So many individuals would benefit from reading this thoughtful manuscript before and after establishing relationships."
R. Taylor Segraves, M.D., editor, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy
"Finding your sexual voice is my top pick for a great book about sex for couples. McCarthy engages couples with thoughtfulness, warmth, and reassuring guidance. He is a leader in the field of sexual health and creating better sex for couples is his lifelong passion—one couple, one book at a time. In Finding your sexual voice, he provides up-to-date research on sexual functioning, neuroplasticity and sexual response, as well as attachment and attunement as part of sexuality. His practical approaches solving sexual dilemmas provide us a treasure trove of the erotic, playful, sensual ways to grow, adapt, and accommodate sex in relationships throughout a couple’s life.
McCarthy reminds us that sexual desire can be responsive, that cultural changes influence couples’ expectations and wants in their sexual lives and he invites us to figure it out, talk about sex, and share in the journey to finding what is pleasurable for each partner.
Thank goodness for his remarkable history as a couples sex therapist and writer about sex. We can trust his advice and we can gain confidence and hope in his steady reassurance that sexual sharing can be created and enjoyed by most couples.
He reminds us that going the distance as a couple involves ‘all the senses’-- including hearing each other, touching with openness and trust, collaborating to build sexual sharing. Hearing, touching, collaborating inevitably leads to couples finding their own sexual voice."
Sallie Foley is a nationally known sex therapist and author
"Team McCarthy does it again! Their outstanding book promoting healthy sexuality with scientifically and clinically validated psychological, biological/medical, and social/relational information will be valued highly by the public and professionals alike."
Michael A. Perelman, Ph.D., co-director, Human Sexuality Continuing Education Program, clinical professor emeritus of Psychology in Psychiatry, founder & chairman MAP Education & Research Foundation
"Barry and Emily McCarthy make an important contribution to the field of sex and couples’ research and therapy by discussing sexual relationships in the context of couple relationships. Therapists, heterosexual couples, whether traditional or not- so- traditional, and gay or lesbian couples in monogamous or consensually non- monogamous relationships, will find a lot of value in this new book. Sexual myths are debunked, psycho-sexual exercises offered, couple cases discussed and a range of sensitive issues are considered."
Jennifer Fitzgerald, PhD, University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia
"In plain language the McCarthys give us the recipe for the secret sauce that makes sex pleasurable in long-term relationships. Readers will learn that with equal measures of wisdom and sensitivity, a dash of spice, and some gentle stirring even relationships that have cooled can simmer again. "
Kathryn Hall, PhD; president, Society for Sex Therapy and Research; co-editor of Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy