2nd Edition

LoveSex and Relationships An Integrative Model for Sexual Education

By Cabby Laffy, Polly McAfee Copyright 2023
    232 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    LoveSex and Relationships introduces a pleasure-focused rather than reproductive model of sex, exploring how our brains, minds, bodies and emotions interact to create our experience of sexuality.

    This book challenges the cultural commodification of sex and sexuality, and it encourages the reader to experience ‘being sexual’ rather than ‘doing sex’ or ‘looking sexy’. This is crucial to our development of sexual selfesteem, particularly in the digital era of pornography, dating and hookup apps. Bringing the material of the first edition up to date, chapters include anatomical diagrams and social commentary with a focus on trauma and Polyvagal Theory. Diversity and cultural changes are also addressed, including a more expansive understanding of gender identity, and greater awareness of the impact of power and rank in sexual relationships. Lastly, each chapter features a new partnered exercise alongside every solo exercise from the first edition.

    The book’s accessible language makes it a valuable resource for sex and relationship therapists and trainees, general mental health and sex/relationship professionals, and clients themselves.

    1. LoveSex and Relationships 2. A New Model for Sexuality 3. The Sexploration Exercises 4. Mind 5. Body 6. Brain 7. Emotion 8. Conclusion 9. About the Authors 10. References and Further Reading


    Cabby Laffy, UKCP, COSRT, NCIPm accredited, author of the first edition, is an experienced psychosexual therapist who is passionate about inspiring people to have the most satisfying sexual life that they can.

    Polly McAfee, mBACP, mCOSRT, is a trainer, group facilitator and sex and relationship therapist helping people love their bodies, delight in their sexualities and be true to themselves in relationships.

    LoveSex and Relationships takes the readers on an all-round tour of the brain, mind, body and emotions, in a jargon-free yet in-depth exploration of human sexuality and intimate relationships. Written in a warm tone and with a sex-positive philosophy, this book is the essential guide for anyone who wants to know more about sex and relationships. Cabby Laffy and Polly McAfee offer many reflective exercises that will help readers improve their sex lives and relationships. The authors expertly lift the lid on sensitive subjects that are often unspoken.’ 

    Silva Neves, COSRT-accredited and UKCP-registered psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist, speaker and author. 

    LoveSex and Relationships is an inclusive, up-to-date, accessible and engaging book about how sex and intimacy work. Drawing on a wide range of relevant theory and research, the authors present a compelling understanding of how mind, brain, body, and feeling work together - within our social and relational context - to shape our experience of love and desire. This book is a must-read for all sex and relationship practitioners and will be very helpful to share with clients who are grappling with these issues too.’

    Meg-John Barker, author of a number of popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including graphic guides to Queer, Gender, and Sexuality, How To Understand Your Gender, Life Isn’t Binary, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and IF You Want To), Rewriting the Rules, and Hell Yeah Self Care. They have also written a number of books for scholars and counsellors on these topics, drawing on their own years of academic work and therapeutic practice.  

    'This book contains a systematic but delightful guide full of information and a model to work with for both students and qualified therapists looking for information on love and sex. Not only does the updated information provide solid knowledge but also embraces the nuances of the modern-day issues that affect mental and physical health. The texts and diagrams specifically help therapist to keep easy note of how to work with sexual dysfunctions and relationship issues. This book has already added a wealth of knowledge developing this field and the update will make a huge difference to the newcomers in the profession not forgetting those who will be encouraged to join the profession having read this book.' 

    Rima Hawkins, AccCOSRT Psychosexual & Relationship Psychotherapist (Individuals, Couples & Polycules) AccCOSRT Supervisor Trauma Therapist - (EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner - MEMDRAssoc - UK) Response to Domestic & Sexual Violence Specialist – Accredited Expert Witness in Court Gender Sexuality & Relationship Diversity (GSRD)/LGBTQiA plus Friendly Therapist - Adv. Accred GS&RD Therapist (Pink Therapy) Mentor for Pink Therapy Tutor for CICS Course Director – Dip. In Clinical Supervision, CICS.

    ‘I would describe this book as beautiful. It offers an accessible and inclusive way to think about human sexuality in the contemporary context, uniquely and deftly integrating science based information with an acute awareness of and sensitivity to the impact of dominant social systems. It navigates the multidimensional human experience of love, sex and relationships across cultures and identities, with the depth of consideration reflective of the authors’ extensive psychotherapeutic experience. It is beautiful and important and will immediately go to the top of our recommended reading list.’ 

    Julie Sale, COSRT Senior Accredited Sex and Relationship Therapist and UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, Director of the Contemporary Institute of Clinical Sexology. 

    ‘So much of how we talk and learn about sex is from a limited perspective, which further limits our capacity for sexual wellness and getting to our best sexual relationship with ourself and others, and LoveSex and Relationships is the antithesis of that. Using the homeodynamic model examines sex through a holistic lens encompassing the huge breadth of factors that are influencing us and making us the sexual person that we are today. Most importantly LoveSex and Relationships is pleasure focused and sex positive meaning that it pushes back against so much we are taught about sex which is through a shame-based model. It’s a must read for all, but especially for clinicians working with those in mental health and psychological contexts.’

    Kate Moyle, BSc, PGDip, MA, AccCOSRT, Sexual & Relationship Psychotherapist, Accredited Member of COSRT & Registered by UKCP, EFS & ESSM Certified Psycho-Sexologist, Host of The Sexual Wellness Sessions Podcast.