In Sex Outside the Lines, Dr. Chris Donaghue describes the holes in society's definition of "normal", taking a sharp eye to institutions such as marriage, cheating, virginity, identity, and sexual orientation. He also examines all the ways that accepting society's "truths" have led to the demise of long-term relationships and sexual pleasure. All of this misinformation is showing up in your bedroom and preventing you from having the sex life you're entitled to.
In Donaghue's years of training in sex and couples therapy, he has developed highly successful methods for freeing clients from sexual hang-ups, enabling them to let go of shame and embarrassment. Donaghue pulls apart cultural phobias with a "sex positive" therapy practice, a kind of sexual deprograming that helps people see and accept the desires they have - even if they don't align with societal expectations - are really natural, healthy, and part of having a great sex life.
©2015 Chris Donaghue (P)2015 Tantor
I'm pretty widely read in gender studies and sexuality, so I have become pretty familiar with the usual topics discussed and arguments presented. I did not think I could be surprised. But I was wrong. This book has blown my ideas and categories completely away. No "isms" or "ologies" are left untouched or even standing by the end. I am certain that upon reflection and study I'll find things to take issue with but right now I am just enjoying the feeling of having the back of my head blown off.
A book for sure everyone should read or listen to. Especially people younger than 30 to break the social norms we were raised on. Lots of terminology in the book I believe most were defined and used to educate the listener. I loved chapter 11 where the list of what you should go into a relationship for was very informative and empowering though there were two things I personally didn't agree with. I feel if you keep yourself open to the book an the ideas it presents it can lead you to the possibility of obtaining or having a healthy relationship - however you define a relationship.
I'd never heard of Chris Donaghue until he was interviewed on a podcast, discussing this book, which I've now listened to three times and read once in print. He extends many critiques of marriage and heteronormativity which were made in the 1970's, but with modern theory and the inside experience of a humane therapist who has been backstage in the sausage factory of what passes for sexual "expertise" among front-line counselors.
His belief in the positive value of sexuality and the right of all people to sexual fulfillment has me thinking in exciting new ways that make me more accepting of others. All others. A thought-provoking read worth thinking on for months to come.
Not sure if I'd listen again. There's a lot of intellectualized opinions in this book stated as fact. It's importing as a reader to not get lost in the words of this book and really think critically about what Chris Donaghue is saying. "Gender" AKA "biology" being nearly 100% a social construct is really hard to completely swallow.
I like the idea that your should be able to define yourself and your sexuality, but I feel this book goes downhill a bit when it becomes clear author is ranting as other reviewers mentioned. I wish this kind of subject could be separated from politics completely, but below the surface I feel author is a tad on the angry side and has a academic agenda.
Several premises that the author tries to establish are just **%#^. He's not accounting for attachment in humans. Or sex addiction, not defined societally, but as defined individually by causing massive problems in someone's life - suicidality, depression, loss of work because they can't work due to compulsion, not due to what someone else says they should do.
They have done brain scans on sex addicts in active addiction, porn addicts. It presents identical to cocaine addiction. And for both groups the brain heals after about a year of sobriety. According to the author that's all driven by what society is defining as normal. I don't buy it. Society IS saying that porn addiction is normal, acceptable. Only a porn addict will tell you it's not. It was so bad that I couldn't make it past chapter 4. I didn't want to waste another minute of my life.
made it to the 5th chapter. All it is, is a rant! Maybe at some point it looked at the science. I couldn't stand to listen anymore though. I can hear views like this from any pissed off person.
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