Relationships

Sex lives and audio books

By Matt Williamson
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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“Let's talk about sex,” cajole sassy hip-hop artists Salt 'N' Pepa in one of their most famous hits... well, perhaps not.
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Audio books can spin more than just stories

When it comes to bedroom behavior, Americans remain more inhibited than our European counterparts. You must admit it's a tad ironic: Models from Victoria's Secret parade in barely-there underwear on national television, and the "Sports Illustrated" Swimsuit Model edition outsells any issue featuring a burly quarterback. Yet, we tend to blush and shy away from the mere mention of that ever-so-powerful three-letter word: S-E-X.

Perhaps it's because we're confused about some of the most basic tenets of human sexuality. Few of us have formally studied it, and it's a topic you seldom bring up in polite conversation. Still, the quest for sexual intimacy has existed since the days of Og the Caveman as a natural biological imperative—so why wouldn't we make every effort to discover more about how our bodies work?

Audio books on CDs and books on tape are an ideal medium for learning how to achieve sexual intimacy—whether you're in the privacy of your home, commuting to work or jogging with your Walkman. The operative word is "private." You can choose titles that meet your specific needs and listen to them at your own pace. There's no need to feel bashful or embarrassed; most people will assume you're previewing the new Jennifer Lopez CD.

"As I know personally from the hour-long commute I was doing a couple of years ago, audio books make the time fly," says Dr. Tina B. Tessina, a psychotherapist who practices in Long Beach, California. "Of course, if you're listening to self-help audio books, you won't be able to write down the exercises, but don't worry about it—you'll be amazed at how much you can retain.

"Driving is the ideal format for listening to audio books because it takes up only part of your attention, and the rest will be focused on what you're hearing," she adds. "This turns out to be a powerful learning mode, as the audio feed goes directly into the appropriate part of the brain. If, when listening to the book, you find there are exercises you'd like to do, you can always go back and do them later, when you're at home."

When choosing audio books on CD or books on tape that focus on sexuality, it's critical to define your terms so you can identify your needs. On Jiggerbug.com and other audio rental sites, for example, you'll find titles divided into three key themes:

· Dating and Relationships · Making Marriage Work · Sexual Enhancement

Be sure to distinguish the differences among these "buzzwords" so you can find the best audio books on CD to meet your goals.

"Relationships continue to develop in stages, even after the honeymoon is over," says Dr. Tessina, who hosts an Internet radio show, "The Psyche Deli: Delectable Tidbits for the Subconscious," at 12, 4 and 8 EST (both a.m. and p.m.) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays on the Leisure Talk Radio Network.

"Most of us are familiar only with the early stages: meeting, dating, courtship and commitment," she explains. "Some have experienced moving in, marriage, and the honeymoon phase, where everything is brand-new and wonderful. This is what romantic songs and movies are all about—and it has become what people call 'being in love.' Extending the honeymoon phase indefinitely is what people fantasize as 'happily ever after.' But when the all-absorbing process of planning a wedding and honeymoon is over—and the couple comes home to chores, work and money issues—post-honeymoon shock can set in. Real life is not as romantic as courtship, wedding and honeymoon, but the real work of developing a great marriage begins now."

Most couples eventually develop a style of intimacy that works for them, says Dr. Tessina. And like anything else, intimacy levels wax and wane over the course of any relationship, and couples will inevitably face challenges that test their commitment.

"In the development of intimacy, love matures and becomes reality-based," she says. "It's the part where the magic fades

Books on CD and books on tape can help provide the reassurance you need to get over the bumps in the road to romance that, if unattended, can derail a relationship. Education is critical, so carefully select titles that will help boost your self-confidence and provide pragmatic tips that will work in your everyday life. If possible, listen to audio books on CD with your partner so you can both benefit from the information provided—particularly if you have experienced only a limited number of long-term relationships during your adult life.

"It's easy to be discouraged and give up," Dr. Tessina says. "People often do much better in their second or third long-term relationships, because their early experience taught them what to expect and gave them a chance to acquire the necessary long-term skills. Because we lack education and experience, our early unsuccessful relationships often serve as practice for later successful ones."

All is not lost, however, if you're new to the relationship game.

"Romance has been blown out of proportion in our culture," Dr. Tessina says. "It is a momentary, fleeting thing—and it does add excitement to your relationship, but it's not a way of life. You can't keep it going every moment through the stress and business of everyday life. However, it is a very useful tool to reassure each other that you are still in love. Whenever there's a lack of romance or excitement between you, recharge your connection and celebrate your mutual love, affection and desire."

Several books on CD can help you recharge that critical connection.

1. Dating and Relationships

"Relationship Rescue," a bestseller by talk show host Dr. Phil (Phillip C. McGraw), is one of the most popular titles available on CD or cassette—and it lives up to its name. If you believe your relationship is in trouble (and want to save it), let Dr. Phil guide you—in his cut-to-the-chase, no-nonsense style—in diagnosing what's wrong, understanding emotional "truths" and learning to live in harmony by renegotiating your relationship.

2. Making Marriage Work

Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has released several books on CD and cassette designed to show you how you're sabotaging your relationship or marriage.

In "Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships," Dr. Laura aims Cupid's arrow at both men and women, calling for a return to the principles of courtship (and what made you fall in love in the first place). Together, you can explore the problems that arise time and time again, allowing you to acknowledge "stupid mistakes" (Dr. Laura is never subtle) and rediscover the joys of mutual attraction.

For women, Dr. Laura offers "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands," while men can benefit from "The Ten Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives."

3. Sexual Intimacy and Enhancement

Finally, Dr. John Gray, author of the "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" series of best-selling books, has recorded "Mars and Venus in the Bedroom," focusing on rekindling—and maintaining—sexual passion.

You can rent these titles and 1000's of others at Jiggerbug.com. Delivery is free and there are never any late fees. Visit www.Jiggerbug.com for your free trial.

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