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Alternative Culture Magazine

Cougar's Favorite Books:

Recommended Reading List


Books on Love, Relationship, Sex and Healing

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Love is Not a Game (But You Should Know the Odds)--Randy Hurlburt
Cutting-edge self-help for finding relationship, love and sex, and emotional closeness and maturity.

Sexual Secrets: The Alchemy of Ecstasy--Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger
All is bared in this popularization of the sacred texts and lore of the East. The core teachings are Taoist and Tantric, with liberal references to the Kama Sutra and other texts. Lavishly illustrated, this compendium of higher sexual practice has everything you're missing if you're only messing with mainstream sex.

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples--Harville Hendrix
This book is one of the best in its ever-popular field. Hendrix has been through it all and presents here a no-nonsense approach that works. We are encouraged to see, through a series of exercises, how our partners reflect the positive and negative traits of our own parents, and of ourselves. The exercises also lead us into constructive ways of communicating and caring for each other in the ways that count most.

Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion, and Romantic Obsession--Rosemary Sullivan
The Governor General's Award winner spins a fascinating and original tale--part personal, part philosophical, part fiction, part nonfiction--exploring both the tragic obsession and the redeeming depth of woman's dance with sex and romance.

Challenge of the Heart: Love, Sex, and Intimacy in Changing Times--John Welwood, ed.
...In researching a book on this bottomless subject, Welwood assembled a stellar collection of writings to share. Scott Peck, Alan Watts, D. H. Lawrence, Chogyam Trungpa, Robert Bly, Wendell Berry, R. M. Rilke--along with women writers who are less "household names" but, of course, carry half the show.

On Love: A novel--Alain de Botton
...a philosophical, analytical, ironical (of course) and arch treatment of love, through one manís journey there and back. Chapter titles ("Romantic Fatalism," "The Subtext of Seduction," "The Fear of Happiness,") suggest the themes treated literarily yet in character.

Embracing Each Other--Hal Stone and Sidra Winkelman
..."The fairy tale version of romantic love teaches that once one finds the right mate, there is a marriage and then the two live happily ever after. Somehow the relationship magically brings out the King or Queen in each of us; therefore, our task in life is to find the correct mate so that we can be truly ourselves. In contrast to this, many of us now have a real fear that we will lose ourselves if we "give in" to a relationship and make the adjustments that are necessary in order for it to work, that the changes demanded of us by relationship are a weakening or a
lessening of who we are."

This is a book that comes at the right time: and in (or out of)
relationship, any time is the right time. Especially helpful is
the advice on taking care of one's [inner] "vulnerable child":
1. Recognize its presence
2. Develop an awareness of its personality, needs and reactions
3. Separate far enough in trigger situations to evaluate
4. Speak up for it in an objective, relaxed fashion

[longer review] [excerpt]

Embracing Ourselves: the Voice Dialogue Manual, by the same
authors, provides hands-on tools for healing.

Tantra, Spirituality and Sex--Osho
..."While making love to a woman, you are really making love to existence itself. The woman is just a door, the man is just a door. The other is just a door for the whole; but you are in such a hurry you never feel it. If you remain in communion, in deep embrace for hours together, you will forget the other and the other will just become an extension of the whole.
"in human life the sex act is the only act in which you come to feel a nonduality, in which you come to feel a deep oneness, in which the past disappears and the future disappears and only the present momentóthe only real moment--remains.
"Sex is just the beginning, not the end. But if you miss the beginning, you will miss the end also."

The Future of Love--Daphne Rose Kingma
...This book is deceptively simple and repetitive: yet powerful in the breadth and depth of its message: so many forms are possible, they are all okay when we undertake to pursue our relationships with our focus instead on the growing spirit, the spirit of love.

The Inner Lover: Using passion as a way to self-empowerment--Valerie Harms
...Takes a long look at some lesser-known aspects of relationship: loving yourself first; embracing loveís suffering for the growth it brings; nurturing an unattainable relationship through fantasy rather than through destructive sex; and realizing that our attractions often mirror our own desires, and embody the lessons we need to learn in our lives. "Things donít get better; they get deeper."

Emotional Resilience--David Viscott
...complete exploration of causes and characteristics of emotional debt and toxic nostalgia, with cogent principles and truths of natural therapeutic healing. A cornucopia of useful one-and-two-liners: "How you see your past is how you feel about yourself." "If you accept yourself as you are and pay attention to the road, you will get where you want to go." "Just believe you are good. Everything else will follow." "You are the answer. Spend your life defining the question."

Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families--John Friel and Linda Friel
...Are we all in this leaky boat? It appears so. These therapists tell it like it is: truthful, readable, straight talk. What do you use to cover your past and present hurts?

Healing the Child Within--Charles L. Whitfield in Inner Child work covers field with broad and deep strokes, outlining pathways to personal evolution and intimacy.

My Uncle Oswald--Roald Dahl
...the childrenís book writer turns to adult fiction: very adult, very funny.

Adult Children of Alcoholics--Janet Woititz
...a leader in the field gives insight and perspective by profiling what to expect and how to move on.

Conscious Loving--Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks
...strategies born of vast counseling experience, to open up to honesty and full expression to each other.

Getting to Yes--Fisher and Ury
...the definitive handbook on negotiation without giving in. You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you get what you need...

The Bridges of Madison County--Robert James Waller
...a perfect novel of an affair, with completeness and simplicity, showing the ultimate tragedy of our dual-hearted dilemma. Great on video too, with Meryl Streep and (gasp) a well-aged Clint Eastwood.

Adult Dating -
Sex personals and beyond...

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