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Partners in Passion


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: New Relationship Energy 1 Chapter 2: Good Relationships: The Ten Big Myths 6 Myth #1: You Need to Find a Soulmate 8 Myth #2: They Lived Happily Ever After 10 Myth #3: You Should Work on Your Relationship 13 Myth #4: Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus 15 Myth #5: Relationships and Sex are About Getting Your Needs Met 17 Myth #6: Desiring Someone Else is a Form of Infidelity 20 Myth #7: Monogamy is Natural and Optimal 22 Myth #8: Sex Should be Spontaneous 25 Myth #9: The Sex in Movies, on TV, and in Porn is Good 28 Myth #10: There is a Right Way to be Sexual 31 Chapter 3: A New Paradigm: Keys to Creating an Enduring and Erotic Relationship 32 Know Yourself Sexually 34 Love is Profound Interest 41 View Your Sexual Life Together as a Co-Creation 46 Take Pleasure in Serving Each Other 49 Maintain a Sense of Mystery 53 Chapter 4: Beyond the Keys: How to Live the New Paradigm 59 Connect First -- Talk Later 60 Build Trust and Create Goodwill 64 Be Brave: Having the Courage to be Open About Sex Builds Intimacy 68 Keep Kindness as Your Touchstone 69 Be Honest in Moderation 72 Engage Empathically 75 Compersion: Take Pleasure in Your Lover's Pleasure 77 Treat Your Relationship as an Ongoing Exploration 78 Be Flexible 80 Above All, Have Fun 82 Chapter 5: Great Sex: Concepts 84 What is Sex? 84 What is Great Sex? 86 Quality of Touch 89 Agenda-Free Touch 95 Awareness and Attunement 97 Abandon, Enthusiasm, and Lack of Inhibition 99 Don't Wait to Feel Desire 104 Chapter 6: Anatomy: A Little Technical Knowledge Goes a Long Way 106 The Pelvic Floor -- Crucible of Your Sexuality 110 Additional Paths to Orgasm 118 Female Anatomy 119 The Clitoris 120 The G-spot 121 Male Anatomy 125 The Penis 125 The Foreskin 127 The Prostate Gland 129 The Testicles and Scrotum 131 Chapter 7: Tantra and Neo-Tantra -- Techniques for Enhanced Lovemaking 132 Breaking Out of Unconscious and Habitual Patterns 138 Making Energy Concrete 143 Orgasm as an Energetic Phenomenon 145 Orgasm as an Energetic Phenomenon: Part II 148 Karezza -- A Different Way of Making Love 156 Chapter 8: Basic Sexual Adventuring 161 Sexual Trust 162 How to Build Sexual Trust 169 Create an Erotic Statement of Purpose 170 Adventuring as a Couple 174 Choosing Your Adventures 175 How to Talk About Trying Something New 176 Erotic Imagination 180 Fantasy 181 Visual Erotica and Porn 184 More about Fantasy: Partnered and Solo 188 Acting Out Fantasies 189 Sex Toys 191 From Behind Closed Doors to Out in the Open 195 Chapter 9: Advanced Sexual Adventuring: Open Relating to Strengthen Your Partnership 196 Forms of Non-Monogamous Expression 199 Non-Consensual Non-Monogamy 199 Semi-Consensual Non-Monogamy 201 Open Relationships 202 Friends with Benefits 204 Swinging 206 Polyamory 211 Designer Relationships 214 Safer Sex 215 Talking about Safer Sex 219 Sexual Responsibility 221 First Steps Toward Opening Your Relationship 226 Interacting with Others 230 Where and How to Meet Similar People 232 Dealing with Jealousy 233 Compersion and Jealousy 238 Chapter 10: Kink 240 What is Kink? 243 Sadism and Masochism 245 Dominance and Submission 248 Kink and Stereotypes 251 Intimacy in Kink 253 Fetish, Roleplay, and Dressing Up 254 Tantra, Kink, and a Caveat 257 Getting Started 258 Chapter 11: Dealing with Discrepancies, Distractions and Disruptions 261 Desire Discrepancy 267 Other Discrepancies 272 Sexual Function 278 Premature Ejaculation 278 Delayed Ejaculation 279 Erectile Dysfunction 280 General Female Sexual Issues 281 Anorgasmia 282 Pregnancy and Childbirth 285 Separation 289 Financial difficulties 295 Other Stresses 296 Chapter 12: Going the Distance 298 Techniques for Falling in Love Again and Again 304 Maintenance Sex 307 Consciously Continue Your Courtship 310 Sex and Aging 313 Chapter 13: Resource Guide 323 Books 324 Dating-Social Network Websites 328 Events 329 General Open Relating and Kink Resources 330 Online Erotica and Education 331 Retreat Centers and Resorts 332 Safer Sex Resources 333 Sex and Disability Information 333 Sex-positive Organizations/Directories -- Professional, Political, Educational 333 Sex Shops/Online Vendors/Toy Manufacturers/Fetishwear/BDSM Supplies 334 Sexuality Educators, Advocates, and Allies 336 Tantra and Sacred Sexuality Resources 338 Acknowledgements 339 Selected Bibliography 342 List of Words

About the Author

A graduate of NYU and Yale, Mark A. Michaels writes for scholarly and legal publications and his plays have been produced off-Broadway. He took his first tantra class in 1997 and gave his first lecture on the subject two years later. Patricia Johnson spent many years as a professional operatic soprano. In 1999, a longstanding interest in tantra inspired her to attend a lecture by Mark Michaels, now her husband and collaborator. Since then, she and Michaels have taught and lectured throughout the world. They live in New York City.


Winner of the Independent Publisher Award Gold Medal in Sexuality/Relationships Winner of the International Book Award in Relationships Winner of the Readers' Favorite Book Award in Relationships Winner of the Living Now Book Award Gold Medal in Sexuality/Femininity Winner of the USA Book News Best Book Award in Self-Help: Relationships "Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson ask whether 'designer' relationships that include more than two people could go mainstream in the future, offering people more options when it comes to romance and marriage." "How to customize your very own delicious route to personal pleasure." --Twanna A. Hines, Metro US "Patricia johnson and mark A. Michaels counsel couples on how to be in an open relationship." --Fox News, My Fox DC "With a thorough resource guide included, this book runs the gamut on sex education, and the authors' sex-positivity, feminism, and rejection of gender stereotypes makes it a welcome addition to the genre." --Publishers Weekly "Those seeking to create conscious, loving partnerships will find a compendium of concrete tools and resources in this important book. I will be encouraging clients, students, and colleagues to share this work. Bravo!" --Nan Wise, PhD candidate Cognitive Neuroscience, Rutgers-Newark Certified Sex Therapist, AASECT "If you're in a relationship, you need this book. If you're single, you need this book. If you're having sex or ever plan to have sex--good sex, hot sex, toe-curling sex--you need this book. Clear off your night stand. This is the only volume you need." --Jenny Block, author of Open "Patricia and Mark don't only write about being partners in passion; they are partners in passion [...] Their book is an absolute must if you are in a relationship or hope to be." --Jamye Waxman, sex educator and author Hot Sex: Over 200 Things to Try Tonight and Getting Off: A Woman's Guide to Masturbation "It's not everyday that I learn something new about sex; the chapter on Tantra is amongst the best introductions to the topic I've ever come across" --Ian Kerner, PhD, NY Times best-elling author of She Comes First "Gifted teachers and writers, Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson challenge conventional wisdom and offer bold, fresh strategies for real connection and intimacy in long-term relationships." --Tristan Taormino, author, Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships "At last! The new Holy Grail for how to sustain sexual fire and keep loving passion alive. The authors reveal the truths about ecstatic and joyful sexual expression--debunking common myths, providing understanding about sexual energy flow, while offering refreshing, sound and sensitive guidance for couples seeking to thrive over time. I love this book." --Dr. Patti Britton, Clinical Sexologist & Sex Coach, author of The Art of Sex Coaching and Co-Founder of "Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels have done a fantastic job of offering compassionate advice and clear steps to building the kind of relationship that can support and contain the sex life you deserve." --Dr. Charlie Glickman, author of Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure "Written with emphasis on the kindness, trust, and presence that are required in any healthy relationship, Partners in Passion illustrates delightful depths of insight, providing practical solutions to the very real issues that kill the passion and love in so many partnerships. Every couple needs to read this book!" --Mikaya Heart, author of The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm For Women "Partners in Passion is a contemporary sexuality book for both the novice and sexually experienced. The authors' practical and casual manner makes it easy to follow and appreciate the many topics ranging from sexual adventuring, safer sex, designer relationships to sexual communication, desire discrepancy, and aging. Reading it is like talking to a big brother or sister about all aspects of sexuality! --Sally Valentine, PhD, FAACS, LCSW, AASECT Certified Supervisor and Sex Therapist "Partners in Passion is an outrageous, courageous and much NEEDED endeavor. Michaels and Johnson distill the collective erotic wisdom of the ages, rewrite it with their own unique wit and generosity, and offer it back to us as a true gift!" --Jennifer Pritchett, founder and owner of The Smitten Kitten, MN "Partners in Passion by Michaels and Johnson is the most comprehensive compendium on sexuality to date ... This is a book for the whole family." --Dr. Winston Wilde, sexologist, sex therapist, marriage therapist, author of Legacies of Love "Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson are the authors of some of my favorite sexuality books, and in Partners in Passion they have taken their unique approach to intimacy to a whole new level ... I look forward to recommending Partners in Passion to my clients! --Dr. Ruth Neustifter, Author of The Nice Girl's Guide to Talking Dirty "These two passionate partners have done it again! Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy, and Long-Term Love ought to be the graduate's gift, the newlywed's gift, your lover's holiday surprise and the birthday present for your best friend's 50th, too! [...] This is a grand blend of neuroscience, the most advanced thinking on relationship and sexuality education and practices--every lover's library needs one!" --Suzie Heumann, founder of "Finally, a smart, sexy and practical sex and relationship book! Mark and Patricia meld their knowledge of tantra and alternative sexuality with accessible, practical techniques for building (or rebuilding) passion in long term relationships." --Jacq Jones, sex educator & owner of Sugar The Shop in Baltimore, MD "Partners in Passion is the smartest and most comprehensive book on partner sex and erotic relationships available today. Brava, Mark and Patricia! I love this book. --Barbara Carrellas, author of Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex For The Twenty-First Century and Ecstasy is Necessary "Partners in Passion is not only a sensible, compassionate, readable book; it is the best book I have ever read about the varieties of love and physical/emotional intimacy [...] This book is must reading for all people, young and old, of whatever sexual persuasion and culture, who are on relationship adventures seeking fulfilling intimacy and passionate partnership. My clients will benefit hugely from reading it." --Alice Kahn Ladas, Ed.D, co-author of The G Spot and Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality and Women and Bioenergetic Analysis "Partners in Passion is the perfect title because Mark and Patricia are just that -- passionate about each other and passionate in their commitment to explore human sexuality together." --Betty A. Dodson, Artist, Author and Ph.D. Sexologist "Partners in Passion comes straight from the heart. Use this book as a gourmet guide to trust, touch, and ongoing adventures of discovery in the vast playing fields of loving relationship." --Gina Ogden, PhD, LMFT, author of Expanding the Practice of Sex Therapy and The Return of Desire "Other than our need and desire to eat, sex is what we crave the most. It's what drives us. It needs to be fun and varied. Religion, politics, government intrusion, imposed morals, have all tried to suck the fun out of sex. Partners in Passion puts the fun back! It's a comprehensive and insightful guide for people who take their sex play seriously and are committed to leaving the bedroom with smiles on their faces. Even I can learn a few things from this fascinating book." --Larry Flynt

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