female sexuality
Female sexuality is a misunderstood and taboo topic. The lack of sex education and a larger focus on male sexuality has also contributed to the lack of discussion around female sexuality. In this list, we take a look at 11 books which not only provide information but also counterintuitive viewpoints that will make you question everything you think you know about female sexuality.


Sex Drive: In Pursuit Of Female Desire

Dr. Bella Ellwood-Clayton

For women, a common sexual problem is a lack of libido. With an increasing number of women being diagnosed as “sexually dysfunctional”, Big Pharma is trying to develop a “Pink Viagra”. In this book, Dr. Ellwood-Clayton explores female libido and the mental and physical causes for its depletion. She explores whether low libido is the natural order of things and if women are not interested in sex because they don’t feel sexy enough due to the pressure created by media and marketing. This makes for a provocative read likely to garner divided opinions and encourage debate.

Buy it here.


Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life

Dr. Emily Nagoski

Backed by research across multiple disciplines, Dr. Nagoski explores how women’s sexuality works to teach you how to transform your sex life. You will learn that every woman’s sexuality is different and that context is important for good sex. You will also learn fun facts, such as the hymen as an indication of virginity is a social construct and not backed by science. This book is not just for women but also for men.

Buy it here.


The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction

Rachel P. Maines

Till the 1920s, sexually unfulfilled women were diagnosed with “hysteria” and the cure involved manually massaging them to orgasm. This book will explain how the medical profession has treated female sexuality and female orgasms. Well-researched, this short book combines serious scholarship with humour to chronicle the rise and fall of the vibrator.

Buy it here.


Straight Sex: Rethinking the Politics of Pleasure

Lynne Segal

In this book, Segal examines feminist viewpoints on sexuality and asserts that while men are not the enemy, the language of sex is phallocentric. She chronicles the history of female sexuality from the mid-60s to early 90s and also discusses male sexuality. Segal is unapologetic and honest in her views and critical of feminist thinking on sexuality at the time since they robbed women of all agency when it comes to their own pleasure.

Buy it here.


Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape

Peggy Orenstein

Based on interviews with psychologists, academics, and more than 70 young women, Orenstein paints a picture of girls and sex today. The biggest takeaway from this book is the ignorance of women when it comes to sex and the pressure on them to conform to what society tells them to do, think and feel. This is a deep and honest discussion on the trials faced by young women today as they navigate the sexual landscape and how they are affected by society and its attitudes towards female sexuality. Girls & Sex is particularly helpful for parents as they can use it to understand their daughters’ sexuality and open up channels of communication.

Buy it here.


Slut Ever

Karley Sciortino

Vogue columnist Karley Sciortino wants to reclaim the word ’slut’ and take away the negative connotations associated with the word. To her, a ‘slut’ is someone who ‘seeks out visceral experiences through sex’ without being ashamed of it. Part-memoir, part-manifesto, this is a first-person account of a woman who doesn’t believe in double standards and isn’t ashamed to have a frank discussion about her sex life. This book is bold and not for the faint-of-heart.

Buy it here.



Naomi Wolf

Wolf traces the coming-of-age stories of four women including herself to create a narrative around female sexuality. She highlights the mixed messages given to girls about what it means to become a woman. For example, on one hand, they are encouraged to deny their sexuality and, on the other hand, they are expected to focus on attracting men. Primarily though, this book is about understanding that you define your own sexuality as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to female sexuality. This book is particularly helpful for teenagers and their parents.

Buy it here.


Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters–And How to Get It

Laurie Mintz

Dr. Mintz, a psychology professor and human sexuality expert, combines research from fields like linguistics and biology, amongst others, to analyse female orgasm. According to her, we’ve got sex wrong as women orgasm differently from men. She pushes for equal-opportunity orgasms and the book even has a section on proven techniques for cliterate sex. We love that there is a chapter for men designed to blow some myths about sex.

Buy it here.


F*cked: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed

Krystyna Hutchinson, Corinne Fisher

Hutchinson and Fisher are hosts of the popular podcast- ‘Guys We Fucked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast’. In this book, they bring the conversations from their podcast to the page and discuss the double standards and the stigma around sex. This book will not mollycoddle you as they don’t believe in throwing you a pity party. Instead, they will teach you how to get over shame and stop shaming, why you should stop faking orgasms, and that you are fine all by yourself. As the blurb says, “This is the book Bridget Jones should’ve read instead of writing that sh*tty diary in the first place.”

Buy it here.


The Story Of V: Opening Pandora’s Box

Catherine Blackledge

This fascinating read will help you understand the vagina and how magical an organ it is. Blackledge’s research traces the history of the vagina and how it has been conceived, misconceived and misrepresented. It covers sexuality in different cultures and the role of the vagina in both sexual pleasure and reproduction. Amongst other things, you will learn that men have a clitoris and that women have a prostate, and that women should never use a product with nonoxynol-9 in it.

Buy it here.


What Do Women Want

Daniel Bergner

Daniel Bergner’s book will turn all your notions about female sexuality on their head. Based on extensive research and interviews with everyone from scientists to sexologists to the everyday woman, Bergner’s book raises hairy questions about how female sexuality is wired and on female lust. Read this book to find out if women really crave intimacy and emotional connection, if they are actually more sexually aggressive than their male counterparts and whether women are naturally more promiscuous.

Buy it here.

Devanshi has been reading ever since she can remember. What started off as an obsession with Enid Blyton, slowly morphed into a love for mystery and fantasy. Even her choice of career as a lawyer was heavily influenced by the works of Erle Stanley Gardner and John Grisham. After quitting law, and while backpacking around India, she read books on entrepreneurship, taught herself web design and delved into social media marketing. She doesn’t go anywhere without a book.

She is the founding editor of The Curious Reader. Read her articles here.