A Love & Sex Forever Guide
A groundbreaking, taboo-smashing book for every lesbian couple who has already tied the knot or is getting ready to walk down the aisle.
Now that lesbian couples are stepping into full recognition by culture and society, there is more pressure to succeed as a couple – and potentially a family. There is also the invitation to fill the age-old institution with a new spirit and new forms of living.
Until now, nobody has told lesbian couples how to succeed in their marriage. Nobody has yet told them how to keep sex and romance alive “until death do you part.” Lesbian Marriage: A Sex Survival Kit is a life-changer, giving couples the tools they need to build and maintain a passionate, fulfilling marriage.
Direct, accessible, and entirely candid In this book, couple Kim Chernin and Renate Stendhal take on the subject of keeping sex alive in a long-term, committed relationship—a complex endeavor at best—and somehow manage to make it seem entirely achievable. Chernin and Stendhal’s tone in Lesbian Marriage: A Sex Survival Kit is sometimes thoughtful (“maybe what we have humorously called ‘lesbian bed death’ stands for a general condition”) and sometimes humorous (“Are you among those who approach love making like a lusty bear, pawing and grunting happily and not uttering a word?”), but always direct, accessible, and entirely candid. The way they’ve structured the book—allowing women to speak for themselves in a casual, conversational way rather than telling their interviewees’ stories on their behalves—makes it fun, refreshingly varied read; the tools they offer to help readers take on the twelve “Challenges” they examine, meanwhile, are spot-on. Every lesbian couple—perhaps every couple, period—should have this straight-shooting guide on their shelf. Brooke Warner, She Writes Press
Helpful, but fortunately no self-help book! I am not addicted to self-help books. They always have easy answers for everything that never has an easy answer. “Lesbian Marriage” does not pretend it’s easy to have a good relationship or marriage, but it makes you think and it gives you new thoughts. It wakes you up, you see yourself and laugh or cry. And it says, you can do it! You can change! You can have the sex you want, but you can also have no sex at all. You can do a lot of very basic things that are enormously effective for love and closeness and tenderness. Just check up on your typical behaviors and attitudes: here are the lists of what to do and not to do. I have already tried it with “grudges and bed death”, and that was a revelation. I can really recommend this book. Kirsten
Surprisingly relatable… I picked this book up for my sister for a birthday/wedding present a few days ago and after looking through the first few pages, I found myself sitting down, tea in hand blazing through and wanting to read what came next! This is a charming little book with funny pictures, surprising wit, but most importantly, what seems to be insightful, relevant commentary on sex—both from a universal and lesbian approach. As a man, I can’t exactly vouch for its accuracy in the bedroom, but as a spouse myself, there are lessons here that transcend the gender/sexual orientation gap and speak truth as to what it’s like being married and finding a balance between work, play, and sex in the 21st century. It can be a tricky, surprisingly complex subject for any married couple but Stendhal and Chernin examine these issues with refreshing humor and relatable experiences which makes the book easy to read and even easier to apply to your own sex life right away. Lesbian Marriage: A Sex Survival Kit is a thoroughly entertaining and illuminating read–I can’t wait for my sister to put it to good use! Nick Sherman
Metrosexual message for everyone Seems we can all learn something from lesbians, at least in this book that doesn’t preach. No need for Sunday sermons, but humor, understated knowledge, jokes, and common sense whether you marry or not. And no sex terror! Bed death for everyone, and then? Read the book and you know. My girlfriend told me the authors had given some interview and said they follow their own advice “most of the time….” That did it for me. I wish such a book was in German, too. In Germany we need humor like that! Schwabylon
Communication is the ticket! Talking is communication, loving is communication, sex is communication. This book makes it abundantly clear. Communication is what I teach in my coaching and mediation business. Everyone has to learn it and perfect it. It isn’t easy, especially when tensions rise, and they mostly rise because of verbal (and nonverbal) disagreements. Couples have a good chance to exercise over time and practice. This clever book gives them a solid, kind, and helpful hand Doris, Coach
More subversive than title suggests I’m not gung-ho about lesbian marriage but had been a big fan of other books by Chernin and Stendhal so thought this one was worth a peek. My peek quickly morphed into a read-through of the whole book. It’s very hard to stop once you start. The bulk of the book consists of accounts of listening sessions with lesbian couples they have counseled in their many years as therapists, as well as candid, riveting narrative interludes from their own life as a couple. In their 28 years together Renate and Kim have encountered significant challenges, including a year and a half in which one of them was passionately—and actively—in love and lust with someone else. So they have some hard-earned wisdom to share here. And they too have lots of wariness towards what they call “the marriage coffin”—and also for that matter towards sex: “it flares up, slips away, falls asleep, gets bored. . .” The deep message of the book is that radical honesty is what keeps a relationship whole and alive. No pressure is exerted on couples to be sexual—which in a sex-obsessed culture, could be oppressive. Instead the overall intention is to help us “recover the body’s lost capacity for pleasure, “ which means being open to a multitude of ways of expressing affection and intimacy. In all these ways the book’s audience is wider and its message more subversive than its title suggests. Lise Weil, Goddard College
I absolutely love this book!! “I love the wit, fun and humor. I highly recommend this book for all lesbian couples. I couldn’t put it down!! Their writing is a captivating mix of literature and common sense and comes right out of their long, successful relationship. They say they take their own advice, ‘most of the time.’ Just the right note.” Lynn Patrick, musician
An easy read with deceptively profound insights How lucky for lesbian couples (in fact all couples, no matter your persuasion) that Kim and Renate have spent 28 years together researching the “how to” of radical honesty (telling each other the truth with empathy and caring) and its impact on their relationship. Who knew that radical honesty could prove to have such incredible aphrodisiac effects on a relationship? This book is an easy read with deceptively profound insights. Although this is not a Kama Sutra of lesbian love, it offers twelve new emotional positions that will definitely enhance your sex life and build deep emotional intimacy. Judith Cohen, Coach
Profound, compassionate, fun to read This little book is truly a gem. Despite its diminutive size, it trumps many other publications on marriage and romantic partnerships because it cuts to the chase tackling the key issues. The authors’ extensive professional knowledge of the subject, combined with openly sharing their personal experiences, makes their approach compelling and memorable. Their succinct, lucid writing sparkles with playful humor–a joy to read–and how can one forget the zany images that dance through the pages! The book is especially important because, although it focuses on lesbian relationships, it is applicable to GBT and heterosexual ones as well. Regardless of a couple’s sexual orientation, making monogamy a success requires a great deal of sensitivity, flexibility, mutual respect, and patience. And healthy doses of humor and laughter. It is always work in progress, but the rewards can be great. What a valuable message to readers! Ari
Bravo! The book flows so easily it is almost deceptive. Then WHAM a wonderful thought or piece of advice that needs to be framed above a couple’s bed. Along with one of the cartoon drawings that keeps it light. The twelve challenges apply to any relationship, not just lesbian. For me the main message is PERMISSION: permission to allow feelings, to feel feelings and to express feelings. And to realize your truth is the first step on the path to intimacy. As a therapist, I plan to share this book with patients straight, gay and bi and trans. So many nuggets wrapped in a wonderfully accessible style. Claire Scott Rubin, MFT
Great and Useful and Fun! I’m a heterosexual woman in a long term relationship, and I found Kim and Renate’s book an amazing refresher. It takes love and dedication to keep things alive, and in this easy to use book are the ingredients you’ll need–like the `toolkit’ Do’s & Don’ts that read like a romp through the joys (and pitfalls) of spending one’s life with another person. Believe me, you will relate, and everyone’s relationship can benefit from reading this book. And, the illustrations are great… Gail Reitano