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Women, Sex, Power, And Pleasure: Getting the Life (and Sex) You Want [Paperback]

Evelyn Resh

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Book Description

Feb. 7 2013
     Women are amazing. We climb to the highest levels in the business world, juggle our time between friends and family, and volunteer a helping hand when asked-all without seeming to break a sweat. But frequently what hides beneath that ultra-competent exterior is someone screaming out for change.      In 'Women, Sex, Power, and Pleasure', sexuality counselor and nurse-midwife Evelyn Resh focuses on helping you create the life and sex life you always hoped for by looking at your relationship to pleasure in general. With a refreshing and disarming sense of humor, she explores the importance of all types of pleasures-from a simple coffee break to great sex-and shows that without having these experiences on a regular basis, life feels empty and overall health suffers.      In her quest to explain why so many women's lives are barren of such pleasure, Resh lays out six attributes-self-esteem, physical health, spiritual satisfaction, creativity, resilience, and compassion-that are essential to accessing and prioritizing pleasure. When these six attributes are strong and balanced, women feel powerful and deserving of pleasure in all its forms. However, when even one is weak, they turn away from pleasure-especiallysex.      With chapters structured around some of the most common reasons she's heard for avoiding sex in her practice-I Feel Nothing, Menopause Is Killing Me, I'm Too Busy!, I'm Too Fat to Have Sex-she sheds light on the imbalances that result in lives devoid of sexual desire and activity. With practical guidance, self-assessment questions, and stories from her practice and personal life, Resh explains how you can regain your emotional wellnessand live a powerful life that includes a steady relationship with pleasure and sexual satisfaction.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House (Feb. 7 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401936318
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401936310
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #356,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Evelyn Resh , MPH, CNM, is a certified sexuality counselor with The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. She is also a certified nurse-midwife and has been in practice for more than 20 years. Resh holds a Master of Public Health degree and undergraduate degrees in nursing, psychology, and medical anthropology. She draws from her experience as a midwife and sexuality counselor in her integrative approach to women's health. Resh lectures frequently across thecountry to professional and lay audiences on the topics of women's health and sexual satisfaction. She is especially known for her warm, lively, and good-humored approach to her subject matter and her ability to make others feel comfortable with hard-to-discuss topics. Website: www.evelynresh.com

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  74 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and very insightful March 27 2013
By Mary Lavers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I don't normally read a lot of self-help books. Well, unless you count celebrity memoirs and cookbooks as "self-help." No? Okay, then I don't read a lot of self-help. So I guess I was expecting something different, like fluffy affirmations to "be your authentic self" or "find your inner sparkly vampire goddess" or something. That last one might have been from Fifty Shades of Grey (which is NOT a self-help book, FYI). But I was surprised by how straight forward, intelligent, relatable and, well, helpful this book was. With chapters like "I'm Too Fat to Have Sex" and "Becoming Your Own Activist" I felt author Evelyn Resh was almost speaking to me personally. How did she know I felt that way? How did she know this was just what I needed to hear? I guess it's partly because she's a smart, feminist professional who knows what she's talking about, and partly because a LOT of women feel just this way. I almost hate to admit it, but I almost cried when I read some parts of this book, they were so familiar.

It's not an easy thing to talk honestly about our sexuality, particularly for women--like me--who are not twenty-five, childless and supremely confident in our sexual expression anymore. There are a lot of reasons why things change as we get older and our lives get more complicated, but that doesn't make it easier to discuss. So I definitely see the value of books that help broach those subjects. I'm just so glad to have found a book that actually discusses women's sexuality in an intelligent and helpful manner, rather than one that condescends, coddles or infantilizes the reader by talking about "the girls," "your flower" or, ugh, "your cookie."

Evelyn Resh's book is no-nonsense and sincere. Even if you can't personally relate to every thing she says (I'm not at menopause age myself, so the chapter on menopause was, for me, still just theoretical) at least you won't feel insulted by how she says it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from Hay House for review purposes. I was not obliged to write a favourable review. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Women, Sex, Power, and Pleasure by Evelyn Resh Feb. 27 2013
By Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is my review of Women, Sex, Power, and Pleasure by Evelyn Resh. I acknowledge that I received this book free from Hay House Publishing to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

Women, Sex, Power, and Pleasure by Evelyn Resh is a refreshing read along the same lines as Barbara Carrellas' Ecstasy Is Necessary. The author Evelyn Resh explores women's sexuality as a whole and possible causes for common issues such as lack of desire or dissatisfaction.

The key that the author has found in lack of desire in women otherwise able to enjoy a satisfying sex life ties into a lack of pleasure. Often a lack of pleasure in their lives overall, or at least not enough of it. What I found to be most helpful, in addition to examples of how to recapture pleasure in our own lives, was the real life accounts of clients that she has counseled in her practice.

Unlike many similar books I have read in the past on this very subject, Women, Sex, Power, and Pleasure does not suffer from a heteronormative perspective of women's sexuality. In fact, Evelyn Resh is a bisexual in a long-term same-sex relationship. She is also a regular who enjoys her full-figured body and a satisfying sex life, all the while experiencing the same pitfalls to pleasure that we all do.

The only very small annoyance I had was the author's mention of being a "midwife and sexuality counselor" numerous times. However, once I accepted its presence and considered the chapters could be conceivably read stand-alone, I noticed it much less. It does not detract from the quality or the message of the book.

A frank and open conversation about women and their sexuality needs to be had in American society. It is authors like Evelyn Resh with books like Women, Sex, Power, and Pleasure which may just be the catalyst for such discussions to occur.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasure begets pleaure-this book is a gem!!! March 27 2013
By Renee Peterson Trudeau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Evelyn lovingly and compassionately guides the reader to the truth that not only is pleasure our birthright, it's essential to our emotional well-being (on every level)! Many of us are learning to practice self-care and understand how important nurturing ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually is to a life of joy and connection but the missing ingredient for many of us (as Evelyn points out) is PLEASURE! This funny, accessible, enjoyable book is next to my bed right now and even though I've finished reading it, I want the daily reminder that pleasure begets pleasure and that my sexual well-being is not a "side dish"-it's crucial to feeling whole, alive and vibrant on every level. Thank you so much for this gem of a book-I'm buying a copy for all the women in my life!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The bottom line is the woman's opinion of herself" May 26 2013
By Linda Painchaud-Steinman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The quote which is the title of this review is from page 56 of Women, Sex, Power and Pleasure. In context, the author uses the quote primarily to speak about women's body images if they are struggling with overweight or weight issues of any kind.

However, as I read from beginning to end of the book, I found the quote tied directly to the thesis of the book, (which the author states on page 147, is: "...pleasure begets pleasure...which includes feeling self-assured and resilient even where sexuality is concerned."

Put simply, the author asks women to examine their self-image, to ponder whether or not they feel they DESERVE pleasure (in life and sex), and to ask themselves what they are willing to do, learn, or un-learn in order to experience that pleasure and power.

At the end of each chapter, the author includes a short list of questions which will hopefully help the reader to discover her true feelings about self-image, being deserving of pleasure, etc.

Evelyn Resh offers up many personal anecdotes throughout the book, as well as numerous (brief) case studies of clients she has worked with.

On page 59, Resh tells the reader that for people to be able to manage their problems, they "need to be reacquainted with the facts of their situation and confronted head on with their negative and false thinking."

I think that a thoughtful reader, with the help of this book, will be able to do a self-confrontation, and at least begin to dispel any false thinking that is keeping her from the pleasure (sex included) she is seeking in life.

I ended up rating the book four stars instead of five for two reasons:

First, there are no concrete "prescriptions" in the book that women can use to "fix" their ailing sex-lives. (It is all about self-study and thinking your way out of the problem.)

Second, the book weighs a little heavily on sexual problems being the woman's responsibility to fix. Example, question 7 from page 153: "Am I willing to learn more about how men's brains actually work so I can better understand the differences between us?" (Granted, this is a book FOR women readers, but a suggestion or two more for what MEN can do would make it easier to share this book with a husband/lover/partner.)

Except for those two small quibbles, I think the book can be a useful starting point for women who are looking to improve the overall quality of their sex lives, and life in general.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reassuring, empowering April 24 2013
By Modern Blue Argonaut - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I don't normally like to use cliches but I have to say with this book, "you're preaching to the choir" but it wasn't always so. In my twenties I never felt secure in my sexuality, I always felt someone was prettier, more well connected, and more interesting than myself. Then in my thirties I embraced motherhood with all I had. I was super mom with home cooked meals, sleep over parties, chocolate chip pancakes on Sunday, beautiful home, the best dressed kids, etc. I ensured everyone else had pleasure to compensate for my own insecurities.

Then my forties hit... I started taking care of myself, enjoying sex, enjoying simple pleasures like seeing a movie I wanted to see, wearing beautiful clothes, driving hot cars, especially my black Corvette and black Mercedes. Guess what.. this book is for me, I just wish I had discovered it twenty years ago. I have a friend who tells me he loves his wife, he's been married for two decades and he has to literally beg her for sex. She NEEDS this book. He still desires her but she has issues that are addressed in this book. The author points out that men don't have the same issues with deriving pleasure, whether it's from food, sex, or just relaxing. They know how to do that (at least the majority I know) but women.. we try to hard, we get stretch marks from having children, we get cellulite, our hormones act up. Women, Please read this book. I literally read it in one sitting and found myself nodding my head yes again and again. This author conveys a lot of wisdom in a very easy to read style.

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