Jude Schweppe reviews the remarkable and revolutionary new book ‘The New Rules of Sex’ by Lauren Brim.
The New Rules of Sex by Lauren Brim is an important book. A very important book. It takes everything ‘society’ would have us believe about sex and how we should and shouldn’t be having it and blows it to smithereens, asking some extremely pertinent and thought-provoking questions in the process. And I urge every woman who has ever felt shame, guilt or confusion with regard to her sexuality to read it. Hell, read it even if you’re the most sexually liberated woman you know; you’ll more than likely find yourself nodding your head with a resounding ‘yep’ as you turn every page.
Brim has used her own rather painful experiences of sex and her sexuality as the thread that holds the book together, and she writes beautifully and very openly about various encounters and relationships she has had over the years – some which she obviously still cherishes and others that have clearly left a scar or two. She was brought up as a Christian and found this apparent conflict between the church and her own burgeoning sexuality both suffocating and confusing, and one of the many interesting chapters of the book deals with what exactly the bible tells us about sex.
Having never paid much attention to what the church taught me about sex, I actually found this research utterly fascinating and I think anyone who has struggled with their sexual identity as a result of a religious upbringing will be comforted by this part of the book. Brim also deals with historical attitudes to sex and how something as deeply unsexy as land and property ownership led to the necessary practice of monogamy. The research is thorough and touches on social history that I had never come across before, and what’s more it’s presented in such a way that you don’t feel like you’re having a history lesson, you’re simply discovering fascinating truths about how the human race has developed and evolved socially, and the often detrimental effect this has had on our attitudes to sex.
What I love most about this book is the fact that it articulates and clarifies so many things that I have felt about sex and my own sexuality, but have never quite understood. Brim has an in depth knowledge, gained through her own experience and exploration as well as extensive research, and this allied to her innate desire to educate women makes for powerful and enlightening reading. Having read this book I now appreciate that I am a sexual being, that my body is built for sex and it is as necessary for my emotional and physical health as air, food and water. I also understand that my sexual energy is a powerful force that drives everything in my life and is the spring from which my creativity bubbles forth. To deny it the nourishment it needs is to do myself a great disservice.
The New Rules of Sex poses many fascinating and though provoking questions about what our relationship to sex and our sexuality would be like if we decided to take control of our sex lives and live on our own terms, rather than on terms that have been imposed on us from another age. What would love look like if you could share it freely with as many people as you chose? How much happier would we be if we could explore all facets of our sexuality without shame or fear? What if we dared to re-write the rules? The prospect of living in a world with entirely new social norms is an exciting one.
Thank you, Lauren Brim for writing this book. Women everywhere need it.
Find the article originally at http://www.thescarletorchid.com/review/new-rules-of-sex/