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I'd Rather Eat Chocolate -- Learning to Love My Low Libido -- Book Review

First Book by Author

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Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido
by Joan Sewell
Publisher: Broadway, 2007.

Joan Sewell, the author of I'd Rather Eat Chocolate, worked as a punch-press operator and has a master's degree in philosophy. She had been married for eight years when I'd Rather Eat Chocolate, her first book, was published.

Author's Conclusions

Sewell's frank book is about her low libido, her distaste for sex, and her sense of dread, repulsion, and sense of personal invasion when it comes to sex. This memoir chronicles her research concerning low sex libido in women, the impact on her marriage, and her conclusion that she is not dysfunctional, inhibited, repressed, inadequate, or a problem to be solved.

Going against what experts have to say about gender sexuality, Joan Sewell believes men are more interested in sex than women are and that there is a biological difference in the sex drives of men and women.

What Joan and Her Husband Tried That Didn't Work

  • Sex therapy.
  • Giving sex as a gift.
  • Thinking of sex as a spiritual act.
  • Thinking naughty thoughts.
  • Simulating lust.
  • Having quickies.
  • Wearing sexy lingerie.
  • Being spontaneous.
  • Faking it.
  • Trying for better orgasms.
  • Having a platonic relationship.
(page 150)

What Finally Worked for Joan and Her Husband

  • Giving her total control over their sex life.
  • Not worrying about orgasms.
  • Agreeing to stop when she wanted.
  • Scheduled regular date nights.
  • Had honest communication about their sexual desires.
  • Joan: "Having a positive attitude toward sex was key to my success... I mean that when sex was no longer a chore, I could approach it positively, without dread." (page 178)

Joan Sewell Quotes

"I wish it wasn't the case that women are automatically considered the deviants for wanting less sex. I'm sick of sucking up to societal expectations that make me doubt if my nature is natural!" (page 125)

"Having unwanted sex will poison a marriage. You feel used in the most intimate way possible." (page 161)

"I was thinking, well, if so many tens of millions of women -— estimated -— are having problems, and they’re saying that’s nearly half, what is the basis for normality? What is the definition of dysfunction? And what standards are we using?"
Source: Sara Liptka, TheAtlantic.com, "Not Tonight, Dear", February 6, 2007.

"So the question is, are my husband's sexual needs going to take a backseat to my bodily autonomy? You bet. --- Kip benefits because he has a genuinely happy sex partner. There's no resentment, no guilt, no mental tricks I have to play on myself or him. There's compromise, but certainly not the kind most sexperts advise."
Source: Powells.com, "Q&A with Author"

The Bottom Line -- This is Not a Self-Help Book

I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido may be an affirmation for women who have a low libido and who consider their low libido shameful and something to hide, but it is not a self-help manual.

Unless a woman's husband is willing to allow her to be in control and call all the shots when it comes to their sex life, I don't think this book will give much hope to couples who have different sex drives.

Couples looking for a book that has suggestions for making a low-libido/high-libido marriage successful should read Sex Starved Marriage.

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