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How to Think More About Sex (The School of…
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How to Think More About Sex (The School of Life) (edition 2012)

by Alain de Botton

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1052114,970 (3.11)1
Member:Poleris
Title:How to Think More About Sex (The School of Life)
Authors:Alain de Botton
Info:Picador (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:time:kites, phl:botton, phl:love

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How to Think More about Sex by Alain De Botton

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33) How to Think More About Sex – Alain de Botton (9/10) A book about the old in & out I read because I enjoyed a collection of his essays so much. His argument is that sex manuals shouldn’t be talking about the psychical act, but more the sociological pressures that cause us to have sexual disfunctions. The chapters on pornography & adultery are paerticularly good. He is an incredibly funny, whilst still thought provoking writer. And a pessimist – his message is – just lower your sights, that’s how to make life less shitty. The end quotation is that without sex “We would be so much less well acquainted with agony, and therefore so much crueler and less ready to laugh at ourselves”, which seems entirely appropriate. ( )
  marek2010 | Apr 22, 2013 |
Not very surprising, but still mildly interesting. I am a big Alain de Botton fan, but this is not one of my favourites. ( )
  flydodofly | Feb 17, 2013 |
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The School of Life series is in somewhat more capable hands when its founder takes the reins. But de Botton’s latest contribution, How to Think More About Sex, brings out his worst tendencies: a tone of wry knowingness that skirts humour without ever actually being funny. The entire introduction is composed of sub-Wildean half-witticisms. On the liberation of human sexuality during the twentieth century: “Sex came to be perceived as a useful, refreshing and physically reviving pastime, a little like tennis.”

Then there is the relentless urge to lean on those who’ve proved themselves more “interesting.” To explain how sex declines within marriage de Botton writes, “repudiation of lovemaking [by a married couple] may thus be likened to a mountain climber’s or a runner’s not wishing to luxuriate in the lyricism and hypnotic grandeur of a great poem, perhaps by Walt Whitman or Tennyson, just before scaling a peak or starting a marathon.” Everything is wrong here, the logic, the assumptions, the contortions to mention Whitman and Tennyson. Not even a quote, just a shout-out to ensure that we are aware of every last volume on the author’s bookshelf.
 
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It is rare to get through this life without feeling - generally with a degree of secret agony, perhaps at the end of a relationship, or as we lie in bed frustrated next to our partner, unable to go to sleep - that we are somehow a bit odd about sex.
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In a world in which fake enthusiasms are rife, in which it is often hard to tell whether people really like us or whether they are being kind to us merely out of a sense of duty, the wet vagina and the stuff penis function as unambiguous agents of sincerity.
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In this rigorous and supremely honest book Alain de Botton helps us navigate the intimate and exciting – yet often confusing and difficult – experience that is sex. Few of us tend to feel we’re entirely normal when it comes to sex, and what we’re supposed to be feeling rarely matches up with the reality. This book argues that 21st-century sex is ultimately fated to be a balancing act between love and desire, and adventure and commitment. Covering topics that include lust, fetishism, adultery and pornography, Alain de Botton frankly articulates the dilemmas of modern sexuality, offering insights and consolation to help us think more deeply and wisely about the sex we are, or aren’t, having.
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Sex is the most intimately human experience there is. It can also be the most confusing. Our desire to be together conflicts with our desire to avoid vulnerability and appear 'normal', leaving us detached, desensitised or embarrassed

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