I’m so worried for our friends in publishing.

I mean, yikers. Last year – despite romance still selling well -- thousands of jobs were 86d in the biz. Today, everybody from CEO to the guy who mails advance-reading copies is on razor’s edge and overworked. To top it off, industry folks are scrambling to figure how e-pub’ll affect their prospects for continued employment – as well as the future of what some 20/20 hindsighters seem now to consider Gutenberg’s Folly.

Who can possibly continue to function healthily in the long term under these kinds of stressors and hope to establish any meaningful quality of life?

Nobody’s gonna’ give me an award for this. But sometime in the future – long after folks have ceased to be embarrassed by the fact that they even cared what Apple was going to call their e-reader – the name Michelle Buonfiglio will be uttered with hushed reverence.  For I will be remembered as the woman who single-handedly, as it were, saved the sex lives of overly frazzled and underappreciated publishing-industry members everywhere.

Oh, don’t thank me yet. Wait until after you’ve read and lived large w/in your relationship, “Great Sex for Hard Times  ,” by sex educator and coach, Kim Switnicki. This refreshingly playful, how-to-have-sexy-fun book is a light, kind of sweet  -- yet, wowza, absolutely thorough – read full of totally not intimidating ways to increase sexual/emotional intimacy within your committed relationship. This, says Switnicki, leads to better and even great sex that reduces all kinds of stress, which causes one to feel more confident in one’s self, one’s life and, eventually, perhaps even the state of e-pub.

Well, Switnicki doesn’t predict the latter, but considering this is the best, most fun-‘n-easy-to-ingest book of its ilk I’ve read, I’m gonna’ admit I’m feeling a lot more clearheaded about pretty much all things digital these days. And Switnicki’s easy-on-the-eye-and-any-body position illustrations, literal and figurative recipes for pleasure – and cost effective solutions for sexy toys and at-home getaways – make this a book just right in a climate that’s got us all tied up in knots.

Switnicki considers freeing the body and mind for more joyful sex not only makes for more productive work time, it also helps one feel more open to emotional intimacy w/family members and in other relationships.  And in addition to health benefits of more and better sex which include lowered anxiety levels are other sexually induced physiological occurrences such as release of the relaxants oxytocin and endorphins, the lowering of blood pressure, increased blood flow to the brain and more.  And in a glorious, victorious cycle, improved health generally begets increased libido.

You don’t have to go any farther than Unabashedly Bookish or Heart to Heart to score anecdotal evidence of what romance readers long have known: The right book can help one embrace sexuality, and allow sexual intimacy to blossom in a committed relationship. It’s only fair that we share that secret with our friends in the industry that makes that possible for us in spades.

Why would you buy or pass by this book? Do you agree/disagree with Switnicki’s assertions?  How is the current economy affecting your level of stress? What are you doing to combat it?

Michelle Buonfiglio is an advocate for romance authors, readers and the industry. She writes daily about romance fiction at BN.com's Heart to Heart and RomanceBuyTheBook.com.  Catch all her weekly Unabashedly Bookish posts here.


by Author MonicaBurns on ‎01-12-2010 04:21 PM

Hi Queen Bella. This book just got added to my cart. When you write sex in a book, coming up with new ideas is critical to keeping the sex scene fresh. So I'm eager to read the book.


I would agree to some degree that a happy sex life CAN make people happier. If one feel loved, one is happier.


Current economy is a major stressor. No sooner do I get one bill down, than gas prices go up, which drives up food prices and other staples. I'm terrified to find out what my gas bill is going to be for Jan with the major cold snap. *sigh* Dealing with it....that I'm not so good with. I just keep on working. I figure if I keep my days full with work, exercise and small bits of leisure activities, I'll get through it. I can't remember things ever having been so tight in our house before. But I'm convinced it will get better. It has too. Hope is the next best thing to laughter in my book. *grin*

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎01-12-2010 04:52 PM

You are really my hero(ine) Michelle, who else would recommend a sex how to book for hard times, my question is. Does it come with pictures? ;-)

I can't straighten out the economy, the industry, heck I have trouble straightening my pantyhose properly, so I'll just relax and take some one else's advice.


by Moderator becke_davis on ‎01-12-2010 05:09 PM

I'm thinking, I'm thinking. My husband already raised his eyebrows when he saw me reading Mary Roach's BONK: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. I mean, he's gotten used to the bare-chested covers (male ones, *cough*), but the book you wrote about might just push him over the edge. Or, you know, it might not!


Bonk by Mary Roach: Book Cover




From Barnes & Noble

The New Yorker called Mary Roach "the funniest science writer in the country," a strange accolade perhaps for someone best known for books on death and its aftermath. With this book, the author of Stiff and Spook finds a topic guaranteed to make us giggle: sex. Bonk leads us on a zestful romp through the scientific study of lust, ecstasy, and the co-mingling of genitalia. Roach shows that the apparently tireless work of sex researchers often skirts some very funny boundaries.

From the Publisher


The study of sexual physiology-what happens, and why, and how to make it happen better-has been a paying career or a diverting sideline for scientists as far-ranging as Leonardo da Vinci and James Watson. The research has taken place behind the closed doors of laboratories, brothels, MRI centers, pig farms, sex-toy R&D labs, and Alfred Kinsey's attic.Mary Roach, 'the funniest science writer in the country" (Burkhard Bilger of The New Yorker), devoted the past two years to stepping behind those doors. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Why doesn't Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? In Bonk, Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm, two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth, can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to slowly make the bedroom a more satisfying place.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎01-12-2010 05:56 PM

Becke, then does he reprimand you in that great English Accent, you bad girl you.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-12-2010 06:52 PM

I think you'll enjoy the down-to-earth quality of this book, Monica, and, especially, its attention to increasing sexual intimacy and enjoyment w/in committed relationships.  As lovers of erom, we certainly dig the idea of women learning how to have great sex -- and to be responsible for their pleasure -- with whom and when/wherever they'd like. But the HEA partnership fan in real life will appreciate Switnicki's empathy for a woman's defining her needs, and helping her partner feel comfortable in his role.  She suggests super-simple ways partners help ea other become more playful and confident.  And it's clear she understands not every partner steps up to the plate to try new things just because the other's looking for things to improve.

I could see you looking at this book and translating some of her advice into historical context! 

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-12-2010 07:02 PM

Oh, and as you say, Switnicki also says that sex doesn't make a marriage, but while it's possible, it certainly can strengthen and enrich it, while opening avenues of emo intimacy.


Deb, you're in luck! As I mentioned, the illustrations are awesome!  Switnicki has terrific depictions of positions and lists each with symbols that help you choose ones which make sense for you based on your comfort w/variables like how greatly they induce intimacy, how deeply they encourage penetration, levels of dfficulty and even 'fun factor!'  There are other variables that help partners learn about positions that are more comfortable if they're concerned w/being "in control"/not vulnerable or have various body types. 


Switnicki's also concerned with sex being 'healthy' and consensual for both partners, and also intersperses real-life stories of women learning to improve their sexualities/sexual intimacy.  This is a very positive/joyful book.


It also touches on many adventurous topics re sexuality, even if only briefly.  Switnicki gives fair warning, but mostly the book's very gentle, yet thorough.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-12-2010 07:06 PM

I've been dying to read that, becke!  Your husbands a science guy; he should like that. : )  Switnicki refers briefly to studies in her book, but mostly gets on to the meatier fun stuff. Still, there have been so many fascinating, helpful studies done re sexuality and the physiology of it.  I love the recent studies of how brain chemistry is linked to women's ability to orgasm, and how fantasy actually helps flip a switch for women and helps them move toward and into orgasm.  Dr Ian Kerner (She Comes First) used to be my fave sex expert, but now I think Kim Switnicki may become part of my dynamic duo of fave sex advice deities.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎01-12-2010 07:53 PM

Okay, I'm sold. I'll order it.

by Sunltcloud on ‎01-12-2010 07:55 PM

But Michelle, why is Great Sex for Hard Times not available as ebook??? Wouldn't revised positioning coupled with new technology be a good recipe for success for those who fear epublishing? Add to this a bit of rearranging of titles and organizing of book cases, and you get my idea of a nookie-nook-nook for last century's publishers.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-13-2010 08:40 AM

LOL, sunlitcloud!  I believe many in the industry will find your thoughts very, um, stimulating. and I'll check w/the publisher on the ebook ish w/this one...

by KimSwitnicki on ‎01-13-2010 01:51 PM

Thanks, Michelle, for your lovely words and encouragement for the ladies to explore and expand their sensual horizons. I'm a huge fan of trying new things to spice things up and they don't need to be complicated or even expensive. Something as simple as making love in the usual way perhaps at the end of the bed, on the kitchen floor (with pillows) or on the living room couch can be enough to add some 'spice' to your lovemaking recipe. If you wish to find out more about me or the book, go to www.greatsexforhardtimes.com or www.kimswitnicki.com

Here's to Great Sex! 

by Joan_P on ‎01-13-2010 07:00 PM

Here! Here! To Great Sex!

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎01-14-2010 09:12 AM

Here Here!!!!

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