Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life (Paperback)
A leading expert on human sexuality and author of the blog Sex and Psychology offers an unprecedented look at sexual fantasy based on the most comprehensive, scientific survey ever undertaken.
What do Americans really want when it comes to sex? And is it possible for us to get what we want? Justin J. Lehmiller, one of the country's leading experts on human sexuality and author of the popular blog Sex and Psychology, has made it his career's ambition to answer these questions. He recently concluded the largest and most comprehensive scientific survey of Americans' sexual fantasies ever undertaken, a monumental two-year study involving more than 4,000 Americans from all walks of life, answering questions of unusual scope.
Based on this study, Tell Me What You Want offers an unprecedented look into our fantasy worlds and what they reveal about us. It helps readers to better understand their own sexual desires and how to attain them within their relationships, but also to appreciate why the desires of their partners may be so incredibly different.
If we only better understood the incredible diversity of human sexual desire and why this diversity exists in the first place, we would experience less distress, anxiety, and shame about our own sexual fantasies and better understand why our partners often have sexual proclivities that are so different from our own. Ultimately, this book will help readers to enhance their sex lives and to maintain more satisfying relationships and marriages in the future by breaking down barriers to discussing sexual fantasies and allowing them to become a part of readers' sexual realities.
About the Author
Dr. Justin J. Lehmiller is a social psychologist and one of the country's leading experts on human sexuality. He is currently the Director of the Social Psychology Program at Ball State University and a Faculty Affiliate of The Kinsey Institute. Formerly, he served on the faculty at Harvard University.
In addition to being an award-winning educator, Dr. Lehmiller is a prolific scholar who conducts research on sexual fantasy, casual sex, secret relationships, and safer-sex practices. He has authored dozens of scientific publications and is the author of the sexuality textbook The Psychology of Human Sexuality. Dr. Lehmiller is on the editorial boards of several prominent academic journals in the fields of relationships and sexuality, including the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, and he is an elected full member of the International Academy of Sex Research.
Dr. Lehmiller holds advanced degrees in psychology, including a Master of Science from Villanova University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.
"Not since Nancy Friday has anyone so comprehensively and confidently blown the lid off our deep and secret desires, and revealed the extent to which we humans are endlessly inventive, flexible sexual and social strategists."—Wednesday Martin, PhD, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Primates of Park Avenue and Untrue
"A penetrating, erotic X-ray into the hidden recesses of our sexual psyches. Illuminating and incisive, Lehmiller lays bare the gray matter of great sex."
—Ian Kerner, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of She Comes First
"Have a deep, dark sex fantasy that you've never shared with anyone? Turns out, you're not alone. Most people are afraid their sex fantasies are abnormal, but Justin Lehmiller's newest book reveals that understanding your erotic imaginings, and sharing them with your sex partner might be the best, healthiest thing you do all year. Tell Me What You Want educates, titillates, thrills and guides us down a marvelous, sexy path that ends in acceptance of those naughty secrets in the basements of our minds."
—David J. Ley, PhD, author of The Myth of Sex Addiction
"Lehmiller's smart, warm, sex-positive book breaks the toxic silence around our sexual fantasies. Reading it may be the best thing you ever do for your sex life, your relationships and your self-acceptance."—Geoffrey Miller, author of The Mating Mind, Spent, and Mate
"Lehmiller's groundbreaking book points to an alarming divide between the conversations we're having about sex and the conversation we should be having about sex. It provides the nudge we need to change the conversation--and, in doing so, to live healthier, hotter lives."—Eli J. Finkel, Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University
"Tell Me What You Want provides a scientifically grounded, non-judgmental assessment of where things stand in the sexual lives and fantasies of Americans. With an open-minded approach and fluid prose, this book is highly recommended for anyone looking for a road-map of where American sexuality is at the moment, and where many Americans would like to be going soon."—Christopher Ryan, PhD, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Sex at Dawn
"Sheds some light on the topic of fantasies, including who has them, how common they are and how they change over a person's lifetime."—Wall Street Journal
"A treasure trove of nuggets about the American sexual psyche...Engaging, provocative, and easy to read."—Dr. Michael Aaron's Psychology Today blog, "Standard Deviations"
"[An] illuminating book...Armed with research, [Dr. Lehmiller] describes our collective fantasies and helps make sense of what they might mean, tackling everything from how they're connected to personalities to how our sexual histories shape desires."—Goop
"If you've ever had a sexual fantasy and thought, 'Oh God, what's wrong with me?' a quick read of Tell Me What You Want...might ease your mind...Lehmiller isn't just putting out a compendium of our raciest thoughts; he tries to explain what those thoughts do for the health of our psyches...He gives concrete advice."
—New York Times Book Review
"The book we've all needed, even if we didn't know it...[A] barrier-smashing book...Whether you're interested in the world of sex research, or you just want to understand your own sex fantasies better, or you're looking for tips for communicating better with your partner, you'll enjoy and learn from Tell Me What You Want."—Naked at Our Age blog
"An excellent choice for readers wanting to know more about their own fantasies as well as those who are simply curious about American sexual desires in general."—Library Journal
"Offer[s] plenty of insight into the sexual thoughts we all have but often keep to ourselves."—CNN.com
"As Justin Lehmiller PhD explains so insightfully in his fascinating new book, Tell Me What You Want, most of us have lots of turn-ons that would definitely not earn the Good Housekeeping seal of approval."—Ari Tuickman's Psychology Today Blog, "Sex Matters"
"Lehmiller uses his book as a vehicle to explain how common some sexual fantasies are--not to mention fantasizing in general--and to help the reader better fulfill their own desires...Lehmiller's calm and logical approach to understanding sexuality and improving sexual satisfaction...is exemplified on nearly every page."—Of Sex and Love blog
"Attempts to dispel stereotypes, shed light on why so many of us imagine similar scenarios, and serve as a guide to helping us talk about what we desire."—Boston Globe
"A book that will be reassuring for therapists and patients alike...Lively...Valuable and enjoyable. The writing is clear, informal, and describes human sexuality in a recognizable fashion."