A Book Review – Great SEXPECTATIONS

We may be “sexperts” but our expertise is in what society is telling us we should want, and most of us have very little expertise in discovering and communicating what we actually want”. 

Sex is very much a taboo subject in society, though thankfully we’ve become better at addressing the fact that it’s purpose isn’t solely dedicated to baby-making, our ability to openly discuss the subject is still lacking. Despite the ‘no sex before marriage’ belief slowly becoming a thing of the past, sex is still perceived as a shameful act, and worst of all can take away the magic of becoming intimate with a partner or person. 

James Findlay and Gemma Cribb’s newly-released book, ‘Great Sexpectations’, was a first for me in terms of genre. Ironically, I’ve always avoided talk of all things sex-related and I’ve certainly always avoided reading about it. I think I speak for many when I say we, as a society, are very much a closed book when it comes to sexual matters. I’ve always perceived sex as a ‘sinful’ act that made me bad. And even typing this all out is completely out of my comfort zone. Everything I’ve always thought to be the ‘norm’ due to societal expectations placed upon me was completely torn down and thrown out the window by Findlay and Cribb. For the first time in my life, I’ve begun to perceive sex as an act of sometimes love, but always self-love. 

What stood out for me the most in this book was the lack of knowledge and understanding I had surrounding challenges anyone outside of the “heterosexual norm” faces in their sex lives. What’s worse is how much this is ignored within sex education. Of course, as a heterosexual, the basics of sex is not something I’ve ever had to consider or navigate alone for it was presented through the medium of sex education. 

The two touch on what is termed the “Relationship Escalator”, a set of steps that society has ingrained in us as stages of progression in a relationship. The “Relationship Escalator” is all well and good until you take a step back, e.g. moving out of a shared home with your partner to live on your own. 

The media has shaped the way in which we perceive the perfect body and, essentially, the sex we should be having rather than the sex we want. Dating apps have shaped the way we date, how we perceive the “perfect” body and what we think we should want. The expectations ingrained in us by society has led to us all striving towards certain ways and outcomes. Findlay and Cribb unravel sex as we know it, breaking down the barriers in which stop us from fully enjoying our sex lives.

Thank you to Trigger Publishing for gifting me this book. You can find ‘Great Sexpectations’ on Amazon here.

Ciao for now x

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

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