Rekindling Desire: A Step-by-Step Program to Help Low-Sex and No-Sex Marriages

rekindling desireRekindling Desire: A Step-by-Step Program to Help Low-Sex and No-Sex Marriages
By Barry and Emily McCarthy. Brunner-Routledge (2003) 215 pages
Reviewed by: Reneé Colclough Hinson

The title of this book caught my eye. I thought it might be a fitting book review to include in our early summer newsletter issue on “Bringing Back the Passion and Fun.”

What I found was a highly clinical manual for dealing with sexual desire and sexual activity problems. I barely made it through the first third, it was so dry and technical – not at all the “fun reading” we need for summer. But I could see that this book might be just what is needed for the couple who is experiencing difficulty, who want to manage that difficulty in the private comfort of their own home without professional help. Clinicians might also find it a helpful resource for dealing with individuals or couples.

The second third of the book read better – and seemed much more in line with what Better Marriages  folks are used to seeing reviewed– that is the quality of the sexual relationship as it starts with emotional intimacy and mutual understanding. Strategies for fostering change in sexual satisfaction included such things as: nurturing anticipation as a bridge to desire, fostering emotional intimacy, including more non-demand pleasuring and making the sexual scenarios special. Once low-sex/no-sex couples get themselves back on track with their sexual activity/satisfaction, the last third of the book is devoted to “keeping the home fires burning.” Each chapter ends with a fictional couple example, then goes on with an extensive set of questions and discussion topics for use at home – not the traditional Better Marriages “list three things,” but five-six paragraphs of essay questions and homework assignments. Probably not the best “light summer reading,” but may be just right for the couple looking for precisely this resource