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To understand Richardson’s book, understand that the entire body of work she creates with her husband focuses solely on heterosexual couples. What this book advocates falls strictly within heteronormative, monogamous relationships. While unable to speculate on how to alter the mechanics of what Richardson recommends for couples that fall outside of what she writes for, it may well be possible for imaginative, open-minded individual determined to benefit from Slow Sex to adjust the practices to suit their own lives.

Slow Sex removes orgasm as the main impetus for coupling in favor of conjoining partners in a more passive coital process. The concept allows both partners to slow down and experience the other sensual aspects of sex, and improves communication between partners as they use the time to explore their relationship fully, using their own bodies. Some of the practices recommended conflict with safer sex.

Richardson subscribes to the theory that men and women contain specific “polarities.” She attributes traditional “female” and “male” energies and outlooks to biology, rather than society. Although that theory doesn’t fly with certain sex magicians, the techniques she recommends merit attention and experiment. In the case of Richardson’s work, the “what” of closer emotional and physical bonding within a couple holds more value than theories and arguments as to the “why” of how it might work.

For those struggling with sexual miscommunication and shame, removing the orgasm as a goal frees both partners to experience the energy shifts that come from conjoining. In one technique, Richardson recommends slow-motion penetration to allow both parties to stop and process emotions that emerge during sex. Redefining sexual ecstasy as something other than orgasm breaks completely with sex as most Westerners understand it.

Slow Sex offers a mixed bag to the sexually and spiritually informed: we do need to rethink our approach to sex and Slow Sex does it, yet certain ideas about the inner mechanics of men and women based on gender biology are dated and limiting. If read with an eye to the spiritual content and a will to set aside the gender-bias, Slow Sex gives couples a great resource to transformative intercourse.

~review by Diana Rajchel

Author: Diana Richardson
Destiny Books, 2011
pp. 168, $14.95

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