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I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libidoby Joan Sewell
"In these, the sex-frequency wars, an authentically fresh new voice has arrived. Her name, Joan Sewell; her groundbreaking new sex book, I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido....For a woman who doesn't crave sex, our brave protagonist has, by the end, actually had a fair amount of action — with her husband, no less — and one can't help but applaud the warty and ungainly thing long-term love really is." Sandra Tsing Loh, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
Synopses & Reviews
If I had a choice between having sex and reading a good book, the book wins. I notice I put in the adjective 'good' — and that leaves me wondering if I'm not trying to put a better face on things. I still want people to read this and think, 'Well, of course. If it's a good book.' But my boyfriend — the man I would eventually marry — would take even bad sex over a good book.
Joan is hardly ever in the mood. Kip is always in the mood. Does that sound like any couple you know?
Joan Sewell is a funny, brave new writer who dares to reveal that sex in her house does not look anything like the sex you see in movies. When she learns that her husband, Kip, would have sex five or six times a week if he could have as much sex as he wanted (compared to her once or twice a month), Joan decides she'd better pluck up her sex drive before she ends up on the fast track to divorce court. I'd Rather Eat Chocolate is the witty, provocative chronicle of her search for a lift to her libido and what happens when none of the expert advice works.
First she tries sexy underwear — until her husband realizes she is cheating on her thongs by wearing cotton panties. Then she reads that for stressed-out wives, a husband who does housework is the ultimate aphrodisiac — until she realizes that she is actually the slob in the relationship and the mess hasn't decreased Kip's sex drive any. When she reads John Gray's advice to women to offer "quickies" if their husbands want sex and they are not in the mood, Joan realizes that this is the ultimate male trump card so she can never again say no to sex. Her fantasies begin to involve smothering John Gray with a pillow.
Joan Sewell is scrappy, fearless, and hilarious, the I Love Lucy of low libido. Her memoir is laugh-out-loud funny. But it has a serious vein, too. How Joan and Kip work it out, and what they do when they "do it", will give every woman hope that she can be true to herself and have a happy marriage.
"Sewell understood that a huge inequality existed between her and her husband, Kip, in their levels of sexual drive. With humor, she recounts her journey to reconciling this disparity, creating along the way an ad hoc social commentary on the way both men and women look at sex. Sewell consults many experts: marriage counselors, relationship experts, sexperts, women's magazines and Oprah. Sewell determines that much of the advice is based on the ideals of men, and she finds that many ideals of the prosex feminist revolution have morphed to focus on male desires rather than women's liberties. This first-time author disagrees that women should live by such standards and sets out to prove that a healthy relationship can be had despite vastly differing levels of desire. And while it isn't an easy journey (a fight over porn and a time of separate beds are just some of the hurdles), the love and openness of their marriage allows Joan and Kip to reach a conclusion by which they are both satisfied — sexually and emotionally. Honest and accessible, this is not just a guide for libido-impaired individuals, but for anyone who wants to take a closer look at one subject that continues to gap the genders." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Astonishingly frank and often funny disclosures about the author's sex life, with a serious underlying message about the actual difference between the libidos of men and women." Kirkus Review
"Even if you wouldn't [Rather Eat Chocolate] you'll enjoy Sewell's engaging memoir." People Magazine
"The best part of this intelligent book is how Sewell subtly frames her sexual issues within modern culture, from Sex and the City to Girls Gone Wild to pornography and lap dances." Deirdre Donahue, USA Today
"In many ways it's a positive development that more women are feeling free to say without shame, Look, this just isn't working for me. And perhaps it's progress that the market, in the form of the book contract awarded to Joan Sewell for I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido, is affirming such truth-telling..." Elle Magazine
"A Seattle writer pens a brutally frank, but often hilarious memoir recounting her attempt to boost her libido into the stratosphere of ever-ready passions occupied by her husband; an enlightening look at the gender gap between the sheets." Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"A saucy, compelling memoir that lets the reader be a fly on the bedroom wall of a proudly low-sex, high-compromise marriage. Ms. Sewell's book is a pull-no-punches commentary on the femme fatal culture as seen through the eyes of a femme forget-it. It reads like an episode of 'No Sex and the City.'" Debra Macleod, author of The French Maid
"I'd Rather Eat Chocolate is THE book for any woman with an appetite for humor and smart, provocative revelations about how real couples deal with sex." Regina Barreca, author of Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League
Joan and Kip Sewell knew before they got married that he liked having sex more often than she did. But it wasn't until they had wed that the extreme nature of the disparity became clear: He wanted it nearly daily; she wanted it nearly never. It wasn't a case of frigidity on Joan's part. After all, there were times when she had "bowed her own violin" and "got her own strings to sing better than Pavarotti." Sex with Kip, however, was like hosting a dinner party: She was too worried about everyone having a good time for her to enjoy it. Even when the sex was good, Joan could take her orgasms or leave them. Sure, they were nice but not nearly as ready and reliable as a rich dessert or a good book. Sex for Kip, on the other hand, was as physically ecstatic as it was emotionally important. Obviously, to save their otherwise healthy marriage, the sexual problem child in the relationship would need to step up her game...but how?
I'd Rather Eat Chocolate is the entertaining chronicle of Joan's search for a solution and what happens when nothing — including "giving sex as a gift, thinking naughty thoughts and simulating lust, engaging in quickies, or trying for better orgasms" — works. The respectful, creative accommodation the Sewells reach offers low-libido partners an alternative to the damaging "take one for the team" advice of some sexperts. This is the guilty pleasure low-libido women all over America will read about under the covers — and realize they are not alone!
About the Author
Joan Sewell has a master's degree in philosophy and lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. I'd Rather Eat Chocolate is her first book.
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