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Extended Audio Sample How to Think More About Sex Audiobook, by Alain de Botton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (393 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alain de Botton Narrator: David Thorpe Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The School of Life Series Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781427231864
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We don't think too much about sex; we're merely thinking about it in the wrong way.
So asserts Alain de Botton in this rigorous and supremely honest book designed to help us navigate the intimate and exciting---yet often confusing and difficult---experience that is sex. Few of us tend to feel we're entirely normal when it comes to sex, and what we're supposed to be feeling rarely matches up with the reality. This book argues that twenty-first-century sex is ultimately fated to be a balancing act between love and desire, and adventure and commitment. Covering topics that include lust, fetishism, adultery, and pornography, Alain de Botton frankly articulates the dilemmas of modern sexuality, offering insights and consolation to help us think more deeply and wisely about the sex we are, or aren't, having.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Many books of pop psychology or pop philosophy try to contend straightforwardly with what ails our age; Alain de Botton's wonderful How to Think More About Sex comes to mind, an example of an intelligent person helpfully untying some knots that bind us. Sheila Heti, The New York Times Book Review

  • How to Think More About Sex is a meditation on how comprehensively disruptive our urges can be...an honest book that's on the prowl for honest insight....Self-Help Books for the Rest of Us. The New York Times
  • It's like Cosmo meets Plato--finally! Salon
  • Even if our sexual partners don't excite us, this writer's piquant prose will. More
  • De Botton's concept breathes ambition far beyond the chicken-soup-of-the-month formula. The News & Observer
  • De Botton is never prescriptive, and the intellectual rigor of his investigation prevents this book from settling into a self-help reference guide. Publishers Weekly
  • By encouraging readers to understand their desires and manifestations of sexuality in new and more reflective ways, de Botton's addition to the School of Life series offers a tantalizing discourse on this endlessly fascinating, and eternally misunderstood, subject. Booklist
  • [de Botton] offers a collection of essays that, taken as a whole, serve to pull sexuality into a philosophical consideration of our drives and desires, to illuminate how we can make sense of the urges that drive us senseless....A well-rounded examination of the ways we can marry intelligent thought and physical pleasure. Kirkus Reviews
  • In an age of moral and practical confusions, the self-help book is crying out to be redesigned and rehabilitated. The School of Life announces a rebirth with a series that examines the great issues of life, including money, sanity, work, technology, and the desire to alter the world for the better. Alain de Botton, The School of Life Series Editor
  • The School of Life offers radical ways to help us raid the treasure trove of human knowledge. The Independent on Sunday (London)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roland Harrison | 2/18/2014

    " Interesting little book. Part of "The School of Life" series. Go to ... panmacmillan.com/theschooloflife "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 2/4/2014

    " De Botton is a philosopher, if I remember rightly, and I'm pleasantly surprised that his prose is so lively. It's witty, erudite, and about sex--what's not to like here? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marta | 2/4/2014

    " I did not enjoy this as much as some of his other books (Art of Travel; Joys and Sorrows of Work). A mix of more and less interesting ideas about how we do (and should) think about sex and how and why we experience attraction, commitment, loss of sex in a relationship and adultery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter Herrmann | 2/1/2014

    " 3-stars because of his pleasant way of presenting ideas (as with all of his books that I've read [quite a few]). I can't say that any of his ideas here were both new AND significant (some were new and trivial, some were significant but not new - to me). My take-away from this book is pretty slim .. other than a few citations to pursue in his final 'conclusion' and 'homework' sections. Perhaps - on 2nd thought - a significant take-away (to me) is that problems with sex and with marriage are fairly universal ... so we shouldn't berate ourselves if things in that regard are not ideal - they never will or can be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arni | 1/26/2014

    " This was an overall fun read, but still something of a mixed bag. Maybe because it's such a short book and de Botton doesn't have space to develop his arguments more than a little bit. So perhaps the points raised that I found disagreeable would less so if developed more fully. That said, I found the book overall to justify the short time I spent reading it on account of the good points raised. Some were even profound. I enjoyed his treatment of beauty, pornography, desire and, especially, impotence (best line by far in the book: "Impotence is an achievement of the ethical imagination.") De Botton writes reasonably well in a easy going and slightly humorous style. I got a bit tired of the imagined sexual scenarios interspersed throughout, but I get why he put them in. I like the way the book was set up, with short sections marked numerically. I can imagine it working well in a group discussion - which is what they do at School of Life, right? If you're looking for some philosophical musing on sex, you could probably do a lot worse than this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pete | 1/19/2014

    " This book is more of an essay than a book. It makes a few decent points about how everyone has odd feelings about sex and is quite an enjoyable read but it's pretty light. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terje Enge | 1/12/2014

    " Don,t read this book to get more sex, read it to understand sex "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindy Webber | 12/30/2013

    " Pretty boring overall. Nothing new - just more reminders. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris Jester | 12/21/2013

    " Heteronormative, pseudo-Freudian claptrap. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Max Dejarnatt | 12/18/2013

    " OMG! lovely little thing, honestly written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 mizhenka | 12/13/2013

    " I'm reading this because I like Alain de Botton's books, not necessarily because I wish to think more about sex. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alex Linschoten | 12/11/2013

    " Very disappointing. Seems not to have been edited. Poor argument, poor examples. A bad book to start the year with. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Minxyminou | 11/6/2013

    " Some promising thought about attraction and having realistic expectations about romantic relationships here. I was disappointed in how heterocentric it was and how it neglected to explore alternative relationship structures. Ultimately it was a reasonably bleak read that left a lot unexplored. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yannis Cordier | 7/4/2013

    " Provides an eye-opening view on 21st century (sexual) relationships and redefines people's thoughts on sex, lust and attraction, pornography, adultery, impotence and so on. A page-turner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alo | 5/23/2013

    " Had quite a few interesting insights but overall raised more questions than it offered answers to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roxanne | 5/16/2013

    " Part of my feminism and gender relations reading in the summer of 2012. There were some key insights and good quotes in this book, but I was peeved at the fact that de Botton did not cite a single woman scientist or writer (as opposed to many, many men). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 4/29/2013

    " My boss loves De Botton and this was among books I was shelving yesterday so I grabbed it. Definitely different compared to other philosophical works I have read. Not bad, though. I would read more by him, I'm not sure this most recent work captures all of his style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 4/8/2013

    " Thoughtful, probing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 3/27/2013

    " There is some wisdom here. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Thomas Siemsen | 2/5/2013

    " An entire "modern" book about sex that mentions queer people exactly 0 times. Seemed like the author's experience influenced this book more than actual research. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bruce | 1/15/2013

    " smart and thoughtful "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam Berner | 12/18/2012

    " Cynical and a tad prudish, but a must read for anyone interested in not just sex, but its philosophy. Highly recommended. "

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About the Author
Author Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton is the author of numerous nonfiction books, including The Consolations of Philosophy and Status Anxiety. His work has been translated into twenty languages. He lives in Washington, DC, and London, where he is an associate research fellow of the philosophy program of the University of London, School of Advanced Study.

About the Narrator

David Thorpe has appeared in numerous stage plays, in repertory, and on tour. Twice a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company, he has been heard in many radio plays and readings. An award-winning audiobook narrator, he has voiced several fantasy and science fiction books, including a number of the original Doctor Who books and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.