• Come As You Are: Revised and Updated

  • The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life
  • By: Emily Nagoski PhD
  • Narrated by: Emily Nagoski, Nicholas Boulton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,811 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A revised and updated edition of Emily Nagoski’s game-changing New York Times best seller Come As You Are, featuring new information and research on mindfulness, desire, and pleasure that will radically transform your sex life.

For much of the 20th and 21st centuries, women’s sexuality was an uncharted territory in science, studied far less frequently - and far less seriously - than its male counterpart. 

That is, until Emily Nagoski’s Come As You Are, which used groundbreaking science and research to prove that the most important factor in creating and sustaining a sex life filled with confidence and joy is not what the parts are or how they’re organized but how you feel about them. In the years since the book’s initial publication, countless women have learned through Nagoski’s accessible and informative guide that things like stress, mood, trust, and body image are not peripheral factors in a woman’s sexual well-being; they are central to it - and that even if you don’t always feel like it, you are already sexually whole by just being yourself. This revised and updated edition continues that mission with new information and advanced research, demystifying and decoding the science of sex so that everyone can create a better sex life and discover more pleasure than you ever thought possible. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2015, 2021 Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Featured Article: The Best Sex-Positive Books to Empower and Inspire You


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Usless!!!

This book is the equivalent of "Full story at 6:00" She is always telling you what she intends to tell you in chapter 5 or 6 etc. It is so repetitive, I thought something was wrong with my playback.

The new science as the title suggests just never really got there for me.

27 people found this helpful

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Excellent revisions

Dr. Nagoski's revisions were necessary, due to some partners' incomprehension of the difference between desire and pleasure. Thanks to Dr. Nagoski for recognizing this issue publicly and addressing it with this new edition. I am in academia myself and am aware of the fragility of some egos in this domain. Dr. Nabisco handled the communicative shortcomings in the previous book with utter professionalism and with an eye to collaborative and affirming communication, most especially toward men in heterosexual partnerships. Good communication is important in partnerships between people of any gender identity and sexual orientation!

18 people found this helpful

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Good content, rough execution

Enjoyed the substance of the book but not the style or the writing or the delivery, so much so that had to listen to it much faster. She does a lot of “we will talk more about this in chapter whatever,” to the point that it is distracting and quite annoying. Worth the read but I probably won’t pick up more of her stuff.

17 people found this helpful

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  • ZH
  • 09-22-21

This changes everything!

This book changed my entire view of sexuality (both male and female) over a weekend! Couldn’t put it down.

10 people found this helpful

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Nothing revolutionary. I returned it.

Listened to most of it hoping there would be something "transformational" as they say in the subtitle, but nope. Certainly nothing scientifically ground breaking in my opinion.

9 people found this helpful

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Love it and a must read for all women (& men)

My doctor recommend this book. But I ended up reading “vagina” by Naomi wolf before then this. The two books changed my life. The science in this book is amazing. It’s very validating and educational. It is extremely empowering to anyone to experience this much information and learn about her body and her needs/ likes/ wants and not feel bad or shame or guilt about them. It is healing in many ways and truly allowed me to un-judge myself especially as I go through my healing and inner self work.

9 people found this helpful

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condescending scientifically inaccurate propaganda

"there is no evolutionary pressure for a hymen to form." followed by "in some cultures girls are killed for not having a hymen."

getting killed before you can reproduce is the very definition of evolutionary pressure.

The reason to celebrate diversity because the beauty is found in our differences. This book falsely claims differences don't exist.

8 people found this helpful

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An absolute gem, thank you!!

I wish someone gave me this book 15 years ago!! With all the crazy out there, this book is really fantastic, a must read/listen for all women and men. First two chapters were quite "mmm" but then it gets better and better.

6 people found this helpful

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Full of merit and demerit: a review by a man

This book was not written for me, and that's ok. I'm a guy, but wanted to learn more about female sexuality to grow closer to my wife. Little did I know I would find an interesting and complicated book written by a biologist with little biology but copious Freudian projection and well intentioned half truths.

At once dishing out wisdom and feminist conspiracy theories standard for academia. Both very naive and very jaded.

To begin, the author judges women so little as to make words like 'beautiful' or 'normal' meaningless in an attempt to make every woman feel good. An admirable goal, but it is done with the all too common post modernist bent, believing words actually define reality. Yet, if everyone is beautiful, then no one is. In my definition, beauty is something of a rarity. And I'm guessing it's part of your definition as well, implicitly or not. The authors use of the word ceases to be anything positive or special.

But then, the author goes on judging in the extreme, society's current and past sexual moires, without a thought of the evolution of such things; or even the logical/evolutionary implications of mistaken paternity/paternity fraud/cuckholdism or understanding of ancient families, tribes and their protection and yes control, of women. Her enemy in this book seems to unequivocally be "culture."

In fact the first time evolution is even mentioned is to prop up a unproven blank slate theory about men's statuses being the sole decider of 'beauty standards.' The old trope about Rubenesque women gets rolled out.These women of Rubens, however portly, still closely adhear to the hip to waist ratio that is universally preferred by straight men, but this is the sort of thing that goes without mention in this book. Even men blind from birth prefer a (fealt) hip to waist ratio around 0.7. How would society imbue on them such a precise preference? But this is the sort of thing I would like to read in a book about sex and like I said it's not for me.

Another way the book is confusing it that the author understands that causation is not correlation...when it serves her point. She goes so far as to explain that in detail. But the discussion of this fallacy is not offered when to do so would lessen the ideologic flavor the text. I guess this PhD is implying that there are just some things you do not question.

An example would be her section explaining how eating disorders for women went way up after Melrose place started. Sure it's possible this is causative. It's also possible that the situation that gave rise to eating disorders also gave rise to Melrose Place. Or because of Melrose Place, awareness of eating disorders went up but not their prevalence in the population. I imagine these were not offered because they were not considered. We all know it's easy to convince yourself of something you want to believe. In this case, that society aka culture is bad. I would've given the author much more leeway if any effort to describe our cultural benefits was given. But like a spurned lover she can only think of the negatives. Par for the course for many academics in social sciences, English, and education.

The book is an odd mixture of a great metaphor for sexuality based on research and... unsubstantiated sociology and pop psychology of someone who believes they are a victim and that all of society is behind it. No attempt to understand the state of these things or justify grandiose statements with research is made. The brakes/gas pedal metaphor does a lot of good but then objectives other than truth wax in.

Health at every size? Every?? I don't know about the author but I've seen one of a few dozen shows on TLC.

Yes of course everyone deserves love and respect regardless of body, but biologic limits do exist. You'd think a biologist would be one to point that out. Ah, nevermind, I just checked again, she has a PhD in "Health Behavior" and had an internship at the still stuck in last century- believing blank Slate theory, Kinsey institute.

At least she doesn't explicitly blame men for all of women's troubles. Only by implication or via "patriachy."
Wild strawmen of social norms are puffed up to be ridiculous, leading one to either believe them to feel more victimized
/righteously indignant, or to be puzzled in the extreme where these claims are coming from.

An example:
The author explains that pudendum, meaning shame, was the name given for the genital area because it is a shameful area. The implication being that some men sat in a smoke filled room some time ago and rubbed their hands together in anticipation of how they would oppress the women-folk by calling their privates "shame!" Muahahaha!
It's was actually the name for the genital area for men too. And uh, doc is it possible this area was called pudendum because people have imagined for eons that this must be what Adam and Eve rushed to cover after that bite of apple? And perhaps it was once shameful to appear to be a person to takes sexuality so lightly as to walk around naked. To not understand that sex means life and death, a potential new mouth to feed, or brutal violence over paternity or scarce resources. Sex is not a thing to be trifled with. Especially before our understanding of it. And no this reviewer is not condoning shame.

The author easily lets fly an accusation that the "patriarchy" is the cause of most of women's negative thoughts about their own sexuality, and none of the positives might I add. But then carefully dissects out a young man's guilt for becoming aroused when he is witness to a rape at a party. She does this explaining sexual non-concordance, a valuable thing to learn.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't because "men's pleasure was the default" that people assumed penetration orgasms should be naturally forthcoming in healthy women. I'd wager a lot of money people thought that because of the complimentary nature of men and women, especially their genitals. We had not clue about the homology and structure of that area until recently. Also, researchers cannot be blamed for data they cannot acquire. Once again a simpler explanation would be right in front of us if the author did not wish to virtue signal.

Yes we should believe people and not only their physiology when they say they're turned on, or when they're satisfied. But try being a man, not having an erection, not ejaculating, and telling your wife that you're satisfied. Something tells me she won't be ...satisfied with that. But yes we should believe both those people. But lying also exists. It's not incredibly simple to know. That's why we look for objective signs of our partner's arousal, everyone does and will continue doing so.

What I believe:
I agree with the authors goals for health and belonging, but not her methods. More science is needed all over sexuality. More philosophy and debate is sorely needed in this realm. Sadly I think the author has been lead astray in part by a, perhaps, well meaning ideology, without strong roots in reality.
Norms have to be understood before we can cast them off, or we are doomed to repeat an awful history. People deserve kindness, connection and deep thought surrounding their actions. But you can't coerce anyone into giving that to others. Even by changing the meaning of words.

She says: You are beautiful and normal (speaking to women) just the way you are. But you can also grow and get better. This statement typifies the contradictions all over the book. Sweet and confusing.

Keep up with the science doc. But maybe examine those moral beliefs that are so quickly taken as fact. You might find the world is less simple and even more amazing than you once thought. Feelings may always be genuine but they are definitely not always true in every sense. And with all that said, I think it did bring me even closer to my wife and gave us a common language to discuss sexual matters, two valuable things.

But just like the author I have skewed this toward the negative when it was not at all completely bad. Maybe I can find a book that has the positives and takes a measured look at social norms and pressure, with a fair look at the dynamics between men and women. But for right now this is type of polemic, occasionally peppered with science, is all our daughters really have. Let's watch and see if this kind of bitterness gets them more sex when they're adults or less, makes them happier or less so. I believe that experiment has already begun to show results. The political message seems be at odds with the objectives of this book. I'm glad I read it, but I have no clue how to honestly rate it. But I'm just a humble member of patriachy.

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Good Information - Terrible Execution

I found the narration to be annoying. I enjoyed the information, and it is information we all should learn, but the writing tries to be funny and is not. Then the author reading it and trying to be funny is the worst. It is also repetitive. I kept waiting for it to present the information and it is always, "we'll talk about this more in chapter x".

5 people found this helpful

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  • Hannah G.
  • 03-02-21

Exclusive language! Supports gender binary

Considering this book is revised and updated as of March 2021, I'm really disappointed the author hasn't changed the binary language used. It would be so easy to include non binary and trans people by simply using non exclusive language and I'm perplexed as to why this wouldn't have been done in a revision. I believe the content of the book is fantastic. But as a society we really need to do better, so I'm giving a lower rating in hope it will be made note of and this book will be revised again to use language inclusive of non binary and trans people.

20 people found this helpful

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  • K. J. Kelly
  • 04-16-21

Transformative and educational

This makes some aspects of sex research seem so obvious. The best of them do. I listened along, thinking: "oh yeah!" and "why didn't I see it that way before?"

I've already recommended this to a couple of friends (one single, one in a loving relationship), both of whom I think will find it interesting as men to consider from a new perspective.

This is an updated version of a previously released book about desire, normality in sex and in how the brain and sex organs interact in our experiences of pleasure. Having only listened to the updated version, I cannot comment on the updates, but did find it inclusive of those outside of binary categories of gender, and also aware of its shortcomings in terms of research.

It's absolutely fascinating. And certainly made me ponder my own history, current position, future wants and attitudes. There are a lot of simple quotable lines that Nagoski refers to regularly, she reassures and explains the range of normality we all encompass. She manages to explain how a lot of problems many readers experience have arisen. And uses examples of 'women' in relationships (composites of a number she has worked with) to exemplify a few key 'types' that demonstrate various points she makes.

While I've never felt other than existing somewhere along the range of 'normal', this did tick a few boxes and hit a nerve several times when I recognised behaviours, situations and experiences that fit me. Listening to explanations did clear a few things up and make me look at myself and my own body and desires with clearer vision and certainly a lot more kindness, not to mention confidence to express myself.

One for women to read to get to know themselves. One for men to read to get to know the women around them and how they can both differ and communicate those differences, then work to find common ground.

This does not become overly scientific or technical, but does use terminology. Loved the Too Long: Didn't Read (TL: DR) at the end of each chapter, great summaries that did remind me of key points.

The book translates perfectly to audiobook format, and with the addition of the attached pdf (accessible through the Audible menu on the app), gives plenty of material for mulling over, for testing yourself and to return to for future consideration. The author makes an expressive and empathic narrator, and covers her material passionately. It was easy to keep up with her, and she communicates with verve.

This has already inspired me a little, in seeing myself, my mind and body in a slightly different way. And appreciating how it all got where it is.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

7 people found this helpful

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  • No name
  • 03-27-21

All she talks about is context

Unless you have a vagina that you're insecure about, skip. 11 and a half hours of her saying sexual context is the solution for women's sexual issues, weird and sometimes false analogies and obvious statements like "not all women are the same". Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel is a much better and more educational book for both genders that doesn't blame everything on patriarchy

4 people found this helpful

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  • elle
  • 08-16-21

Changed my relationship to sex

This audiobook made me embrace my body and sexuality in such a positive way.
I am very thankful to Emily Nagoski.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Madalina
  • 04-26-21

Life changing

Every single person should read this book.
This book should be taught and discussed in schools!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ellie D'Silva
  • 03-11-22

A must listen for EVERYONE

Never have I felt so seen, connected to and understood. This book brought so much clarity to my experiences and I haven't stopped recommending it to friends since.
This book isn't just for women, I urge men (husbands, partners, educators, or just men looking to be better) to listen to this also.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rebecca
  • 07-09-21

Changed my mindset completely

EVERY woman should read this. Even if you don't have any issues when it comes to sex or oragsam it is so educational. It has completely changed how I perceive everything to do with sex and being a woman! Seriously listen to it NOW!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Emily Elgar
  • 07-03-21

A must read for all women . . . & men for that!

Honest, evidenced based and real.
I will be gifting this to all the women in my life!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-07-21

What I wish I had known when I was younger

If only this book had been available when I was younger perhaps I wouldn't have struggled so much in relationships. But now I have read it I am so empowered and my love life is the best it has ever been. This book opened my mind and made me re-think so much of my past and how things had been and now I am using what I have learned to make things so much better. Thank you Emily

1 person found this helpful

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  • sopheearr
  • 05-05-21

One of the most liberating books I have ever read

Helped me so much. This should be taught EVERYWHERE!!! Such an amazing read. A must read. So much freedom and truth in every word

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 03-09-21

Must read for everybody

Yes there were a lot of metaphors, and yes this was just a big therapy session. BUT! It was a very cheap and very effective therapy session and I always find metaphors very helpful when in session. This book is fantastic, the content is so important, and everyone should read it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Becpratt01
  • 04-03-21

Every woman should read/listen to this book

this book helped me understand myself better and explained so many of my past experiences.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-16-21

A total game changer

I have just finished listening to “Come As You Are” (about women’s sexuality) and loved it so much that I also bought the hard copy book so I can go back and tag and highlight half of it lol!

This book explores anatomy, physiology, behavioural and comparative psychology, evolutionary psychology, health psychology, moral psychology, gender studies, media studies and more. Nagoski breaks down the science through stories, metaphors (my fave was “the little monitor”), and case studies painting a whole detailed and complex (but easy to grasp) picture of sex and sexuality in the context of us being WHOLE people. It is so much more than a book about transforming your sex life (as the titles tag line suggests) but a book, and knowledge that will transform your relationship with yourself, your body and with your partner/s. I cannot rave about or recommend this enough.

Sidenote, #fuckthepatriarchy

3 people found this helpful

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  • Francine Goodbody
  • 10-24-21

Every women (and perhaps men) should listen to/read this book

This is better than therapy! Fantastic book helping women feel normal - just as they are!

Thank you Emily!

My only suggestion is to remove the music, and I wish Emily narrated all herself, the male voices were quiet annoying lol

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-27-22

So grateful I found this book!

This book has changed my life! I always thought I was broken or damaged but know I know I'm normal and that in itself is liberating. highly recommended!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-13-22

Unbelievable!

Incredible life changing book. The only regret I have is that I am only reading this book now.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-10-22

Essential reading for everyone

An excellent book which challenges existing societal ideas about sex, self, intimacy and relationship. A must read for all.

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  • helen
  • 05-14-22

A must for all, our bodies are so different

A must read for all, women and men.
enlightening information on just how different our bodies are, yet still the same. And are normal....might slow the rate of genital reconstruction if this was read prior

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  • Vivienne
  • 05-12-22

Should Be Mandatory In All Schools

I wish I had this book growing up! Absolutely brilliant from start to finish.

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  • Stacy
  • 05-05-22

Every daughter should be reading this book

Loved it... I remember getting a sex education book from my mum when I was a teen. It was written in a way that was informative in terms of what differences were and it taught missionary position and birth control. I would say to parents that have girls, this is the book they should get. Obviously it would need to be age appropriate but it is an incredible book.