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Book Review: Partners in Passion


Here's a relationship book that really shakes things up! Partners in Passion: A guide to great sex, emotional intimacy, and long-term love by Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson discusses topics that are usually forbidden in relationship manuals, including open relating and the societal myths of long term relationships.

I was really excited to see a book with a central focus of sexuality geared toward couples in long term relationships. This book touches on everything from communication to anatomy to sexual adventuring.

My personal favorite feature of this book was the author’s discussion of New Relationship Energy (NRE for short). This is a crucial concept to understand but sadly gets left out of many discussions regarding long term love. I think understanding NRE gives couples a better grasp of how relationships grow. This topic as well as myths regarding relationships is discussed early in the book.


At over 400 pages, many people might be apt to read only sections that interest them, though I encourage readers to give the entire book a look.

I must admit that while I am happy to have this book in my collection to lend to people seeking a more general relationship book in the realm of sexuality, I admit that I’m a little stuck. As I talk about in the video review I did for this book (posted below), I live in a very conservative place and any hint of sexual adventuring would have them sending this book to a land far, far away. Consequently, the friends I have who are okay with sexual adventuring are already sexual adventurers involved in kink or open relationships.

But books are very powerful in that they offer a safe space for us as humans to be alone with our “dangerous” thoughts. Framing kink, open relating, and sexual adventuring along with communication, emotional intimacy, and physical attention could be just the ticket to allowing couples to navigate new ground confidently.

I encourage couples with the “long-haul” in mind to give this book a shot. There is much food for thought packed into these pages. I intend to recommend this book for acquisition at my local library.




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