Book Review: Partners in Passion

Image description: The book rests against a wood fence with greenery underneath. The book cover is white with bold red and gray lettering. The cover photo features a man and woman smiling, embracing, and reclining with bare shoulders.

Partners in Passion: A guide to great sex, emotional intimacy, and long-term love by Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson is a 2014 book written for couples in long term relationships. The book discusses topics that are usually taboo in relationship manuals like this, 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 is 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, but I encourage readers to give the entire book a look.


I think this is a great book for couples who want some sexual adventuring but aren’t quite ready to pick up the book with a whip or handcuffs on the cover. The way this book is presented feels very accessible to me and I can see couples who might never pick up a *gasp* sex book taking a chance with this one.


Books are very powerful in that they offer a safe space for us as 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 some 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 read this book when it was new and recommended it for acquisition at my local library and it was added to the collection. I hope patrons enjoy reading the book as much as I did!


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