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Sexual Awareness: Your Guide to Healthy Couple Sexuality, 5th edition

Barry W McCarthy, PhD, ABPP |  Emily McCarthy
Publication Date:
Jan 01, 2012
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In the newest edition of this classic text, veteran authors Barry and Emily McCarthy explain how desire, pleasure, and satisfaction can enrich your relationship. As the premier book on the subject, Sexual Awareness focuses on factors that promote and subvert healthy couple sexuality. Reading this book and partaking in the psychosocial skill exercises it contains will help couples learn how to value sexuality as a positive and satisfying part of their lives. Couples at any stage of their relationship will learn how to enhance sexual awareness, communication, feelings, and function. The result will be enhanced desire and eroticism that will help couples understand themselves and each other better.


"It’s no surprise that this excellent resource is now available as a 5th edition. This thorough and methodical analysis provides a road map for couples who wish to enrich and deepen their emotional and intimate connection."

~ Sexual and Relationship Therapy

"Sexual Awareness is the gold standard for couple self-help sexuality books and is now unsurpassed with this updated and revised edition. It is the best consumer book available for helping couples grow their unique sexual style of intimacy, desire, pleasure, eroticism, and satisfaction."

~ Michael E. Metz, Ph.D., psychologist and sex therapist in private practice, Minnesota, USA

"Sexual Awareness is a superb book which sensitively offers responsible and highly useful sexual information that I am pleased to recommend to patients and friends alike!"

~ Michael A. Perelman, Ph.D., Past-President , Society for Sex Therapy & Research; Clinical Professor, Weill Medical College, Cornell University; Co-Director, Human Sexuality Program, The New York Presbyterian Hospital

Sexual Awareness will speak to you whether you have healthy and satisfying sexual experiences, negative or absent desire, whether you are partnered in a long-term committed relationship, single and anxious, and regardless of your age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or culture. Barry and Emily bring their extensive experience as sex therapists, their meticulous attention to the scientific literature, and their lived experiences as husband and wife of 46 years to this edition. They hone in on the precise worries we all have about our sexuality, and offer a refreshing yet assertive stance to our misconceptions about sex. The exercises they suggest provide important detail that is often missed in the misguided approach of finding 'the quick and easy fix,' and the instructions on genital pleasuring are exciting even for the more 'sexually-seasoned' reader. From toys to timing, myths to masturbation, and eroticism to erections, this book is a must-have on the shelves of sex therapists, educators, researchers, and anyone willing to cultivate sexual awareness.”

~ Lori Brotto, Ph.D., Sex Researcher and Therapist, Department of Gynaecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

"Now in its fifth edition since its original publication in 1975, Barry and Emily McCarthy’s Sexual Awareness is still the go-to book for couples who want to learn more about healthy sexuality. Sexual Awareness is without question an important resource for all things sexual.Whether it is explaining the importance of “afterplay,” or detailing the intercourse traps couples can fall into, the McCarthys continually submit comforting, reassuring wisdom: no person or couple is in this alone. Through open communication, as well as an open mind, couples can make sex work for them. Yes, some problems are bigger than others, but, as some might say, where there’s a will, there’s a way."

~ Dan Berkowitz,



Barry W McCarthy, PhD, ABPP's Profile

Barry W McCarthy, PhD, ABPP Related seminars and products

Barry W. McCarthy, PhD, ABPP, is a board certified clinical psychologist (ABPP), certified marital and sex therapist, and a tenured professor of psychology at American University. His clinical expertise focused on integrating sex therapy strategies and techniques into individual and couple therapy, assessment and treatment of the most common male and female sexual problems, and a special expertise in the treatment of sexual desire disorders.

Dr. McCarthy earned his BA from Loyola University and his MA and PhD from Southern Illinois University. His professional memberships include the American Psychological Association, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Society for Sex Therapy and Research, and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. He is a Diplomate in sex therapy earning this from the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.

As a leading expert in this field, Dr. McCarthy has presented over 350 workshops around the world, and his extensive list of publications includes over 100 professional articles, 26 book chapters, and co-authorship of 14 books, including Rekindling Desire (2nd edition), Sexual Awareness (5th edition), Enduring Desire, Discovering Your Couple Sexual Style, Men’s Sexual Health, Coping with Erectile Dysfunction, Getting It Right the First Time, and Coping with Premature Ejaculation.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Barry McCarthy is a published author and receives royalties. He receives a speaking honorarium, book royalties, and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Barry McCarthy has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Emily McCarthy Related seminars and products

Emily McCarthy, has been working with her husband, Barry, for years, and together they have authored 11 books. She has a degree in speech communication, and her writing provides a balanced, humanistic perspective.


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