Put Passion First

Put Passion First book coverWhat Amazon.com said about my book:
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#fff” class=”” size=”16″]”Based on more than 20 years of research, advice to help you find the sexual spark that leads to lasting love. Forget Match.com and those other internet dating services. According to renowned researcher and sex educator Dr. Carol Cassell, personality profiles and “shared interests” are not the best way to find the perfect mate. It’s chemistry – that undeniable “spark” of mutual attraction may be the single most important factor in your relationship’s success. This provocative new book shows you how to separate lust from love, shed your inhibitions, and identify physical compatibility.”[/pullquote]

(The book is available from Amazon.com and your local bookstores).

Here are my responses to questions about passion, love, and sex.

What makes Put Passion First unique from other “self help” relationship books?

Because what is genuine and real is more fascinating than fairy tale infused romantic fiction,
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”Carol Cassell” link=”” color=”#e15f5e” class=”” size=”16″]”What sets off that chain reaction of falling passionately in love is an inexplicable magnetism — an invisible force…”[/pullquote]

In my book I explain the science behind our love and sex emotions to help readers make more sense out of their relationships. There is a vast amount of good research on love, but people don’t make good use of it. The problem is that the research is stuck in academia or is so dense and inaccessible you need a decoding ring to apply it to your own life.

To make more sense out of science, I cut the jargon to reveal what we know for sure about sexual chemistry and why you are sexually attracted to one person but not another. I uncover the real reasons why people fall in and out of love the way they do, what makes a relationship click, and the fallout from men and women looking at sex and commitment through different lenses. On the flip side, I don’t shy away from facing up to the dark side of love — why we feel jealous and why we cheat — to help women avoid those silent killers of relationships.

Why aren’t women getting the passionate and loving intimacy they need and desire?

What I’ve discovered, as a long-time sex educator, is while our sexually obsessed culture feeds us a steady diet of sexual images, most women are starved when it comes to understanding and expressing their true sensual nature and their deeply felt passionate emotions. Then, at every turn, they are bombarded with messages about the importance of finding a harmonious, compatible partner for love to “last.”

What is overlooked and undervalued is that elusive and all-important “click”: sexual chemistry. This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many women downplay their erotic desires in their search for a soulmate because they want to believe that having comfort, security, and companionship in a relationship will be enough. undervalued is that elusive and all-important “click”: sexual chemistry. This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many women downplay their erotic desires in their search for a soulmate because they want to believe that having comfort, security, and companionship in a relationship will be enough.

I’m not saying that being comfortable with your partner and sharing similar values and goals for a future together isn’t important. Of course it is. Compatibility is a major player in long-term relationships but it isn’t the only player or the most valuable player. But I believe that sexual attraction and mutual sexual desire are just as salient an issue as emotional compatibility and the rest of the items on mate-matching check-off lists, like agreeing about how many kids you would like to have.

Sexual passion is ultimately the glue that makes a partnership exiting, playful, and helps it stick.

Is it possible that you can fall into being passionately in love over time, or does the sexual chemistry have to be there initially?

If you rate sexual attraction on a scale of one to ten-where ten equals “I want to rip his pants off,” five equals “whatever,” and one equals “nada”-you need to have at least a six (better yet, an eight) before pursuing any relationship. With real effort and a lot of luck, you might be able to turn the heat up a notch, but because there is so much involved in sexual passion, it’s hard to do more than that.

Still, you don’t initially always have to be hit with a lightning bolt-breathtaking passionate relationships have grown from being “just friends.” And lust has been known to trigger romance and visa versa. But you have to feel sexually drawn to him-if not instantly, then definitely before-you consider exchanging keys or choosing the china pattern.

Why is sexual chemistry so important?

Scratch the surface of a contented couple and you’ll find that the sexual passion is always there-it ebbs and flows-and ignites in a heartbeat. The sizzle of sexual chemistry can’t be forced or faked. It just has to be there. Without it, the relationship may never really be complexly satisfying-to either partner. Sadly, some couples, after the rosy glow of post-wedding days fades, find they are swallowed up by marriage, stuck with partners who are only intermittently the people they bargained for and feel a sense of something “missing.” Their marriage may not be a death spiral into a black hole, but it is not what they had hoped and dreamed it would be.

My point is that the many of the people “perfectly” matched by a computer are likely to be disappointed because they are missing something and that something is sexual chemistry– the most important ingredient in lasting love –which can’t be determined from a photo or any kind of compatibility test.

What do you mean by “no-fault love”?

Bonnie Raitt got it right when she sang, “I can’t make you love me if you don’t.” You either feel that sizzle of chemistry with someone, or you don’t. And he either feels the same sexy connection, or he doesn’t. Falling out of love is not a betrayal; it is just something that happens. Don’t beat up on yourself or your ex-lover over the demise of the love affair. It isn’t your fault; it isn’t his fault. It is useless to assign blame. Let’s face it; there is no Love Potion #9. No one can make himself or herself be “in love” with another person.

Unfortunately, because we’ve been taught that “I love you” is a promise to love always, we spend vast amounts of time and energy fuming or plotting revenge when our lover ends the relationship. It’s a waste of your energy, your time-your life. The only way to deal with a change of heart-yours or his-is to exit gracefully.

Is it true or a myth that men use love to get sex and women use sex to get love?

Admittedly there is a grain of truth there, but mostly it’s a fallacy. Women can be just as lusty as men can be, and men in love can be every bit as foolish, naive and idealistic as any woman. Men can get crazier about love and take more risks in the name of finding love than women. In fact, the biggest difference between men and women is in their interpretation of the meaning of love within a sexual relationship.

Women need to know that when it comes to sex, a man can be as emotionally naked and vulnerable as he is about love, if not more so. You can’t help but laugh out loud at this cynical take on men: “If it has tires or testicles, you’re going to have trouble with it.” But despite the jokes and the folk wisdom fueling the so-called battle of the sexes, I’m sure that relationships between men and women could improve overnight if women could learn to simply appreciate a man for being a man. Because women really know so little about how men feel about love and sex, I devote a chapter in my book about what makes men tick: How to Talk to a Naked Man.

What do you mean by a woman revealing her “inner vixen”?

Every woman has a saucy, sassy, erotic “inner vixen” inside. Sadly, too many women-for any number of reasons-fear letting her out! But as women follow the pathways laid out in my book, they will become more at ease and more confident about expressing their passionate and sexy self–and will be less likely to deny it or not acknowledge it. And the simple truth is that you have to be a passionate lover to find a passionate lover.