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Kelly Sagert Interviews Larry James

(* Kelly interviews authors and reviews books for WritersClub.com)

The subtitle of Red Hot Lovenotes for Lovers says it all. The book "shares the importance of great sexual communication and other essentials for extraordinary hot sex."

"Relationships, simply put," says author Larry James, "are about relating. If you can't have effective communication with your partner, if you're withholding things that need to be said, then you're cheating your love partner out of something valuable. My book elaborates on how vital this type of communication is in the bedroom."

He and his friend, Sandy agree to always talk about issues, no matter how difficult they are to discuss. "One agreement is that she'll tell me what she wants, and that she'll let me know what makes her feel good. I also want to know what turns her off, and when something isn't right. Instead of holding in our feelings, we share them."

Often, James points out, a person communicates more to the woman working in the diner or to the man at the window seat on the plane than to his or her lover. So, his book contains over 250 pages of relationship-building tips, most of them one to two pages long. He dedicates the book to "love partners who are deeply committed to the idea of passionate monogamy, fidelity and having lots of fun in the bedroom! Sex is fun and pleasure is good for you!"

He points out that almost every sexual problem has an underlying problem in the area of communication. "Resentment, anger and issues left hanging can keep the wedge driven deeply," he writes. "You cannot be irresistibly approachable with unresolved issues and all the emotions that go with them. Talking about them -- in loving ways -- brings them out into the open. The tension begins to ease. What you can't talk about owns you!"

Tips range from taking personal hygiene seriously (or, as he puts it -- "in some long-term marriages, couples will often go to bed without showering or bathing, with face or legs covered with stubble, with unbrushed teeth to offensive body odor. No wonder you're not getting any!") to exercising to build up sexual energy and self esteem, from covering your partner's body with warm chocolate to watching a sexy movie together.

Other advice includes letting go of past sexual experiences that were unfulfilling. "That was then," he writes, "this is now! Let go of being the victim. It doesn't look good on you. Acknowledge the experience. Accept it. Take responsibility for your share of the problems, forgive yourself and begin to reinvent a sexual relationship that frees your sexual soul and gives you power over the past."

Yet another tips suggests that if you're too embarrassed to tell your lover what you really want, to write down a list. "Put on your most favorite music, light some candles, get in the mood. It is important to understand that the intention of this process is not to express complaints about what the other person is NOT doing right, but to suggest 'something else' you could do together to make you both feel good."

Other tips are more explicit when describing particular acts of lovemaking. As Michael Najarian, President of Personal Growth Productions, puts it: "Larry James speaks frankly to questions about sex we have all encountered at one time or another. Playfully written, Red Hot Lovenotes for Lovers' inspiring words can guide you to the joys of passionate monogamy. It will leave you with a 'knowing' smile."

At the back of his book, he includes two pages of "Recommended Reading, Listening and Viewing," along with information about his Relationship Enrichment LoveShop.

James conducts relationship workshops in corporate settings and formerly hosted the Mars & Venus Chatroom on America Online. "I love what I do and I love to share what I do," he says. "I've answered thousands of questions about relationships, and between thirty and forty percent of them are specifically about sex."

He often discusses these sexual concerns on radio call-in shows. "This gives me an up-to-date focus of what interests people," he says, "and it helps me when I write my relationship books."

He shares his own experiences during his workshops and interviews, and he doesn't try to paint a perfect picture. "Whenever Sandy or I get either upset or angry, we allow a cooling off period," he says, "and we talk about the issue again when feeling level headed. We don't want to say anything stupid, because you can't unring a bell. You can't take back words in anger, and you can only say I'm sorry a couple of times for the same thing. Then, those words aren't even a Band-Aid; the apology just plain doesn't work."

Whenever James thought of a good entry for Red Hot Lovenotes for Lovers, he jotted it down. Then, he considered if the idea really encapsulated what he intended, and whether or not this advice would apply to a larger audience. He then ran his advice past psychologists and psychiatrists, and a sex therapist who used to work as an English professor proofread his manuscript.

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