A refreshingly honest, deeply researched, and frequently hilarious deep-dive into the cultural crisis of bad sex, as one brave sex columnist recruits the counsel of coaches, psychologists, pro-dommes, and peers in the pursuit of pleasure.
Far more alarming than the millennial “sex recession"—the phenomenon of young people having less sex than previous generations—is that we’re in the middle of a bad sex epidemic that all generations are suffering from. Despite major advances in sex education, positivity, and technology, we haven’t moved the needle on better. We’re still quietly enduring unsatisfying sex, whether that’s resigning ourselves to the same three positions we secretly hate, or lying when our Bumble date asks if we’re “close” after fifteen seconds of oral. We’ve been trained to optimize everything, except our own pleasure.
For journalist Maria Yagoda, bad sex was her villain origin story. After going viral for a column calling out bad sex on her college campus, she launched a career as a sex columnist, earning a global following for her wit, vulnerability, and expertise in her popular VICE series, Sex Machina. But even as a professional sex writer, most of the sex she was having landed somewhere between passable and “huh.” In search of understanding, she consulted sex therapists, psychologists, dominatrixes and sex toy creators, as well as young people of all genders and sexualities, putting her own sex life on the line—from hiring a sex coach to attending a “masturbation meditation” Zoom seminar—in order to pave a new path forward.
In the vein of Come as You Are for the Trick Mirror audience, Laid and Confused presents a fresh, funny, and compassionate analysis of our current sexual moment, and offers research-based tools that will empower readers to craft the deeply pleasurable sex lives they deserve.
“[A] brilliant, incisive, and funny meditation on sex, consent, and desire.” –Vogue, "The Best Books of 2023"
“I ended up electrified, reading this book like it was a surprise-drop Bible sequel…Buy two copies of this book: one for yourself and one for your best friend.” –Glamour, “The 15 Best Non-Fiction Books of 2023”
“Why do we put up with sex lives that are anything but satisfying? Yagoda investigates with equal parts wit and empathy—and a strong dose of encouragement.” –People Magazine, “Best Books of Summer 2023”
“Fresh….Laid and Confused excels as creative reportage, as Yagoda gamely chats with sex therapists and sex toy creators alike. She keeps an open mind about room for improvement in her own life and offers tips to readers who may be in her same boat.” –The Washington Post
“A highly comedic call to arms.” –Bustle
“Goofy, inclusive, and cheekily affirming, Laid and Confused digs into sexuality and pleasure with all the charm that made author Maria Yagoda’s Sex Machina column at VICE so beloved.” --Autostraddle
“Journalist Maria Yagoda interviews psychologists, coaches, pro-dommes and more to get to the bottom of a cultural crisis: too many of us are having bad sex. Not only does the book explore why this is happening, but it also gives people tools to start having more satisfying sex in the future.” –Men’s Health
“Yagoda employs in-depth research, humor, and stark honesty to unpack why our culture encourages people to tolerate and expect sub-par sex, and how to get intentional about having more fun in bed.” –Self, “11 Wellness Books That Helped Us Live Better in 2023”
“Yagoda’s message is empowering, and her honesty will quickly win readers’ trust. Those seeking a more fulfilling sex life will find this entry affirming.” –Publishers Weekly
"A warm, honest, and insightful look at today's bad sex crisis: how we got here and how to make it out alive, one mindful masturbation session at a time. Required reading for Generation X to Z, and everyone in between." --Alyssa Shelasky, editor of NYMag's "Sex Diaries" and author of This Might Be Too Personal
"An extraordinarily informative, inclusive, and entertaining book...Complete with both poignancy and humor, I found myself both nodding along and laughing out loud as I read this masterpiece. This book will spur you to think about why we tolerate bad sex—and importantly, to embrace pleasure as a fundamental human right.” –Laurie Mintz, licensed psychologist, certified sex-therapist and author of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters—And How To Get It
“Maria Yagoda started writing about sex when she was at Yale and ten years later is still at it. In Laid and Confused: Why We Tolerate Bad Sex and How to Stop, Maria admits that after all that she's learned there's still more to find out and uses her own experiences to illuminate the path away from bad sex for her readers.” –Dr. Ruth K Westheimer
“Each paragraph felt so familiar it was almost eerie. Funny, personal, and insightful in equal measure. Half talking to your best friend and half like hearing the things you can't even talk to your best friend about. I wish I could force everyone I know to read this book!” --Sophia Benoit, author of Well, This is Exhausting
“Maria Yagoda's witty, moving writing is a breath of fresh air in the frankly unsexy age we find ourselves in at the moment...a timely, funny, and deeply personal guide to getting what you want out of your sex life.” –JP Brammer, author of ¡Hola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons
“LAID AND CONFUSED confirms Maria Yagoda as one of the wisest, wittiest, and warmest writers about sexuality around. Spending time with Yagoda’s versatile voice is like having a conversation with your favorite friend, the one who can chat feminism, Foucault, kink, and the Bachelor with ease. You may even leave these pages better equipped to live your best (sex) life.” –Sanjena Sathian, author of Gold Diggers