What people are saying about Cupid's Poisoned Arrow

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Book coverWhile traveling, I read Cupid from cover to cover. I am much more enthused about finding a partner because you have drawn out the map to relationship harmony so clearly. Hope in the possibility of a functional relationship seems much more tangible now. Before reading your book, another intimate relationship with a woman was merely a theory. In hindsight I think that's why I was hesitant to begin reading. As I gain a clearer understanding of why my marriage failed, some of my hurt and distrust seems to be disipating. I now want to pair-bond, to disipate all of it. Thank you for the love, compassion, and acceptance so evident in your work . M.H.

I found the Cupid absolutely convincing because it spoke to two equally important sides of myself: the scientist and the spiritual seeker. I loved the format of the book, alternating between scientific research and ancient wisdom traditions. Your book really covered all the bases. I don't know too many people these days who are familiar with the Cathar movement, one of my favorites. I'm impressed with your range of knowledge of these wisdom traditions. And, from many months of personal experience, I can verify the value of engaging in bonding behaviors and avoiding orgasms! J.J.

I'm a neuroscience student, so learning about the brain's reward circuitry was nothing new. After traditional (and good, by those standards!) intercourse, I could almost immediately feel isolated. Or rejected. Or cold. And my partner couldn't assuage those states. Frequent or intense orgasms seemed to even make it worse. I had determined that something was horribly wrong with me... However, I wasn't previously aware of the neurochemical shackles of orgasm! Upon discovering karezza and CPA, a lightbulb turned on and a tidal wave knocked me down. N. S.

I am loving your book. Thank you for writing it. Really eye opening. It's really landing for me. Right now I'm reading chapter 8. Wow. So powerful and insightful. S. G.

[Review from the Graded Hypothesis blog.]

The punchline is this: evolution wants us to have as many partners as possible, for the well being of our genes. It has shaped our brains to become distanced from our partners after the seed has been delivered. In laymen terms this translates to the all too common "it just doesn't feel the same anymore" that you hear from many couples after one or two years of relationship, sometimes much sooner. Why is this a revolutionary idea? Think about it: we pay shrinks, buy pills, seek for new ways to keep the flame going, try all the positions in the book, and yet the divorce rates are soaring. We frequently read articles like "Why Women Lose Interest in Sex -- and 10 Tips to Rekindle Desire" or "Why men lose interest in sex and 8 tips to rekindle desire" which recommend all kinds of cures from "see a specialist", "use some lubricant", or "get real, it's marriage, what did you expect". What Marnia is saying is: you don't need medicine or shrinks. You're fine. It's how you're supposed to function. Plant the seed, and move on. But that doesn't give much hope, does it? How about long lasting, growing old together relationships. Well, there is hope: besides the evolutionary drive to switch partners we also have an evolutionary program for bonding (with our parents, friends and lovers). By emphasizing bonding over orgasm, we can keep happy relationships from disintegrating. But still, no sex? Oh no, sex is fine. Just don't get too worked up so that you cannot stop until orgasm. The bridge or scissors positions work well for that. Read Marnia Robinson's book for more details and a fascinating new look at relationships, sex, spiritual views, orgasm and evolution. S.E.

I just finished Cupid's Poisoned Arrow a few days ago. I found the entire thing to be so refreshing and fascinating that I felt compelled to read the book. I finished it in just about two days (certainly won't be the only read) and am thinking about it a lot now in relation to my past, and how to approach future relationships. Thanks for opening my eyes to a potentially better path, which I'm eager to experience for myself. Thanks for writing such a wonderful book. S. R.

I am currently reading Cupid. Groundbreaking work. It's like reading about the last 17 years of my life.T. H.

Over the weekend we went camping with the couple that organized our visit to her therapist office that I told you about, where we introduced karezza. She told me that all the therapists in the office share about karezza to their clients when they can. Your book is very popular with them and she said that they buy CPA by the case and are on their second case. How about that! They are regularly recommending karezza in couples therapy. S. B.

I quit my ADD meds at the same time I decided to give up orgasms (now 3+ years ago!). The frequent cravings for orgasm have gone away, leaving me calmer and less distracted. I'm doing as well now, ADD wise, without the meds as I was before with meds. So maybe I've found an alternative treatment for ADD. But I don't suppose it will become widely known or popular! No profit to be made, and kind of a hard sell. Smile J.D.

As a trained, and naturally sceptical scientist I find a lot of the concepts that one meets here a bit 'new-agey', but I cannot deny that practicing Karezza has changed both of our lives (my sweetheart and me that is).This is where Marnia's book has come to the rescue as far as I am concerned. It is rooted in good research, science and evidence, and where it is anecdotal it seems perfectly reasonable. I love this book! A.G.

I am working as a psychotherapist at a wilderness therapy organization, and the entire clinical team of therapists is reading your book for their work and themselves. I'm also dating a new partner and we are practicing Karezza, too, and it's going really well :). Thank you! J.D.

I want to express my tremendous appreciation and gratitude for what you are doing and have done with "Cupid's Poisoned Arrow." I have practiced Karezza for 30 years and am well aware of its benefits. As a Jungian Analyst, however, I have felt constrained in recommending it because such recommendation was grounded only in my own anecdotal experience. With your book and the research on which it is based, I now have something in my arsenal when working with couples and appropriate individuals that they can explore and come to terms with on their own. The book is extremely well written and gathers together the many streams of information regarding Karezza which, in my journey, took many, many years to track down. Your work has my highest recommendation, and again, I am very grateful. B.B.

I think every High School SexEd class should have Cupid as the primary text book !! S. L.

Enjoyed Cupid's Poisoned Arrow. What an eyeopener !! T. J.

Marnia, thanks for all that you do -- you must know that you're gift to society! I'm about 2/3rds through you're book -- very fascinating and enlightening! C.A.

I'm a big fan of your Cupid's Poisoned Arrow book. Very good book, thanks a lot to you and your husband for taking the time and finding all of that information. It seems we are bound for another sexual revolution in the future and books like yours will be our manifesto.

And BTW thanks for doing a marvelous job. I have read both your books, am working now on Diana Richardson's books, and am implementing the ideas in my relationship: the changes are simply amazing!

I have already introduced karezza to a client (a couple), and my colleague has introduced it to 2 of her couples and has also been experimenting with her husband with good results.

If I were to try to summarize, Marnia's writing helped me see that I have been focussing on mating rather than bonding, in large part due to the extent to which porn and masturbation had shifted my brain chemistry so that I was to some extent addicted. I wasn't free, I had filters that prevented me from seeing a wide-open picture: both when it concerned women and when it came to relations with the wider world. My focus has shifted now, with all my women friends, and with women I meet. I am not moving so much toward a goal now, but ... allowing. Reading in Marnia's book has deepened my understanding of the value of the approach she is outlining. I want to build any relationship which I may be engaged in on the basis of karezza. I feel clearer than ever that that path has enormous potential for relationships with women which I want to explore, and, no less important, for realizing my larger purpose and my work in the world.

(male reader) First of all I would like to say that your books have been very very illuminating for me in my rediscovery of my beautiful sexual energy.

Marnia, thank you for your wonderful book, it has transformed our relationship 100%. D and I have been together for 18 years, but it wasn't until we understood the brain chemistry connection to sex and orgasm that we began to grow closer and happier. This enlightening information has enabled us to fall in love all over again and to feel healed of the heartache of biology's separation program. We are like a couple of teenagers, lighthearted, playful and happy. Our vision of a life-generating lifestyle feels complete. ... We can truly see how we're not victims of the world, and can more freely forgive ourselves and everyone else for using sex the 'wrong' way. The whole ideas of choosing love, rather than fear, always seemed unachievable as long as we were pursuing dopamine highs rather than cultivating the bonding hormones. What an enlightening thought that the 'separation' talked about in the Course is about the separation of the sexes, caused by mating sex, and how this has distorted our perception, leading to feelings of separation, fear, loneliness and insecurity.

I'm reading Cupid's Arrow again and really liking it. I really like that book. The poem in the front, by Euripides is just something. It is pretty amazing for the time. It reads like a prayer which maybe it can be used for. I think a lot of poetry turns into or is a form of prayer. I am trying to take my time however. The first time I read that book, I really pushed through it fast and instead of marking pages I would just think 'I have to read this again, I'll catch the quotes later' but then I found out that it's huge. Really a lengthy read, and so I was afraid it would take me some time to get back to it. Well, it's been two months.

I have practiced psychiatry for 30 years, and your book is one of the best I've read. Not all of the mysteries of sex & attraction are answered of course, but most important ones are. When I read the first chapter, I gasped at the implications and possibilities. I had a couple several years ago to whom I prescribed hugs & I love yous 5x a day. The patient (the wife) came back healed of her anxiety two weeks later. I've started to tell my patients of your book & I'd like to know about any workshops that you & your husband might be giving. Keep up the good work!

Just checking in to let you know that I've found someone who is interested in exploring the Exchanges with me! It's been great to have a structure to offer to a partner in healing rather than simply suggesting that we crash around getting randomly lost and triggered. It also helps me strengthen the intention of our connection and be clear on what my/our commitment to each other involves. Both your book and website are gems. They help get our heads wrapped around what a healing direction might actually look like and where it might go. It also helps me communicate with her in a way that is far easier to understand than I could ever do on my own.

Thank you soooo much for having come across all of this information, and for synthesizing what's known in such a clear, thorough and useable way. Thank you for your gift to everyone who is seeking The Keys to the kingdom of human loving.

I've been reading Cupid's Poisoned Arrow and feeling like my entire sex/love life (it has been a long and gloriously frustrating one) have been explained. I've been sending that link (and others) to everyone I'm close to, including former lovers. This is exciting, hopeful. Thank you.

For those of us who best relate to the partial reality of energy or spirit, exchanges [which can be based on The Exchanges in Cupid] can be performed in the context of immaterial ecstasy; for those of us who best relate to the consensus reality, exchanges are bonding behavior that improve (equally perceptible) relationship parameters such as contentment, fight frequency, sexual satisfaction, physical health, etc.

Your website, book, thoughts are a wonderful resource. I am growing personally and professionally as a result of your work. I look forward to continued growth and insight. Do you host workshops? Thanks for being who you are and doing the work you do in the world.

I just think your book is awesome...the missing link in attaining a higher level of consciousness. Now it is just finding the person to practice with. Thanks so much. I am a Counsellor/Psychotherapist (in Australia).

I'd just like to say the book is phenomenal and makes me feel normal sexually for the first time ever. No wonder it's never been satisfying! And a small part of me believes I may possibly have fulfilling intimacy someday. Thank you.

Your material, in the book and on this site, is truly groundbreaking. It is a SOLUTION to sexual addictions. Recovery programs have a hard time understanding what you're supposed to do with your wife after you recover! I think recovery programs and this material in tandem is powerful.

I am so enjoying my relationship with ___ (whom you met at the concert).  We read part of one of your books together and are exploring our sexual relationship and our relationship's other aspects.  It is such a pleasurable and growth-filled journey, individually and together.  I am delighted in discovering so much that I had no idea was available (or lurking) in my conditioned state!

This book is definitely a relationship renewer.

I recently discovered your website much to my delight and I just love everything about it. I have been devouring the information contained here as much as possible, and still have so much more to explore.... I just wanted to say thank you for creating this wonderful resource and for sharing so openly with the world.

i am very grateful for this information. I have practiced gnosis for the past 6 years. Your books have helped to serve as a bridge to provide an explanation of gnostic sexual practices to the two women that I have been involved with since I started my spiritual practice. To tell a prospective partner that they need to consider a certain spiritual tradition is a very difficult task. To explain spiritual sex through the biology/neurochemistry surrounding orgasm as well as relating the idea of Karezza as one that comprises various traditions (through your work) has saved me from serious anguish when explaining to women that I no longer have orgasms and why this is the case. The intellectual understanding of these concepts is useful to some degree- but its the practice of them that leads you to the truth of things. If we could only get people to take that step try it themselves! Then they would see the truth. The idea of the 'orgasm hangover' and experiencing it are different; just as the idea of the benefits that one can experience from karezza are different from actually putting it into practice. People who choose to have conventional sex will say that their way is the best; they do not have the knowledge to say otherwise. It's the experience which gives the knowledge (gnosis).

Connection and bonding are the cornerstones to well-being, happiness and peace in a society. And yet, many of us find ourselves in unsatisfactory intimate relationships—feeling distant, alienated, or just simply disconnected. This disconnection affects our children, our work, our creativity. Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow brings neuroscience into the bedroom, revealing how biology creates projection and separation. Marnia Robinson provides a solution that will not only pleasantly surprise you, but will profoundly change your life. This book is a must-read for anyone wanting to know love.--Kali Wendorf, founding editor Kindred magazine, editor of (and author in) the soon to be released anthology, Belonging (Finch Publishing).

(Age 75) I swear!  Your book has enhanced our lives!  I can hardly describe the difference.  The joy of it all.  From a couple of times a month to daily (multiple times).  No kidding. PS.  I threw away the Cialis.  No need for any pharmaceuticals these days.

Orgasm ... it is incredible that something so simple and "natural" can be so devastating for our couple's relationships. But as the author says: nature doesn't care about our individual happiness -- it is the success of the species' propagation that drives our behavior and drive us to be naturally polygamous and spread our genes with all the complications it leads to. After we took in Marnia's information and her warmly described experiences, life is looking more exciting and more hopeful for couples who have been devastated by nature's standard script. She describes how we can have better sex AND a harmonious relationship -- thank you for a fantastic book.

Marnia Robinson's courageous book CUPID'S POISONED ARROW seriously challenges conventional "wisdom" about human sexual interactions. It is a serious challenge, not only because the widely accepted conclusions of earlier researchers like Freud, Kinsey and Masters and Johnston are critically examined, but also because she gleans and expands upon current findings in neurophysiology. Robinson argues, contrary to popular belief that relentless pursuit of orgasm may damage relationships by creating increased desire, restlessness and irritability. The very "intimacy" that is expected to strengthen marriages may be resulting in increased infidelity and divorce. Robinson carefully explains how orgasm may alter the brain's reward pathways in a manner similar to addictions to alcohol or drugs and suggests that sustained emotional withdrawal symptoms can similarly result. She lucidly explains the neuophysiology of oxytocin and vasopressin as they relate to bonding in mammals. She illuminates the theme of strengthening relationship by changing the focus to genital contact without striving for orgasm, an approach that has proved highly successful in marital counseling. CUPID'S POISONED ARROW is as antithetical to modern cultural beliefs about sexual behavior as Galileo's treatise was to astronomy. In Galileo's time the earth (like the orgasm) was thought to be the incontestable center of the universe. Robinson's hypothesis might result in much needed navigational improvements for modern family relationships. The book includes many interesting personal reports, understandable explanations of science and light-hearted humor which make for enjoyable, thought-provoking reading.--A.J. Reid Finlayson, M.D., Division of Addiction Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Marnia Robinson’s book is the fulfillment of a dream I shared at the end of my Art of the Bedchamber that Asian sexual practices, developed under conditions of polygamy and proto-science, could be adapted for modern monogamy and gender equality. Asian male fantasies of achieving immortality by stealing female sexual essence and phobias of essence-stealing female fox fairies can now be explained by neurochemistry. But more than unraveling the mysteries of ancient Asian sexology, she has employed a cinematographer’s mastery of montage to craft a dazzling panorama of intimate personal experience, anecdote, ancient wisdom, philosophy, psychology, and medicine. The book’s content richness will satisfy scholars and scientists in many fields, but its wit and style will rivet any thoughtful man or woman who has ever stopped to reflect upon the human sexual tragicomedy. Like a thriller that reveals its climax at the beginning, Robinson's book leaves the reader no less intrigued by every twist and turn of autobiography and intellectual inquiry to discover what brought her to such a revolutionary conclusion. She does not bow down to the idols of “ancient wisdom” or mainstream scientific consensus, but stands courageously on the two feet of the truth of her own experience and the latest discoveries in neuroscience. You may come to this book for advice on your sex life, but you will come away with something more like the Theory of Everything in human behavior. Marnia Robinson has brought so much humanity and humor to her quest that you may not even notice that she has skillfully used the most advanced scientific discoveries to salvage good old-fashioned romance. Sex, avarice, and violence are the three two-edged swords of human evolution: how to tame sex without destroying love, how to tame avarice without destroying creativity, and how to tame violence without destroying courage have been the preoccupation of religion, politics, and philosophy from time immemorial. Somehow avarice and violence seem simple in comparison to sex, but Marnia Robinson has made, perhaps, the boldest and most thoroughgoing attempt to date. She aims to put your sex-life on a diet, but like all good diets, it is not about eating less as much as eating smarter. The sciences and social sciences have polarized along a nature-nurture axis, but Robinson has navigated a middle path between biological determinism and cultural construction to return to the Epicurean vision of using reason to refine pleasure.--Douglas Wile, PhD, author of "Art of the Bedchamber: The Chinese Sexual Yoga Classics Including Women's Solo Meditation Texts" [anthology and analysis of ancient Chinese sexual texts]

I can honestly say that I have never read a more accessible and well laid out description of the brain’s reward circuitry than this. Combine that with the experiential, practical and spiritual dimensions of the book, and it is virtually impossible to walk away from it without the feeling that Marnia really is on to something significant here in the field of human relationships and sexual behaviour.--Russell Razzaque, MD, psychiatrist, London, England

I'm not using sex like a drug as much as I used to, or if I am I'm getting a different kick from it than I used to. Smile It's still a struggle but I now know the cause and what I can do to combat it. I was in the dark before I read your books and now I feel much happier with my life in general. Time and again I read the experiences of men hooked on super-stimuli and an obvious thing to do seems to be to train one's brain. When I use my computer now I use post it notes first and write down what I am going to use the computer for. I stick the notes to the edge of the screen and throw them away after I do each task. At the end of my jobs I turn the computer to "sleep" and do something else. It takes a lot of self control but there is reward in being focused and it feels good when you see a pile of crumpled post-its in the bin next to the computer.

I had come to a similar place in my own life thru some tantra research (such has: 'Tantra the art of Conscious Loving') but knew I was still missing something. Your book filled in the role of neurotransmitters and brain chemicals. That makes so much sense. Coincidentally I just re-watched a movie: 'What the bleep do we know?' which also really provides dramatic visuals on the role of the most of brain chemicals we choose to make. I have incorporated loving, healthy and non-overheating lovemaking into my life. Works great. Also noticed my magnetism has increased loads (!).

I'm sorry that it took me so long to get back to you. I may have told you that I just finished writing a textbook that I was working on for 6+ years (What Is Life? A Guide to Biology). It turned out really well, but I also got way behind in my correspondence over the last push to the finish line. Anyway, I've just read your manuscript and it's really great. Congratulations on putting together such a well-written, provocative, and compelling book. I hope that it is tremendously successful. Your general idea that by understanding our biology and not blindly succumbing to the behaviors it nudges us toward as a way towards greater happiness is very consistent with the message of Mean Genes. You've taken it to a very different place than we wrote about, but it's a really intriguing idea you pursue and I applaud that. Some general features that I really like about your book include that you've made it fun and funny while addressing an incredibly serious topic. That is a real achievement. You've also integrated anecdotes and data seamlessly. Reading your book, you'll be disappointed to hear, is a bit like eating junk food, in that it's easy and produces repeated blasts of satisfaction. Sorry. :) I have just a few comments. I'm not a fan of the "trust your instincts" school. It's true that the paleolithic diet is better than the fat-laden diet most people consume. But I think the fact is, the reason we're so fat now is that we have much greater access to food. As cavemen we had insatiable appetites (they were selected for) and we still have them now. The only difference is that now they can lead to bad outcomes and previously they did not. So I think that undermines the message of "in our pleistocene world, our instincts were to be trusted." I love the division of individuals into two different entities that can be thought of as "you." That really helps bring out the conflict between us and our genes. Your description of the reward circuitry and the fact that we crave its stimulation rather than the behaviors associated with it is beautifully done. You've captured all of the subtlety of this idea without sacrificing accuracy. Your general theme that the bonds that hold us together are more fragile than many people imagine is such a good one! I have always believed that. People imagine that they store up goodwill with their spouse/partner over the years, accumulating a stockpile of it that can protect their relationship in tough times. But it's just not true. We're all a lot closer to breaking up than we imagine. This isn't necessarily bad, though. The bad thing is to not be aware of it. With that knowledge, it can help us to focus on making our relationship a good deal for our partner all the time. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing this with me and if there are other, specific ways that I can help you with this, don't hesitate to ask. [It was too late for back cover endorsements, but later on the publisher suggested a front cover one, and Jay said: "Marnia Robinson's book takes a radical, compelling, vexing idea and runs with it. The deep intellectual analysis and engaging, entertaining prose work their way into your brain and demand attention. I can't stop thinking about this book."]--Jay Phelan, PhD, UCLA biology professor, and author of "Mean Genes."

This book by Marnia Robinson is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding sexual relationships. If you want to improve your relationship, this book is for you. With examples from her own relationship odyssey Marnia shows in an entertaining way that we are biologically programmed to fail, unless we focus on bonding rather than on orgasms in our relationships. She backs up this message with solid scientific evidence. I found the book very well written, entertaining and educational, and just hope for the sake of all those struggling with their relationships that it becomes widely read and appreciated.--Walter Last, http://www.health-science-spirit.com/

Why couldn't I read this when I was young? Thanks to this book, at age 63 I finally understood why things went wrong every three years in my relationships ! This book is a real breakthrough in the art and science of loving (and LASTING) relationships. It shows the source of our passion-fading problem (our mammalian brain with its procreating programmation) and the cure (tiptoeing around the orgasm and lots of bonding behaviours). The revelation for me was that orgasm triggers dopamine release, which acts like a hard drug with its associated withdrawal symptoms, and that this unconsciously alters your perception of your partner. Bonding behaviours (tender touch, kissing, caressing, smiling, etc.) in opposition, trigger beneficial chemicals in our brain which help us keep our positive perception of our partner. Thanks to the author for daring to expose the scientific truth behind passion, sexual attraction, love and attachment. This book was life-changing for me.

I think your work is a particularly graceful blending of ancient wisdom and modern science.

I read the info about "Cupid's Poisoned Arrow" and I immediately knew it was a book I had to read. I'm now halfway through and it has helped me tremendously. So much of what you have compiled in this amazing book resonates with things that I have felt for so long. So many influences (friends, conventional thought, media) are constantly telling me otherwise, so when I found your book I felt like I had come home. I have struggled with porn/orgasm addiction for half of my lifetime now. Here and there I have managed to abstain, maybe for a month or so at the longest, but now I am truly dedicated.

I want to tell you: the book is wonderful. I have read it three times. You are clear where some other books about sacred sex are not. The scientist part successfully (and surprisingly) enhances the spiritual part. THANK YOU for your contribution. And God bless you...both.

Your book Cupid's Poisoned Arrow is the missing link. Thank you so much for saving my marriage and my life!

I've just finished reading Cupid's Poison Arrow, the most important of the many books on relationships I've ever read, and am 'spreading the word'.

CPA is much better than other relationship books. It is so comprehensive, with all the touchy-feely relationship stuff backed up with biology, psychology, with references, plus religion and spirituality, a lot of humor, and tips for practical application.

Busting the myth of orgasm. The world has gone crazy over orgasm. 50 years ago few women had orgasms, just the men. Today in our liberal society there is a smorgasbord of information on how to have multiple orgasms, g spot orgasms cervical orgasm, prolonged orgasm. It's been studied and promoted to exhaustion. The ultimate pleasure hit in our society which is so focused the pursuit of the ultimate rush for our own little self satisfaction. And how are relationships between couples going? The stats are not good. Despite the fact that more people are having the hottest sex using all the techniques now available, there are more relationships on the rocks than ever. Marnia Robinson blows the lid on what is really happening. There are a plethora of books and studies out there examining what happens before and up to orgasm, but no one is looking at what happens afterwards. Its the last thing we want to know. Sex just becomes two Dopamine junkies who get into bed with each other to feast on the hit we get from the big O. Tantra is the big thing at the moment, but under the guise of sacredness it frequently degenerates into just another way to get a dopamine hit. It sells well, but doesn't make lasting bonded relationships between couples. This book go where none other dare to go. What is the ultimate effect of this lust feasting on each other. From this book I have made more sense of what has happened in my relationships than any other. Its not just what happened in my childhood, its also about how we are wired as humans. I always believe I should follow my heart in life and relationships, but at least now I know that it can also be just my penis connected to my limbic system wanting to follow natures agenda for offspring.

With this book, you are up against a LOT of backwards thinking - but you really handle yourself and your work with expert skill and grace. M. P.

I asked my husband to try the exchanges, but he wanted to just try more bonding behavior during lovemaking, especially your concept of "giving touch". Interesting effect. He is really bonding with me more, which is great. He's coming out of his shell and really interacting with me during sex, and it is having a positive effect on our whole marriage. He is more thoughtful, more interactive, less irritable and oddly enough he seems to be feeling more loved even though I haven't actually changed a whole lot of what I was doing (I was pretty much bonding-focused anyway). Interestingly, he's also starting to have spontaneous but non-ejaculatory orgasms, something he'd been fruitlessly pursuing for a few years now. And they aren't making him grumpy or distant afterward, or in need of an hour of "sublimation" exercises, the way his previous lovemaking style did. He has stopped leaping out of bed (or acting like he wants to) right after lovemaking and is even initiating cuddling now and then. It's great. So thanks for the book and the suggestions!

I just finished your manuscript. I found it to be a great read and filled with excellent observations, research and analysis. This is a fine and much needed, original contribution to the very needed dialogue on human intimacy. J.A.R., psychologist

If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend reading Marnia's book- "Cupid's Poisoned Arrow." I struggled with masturbation/porn addiction for years, but now armed with the knowledge contained within that book, I feel stronger than ever. Day 29 with out porn/masturbation, and I feel like I could go forever. Great, great book.

I loved this book and it really impacted the way I think about sexuality in my relationship significantly. It is a basically a biologically oriented view of sexuality that questions the fundamental "orgasm" oriented sexuality view that is persuasive in our culture today. A great read for discussion among close friends.

One of the Amazon reviews of Sex At Dawn I read recommended your book as a better and more useful take on the subject of relationships and how our evolutionary wiring can make them difficult to sustain. I kept Cupid's Poisoned Arrow in mind but finally decided to buy it after a couple of things happened that made me doubt my capacity for love. My most recent longterm relationship failed after a year of living together (which I took as yet another confirmation of my usual pattern that I fall for someone, she falls for me harder and wants to get married, and then I get uninterested and start feeling trapped) and then I had a hook-up with a friend who I had always thought I loved deeply, but I became annoyed and stressed out by her once we'd slept together. After reading half of CPA, I have a feeling that karezza would have saved or at least extended my last relationship. I wish I'd known about it earlier, but I'm glad I know about it now and am excited to try it out!

I have read "Cupid's Poisoned Arrow" and really, really, really LOVED it. It made so much sense to me, and has completely changed my life for the better. Because of my mindfulness practice and cultivation of solo energetic practices, I have been able to give up alcohol, coffee, and marijuana too. I've even picked up bicycling now and I feel the BEST in my life that I have ever felt. I think this is all related!

Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow is about a controversial, cutting-edge theory that seeks to explain how orgasm affects our neurochemistry, which shifts our behavior and ultimately influences the duration and quality of our relationships. It speaks of the tug-of-war between the goals of Mother Nature and the hopes and dreams of monogamous couples. I could not do it justice to explain here the details of brain chemistry or how sacred sensuality/sexuality practice can save a relationship from emotional ups and downs. I can only point to the book itself. If you are curious, give it a look. But, beware, the same brain that reads this information is also programmed by Mother Nature to resist it. It takes a courageous mind to be open to new things. This material can rock every boat on the waters of every ocean. It has the power to move mountains or be resisted and lost. New belief systems often hold the potential for real change. Instead of explaining something so entirely controversial here, I simply invite you to explore the unknown yourself.

I don't know how many people will buy into the idea that orgasm is bad for you. I certainly have always enjoyed my own and I am, for the most part, happily married for going on 28 years. However, maybe the idea that we are focusing upon orgasm too much and that it is hurting the overall relationship is an idea I can consider. The author goes into the biological impact of orgasm upon the brain and that is very interesting in itself. She also explains how the pair bond is formed and the effects of pair bonding upon the brain. This part just fascinates me! I have been conducting an experiment of my own. I've been increasing the pair bonding behaviors she lists with my husband and wow, I gotta tell you, he is much more loving toward me in return. That shouldn't be so surprising to me but it is. Sometimes the simplest things, right in front of our face, is the easiest to disregard. I've also been more physical with my family and friends and notice the good results and how much less stressed I feel. I think these are important behaviors for me to emphasize because I come from a dysfunctional family and didn't have such behaviors modeled for me or with me. I have a standoffish attitude as a result that pains me at times and I have been at a loss on how to be different--instead of just romanticizing being the loner. So for that reason alone, I am grateful for this book. I have finished the book and consider it good enough that I want to own my own copy.

Your book and your research is in one word brilliant! I have written and sold a book on personal growth here in The Netherlands in which I touch on the subject of the (addictive nature of) orgasm a little. Most writers avoid it all together. You have written about the missing link. I’m a Life & Business Coach and a lot of times the subject of sex and relationships comes up. Your book is a great help. The book (and the Dutch people) Wink deserve a translation. I would love to help you with that. So many people struggle with these two colliding subconscious programs you so well described. We all do.

After reading your book, I believe that the new drug that songwriter Huey Lewis looked for was OXYTOCIN! I want a new drug One that wont make me sick One that wont make me crash my car Or make me feel three feet thick I want a new drug One that wont hurt my head One that wont make my mouth too dry Or make my eyes too red One that wont make me nervous Wondering what to do One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you When Im alone with you I want a new drug One that wont spill One that dont cost too much Or come in a pill I want a new drug One that wont go away One that wont keep me up all night One that wont make me sleep all day One that wont make me nervous Wondering what to do One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you When Im alone with you Im alone with you baby

I just wanted to say how much I love this book! It's written so well and thoroughly, filling me with greater and greater confidence that someday I will be able to comfortably share it with someone else. A very nice thought.--MP, college student

Just wanted to say that I picked up your book... by fate it almost seemed like (a lot of crazy coincidences led me to a spiritual book store and the first book I saw was yours). My boyfriend of 14 months is an amazing person. I love him very much, but we were having so many problems with sex. I wasn't enjoying it; it often caused me pain. Even if I did orgasm (which was difficult), I still felt this emptiness, depression afterwards which none of us could understand and it just brought us down. I started avoiding sex by pretending I was tired or had a headache, or sometimes even started yelling at him saying that he was forcing me to have sex with him, which made him feel like he was a bad person. Anyways, I picked up your book, and I just want to thank you SO much. We've begun practicing no-orgasm sex (it took a little convincing, but now he is all for it), and tonight we are starting the Exchanges. It's helped our relationship so much and we both feel so much happier with our sex lives. I can't wait to see how the Exchanges will affect us! Thank you so much for writing this book. I've spread the message to my best friend who is also in a relationship and having sex problems with her boyfriend, and to my sister who is single but is very sexually frustrated. You are really helping people and I am so grateful I've found your book!

I find Cupid's Poisoned Arrow (I pre-ordered it and devoured it in 3 days) such a brilliant ray of hope and much needed corrective to the corrosive societal mantra that marriage or long term relationships somehow need constant *work* to work. For the first time ever I feel like I've discovered 2 people WHO GET IT. Their discoveries and information need to be shouted from the rooftops. Cupid's Poisoned Arrow is very Tao, very Zen.

I think many men myself included underestimate the seductive power of internet porn & the damage it does to a relationship . It starts out as what we thought was innocent fun & grows into a nightmare. I literally lost my soul to porn. I used the exchanges as a way to reconnect with my wife & withdraw from porn. I am doing very well living in recovery. My relationship with my wife has never been better. Establishing a practice of Karezza is a token of my love & gift to us both. I owe a great debt to Marnia & I feel the exchanges saved my life & marriage.

I want to tell you that I am "getting it" more and more. I have been abstaining from orgasm for quite a while now. And though it happens occasionally, I can feel a hugh overall difference in my craving patterns. The concepts in you book also help me a lot in my work. I can't wait to see the German version printed. I will recommend the book and give it to almost everyone I meet who has relationship issues. It seems to be at the core of almost every love story. I have also begun to talk about it in my online courses, and the women there were so THANKFUL for the information. Which has given me the idea to start an online workshop/exchange on this topic, once your book is printed, and use it as the basis. I can see how BIG the need is for your book, and I am sure people will want to be able to talk about it and have some exchange in German. So we might want to think about how this could be provided.

Great book. I am enjoying it very much and can't wait to finish it so i can start reading it again. L. K.

Cupid's Poisoned Arrow finally arrived from Amazon yesterday. I was so into the book that I'm a third way through already. I'm learning a lot and many questions I had are being answered. Very, very good book. I.K.

I love your book! Just got it about a week ago and can't put it down. Fascinating to read and to experiment - makes total sense! W.G.

My friends kept taking my copy, so I finally ordered through Random House. I got 27 copies, and week 1, fifteen copies were sold. I am almost sold out of them now! Book is perfect!! J.R.Z.

Unique and essential. A friend told me about the predecessor to this book ("Peace Between the Sheets") at which point I went to her website, reuniting.info, and watched the wonderful videos she has there about this material. I wanted to read the book and so I ordered this new version and am very impressed with it. It is well written and the information is unique and life changing. The book has a lot of additional information beyond what are in the videos. I think this information is essential to anyone that wants healthy romantic relationships but beyond that because of all the information in the book about how our brains work and how patterns and addictions are formed and healed I think it's essential to all human beings! This is one of those books when you wish you could go higher than five stars. Thank you, Marnia, for such a great book!

I have to say, as much as I loved Peace, this one is sooooo much better. You two are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing what you've discovered with the rest of us. I'm telling everyone to read it.

Get Cupid's Poisoned Arrow and read it. Study it. My copy is highlighted, underlined, dog-eared with lots of marginal notes.

After the marriage ended I discovered this book and it spoke to me so deeply I cried with relief. I saw all the struggles I had been going through for 15 years and could begin to understand them with new awareness. Why I had found the book now and not during the relationship? However it resonated with my own experiences. Especially the innate fear of intimacy in relationships. It helped me to have compassion for myself and to forgive myself and my partner for all the disharmony and resentments, knowing that these were natural fallout from dancing to biology's tune, and not something that was wrong with me. I also was able to stop masturbating, and was able to go for longer periods without any loss of fluid. As my heart opened, the cravings for release subsided and I experienced more peace within myself. Still though I wondered how it would work in a relationship. [Post continued to describe new relationship.]

I just wanted to add again how great I think the book is (I'm on Chapter 8 now), and how it's so much more than what you would believe it to be. I have learned so much about the way my brain works, about addiction, evolutionary psychology, the history of sexual attitudes throughout time, wow. I kind of feel like I've discovered a big secret mystery of how the world works, and it's going to be really hard to look at human relationships (and the relationship I have with my own feelings about life) the same way after this.

I picked up this really cool new book this morning. It's got a bright red cover (books sell better with some red on the cover, I know that, but this one is like, WoW) and the title is a little too clever for my taste, but the author is brilliant and really cares about what she is writing. (She is beautiful too if you can believe the picture in the back of the book.) I can't believe how much work she must have been doing for years to be able now to draw all this stuff together. Stuff from mysticism, stuff from several wisdom traditions about sexuality and its expression, cutting edge science -- apparently contributed by her husband -- about addiction and the reward chemistry in our brains. It comes as our society is being turned inside out by a force getting too little attention (but considering how many other forces are turning us inside out, it's is perhaps not surprising . . . ) internet pornography. The author draws the parallel between excessive and misguided food consumption causing a health crisis and excessive and misguided stimulation in the area of sex . . . just writing that, I realize how difficult it is to approach this subject in a way that does not over-simplify. Her approach is, despite a jaunty, even occasionally irreverent style, compassionate and thorough. And the potential impact this could have on people's lives . . . and on our society . . . seems massive and fundamental.

When I thoroughly read your book, a lot of questions were answered, puzzle pieces of explanation fell into place, and what I have been really wanting these last few decades of growth have been properly addressed. (In June I celebrated 23 years of successful AA recovery, in which I concentrated on becoming a real man, not just a male.) I now look at young, heat-driven couples as in that realm of procreation, and God bless them if they can transform their aging lives and sex into true lovemaking. I do know that most don't. I'm 60 now, and it certainly is a blessing to know that I don't have to be expected to "perform" when I frankly just don't want to. I really have wanted to take my time and reach for giving something more. And now, with my lovely lady, my desire for true intimacy and permanent bonding has taken on new meaning and energy. My lovely sweetheart and I have been doing what we can with the Exchanges, and one of the first things I really noticed was the fantastic loving connection we have achieved just by silently looking into each other's eyes. And the soft caressing has given us an amount of harmony just in itself. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Although I found the book pretty repetitive, I found the information enlightening. It explains a lot about what went wrong in past relationships. I recommend it to everyone who desires a happy long-term relationship.

I will be glad when Cupid, and the universal message of peace (between the sheets) in it, circles the globe.

[About Chapter Six, "The Road to Excess"] Thank you so much for writing this. It was great to read for many reasons. It is very well written. It is fascinating. It drew me along and I was very disappointed when I got to the end. And most importantly it provides what I think is one of the most important things: reasons to break the addiction. People may say they want to do something but without solid reasons that speak to ones values then there is no reason to change. I think this information would benefit many people. Well done and thanks again.

JPR Radio appearance - June, 2009

Congratulations! Your radio appearance came off very well. You explained the points very clearly and energetically. And dealt with those off-the-wall callers. -- P.S., psychologist

I was able to listen to you this morning on JPR. It was very interesting and impressive. You handled questions so well! Everything from passing on questions out of your realm or expertise, using thoughtful, careful, meaningful language, avoiding the frequent trap of dichotomy, balancing your own experience with research, and sidestepping fabricated controversy. I really appreciate your research and creativity in putting together new ideas. Although I'm sure there are plenty of psychologists who envision themselves constrained by their ethical code intersecting DSM psychopathology, I'm also very confident there are plenty who would NOT see your perspective as compromising what they might offer a client(s) therapeutically. Probably even more so with other counseling professionals. -- D.H., psychologist

We enjoyed listening to your broadcast. You are really good on the air. It either comes naturally or from experience. It sounded like the host had read your book. That makes a big difference in how good the interview is. Think of all the relationships you could save. C&L S., married couple

ABC TV appearance - August, 2009

It was a pleasure having Marnia Robinson on "The View from the Bay." Her approach and demeanor were straightforward and candid. Crystal Mason, ABC 7/ KGO-TV

Awesome, coherent interview. D.A.

The segment was GREAT! I specifically liked that you have so much to share that you have written books on the subject, yet you can effortlessly share the information in a few minute segment without being pushy or talking a mile a minute. J.Z.

You did a stellar job on your TV appearance. M.P.

I find that the best talking heads (and there are some) are those who can speak on two levels at once: technical details or fresh insights for the sophisticated viewer and accessible food for thought for the high school graduate. You definitely have that knack (and in your writing, too) for reaching a broad audience with diverse backgrounds. Bravo! D.W.

You did a good job of packing the info into such a brief period and making it catchy.

Thought you did a great job, especially for your first time on TV. You looked great too. J.D., coach

You were a lovely, elegant, and graciously well-spoken presence on the program. It is said of old, that when the pupil is ready, the teacher appears. This satiated, dissatisfied, driven, desperate society is ready for your guiding gift. Thank you, Marnia. May your light amplify and expand. You are amazing, and a natural. I would NEVER have guessed in a million years that that was your very first television appearance. Your poise was completely convincing. D.C.

Congrats Marnia! We just watched you. I think you came off beautifully both visually and content-wise. Came across simple, clear, and appealing. We think you'll be wonderful on Oprah!. E. D.

Nicely done! You look fabulous and sounded great. J.R.

You are so brave to launch this radical hypothesis onto the airwaves. It is so hard to enter a NEW thought into our status quo social milieu. So good!

Marnia, you're awesome! Great job. D.R.

Well, I've finished the book. I've found it quite cathartic. Since beginning it, I've felt like I'm looking at females differently, because I don't feel so accountable for wanting something, so much as desiring an exchange: this might well have been my attitude before, but now I feel the ethos surrounding karezza proves it. I feel no need to test the ills of the passion cycle out by a stark comparison, although it won't be possible to maintain oxytocin/vasopressin levels without a partner, I feel (that sounds very clinical, but you know what I mean). I should maybe take up yoga, as it's a suggestion I gathered might help for now. I almost wish there was a karezza dating site, although I'm pretty sure that would go against the very principle. Everyone whom I've mentioned the theory to has just laughed, apart from my physiotherapist, but she is a forward thinker; I have given her the website address. I honestly believe that I've been given information which, now I've assimilated it, I couldn't turn my back on, and I'm a bit concerned about those who will forever trust their biology. Thank you so very much for something which is so much broader and bigger and better, in concept, than I could ever have imagined. U.G.

Wonderful job you did - so authentic and warm and inspiring. S.B.

[From radio show host, Portland, OR to friend who organized the interview.] That interview with Marnia is a sample of why I do radio. That show was so powerful that it should be life changing for my listeners. Tom Park, "Pathways"

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