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The Poetry of Sexual Love

In her search for positive, healthy sexual images to help her in her practice, renowned sex therapist and author Wendy Maltz solicited and sought out “poems that inspire and celebrate healthy sexual intimacy; poems in which heart connection was at the core of the sexual experience.” In reviewing more than 1,500 submissions, she asked, “Does this poem represent mutual caring and desire? Do the partners relate as equals, respecting each other as separate individuals? Is there a sense of emotional trust and honesty? Are the sexual interactions assumed to be safe from emotional and physical harm? Does the poem celebrate sensual pleasures?”

The result is a remarkable anthology of intimate, emotionally explicit, yet accessible poetry, representing new voices as well as the most revered contemporary poets. Culled from classic works of poetry, literary and erotica journals, and unpublished poetry, Passionate Hearts celebrates the joys of sexual connection and expression throughout the life of a relationship, from early courtship to mature love. These poems awaken desire and reveal the mysterious power and beauty of sexual sharing.

Contributing poets include:
Gary Soto, Pablo Neruda, Sharon Olds, Marge Piercy, Tess Gallagher, e.e. cummings, Molly Peacock, Raymond Carver, Galway Kinnell, Sara Teasdale, David Steinberg, Robert Wrigley, Dorianne Laux, Olga Broumas, and more


“A provocative source of passion and essential addition to any sexuality library.”
— Patricia Love, EdD, coauthor of Hot Monogamy

“Passionate Hearts should be on the bedside of every couple.”
— Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want

“A lovely collection of contemporary poetry celebrating the tender mystery central to our lives: one human being delighting in another.”
— John Welwood, author of Love and Awakening