Sex Yourself

May 8th, 2017

Sex Yourself
$11.99 (Kindle) from Amazon

If I was going to pick a book that was friendly and welcoming to readers, especially those who are looking to expand or start their sex lives, Sex Yourself would be pretty far up there.

Sex Yourself, subtitle ” The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms,” is the product of author Carlyle Jansen. Jansen is actually the founder of Toronto sex toy store Good For Her. I feel like Jansen is a capable vessel to disseminate this information, and Sex Yourself lends credibility by not avoiding actual names for our anatomy or trying to cute things up. I appreciate this.

The book does a good job at talking to the inexperienced reader without being overwhelming them while avoiding those all-too-common mistakes of treating sex as something to hem and/or hehe about. Jansen proves you can be gentle without being infantilizing or condescending (although, she does swap “masturbation” with “self-pleasure” and “solo sex”). Why don’t more people do this?

Right from the start, Sex Yourself aims to encourage masturbation and to mitigate feelings of guilt about masturbation. Jansen reassures the reader with stats about women and masturbation. She also touches on how solo sex is still sex, even if it’s with yourself, but it’s not cheating. The first chapter wraps up with benefits of masturbation, both for yourself and your partnered sex.

A bit of the formatting is lost in the digital edition

From here, Jansen teaches the reader about erogenous zones such as the clitoris. She also specifies between the vulva and vagina. Yasss! The second chapter is the comprehensive anatomy lesson that most of us never got with addition info on discharge, pregnancy, and menopause.

I don’t want to go through every chapter in detail, but  Sex Yourself is worth reading for many people, even if I found most of the information a little basic. It’s the type of book that a parent might give to their daughter or that a young woman might seek out to get in touch with her sexual side.

This book is body positive, and the encouragement for self-love extends beyond masturbation. Jansen’s words somehow make it a little more easy to be in a woman with so many expectations put upon us before providing actionable techniques for masturbation. Every topic that Jansen tackles to techniques to toys to masturbating in front of your partner is in-depth and accessible while encouraging natural sexual exploration.

I was consistently impressed with Jansen’s advice, the type that I and my fellow sex bloggers have been providing for years. Sex Yourself suggests lube time and again (yay) while providing all the information you need to choose a one (you can learn a bit more about the science of lube in this post). Issues such as ass-to-vag toy usage and anal toy safety aren’t glossed over. I love this.

Sex Yourself also dispels some myths such as one type of orgasm being superior to the other or that there’s a difference between G-spot and clitoral orgasms, to begin with. The book also doesn’t spread falsehoods like squirting is just pee, either.

Perhaps it’s because Jansen wrote Sex Yourself like so many of my peers have been writing posts (you’ll find recommendations for some of our favorite toys!) and books that it struck gold. It’s real, it’s useful, and its presence was much needed in the world of sex ed.

It’s also a quick read, and you can page through to the content you need without reading it all. In fact, I would recommend a physical copy because it looks like the formatting works just a bit better/is more polished than the digital version.

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101 Vagina Giveaway

April 4th, 2014

41UOw-Y7VPL[1]I was rather impressed with the coffee table book, 101 Vagina, that I received to review. Now, maybe I am not a coffee table book person (actually, I have an ottoman that’s generally filled with electronics LOL), but it was a nice change of page.

I didn’t want to give too much away in my review. Otherwise, you wouldn’t read it, would you? But the experience of reading it was almost.. magical. That sounds a whole lot less pragmatic than I normally am, but there you have it.

In order to spread the word about this project, I have teamed up with the photography/creator to give one copy of 101 Vagina away to a reader at Of Sex and Love. All you have to do is fill out the form below.

Good luck!

Giveaway is open to US residents and ends May 4.

Don’t worry, though, if you don’t win. 101 Vagina is super affordable at less than $19 from Amazon.


Tickle My Tush

January 20th, 2012

I’ve seen the books by Dr. Sadie before. They have cute names like “Ride ‘Em, Cowgirl” and “Tickle His Pickle.” Tickle My Tush is the latest book by Dr. Sadie, published by Tickle Kitty. It’s, as you can guess, all about anal play. What you might not guess is how small this book is! It’s just over 100 pages but the book is both short and narrow, so it’s physically smaller than other educational books. There’s also a lot of white space in the book itself, which is why I was able to read it in only two sittings.

The good news is, if you’re just starting out with anal play, then you won’t be intimidated by this book. Because I think this book is really best for those who are just exploring the territory and maybe even those who have tried but haven’t had a lot of success with it in the past, this isn’t a bad thing. I, personally, didn’t find this book to be eye-opening but I was able to compare it to my own experience and the experiences of those I know and can say the advice is pretty solid.

Dr Sadie splits the book up into chapters that begin by introducing anal play to the reader. In the first chapter, she explains why people enjoy it. The next address frequently asked questions and the third talks about anal safety. One thing I enjoyed is that she is always stressing lubing it up and communication with your partner, whether you’re on the giving or receiving end. The chapters continue on, and Dr Sadie talks about hygiene then introduces the anatomy of the ass in both men and women.

In the sixth chapter, the action finally begins as Sadie instructs the reader about anal massage. Finger play and oral follow before a chapter on penetration. Experienced users can tune right in to read about orgasm through anal play and Dr Sadie devotes an entire chapter to anal toys — and she stresses the necessity for flared bases at least three times. The segues into strap-on anal play, which Sadie assumes is between men and women only. She does a great job explaining why a woman might want to don a dong but the entire book has a hetero/monogamous slant. It doesn’t make it less useful for people in general; however, it would be more useful and welcoming with different language. After all, wouldn’t a gay man or a lesbian want to learn the basics of anal play, too?

Tickle My Tush wraps up with an entire chapter dedicated to positions, with illustrations and a final FAQ that addresses questions readers may have after reading the book. As I mentioned, it’s a quick read because each chapter is only a few pages long. There’s also a lot of white space that accomodate for “Sadie Sez” asides. These blurbs highlight or stress things that Sadie wants the reader to remember. For example, slower is better or not to try to emulate porn, where warm-up is done off-screen. Mostly, the blurbs repeat content on the page, however. The line breaks between paragraphs are also quite white and on some pages there are warnings within a “Caution” sign, creating more empty space. The list goes on but, essentially, this book is even shorter than it looks and it looks short.

As I mentioned, the advice is pretty solid. I love how Sadie focuses on hygiene issues that allow you to feel more comfortable as does her general tone. However, her tone is extremely conversational, sometimes bordering on silly. There’s an entire page dedicated to the words and terms she is going to use instead of the actual clinical or official words for anatomy or activities. For example, it’s not “sphincter” but “O-rings” and she uses “pleasure inch” instead of “anal canal”. Dr Sadie reasons that some of these words sound unpleasant and, therefore, we should use friendlier terms, instead. I don’t necessarily mind “color” as slang for poop and terms like “rimming” and “licking” are readily accepted; however, if you can’t say “rectum” without giggling, maybe you shouldn’t be reading (or writing) this book.

There’s also a lot of conversational speaking to the reader and this sometimes feels as though they’re trying to make a book out of information that would only really fill a pamphlet. Similarly, the pictures feel a little amateur at times; however, they’re helpful in the positions chapter and I find the position suggestions to be creative and useful. Sometimes suggested positions come off as both unrealistic and uncomfortable. Dr Sadie also recommends which of these positions is better for persons of different heights and weights.

My last complaint is that Tickle My Tush doesn’t address material safety in terms of toys for anal sex. She says that no toy, finger or cock should enter the mouth or vagina after anal play and also recommends ways to keep juices/lube from finding its way into the vagina. Still, the book could do more with address porosity and using either condoms and toy covers for anal play. I’d really like to see Dr Sadie talk about how only non-porous toys are actually safe between holes because jelly and the like can harbor bacteria even after it’s been washed with soap and water. Silicone, glass and metal, at least, can be more thoroughly sterilized but I wouldn’t even use a non-porous material without bleaching or boiling first.

Although Tickle My Tush isn’t without its flaws, its approachable and I think many people who are uncomfortable or only just warming up to the idea of anal sex will find it useful. It could perhaps be read by couples who are venturing into new territory together but many experienced toy and anal players may want to skip this one.