Lesbrary Review: The Whole Lesbian Sex Book by Felice Newman

Now this is a sex book! I read the second edition of The Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide For All of Us (from my public library! Though now I’m going to buy it for myself).

When it says “whole”, it really means whole. The Whole Lesbian Sex Book includes information on how menopause & perimenopause and drugs for depression affect sex, information on having sex with a trans partner (FtM or MtF), tons of info on safer sex and why it’s important for lesbians, sexual health info, sex toys, BDSM, anatomy, group sex, masturbation, play parties… the list goes on and on.

I loved the tone in this book, too. It wasn’t overly clinical, but it wasn’t trying to be erotica, either. It’s completely casual and conversational. It also includes tons of quotations from women who filled out a sexual questionnaire, whether it’s about their gender identity or how they like to be touched or how childhood sexual abuse affects their adult sex life. Those really added to the feel of the book. I should mention that this is also not just a book for lesbians; it is also inclusive of bi women, and often mentions those not covered by either label. As the blurb by Bust says, “I highly recommend this book to every woman: bi, lesbian, almost queer, totally straight, or boy-girl.”

One of my favourite things about The Whole Lesbian Sex Book was the illustrations. It doesn’t use photos, which often end up either awkward or porn-ish, but instead uses detailed drawings. These drawings include a range of women of different colours, sizes, gender expressions, etc. For example, the illustration of the vulva includes a labia piercing, a tattoo, pubic hair (and not in a neat triangle or strip, either! Gasp!), and a bottle of lube.

The only quibbles I had were pretty minor. One was that I would’ve liked them to go more in depth on the range of different vulvas, since so many women are self-conscious about that. The more bothersome concern I had was that there was no mention of vegan or vegetarian options, which is relevant when talking about sex toys and even lube. It seems to include everything other than that.

It also includes a bibliography in the back for finding real made-by-lesbians porn, erotica, etc. It also has resources for sex education workshops, play parties, bisexual resources, sex toys manufacturers, etc. Unfortunately, the online resources for communities are now a little out of date: this was last published in 2004.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book. It wasn’t really meant to be read cover-to-cover, but I did, and I liked it. The good thing is, you can look up any specific chapter you want to and it will have all the relevant information, even if it’s repeated elsewhere, which I think is the best call. (For example, if you look up oral sex, it will include info on dental dams, even though that’s also covered in the safer sex chapter.)

Have you read The Whole Lesbian Sex Book or another lesbian sex book? What did you think of it?

6 Replies to “Lesbrary Review: The Whole Lesbian Sex Book by Felice Newman”

  1. LindsayDianne

    This sounds like an awesome, comprehensive book. It would be great, I think, for any lesbian/bi woman to just have- just in case. Everyone can use a handbook, right? 🙂

  2. Jule

    Hi there! I just found my way to your site and I have to say I’m super excited about your project – obsessed with reading all things lesbian is definitely something I am VICTIM of myself. Your review made me so curious about The Whole Lesbian Sex Book (especially because I already have seen it so often and my curiosity was already slightly roused before) I just had to order it from Amazon right away. I’m looking forward to add my opinion on this on your page!

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