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 Unfortunately, the online resources for communities are now a little out of date: this was last published in 2004.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?

Lesbrary Review: The Guide to Lesbian Sex by Jude Schell

I just wanted to start off this post to say that, believe it or not, I got this book from my local library. Yes, my library is awesome. Anyways, on to the book review.

If you’re looking for a practical how-to guide to lesbian sex, this isn’t it. The Guide to Lesbian Sex is mostly dominated by pictures. Some of them are quite artistic and/or erotic, but a lot of them have weird added textures from a photo-editing program that are really just distracting, and the same couple models are repeated, meaning you see them a couple dozen times in very similar positions, which gets repetitive.

As for the actual content, it doesn’t go into much depth. Most of it is just introducing sexual concepts and uses a tone that’s an odd mix of scientific and sexual, like the introduction to the “Lick” section (the book is divided into sections like Flirt, Lick, Desire, etc, each only a page or a couple of pages):

To lick is to pass our tongue along a surface. The tongue is a large bundle of muscles covered with thousands of highly sensitive taste buds and papillae capable of inducing our sexual appetite and enhancing sexual pleasure. It’s versatile, pliable, moist, and an ideal texture for sex.

Some of the little facts she shares are fairly interesting, like where the word flirt comes from, and some of the sexual tips are good, but there’s not enough depth (it’s only about 200 pages, most of which are pictures) to really offer much in that respect, plus it seems to veer from the very specific to the very general in focus.

Overall, The Guide to Lesbian Sex was an interesting enough read to pass the time and to look at the pictures (at least the ones that aren’t strangely altered), but it didn’t have a lot of practical advice.

Although Girl Meets Girl by Diana Cage isn’t exclusively a sex book, I thought its sex section was pretty helpful. Susie Sexpert’s Lesbian Sex World is a bit old, I don’t think it’s outdated; it still is pretty open-minded, even by today’s standards. I’ve just put the other lesbian sex guide at the library (yes, there are two) on hold: The Whole Lesbian Sex Book by Felice Newman, which I’m looking forward to.

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