Not in a couple this Valentine's Day? Don't look so glum. The holiday is about appreciating the ones you love—and that includes yourself. Be your own sweetheart. Give yourself some lovin'. Buy yourself a toy. Better yet, check out this book for some real advice on flying solo. And don't forget the chocolate.
Betty Dodson, Ph.D.
Three Rivers Press, paperback, $14
I know; it's the kind of cornball title that makes you want to either laugh or bury your head in the sand. But look past the title—this is still one of the best books on masturbation out on the market today. Revisions have been around since the '70s, but the last version was printed 10 years ago. A lot has changed in sexual perception over the years, but masturbation remains one of the largest standing taboos in sexual discussion. Which is ridiculous—because how can you know how to please someone else, or teach someone how to please you, until you know how to do it yourself? You don't ask someone else to brush your teeth every night or blow your nose—you shouldn't ask someone else to get you off if you don't even know how to.
Rants aside, the author of this book is a known expert on female sexuality, with over 25 years of experience in teaching women about orgasms in her workshops and a doctorate in sexology from the Institute for the Advance Study of Human Sexuality.
Much of the book is devoted to the history of the sociology of masturbation and personal accounts from her workshops, but there's also a sizeable amount of text devoted to guidance and tips on “making love alone.”
It was a revolutionary book in a time when no one was talking about masturbation, and it's remains on the best critiques and advice on the subject today. Whether or not you're spending the holiday solo, this is a great book to help you tap into yourself.