Trying to find a quality book on sex is like trying to find a quality movie in Hollywood—every now and then you strike gold, but most of the time you're just struck with disappointments. There are a few gems out there, and a lot of over-the-top fluff. Here are a couple of our recommendations for awesome sex books that come to the subject from completely different angles (again, no pun intended). These are by no means the only good books out there, but they're our favorites, and together they should tell you just about everything you ever needed to know about sex, safety and respect.
Prep for Valentine's Day (but really, any old day) with these two guides. You and your partner will be very, very pleased.
Guide To Getting It On!
Goofy Foot Press, paperback, $19.95
The best 20 bucks you ever slapped down on a counter. This book is the bible of sex, and every sexually active or soon-to-be sexually active person on Earth should own it. At a whopping 782 pages, this thing is an encyclopedia of hand jobs, orgasms and fantasies, but it certainly isn't written like one.
A compendium of information and advice from folks from a variety of professions—such as “psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, lawyers, teachers, writers, a couple of surfers, and even a prostitute and a priest”—the book was compiled and written by one guy, a mental health professional. In fact, none of the people who contributed to the book are physicians or sex therapists; they're just real people with years of experience and the desire to educate. So take it all with a grain of salt, but don't let your cynicism sneak in. You can't afford to miss out on this one.
There are over 58 chapters on topics such as “Horizontal Jogging,” “The Glands Down Under,” “Sex in Cyberspace” and “When the Tide Turns Red,” written in (as you can probably tell by this point) an accessible, hip and easy-to-read style. It's filled with a lot of sex tips, education and resources on safety and pregnancy. It's also filled with comments from readers and answers to commonly (and not so commonly) asked questions. It even offers advice on sex for the disabled, first-time sex and explaining sex to your kids. And it's illustrated completely with hand drawings—no photos for the weak of heart. I could go on, but I'd end up writing 782 pages. Just buy the book. I promise, you won't regret it (well, maybe if you're John Ashcroft).
What Your Mother Never Told You About S-e-x
Hilda Hutcherson, M.D.
G.P. Putnam's Sons, hardback, $27.95
On the opposite end of the spectrum, this book was written by an obstetrician/gynecologist who's been practicing for over 20 years. But it's still far from medical jargon. Written in a very well-organized, professional and digestible style, this is a book you can trust when it comes to anatomy, pregnancy and safety. It's also full of sex tips, and gives great advice on everything from sexercise, overcoming sexual problems, sex for the elderly and birth control.
This book is written by a woman, primarily for women. But it would still be a good idea for guys to check it out, too. Much of the information is aimed toward both men and women, and it's smart for men to be as educated on women's sexuality as they are on their own, and vice versa. This book is an excellent reference any time you have a medical question about sex, and it's a great resource for many other things as well. Every woman should have a copy in her nightstand.