Book Reviews: Two Lesbian Sex Guides

The Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide for All of Us

by Felice Newman

I can’t rave enough about this book, really.  It’s extremely informative, with an excellent resource section, and best of all it’s inclusive.  You finish this sex manual feeling that there is no “wrong” way to go about lesbian sex, and that says a lot for the book in my opinion.  It’s trans and kink inclusive, and addresses issues such as sex with a disability, sex during depression, and safer sex in a comprehensive way that few guides tackle.  I thought that there was really nothing new to learn about lesbian sex, despite my very limited experience.  It seemed fairly straightforward to me, but this book gave me some ideas I’d never really considered.  I especially like how some of the anatomical myths are debunked – I had no idea that I was so confused about my own anatomy until I read the first couple of chapters.  I ended up grabbing a flashlight and mirror for the first time and was a bit amazed about how confused I’d been.  I highly recommend this guide for anyone looking for a comprehensive, straightforward, unapologetic look at lesbian sex.  Also, I wanted to note that Newman has asked me to help spread the word about a study she’s doing in preparing for a new sex guide that looks very interesting.  The message itself is a bit long to repost, but if you’re interested just e-mail me at and I’ll send you the whole thing.  She’s looking for female couples who have been together five or more years and have a satisfying sex life on the whole.  It’s very inclusive – poly, trans, bisexual, etc, are welcome to participate.  Let me know if you want the details.

On Our Backs Guide to Lesbian Sex

edited by Diana Cage

I have mixed feelings about this book.  I found some of the articles really interesting – it’s basically a compendium of articles from old issues of the magazine, arranged by topic – but I also found that some of them could be a bit too strongly opinionated for my taste.  One article, for example, on shaving, speaks in a way that makes me feel guilty or embarrassed for being a hairy girl who has no interest in shaving.  There isn’t a whole lot of “whatever you want is fine” in this book.  That said, there are a wide range of perspectives and some of the interviews, especially, are quite fascinating.  I found the roundtable discussion on class particularly interesting.  I do think that the book, the images, and probably the magazine in general, are very butch-femme centric.  Someone noted in one of the articles that butch-butch spreads are the least popular in the magazine – most pictures are butch-femme or occasionally femme-femme.  That had a weirdly heterosexual connotation to it in my mind.  Does it really matter whether we’re butch or femme?  Aren’t we past that.  Apparently not, and I found that a little disconcerting.  I also found a lot of talk about butch-femme fantasies that seemed to me very much like the types of heterosexual relationships that irk me.  That said, if this is your cup of tea, I’m sure you’ll love the book.  There’s just something about prolonged discussion of cocksucking that makes me feel a little queasy.


About Avory

Avory Faucette is a queer feminist activist, writer, and public speaker. Zie graduated from the University of Iowa with a JD in 2009, focusing on international human rights and gender/sexuality issues in the law. Hir current work focuses on queer identity, policy, and marginalized identities under the queer umbrella. As a genderqueer person, zie comments frequently on non-binary identity, transgender and genderqueer issues, and media coverage of these populations. Zie also speaks at colleges, universities, and events on transgender and queer issues and conducts trainings on related topics.

Posted on May 28, 2008, in books, lesbian, queer, reviews, sex and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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