What's a good basic book on s-e-x?
October 14, 2004 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Good lovin--what's a good basic book on s-e-x? I would like to improve, but don't really want to break out the whipped cream and riding crop, or get all kama sutra. I am a monogamous hetero male who has only had one partner, and I don't think she would be into accessories.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Don't laugh, but if you really want a good basic book, The Act of Marriage by Tim LaHaye (Yes, THAT Tim LaHaye.)

In the Christian bookstore of course.
posted by konolia at 1:27 PM on October 14, 2004

The Guide to Getting it On is the best book on sex, anywhere, hands down. It's thorough, witty, and it has great comic-book-style drawings. It'll change the way you think about sex.
posted by bonheur at 1:31 PM on October 14, 2004 [2 favorites]

and I don't think she would be into accessories

You might be surprised. Even a simple, small, non-threatening vibrator can make all the difference in the world when you're having sex. It will take the pressure off you, and the guaranteed orgasm it will give her might make her want to recprocate in kind.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:40 PM on October 14, 2004

Bonheur's given you the gold. Buy that book.
posted by dobbs at 1:46 PM on October 14, 2004

I'd say forget the books -- if you're going into it with the attitude of "I don't wanna do X, she won't wanna do Y" then they won't do you much good anyway.

Think about what turns you on. Ask her what turns her on. Do those things. There's no grand scorecard; "doing better" boils down to doing what makes you both feel good. If no good ideas come to mind, (which really just means one or both of you is too shy to say the ideas out loud), then try something just for novelty's sake, even if it feels silly at first. Like, say, whipped cream, or accessories, or getting all kama sutra. You might be surprised.
posted by ook at 1:51 PM on October 14, 2004

No idea how old you are, but inhibitions for new things seem to lower as a couple grow older.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:02 PM on October 14, 2004

Ditto on Guide to Getting It On. I picked up a copy a few months, and really enjoyed it; it's both a surprisingly good read (for a reference work) and quite educational, even for a know-it-all like me.

Creativity and communication are good and necessary, but you've got to know the possibilities, and it's best to learn from those who have come before you. (Pun intended.) The Guide to Getting It On is, IMHO, the best way to learn those lessons.
posted by waldo at 2:03 PM on October 14, 2004

Yes, THAT Tim LaHaye

What, is he a blogger or something?
posted by kindall at 2:31 PM on October 14, 2004

Dang it Chapters lists two different versions. The new release is supposed to have more stuff and is cheaper to boot. Any reason to pay more for the earlier release?
posted by Mitheral at 2:47 PM on October 14, 2004

kindall: he's one the guys who wrote the Left Behind novels about the apocalypse & second coming.
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:12 PM on October 14, 2004

"I would like to improve... "

I don't think you need a book, you need a conversation with your partner. If sitting down with a sex manual with your partner is how you'll start this discussion, a plain old copy of "Joy of..." will probably suffice.
posted by majick at 3:27 PM on October 14, 2004

Mitheral, I don't know the diff between the two editions. I'd probably get the new one. Hopefully, it still has a section called Balls, Balls, Balls. :)
posted by dobbs at 4:08 PM on October 14, 2004

A suggestion in a different direction, just noting your "one partner" mention. One of the things that might also be useful, and fun, is a sort of primer on women's sexuality. Read The Hite Report, or The New Hite Report. Hite's a sex researcher who did a sort of exhaustive study of women's sex lives. The books have a lot of interesting anecdotes, some of Hite's commentary is trite but the first-person reporting is great. Lots of good data in there and if you leave it around, your lady will know something is up.

Also useful for the female perspective is the slightly dated My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday. It was a huge deal when it came out because it was chock full of women talking about their sexual fantasies... people were suprised at what women were thinking, and what was sexy to them.

On a more contemporary note, I have heard great things about The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex. They are a Bay Area sex gear shop that is well known for being fun and friendly and not just toy-oriented. Their online store has a really good selection of sex guides that cover different areas & topics.
posted by jessamyn at 4:16 PM on October 14, 2004 [1 favorite]

I would like to improve

Are you getting off? No need for improvement, then.

All kidding aside, trial and error is the best method. Try every technique you can think of and see what gets her off. You'll have a lot of fun practicing if nothing else.
posted by jonmc at 4:43 PM on October 14, 2004

Yeah; the worst one I ever had was right on the money...
posted by baylink at 5:27 PM on October 14, 2004

I can second the Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, (A friendly warning: the Good Vibrations folks are very comfortable with what many people might consider taboo. I believe this is to their credit, but if you're looking for a book like Konolia suggested, this is the wrong book for you.)

If you feel limited by your experience, a good read (in solitude or with your partner) will give you a base for communication and experimentation.

(If you enjoy reading the first book give The Good Vibrations Guide: The G-Spot, Anal Pleasure and Health, Multi-orgasmic Man and SM 101 a read. These are a bit more specialized in terms of their focus and may not be in your area(s) of interest, but I highly recommend each one of them. For a useful read on a basic component of more traditional seduction, Sensual Massage and a willing partner make for endless nights of good times. And who wouldn't turn down a good massage?)

I'd have to agree with others that a book isn't the only or even the best solution broadening your sexual experience. Try things that you and your partner are comfortable with, things that are mutually non-threatening. Build a common experience. Share your ideas and feelings about each experience, but don't feel like you have to critique every nuance. Listen to your partner for subtle clues and hints they may not even be aware they are giving you and build.

(By hints, I don't mean read between the lines. In the heat of passion your partner may adjust your hand, rhythm or position. If such an adjustment yields a pleasurable experience, try to repeat the same thing a different time without the need for prompting.)

Talking about sex is often unnatural - giving color commentary or even a play by play post sexual encounter is not everyone's cup of tea. Moreover, opening a book, getting naked and trying page 32 and 89 isn't everyone's idea of an erotic evening with their partner. Fine Art of Erotic Talk is a good read on both talking about sex and talking sexy. If communication is an issue, this would be my suggestion on where to start.
posted by sequential at 1:03 AM on October 15, 2004

Second (third? fourth? fifth?) the recommendation for The Guide to Getting It On.

When I was an RA in college, the folks from the local Planned Parenthood brought it as a door prize for one of their educational programs I set up in the dorm. It was such a good, informative read that many of the guys ended up getting their own copies.
posted by Vidiot at 5:37 AM on October 15, 2004

Muster up the courage to go to a sex shop, together. If you're in a big city, odds are there is at least one "legit" place that isn't haunted by pervs. You'll have a ton of giggles over the strap-ons and latex vaginas modeled after porn stars. Once the shock of it all subsides, the thought of a low-key toy may seem much more reasonable. If nothing else, it stirs the imagination...
posted by mkultra at 6:36 AM on October 15, 2004

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