I've noticed that most sex books either sound like a textbook, or like Cosmo. They're either talking about insertion of the penis into the vaginal canal, or thrusting his manhood into her…something girly. It's boring or insulting, take your pick. Often the textbooky ones have no pictures, maybe some illustrations heavily annotated and captioned with words like vas defrens. (Often not even words LIKE vas defrens.) The ones that lean towards the supermarket “23 ways to please your man” articles are filled with uber beautiful people in positions and situations and locations that I couldn't possibly live up to, reproduce, or afford.
I've bought a lot of sex books over the years, all different kinds. Sex For Dummies is a lot of fun because Dr. Ruth is a lot of fun, but it still skews very whitebread. The Guide To Getting it On is probably my favorite simply because it's MASSIVE (that's what she said) and filled with fun illustrations, written with a snarky attitude that, if you're a regular reader of this website, you might assume I feel…akin to. Most though have been relegated to closets, basements, trash heaps. Most are no good at all unless you're an alien visitor trying to find out what this sex thing is all about.
What do we want in a sex book? Well, to see people having sex, in realistic ways. Not airbrushed people with their genitles in the vague vicinity of each others who are doing positions like the wheelbarrow which may feel quite at home in that porno you mentioned, but unless you're planning on using the entire sex position variety pack in one night, you probably won't do. (Between you and me and the silhouettes, do we really need a different position for every day of the year?)
That's the other thing, those models in those books, they don't look like they're having fun. It's always that eyes slightly closed, lips and teeth apart, I MAY be having an orgasm, or about to have an orgasm, or be thinking about my taxes look that's ever so sexy. So, why aren't these books more fun?
Enter Kidder Kaper and Sex is Fun. In his podcast for the past handful of years Kidder has launched a crusade to remind the world that Sex is Fun and should be played with. (See…cuz that's the name of his show, and his book…and…nevermind.) So his approach to a sex manual is first and foremost FUN.
Which is probably why these people are cartoons. Especially happy cartoons doing incredibly sexy things and seeming to enjoy every damned minute of them.
The book takes you through everything you ever wanted to know about sex from the standards (positions, oral sex, anal sex) to the things that often aren't dealt with much in books (sex toys, role playing) to the things that are often relegated to the DIRTY corner of sexuality (bdsm and other graduate level sexual practices) with helpful and fun narration accompanied by cartoon characters doing it. (and by it I mean you can't even imagine the amount of IT these characters get up to…)
While Sex is Fun the book is predominantly a “here's how you do this, and how to do it safely” book, there's also a choose your own adventure aspect to it through the inclusion of check lists and pages that encourage open dialog about sexuality between you and your partner.
Through listening to the Sex Is Fun Podcast, I happen to know that there was a lot of discussion about the pansexual nature of this book, and whether or not the public at large will be able to accept a book fully that is just as likely to show two men going at it as a man and a woman. I found it refreshing and surprising at the same time. It's interesting to me that, even as someone who's very open sexually, when I suddenly see two men together, I still get that “oh!” surprised feeling.
The nice thing about presenting all walks of sexual life* equally and matter of factly is that it takes away the bite of them, takes away the sting, so while the first time I saw a gay couple in the book I may have gone “oh,” by the end it was just another couple. Hopefully the book will do the same for folks more uptight than me, and kudos to Kidder sticking to his guns about the need for pansexuality in the book.
Unlike many reviews on this website, this book wasn't sent to us for review, this was a book I purchased myself, and one that I would recommend you all purchase as well. Kidder Kaper has managed to turn the sex manual into something worthy of enjoyment once again. It's amusing, adorable, and most of all, fun…'cuz Sex IS Fun.
And we over here on the Swingset heartily endorse Sex is Fun! so go pick it up, page through it naked with someone you enjoy, and then fuck till you forget how to talk!
*Now, I'm glad you followed me down here, since I've never done an asterisk'd annotation before, I didn't know if you would. The book is missing something pretty important to us over here on the swingset…namely swinging. Or sex beyond two people. But I can't blame Kidder for that. This is, after all, a textbook for couples. I look at it that this book is an Associates Degree in Fun Sex. When it comes time for the Bachelors Degree (ie, Sex Is Fun 2: Electric Boogaloo) there'll be a place for us in…shall we say…unique relationships.
I just saw this book on my friend's blog and HAD TO GET IT! I ordered a signed copy from the author's website. That is where I found your link to your review! Great review!