Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: Her Guide to Going Down

Ok, I told you about the book that had tons and tons of great info, even if it didn't all apply to everyone.  Now I'm going to tell you about the opposite end of the spectrum.

First off, let me tell you that I received a copy of Her Guide to Going Down for free in exchange for a review.  I was unbelievably excited when I received it, but as soon as I opened the package and read the back of the book, my excitement turned to disbelief and then...what's a word that more than not like but less than hatred?  Whatever that word is, that's what I felt.

A little bit about it: Simply put, this is a manual for performing fellatio (oral sex performed on a man). It has a lot of information covered in a smallish book.

What I loved: Everyone will probably be able to find at least one helpful thing to take away from this book.

What I didn't:  This is where I'm going to get a smidge critical.  Honestly, almost every review I've read of this book was glowingly positive, and even though there are some helpful tidbits, I just don't get  the love.  Settle in.  I've got quite a bit to say.

First off, the color scheme of this book horribly garish.  I understand that it's probably not the fault of the author, but rather the publisher, but it needs to be said.  The main color for this book is a horrible, hot pink.  It's the color of the text of section headings and bold type, the background color in blocks of text labeled "Sex Savvy" (these are little asides sprinkled throughout the book), and even the photos at the beginning of each chapter are tinted with the same awful pink.  A little pink here and there, fine, but it's everywhere.  You may be wondering why I'm even bothering to mention the color first.  Well, it's because there is so much of this pink in the book that it becomes distracting, difficult to read, and nauseating.

Next, some info seems to be missing.  She talks about using flavored lubricant and gives some pointers of the pros and cons, but I can't help but notice she doesn't discuss the potential dangers of using flavored lubricant for sexual intercourse.  According to Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller in their book, I Love Female Orgasm, flavored lubricants usually contain glycerin, which in turn can cause yeast infections, especially in those prone to them.  However, the only con the author of Her Guide to Going Down gives for using flavored lubricant for other sexual activity is that it may become too sticky.

Also, some info seems to be pretty uncomfortable, and possibly dangerous.  An example of this is when she suggests sprinkling cinnamon on the male and then licking it off.  Now, I'm not a doctor, and I have no proof, but something deep down inside me screams that this is a bad idea.  After reading it in the book, I looked up at Husband and suggested the idea to him.  He made a concerned face and merely said, "That doesn't sound like fun to me."

Moving on, let's talk about the positions suggested in the book.  Yes, yes, we know the on-your-knees and laying down standards (unless you're brand new to oral, and if you are, welcome), but some of the other suggestions were downright ludicrous to the average person.  For one, the Standing 69.  Although the author warns it is a position "meant for true athletes," it really doesn't have a place in a beginner's how-to book.  Basically, it works like this: he is standing on his feet, and she is doing a handstand.  How many people can do that?  How many people should even think about trying it?

Finally, there is a glaring issue I have with this book.  It puts way too much emphasis on oral sex being the alpha sex act, if you know what I mean.  Even turning the book over and reading the back, the first thing I see is, "Master the art of going down--and he'll be yours forever!"  I was already disappointed when I saw that.  I knew right then the book was going to be making some questionable claims.  When reading it, I see that I wasn't wrong.  Among others, the author claims that oral sex is the way for better orgasms.  Not just a way.  THE way.  Also that oral sex has a reputation for "inviting sexual release in a way that nothing else can," and that oral has "taken center stage in the quest for sexual fulfillment."  All that, and not even through the first paragraph of the introduction!  There is simply too much emphasis on oral as the #1 sex act you should be doing.  For beginners, that's a dangerous line of thinking.  If the beginner has trouble getting started or has had failures with oral in the past, that line of thinking is potentially emotionally damaging.  ("I can't get this right!  What's wrong with me?!  It's the one thing I have to be able to do!")

Final thought: I'm going to say skip this one.  As a better sex/how-to book, it's just not that great.  There's not enough new information that experienced people would find useful, and there are too many questionable claims (and missing information) to be a good choice for beginners.

~I received this book for free in exchane for writing a review on another site.~

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