Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic was open-ended, so I chose to list my favourite Top Ten Sex-Positive Books.
Oddly enough, none of the books that made my list are categorized as erotica. There’s a smattering of non-fiction, some novels, and several genres represented within fiction. Clicking on the titles or covers will allow you to view the books on Amazon.
This is an amazing (and relatively short) explanation of orgasmic response in men. The book provides both men and women with instruction on how a man can become multiorgasmic, prolonging both his pleasure and the pleasure of his partner(s). Written in a conversational tone, this book has what other sexuality guides sometimes fail to provide–the guidance and information therein is relatable and easy to understand, not clinical and complicated. Read it with your partner to make sure you’re both clear on the mechanics involved and advice the book provides.
This is a very large book. It covers a huge range of sex-related topics: masturbation, kissing, romance, genital piercings, penetration, toys, sexuality and cancer, fetishes–you name it, they talk about it. This is a great book for young people discovering their sexuality, or for older people whose questions about certain topics weren’t given satisfactory answers in Sex Ed. Written in a style that’s casual, not clinical, open, not judgmental, and easy to understand, this book is a great resource. The cartoons aren’t half bad either.
This book is sex-positive in that it acknowledges that high schoolers have sex. They think about it a lot. They want it, scheme about ways to get it, and go to great lengths to not get caught and make the first time special. The characters in this novel don’t necessarily have positive experiences with sex, but there’s a realistic attitude toward teenage sexual behaviour.
This YA book is about widespread infertility that affects people over the age of ~20. Young men and women who are still fertile form a breeding industry that produces babies and sells them to adoptive families. Bumped makes sex an everyday reality in a way that it isn’t in our culture while still adhering to western sexual norms; women receive approbation for having sex with the right person. It’s an interesting examination of the way we view sex. It’s already such a public topic, and Bumped shows us what would happen if it were public in an entirely different capacity.
I think of this as a sex-positive book because it portrays sex as lovemaking. The protagonist doesn’t engage in an affair out of pure lust; she genuinely loves her partner and making love to him is the next logical step in their emotional relationship. The affair has some very un-lovely consequences, but When She Woke shows that not every act of infidelity is an inherently carnal thing.
I included this book simple because Nick and Norah are attracted to each other and they act on it without shame. There are plenty of obstacles to that–drunken friends, the search for an elusive underground band, etc.–but I love it when characters can enjoy each other physically without feeling ashamed or having a little guilty voice narrating in the back of their heads.
Gimp is the memoir of Mark Zupan, the U.S Paralympic rugby player who was featured in the documentary Murderball. His memoir talks frankly and unabashedly about sex and the effect spinal cord injury has on sexual behaviour. Zupan talks about desire, hook ups, relationships, and intimacy in an open and honest way.
The world needed a book like this, and Kaufman delivered. Society has a tendency to de-sexualize people with disabilities or shelter them like children, and the essential information about sex isn’t always available to them. The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability is a good general text that provides answers on a range of subjects related to sex (anatomy, STDs, pregnancy, birth control, etc.) and specifically to sex and disability (techniques, tools, etc.). It’s a great resource for people with disabilities (congenital or acquired) and their partners.
Angel by Laura Lee is a novel that talks about desire and love as being independent of but naturally intertwined with sexual intimacy. Lee’s handling of characterization makes a sexual relationship that some might call unnatural feel like the most natural thing in the world.
I wasn’t a big fan of this book’s conclusion, but I have to give Downham props for writing about youth and sex realistically. Teenagers screw. It happens. Sometimes they make love (they are capable, young as they are), and there’s nothing wrong with any of it–as long as both parties consent to participate.