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Women’s sex guides come up wet

Vibes & vibrators

LOWDOWN ON GOIN' DOWN. Grrrlz sex guides offer up sexual confidence and tips for a damn good lover. Credit: Xtra Files

Scan the books-shelves at your local sex store or queer bookshop and you’ll find a ton of sex guides offering up erotic talents, sexual confidence and recipes for a damn good lover. It seems easy. Read this and you’ll become a modern-day Casanova.

But here’s the thing about sex guides. First, you actually have to read the book. Then you have to commit it to memory. There’s nothing like having a lover whip out a book, moments before you climax, to check and see if they’re doing it right. Or worse, propping it up on the pillow during an afternoon tryst and scanning the pages over each other’s shoulders while you try out a new technique. Casanova would weep.

Other than the girl-on-girl graphics and a comfortable queer vibe, lesbian sex guides aren’t much different from their straight counter-parts. They all ooze self-love, positive body image and the importance of – wait for it – communication. They also provide a lot of information that any girl with fingers and a cunt could figure out for herself. For example, lube is good.

Considering there’s supposedly only five percent of the population interested in girl-specific guides, it’s amazing that lesbian sex guides have become a recognized market. There are more than a dozen titles currently available. So picking some of the sassier new releases, I rallied my ready and willing lover to give three books a test drive.

Tantric Sex For Women

The Women’s Guide To Tantric Sex is a mix of sex, self-love, yoga and theatresports. It works hard at making you comfortable in your own skin. But it also takes a lot of confidence to follow through with many of the moaning, groaning and growling exercises with a straight face. Don’t believe me? Check out Exercise 21: Lionness, Sow, Mosquito.

If you’re not into chakra energy (rotating energy channels around or in the human body) or can’t remember the last time you took a deep breath, this probably isn’t the book for you. But don’t be too quick to write it off as a flaky new-age wonder. Tantric sex originated in India ages ago. There’s got to be a reason it’s been around for so long.

Author Christa Schulte calls this a book for all women of any sexual or relationship identity. However, because it is meant to keep female sexuality in the foreground, it sticks to female pronouns, the yoni (the Sanskrit word for twat) and female activities throughout the book.

Highlights include the fantasy and massage sections, and the exercises for two, like the Yab-Yum position which involves breathing against each other’s naked bodies. All of this eventually leads to the path of Tantric fire-breathing orgasms, happy bodies and healthy minds.

As a warning, Tantric sex isn’t to be rushed. Taking it at a frantic pace will get you nowhere. Give yourself some time. Also, if you’re already cringing at the word yoni, avoid the exceptionally cheesy exercises such as Through The Ocean Depths With The Dolphin-Woman.

Test drive – Exercise 16: Opening the inner flute

I find the best way to introduce yourself to sexual exercises is to have someone read aloud the instructions. Ideally someone whose pants you’d like to get into. Take turns reading.

Opening the inner flute is a lot like deep breathing in a yoga class. You lie on your back and imagine your chakras lined up along your body, then take deep breaths in through your open mouth and imagine breathing out through your yoni and labia. You breath your way through each chakra, focussing on one at a time.

It took some work to move past the language, but the outcome – after much laughing – was a slow and relaxing arousal. As a cynical newbie to Tantra, I was surprised that even with a little effort it had us both itching for a bit more. It may not have cranked our cunts, but it certainly put us in the mood for the rest of the afternoon.

Box Lunch: A Layperson’s Guide To Cunnilingus

It’s hard not to be intrigued by this book with its screaming pink cover and illustration of a lunch box and an introduction titled “Confessions Of A Cunnilingus Fiend.” It’s sassy, bold and a quick read.

Box Lunch gives a complete breakdown on rug-munching. From an anatomical guide to positions to ass lovin’, little is left to the imagination. The tone is matter of fact and contemporary – it talks about “hotter-than-hell box-licking” with ease. You’ll find no “hoohoo” stuff here. This shouldn’t be a surprise because the author, Diana Cage, is editor of the lesbian sex mag On Our Backs.

While she throws in a few quips for the straight man trying to map unfamiliar territory, this book is really one for the queer crowd. “If you’re a lesbian, you’ve got the burden of mastering what is generally considered to be the Ultimate Act Of Lesbian Sex,” writes Cage.

The best discovery we made in this book, aside from the endless list of cunnilingus slang, was the complete anatomy of the clitoris.

“I thought I knew everything!” exclaimed my lover from the depths of the pages. As a volunteer sexual health educator and an avid reader of lesbian sex guides when she first came out, she’s not easy to surprise. But this tasty morsel packed in all sorts of curious tidbits about clits and cunni-lingus. This book has a one-track mind – cunt, cunt and more cunt – and it only branches out when the act goes along with cunnilingus, like rimming.

Test Drive – Hot tips for the cunnilingus fiend

This book’s sassy attitude and quick pacing led me to suspect it would have a top ten list featuring the Best Tricks To Eating Out. Alas, none were found. There were plenty of chapters devoted to eating out, but the summary is quite basic: use your tongue, this is how.

What did come in handy were the seven memorable tips on how to read the pelvis. For example, “She’s scooting her kitty right or left: You probably aren’t hitting her most sensitive spot. Adjust your tongue according to her movements until she seems satisfied.” And, “She’s curling her hips up toward your face: Your tongue action is too high. Lick her a little lower.”

The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, Second Edition

My lover took one look at this book and laughed. She calls the original edition the “lesbian Bible” and confessed she’d read it when she first came out. “It answered a lot of my questions back then, but I wouldn’t be caught dead reading it now.”

While she concedes the book could still teach her a thing or two, most of it is familiar if you’ve been out for a while. But if you’re new to the game author Felice Newman is a fountain of knowledge.

Round two of the guide is complete with gender politics, meno-pause issues, herbal libido supplements and an updated resource guide. It also includes a thorough look at orgasms in all their exploding ways.

Another high for the new edition is that more than 200 women filled out a questionnaire about themselves and their sexuality for Newman, which she’s incorporated into the book. So now every time the question, “Am I the only one who feels like this?” pops up, there are other women’s stories to connect to. Suddenly there’s living proof that, as the book promises, “you can have great partnered sex.”

This book achieves the jack-of-all-trades element. It’s reaching for a wide range of tastes and experiences, and it nails down a lot of them. There are lots of how-to sections from sexual health to SM, fisting to the finer points of vaginal, oral and clitoral sex, not to mention controversial topics like dental dams and whether anyone actually uses them.

However, what it accomplishes in enumerating possibilities it lacks in detail. If you really want the expansive lowdown on say, anal sex, you might be better off getting the anal sex book. Or for cunnilingus, the Box Lunch.

For a book that is so reputable and thorough, I was disappointed not to see pussy mashing among the list of activities. Pussy mashing, literally mashing pussies together while assuming an awkward straddle position, is getting quite a buzz among our friends. Also missing was forking – spooning, but with a leg through your lover’s thighs. Cozy, albeit occasionally sticky.

What’s key is that this book doesn’t lecture and it won’t make you gag – at least not too much. It’s low on cutesy and high on sex. It truly covers the bases. As the current encyclopedia lesbo, well, three cheers for that.

Test drive – Giving head to a detachable cock

Setting out to tackle one of the new additions updated features, this was far from bold or even particularly new for my lover and I. But there’s nothing like a new trick with an old routine to spice it up.

Tips included: Pushing the base of the dildo into her mons or clit, tonguing the dildo, stroking the clit as you suck the head of the cock, stimulating her G-spot while you suck, practicing deep-throating the dildo and, of course, using a condom to keep it safe.