“The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex” Book Review

The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex Jenny Block

Why Talk about Masturbation?

Sex ed and I go back a long way. When I embraced sex ed as an actual career choice, one of the things I knew I needed to talk about and advocate for was masturbation, and especially female masturbation. Okay, okay, I get it: I am perfectly aware that probably most of you can’t see why masturbation would need advocates in the first place. Isn’t masturbation the most natural thing that everyone does with their own bodies? Isn’t masturbation one of the few things that cannot be taken away from us? It is, or at least it should be. But it’s not “given” to us to begin with. Our parents, teachers, and friends don’t even talk about it, religion deems it a sin, and movies and popular culture don’t give us any positive role models of strong women doing it.

If we see any characters on screen or print who are engaging in solo sex, they’re usually “caught” doing it. The way masturbation is represented in media is always as a punchline, it’s scripted to lead to a whole list of ridiculous and laughable things that happen next. Masturbation is either for desperate and pathetic women, or for horny guys who can’t get laid. That’s what movies and magazines tell us. We’re taught to make fun of and laugh at someone for being caught with their pants down. That’s the presence of self-pleasure in our society, and these are the stereotypes we’re brainwashed with on a daily basis.

I am sure, most of you get it: masturbation is great for you (if you’re already reading this, if you’re on this website, you are probably someone who’s at least curious and wants to explore self love and self pleasure). But why would you need to read a whole book on solo sex? Because undoing all the damage from our childhood years, puberty and young adulthood doesn’t happen overnight. Because these is too much stigma and shame in our society, and the scars and wounds we all have need work and effort to be healed. I think taking the time to read a book of female solo sex is a radical act of self-care and of standing up for oneself. Because you deserve to reflect on it, evaluate your experiences, and actively think about masturbation.

The Author

Jenny Block is the author of O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm and Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, and she frequently contributes to The Huffington Post, Your Tango, Playboy, Ask Men and many other places. If you want to find out more about the author, I highly recommend you visit her website. She is a feminist sex educator, writer, and speaker, and if I were you, I would make sure to attend some of her workshops and live events whenever she’s in town!

About Solo Sex

Most people don’t know much about the female anatomy of pleasure, because not so long ago we used to deem clitoral orgasm immature, and call it not a “real” orgasm. We’ve all felt incomplete and broken for not being able to climax from penis in vagina sex. Even I didn’t know about the internal structure of the clitoris until a couple of years ago. Nobody gave us the memo. We’re all mostly in the dark. Most vulva-owners cannot experience it solely from penetration. Jenny Block explains why that is in this VIDEO. There is nothing wrong with you if you need more than thrusting in and out.

But what’s even more sad is that most people don’t give themselves permission to explore their bodies, what they like and don’t like, what works for them and what doesn’t. And this is where masturbation steps in. It’s the ultimate way of improving your partnered sex life. But that’s not even the main point. I know all of us feel this pressure of performing, of being a better lover, of being great in bed. But the truth is, you should be your best lover. And you should masturbate for yourself. You are good enough and you deserve pleasure. Period. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you should stop having solo sex.

The Book

dscn2808With a foreword from Betty Dodson, the woman who first started talking openly and publicly about masturbation in the 70s, The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex is going to take you on an emotional and powerful journey into the history and science of masturbation. It’s going to dwell on the personal stories of more than 150 women she interviewed for this book. This collection of experiences and sharing about masturbation is priceless and I don’t think can be found anywhere else in the literature. You are going to be fascinated, moved and maybe even brought to tears hearing these messages. But what you will end up taking home is that you are not alone. You are not a freak. You are normal. There are others out there. Others who struggle, others who have questions, others who don’t have all the answers. Others who are trying to undo the shame their parents or partners have brought upon them.

Jenny’s book offers a number of resources and tips on how to further explore your sexual pleasure, and is going to leave you empowered, ready to make a change and love yourself more.

I highly recommend you get The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex from a small independent bookstore, or even better: a local sex-positive sex store. One of the places where you can find the book is at Good Vibrations. They’ve even started a book club on Goodreads, where Jenny personally answered questions and joined discussions.

Last words

Who is The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex for? I would say every woman: of every age, sexual orientation, or background. But don’t dismiss this book as just a read for women. It will give major insights into female masturbation to everyone who has a female partner, everybody who has a female daughter, or anyone who wants to better understand sexuality and understand female experiences with solo sex.

If you want to get more book recommendations and suggestions from me, go to my Goodreads profile.

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Keep The Lights ON

Sex with the lights on

Humans are creatures of habit. Most of us don’t even blink about it when it comes to whether or not to keep the lights on during sex and intimate time. Each of us has a go-to behavior and a way of doing it, and most people never even question breaking the routine.

Most surveys and polls do suggest that “lights off” is a common preference not just among Americans, but in the Old Continent as well*. But I find these surveys very limited; they are definitely not representative enough to make much of them.

I am gonna go right to the point: Why is keeping the lights on crucially important for better sex and a more fulfilling sex life?

  1. Self confidence and loving your own body. Seeing our partner value and cherish our body during love-making can help you accept and embrace your beauty. Radical self-love is something we should all practice more often.
  2. Appreciating and knowing your partner’s body. Same goes for your partner: if you’re not used to seeing them in their full true self, how are you going to fully appreciate them? Maybe their calves look really hot is some particular sex position. Maybe their face is so gorgeous while experiencing pleasure. Get to really know them and learn new things about their body.
  3. Receiving feedback. Maintaining full visual contact and not being in the dark will allow you to read the signals and messages their body conveys. Listen to what they have to say, not just to their words. Pay attention to their fingers, their toes, their skin, their gaze. All that can give you a lot of feedback on how you’re doing, whether they like what you’re doing, what feels less enjoyable.
  4. Building intimacy. Nudity is a special form of being vulnerable. Being naked and really looking at each others’ bodies might be intense, even overwhelming at first; it might make you feel too emotional, or too “exposed”. Being together and embracing this kind of awkwardness will bring you and your partner closer and will allow you to develop something deeper.
  5. It’s sexy. Watching yourselves have sex could be really, really hot. Get frisky! You can try doing it in front of a mirror. You can even imagine that the people you’re seeing are complete strangers and you’re sneaking a peek at their sex life. Unleash your voyeuristic self. C’mon. Everybody has a voyeur inside of them!
  6. Makes sleep time and sexy time two different things. You’re going to enjoy sex so much more if you own it. Learn to ask for it, and to know what’s what. Sexy time isn’t sleep time. Have sex because you want to, not because you happen to share the same bed and do it half-assedly before going to sleep. Even if that’s not your intention, keeping sex in the dark could make it come off that way: as if having sex was some kind of compromise, instead of a full-hearted enthusiastic decision. That honors your partner more, but also honors your own needs and desires.
  7. Unshames sex. For most of us, since we were kids, explicitly or implicitly we were taught that sex is shameful and dirty. You do it behind closed doors, you don’t speak of it with others; keep it quiet and keep it in the dark — literally and metaphorically. Repeating these bad habits further consolidates the belief that sex is dirty. Rewire yourself and unlearn these bad associations.

You can try it slowly at first. Use romantic or sensual dimmed lights, candles or anything you and your partner enjoy. Find the lighting that works best for you and fits the kind of sex you are having. Don’t be afraid to ask for “lights on”! Open up the conversation or even share this article with your lover.

* Some surveys on sexual behaviors:





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