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Book Review: The Big Book of Sex Toys

Confession: I don't need sex toys to do my job. I have one little vibe that I keep on my chair-side table, in case someone wants to hear me "use" a vibrator. A dildo? Sounds like a blow job (fingers in the mouth) with extra slobber because I Am So Wet, Oh God. Butt plugs? Please. I just moan extra loud.

But my callers do use sex toys--when I tell them to, when they're turned on, when they just can't help themselves and want to get something nice and hard in their ass--so I feel that a phone whore is actually a good person to check out Tristan Taormino's newest book, the Big Book of Sex Toys .

First of all, the Big Book on Sex Toys isn't TOO big. I mean, at about 8 inches, it's bigger than average, but it's not going to kill you to use it, know what I mean? And although the title has a certain kiddie-book feel to it, none of the pictures are pop-up. (This always makes me sad about adult sex-ed books.) However, what the book lacks in physical dimensions is more than redeemed by the amount of useful and sexy information caught between these hard covers.

Taormino, whose sex-ed empire is vast and wonderful, really lays all of her experience on the table with this project. You can see it in the coverage--everything from basic vibes to jewel-studded buttplugs to floggers and some really logical sex furniture--and the wonderful sidebars (the problem with phthalates, can I get addicted to my vibrator).  One of the best features of the book is the Perfect Pairing, in which Taormino pulls out one of the recommended products and puts it with a position that best utilizes the features of that product. You get detailed tips for the physical logistics, precise directions for positioning the product, and a FUCKING HOT PHOTO TO GO WITH IT.

The writing is upbeat, educational but not dry (never dry, dry is bad!), and while BBST is obviously meant to be a shopper's guide to the goodies, with loads of pictures of some of the newest toys on the market, it's not a mindless catalog: Taormino and associates clearly gave these items a good whirl or two. The resource guide at the back helps readers find the well-lit, non-sticky-floor stores and the more reputable online sources.

I could ask for slightly more thorough referencing of the photos of sex toys, but I'm willing to overlook it because DID I MENTION THE HOT PHOTOS?! On a related note, I would like to have seen some same-sex action. Both in language and visual representation, BBST is patently meant for straight couples, which is, like, YAY for hot straight sex, and for a chapter about strap-ons that shows willing boy butt. And yet, my first encounter with the thigh harness was with another girl, and that was 15 years ago. I mean, let's give some props where they're due!

Overall, though, BBST is an excellent addition to the sexually curious bookshelf, with enough "for more reading" to give precocious kinksters a kick. I wish all of my callers would get their own copies. Then maybe the ones who bitch about how their wives aren't giving them any would get some action again, and the ones who use carrots would STOP USING CARROTS.

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