Ok, so today I learned about the absolute bullshit that the media is trying to pull regarding Zoe Sugg and a recent article she wrote about sex toys. I’m not devoting too much time to replaying the events but it boils down to: an exam board remove Zoe Sugg from a Media Studies syllabus (that she had no idea that she was even part of) because she put an article on her website (aimed at adults) about sex toys. This then boiled down further to: the media losing their collective shit and misreporting on the facts (who’s surprised?) and basically taking the attitude of sexual exploration/acceptance/acknowledgement is bad – especially when it’s women’s sexual pleasure and identity.
Needless to say, I’m 100% on Zoe’s side. I’m a HUGE advocate for sex positivity. Can you imagine a world where people got off more and in the WAY they wanted? Could you imagine just how much of a better and happier place the world would be?
So what I’ve done is put together a list of sex-positive books that are aimed at all sorts of audiences and readers. The list is a mix of fiction and non-fiction and is collated from a mix of my own reading experiences and suggestions from like-minded lists. So there’s no creativity here I’m afraid, I just want to get some sex-positive books out there in front of people’s eyes and hopefully in their hands. Enjoy.
Also – if you have any recommendations of your own, PLEASE put them in the comments and we can all share in the knowledge and recommendations!
Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) – Lev A. C. Rosen
My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. I think it’s going to be weird for everyone’s first time, though.
Meet Jack Rothman. He’s seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys – sometimes all at the same time. His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, ‘it could be worse’.
He doesn’t actually expect that to come true.
But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he’s been getting take a turn for the creepy. Jack’s secret admirer knows everything: where he’s hanging out, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they’ll force him.
As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous…
Full Disclosure – Camryn Garrett
In a community that isn’t always understanding, an HIV-positive teen must navigate fear, disclosure, and radical self-acceptance when she falls in love–and lust–for the first time. Powerful and uplifting, Full Disclosure will speak to fans of Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon.
Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.
Camp – Lev A. C. Rosen
From the author of the acclaimed Jack of Hearts (and other parts) comes a sweet and sharp screwball comedy that critiques the culture of toxic masculinity within the queer community.
Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.
This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.
But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?
Where We Go From Here – Lucas Rocha
An absorbing debut novel about three gay young adults in Brazil whose lives become intertwined in the face of HIV, perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Bill Konigsberg
Ian has just been diagnosed with HIV. Victor, to his great relief, has tested negative. Henrique has been living with HIV for the past three years.
When Victor finds himself getting tested for HIV for the first time, he can’t help but question his entire relationship with Henrique, the guy he has-had-been dating. See, Henrique didn’t disclose his positive HIV status to Victor until after they had sex, and even though Henrique insisted on using every possible precaution, Victor is livid.
That’s when Victor meets Ian, a guy who’s also getting tested for HIV. But Ian’s test comes back positive, and his world is about to change forever. Though Victor is loath to think about Henrique, he offers to put the two of them in touch, hoping that perhaps Henrique can help Ian navigate his new life. In the process, the lives of Ian, Victor, and Henrique will become intertwined in a story of friendship, love, and stigma – a story about hitting what you think is rock bottom, but finding the courage and support to keep moving forward.
Sunstone, Vol. 1 (and onwards) – Stjepan Šejić
Sexual nerds. That is what BDSM people are, behind all the pretense…
From critically-acclaimed creator Stjepan Šejić (Death Vigil, Ravine, Aphrodite IX, Witchblade) comes Sunstone, a love story like no other.
Lisa’s tastes were always…unique. Longing to be restrained, without restrain. Lisa always felt like something was missing from her love life─until she met Ally. Ally was implacably ordinary─successful job, nice house, an average childhood─except for her preference for bedroom domination.
Originally posted on DeviantArt, this books collects the first volume of the often erotic, always amusing, and surprisingly heartfelt Sunstone.
The Best Laid Plans – Cameron Lund
High school senior Keely Collins takes on firsts, lasts, and everything in between in this sweet, sex-positive rom-com for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han.
It seemed like a good plan at first. When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely’s own eighteenth birthday party, she’s inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experience too (well, not exactly like that–but with someone she trusts and actually likes), so she’s going to need to find the guy, and fast. Problem is, she’s known all the boys in her small high school forever, and it’s kinda hard to be into a guy when you watched him eat crayons in kindergarten.
So she can’t believe her luck when she meets a ridiculously hot new guy named Dean. Not only does he look like he’s fallen out of a classic movie poster, but he drives a motorcycle, flirts with ease, and might actually be into her.
But Dean’s already in college, and Keely is convinced he’ll drop her if he finds out how inexperienced she is. That’s when she talks herself into a new plan: her lifelong best friend, Andrew, would never hurt or betray her, and he’s clearly been with enough girls that he can show her the ropes before she goes all the way with Dean. Of course, the plan only works if Andrew and Keely stay friends–just friends–so things are about to get complicated.
Non-Fiction. Time for some sex-ed
Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You – Karen Rayne & Kathryn Gonzales
Gender is hard. Especially for teens who might not identify with stereotypical ideas of gender and sexual identity. Trans+ : Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You by Karen Rayne, PhD, and Katherine Gonzales, MBA, is an all-inclusive, uncensored guide for teens who are transgender, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, gender-fluid, queer, or questioning their sexual and gender identity. TRANS+ answers all your questions, easy and hard, about gender and covers mental health, physical health and reproduction, transitioning, relationships, sex, and life as a queer individual. It’s full of essential information you need – and want – to know and includes real-life stories from teens like you!
Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships – Juno Roche
In this frank, funny and poignant book, transgender activist Juno Roche discusses sex, desire and dating with leading figures from the trans and non-binary community.
Calling out prejudices and inspiring readers to explore their own concepts of intimacy and sexuality, the first-hand accounts celebrate the wonder and potential of trans bodies and push at the boundaries of how society views gender, sexuality and relationships.
Empowering and necessary, this collection shows all trans people deserve to feel brave, beautiful and sexy.
A Quick & Easy Guide to Sex & Disability – A. Andrews
A quick, easy, and educational comic book guide that will help change the way we talk about sex and sexuality for all bodies.
“This guide can help disabled people (and their partners) on their journey toward self-love, better communication, and confidence.” –– Alice Wong, Founder and Director, Disability Visibility Project
All different kinds of bods want to connect with other bods, but lots of them get left out of the conversation when it comes to S-E-X. As explained by disabled cartoonist A. Andrews, this easy-to-read guide covers the basics of disability sexuality, common myths about disabled bodies, communication tips, and practical suggestions for having the best sexual experience possible. Whether you yourself are disabled, you love someone who is, or you just want to know more, consider this your handy starter kit to understanding disability sexuality, and your path to achieving accessible (and fulfilling) sex.
Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism: Voices from Across the Spectrum – Eva A. Mendes and Meredith R. Maroney
Bringing together a collection of narratives from those who are on the autism spectrum whilst also identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and/or asexual (LGBTQIA), this book explores the intersection of the two spectrums as well as the diverse experiences that come with it.
By providing knowledge and advice based on in-depth research and personal accounts, the narratives will be immensely valuable to teenagers, adults, partners and families. The authors round these stories with a discussion of themes across narratives, and implications for the issues discussed. In the final chapter, the authors reflect on commonly asked questions from a clinical perspective, bringing in relevant research, as well as sharing best-practice tips and considerations that may be helpful for LGBTQIA and ASD teenagers and adults. These may also be used by family members and clinicians when counselling teenagers and adults on the dual spectrum.
With each chapter structured around LGBTQIA and autism spectrum identities, Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism highlights the fluidity of gender identity, sexual orientation and neurodiversity and provides a space for people to share their individual experiences.
Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex – Angela Chen
An engaging exploration of what it means to be asexual in a world that’s obsessed with sexual attraction, and what the ace perspective can teach all of us about desire and identity.
What exactly is sexual attraction and what is it like to go through life not experiencing it? What does asexuality reveal about gender roles, about romance and consent, and the pressures of society? This accessible examination of asexuality shows that the issues that aces face–confusion around sexual activity, the intersection of sexuality and identity, navigating different needs in relationships–are the same conflicts that nearly all of us will experience. Through a blend of reporting, cultural criticism, and memoir, Ace addresses the misconceptions around the “A” of LGBTQIA and invites everyone to rethink pleasure and intimacy.
Journalist Angela Chen creates her path to understanding her own asexuality with the perspectives of a diverse group of asexual people. Vulnerable and honest, these stories include a woman who had blood tests done because she was convinced that “not wanting sex” was a sign of serious illness, and a man who grew up in a religious household and did everything “right,” only to realize after marriage that his experience of sexuality had never been the same as that of others. Disabled aces, aces of color, gender-nonconforming aces, and aces who both do and don’t want romantic relationships all share their experiences navigating a society in which a lack of sexual attraction is considered abnormal. Chen’s careful cultural analysis explores how societal norms limit understanding of sex and relationships and celebrates the breadth of sexuality and queerness.
How to Be Ace: A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual – Rebecca Burgess
Selected as a 2020 LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novel for Young Readers by Publishers Weekly
“When I was in school, everyone got to a certain age where they became interested in talking about only one thing: boys, girls and sex. Me though? I was only interested in comics.”
Growing up, Rebecca assumes sex is just a scary new thing they will ‘grow into’ as they get older, but when they leave school, start working and do grow up, they start to wonder why they don’t want to have sex with other people.
In this brave, hilarious and empowering graphic memoir, we follow Rebecca as they navigate a culture obsessed with sex – from being bullied at school and trying to fit in with friends, to forcing themself into relationships and experiencing anxiety and OCD – before coming to understand and embrace their asexual identity.
Giving unparalleled insight into asexuality and asexual relationships, How To Be Ace shows the importance of learning to be happy and proud of who you are.
Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex – Joan Price
Joan Price is talking out loud about later-life sexuality. With a foreword by Betty Dodson, Naked at Our Age candidly addresses senior sexuality in all its colours,the challenges, disappointments, and surprises, as well as the delights and the love stories.
Naked at Our Age gives people over fifty a voice to tell stories of their past and present sex lives, ask questions, and get straightforward advice and information from experts. No topic is off-limits.In Naked at Our Age , women and men,coupled and single, straight and gay,talk candidly about how their sex lives and relationships have changed with age, and about how they see themselves, their partners, or their single life. Many are having unsatisfying sex, or no sex at all, and are seeking advice. Price presents their personal stories, and follows up with tips from sex therapists, health professionals, counselors, sex educators, and other knowledgeable experts.
Named “Outstanding self-help Book” of 2012 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors and winner of the 2012 Book Award from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, Naked at Our Age is an entertaining and indispensable guide to handling and understanding the issues of senior sex and relationships.
A Quick & Easy Guide to Consent – Isabella Rotman
“A quick, easy and important educational comic guide to giving and receiving consent in sex, relationships, and other physical contact.
How do you tell someone you want to do stuff with them? How do you ask if they want to do stuff with you? How do you know what stuff you want to do with each other? Enter: Sargeant Yes Means Yes from the Consent Cavalry, a beacon of clarity in a fuzzy minefield of questions. Sarge drops in on a diverse range of folks deciding whether to engage in sexual activity in this short and fun comic guide to communicating what you want, don’t want, and how you want it!
With wit and charm, Sarge also includes tips on what affirmative consent looks like, advocating for what you want, and setting boundaries that honor your comfort and safety. The result is a positive resource illustrating how easy it really is to respect each other’s bodies and desires.”
Slut : A Play and Guidebook for Combatting Sexism and Sexual Violence – Meg McInerney
Remember the slut at your school? Whether used as a slur or reclaimed as an expression of sexy confidence, this word has been used as an acceptable excuse for rape, bullying and the sexual double standard. In the spirit of The Vagina Monologues, this riveting, critically acclaimed play – written in collaboration with New York City high school students – sheds light on enduring feminist issues. The play is accompanied by production notes, a guide for talk-backs and provocative essays by Carol Gilligan and Jennifer Baumgardner.
The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine – Jennifer Gunter
OB/GYN, writer for The New York Times, USA Today, and Self, and host of the show Jensplaining, Dr. Jen Gunter now delivers the definitive book on vaginal health, answering the questions you’ve always had but were afraid to ask–or couldn’t find the right answers to. She has been called Twitter’s resident gynecologist, the Internet’s OB/GYN, and one of the fiercest advocates for women’s health…and she’s here to give you the straight talk on the topics she knows best.
Does eating sugar cause yeast infections?
Does pubic hair have a function?
Should you have a vulvovaginal care regimen?
Will your vagina shrivel up if you go without sex?
What’s the truth about the HPV vaccine?
So many important questions, so much convincing, confusing, contradictory misinformation! In this age of click bait, pseudoscience, and celebrity-endorsed products, it’s easy to be overwhelmed–whether it’s websites, advice from well-meaning friends, uneducated partners, and even healthcare providers. So how do you separate facts from fiction? OB-GYN Jen Gunter, an expert on women’s health–and the internet’s most popular go-to doc—comes to the rescue with a book that debunks the myths and educates and empowers women. From reproductive health to the impact of antibiotics and probiotics, and the latest trends, including vaginal steaming, vaginal marijuana products, and jade eggs, Gunter takes us on a factual, fun-filled journey. Discover the truth about:
– The vaginal microbiome
– Genital hygiene, lubricants, and hormone myths and fallacies
– How diet impacts vaginal health
– Stem cells and the vagina
– Cosmetic vaginal surgery
– What changes to expect during pregnancy and after childbirth
– What changes to expect through menopause
– How medicine fails women by dismissing symptoms
– Thongs vs. lace: the best underwear for vaginal health
– How to select a tampon
– The full glory of the clitoris and the myth of the G Spot
. . . And so much more. Whether you’re a twenty-six-year-old worried that her labia are “uncool” or a sixty-six-year-old dealing with painful sex, this comprehensive guide is sure to become a lifelong trusted resource.
Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life – Emily Nagoski
An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works–based on groundbreaking research and brain science–that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.
Researchers have spent the last decade trying to develop a “pink pill” for women to function like Viagra does for men. So where is it? Well, for reasons this book makes crystal clear, that pill will never be the answer–but as a result of the research that’s gone into it, scientists in the last few years have learned more about how women’s sexuality works than we ever thought possible, and Come as You Are explains it all.
The first lesson in this essential, transformative book by Dr. Emily Nagoski is that every woman has her own unique sexuality, like a fingerprint, and that women vary more than men in our anatomy, our sexual response mechanisms, and the way our bodies respond to the sexual world. So we never need to judge ourselves based on others’ experiences. Because women vary, and that’s normal.
Second lesson: sex happens in a context. And all the complications of everyday life influence the context surrounding a woman’s arousal, desire, and orgasm.
Cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines tells us that the most important factor for women in creating and sustaining a fulfilling sex life, is not what you do in bed or how you do it, but how you feel about it. Which means that stress, mood, trust, and body image are not peripheral factors in a woman’s sexual wellbeing; they are central to it. Once you understand these factors, and how to influence them, you can create for yourself better sex and more profound pleasure than you ever thought possible.
Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation – Jamye Waxman
Masturbation is like tuning a radio – you don’t know what frequencies you’ll enjoy until you play with the knobs. Masturbation has a complicated stigma attached to it; everybody is doing it, but not everybody talks about it.
Some were told that touching oneself would cause cute kittens to die, some were told masturbation led blindness. Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation is here to debunk those masturbation myths, and reinforce the truth. Masturbation is a totally natural and normal way for women to connect with and find pleasure in their bodies. Fun, informative, and illustrated, Getting Off provides women with a wealth of masturbation knowledge ts history, the mechanics of it, the joys of sexy toys plus clear, concise tips on getting off.
Girl Sex 101 – Allison Moon
“If you only plan to read one book about sex, ever, make it this one.”– Autostraddle
“An invaluable and necessary resource.” – Huffington Post
“A guide not just to satisfying sex, but to becoming a better lover in general…. It’s both refreshing and kind of thrilling.” – LA Review of Books
Girl Sex 101 is a sex-ed book like no other, offering helpful info for ladies and lady-lovers of all genders and identities, playful and informative illustrations on each page, and over 100 distinct voices, plus a hot narrative that shows you how to put the info to good use! Learn how to navigate the twists and turns of female sexuality, with special guidance from thirteen guest sex educators including Nina Hartley, Sex Nerd Sandra, Jiz Lee, Dirty Lola, Sunny Megatron, Julia Serano, Reid Mihalko, and more! Girl Sex 101 will teach you…
The bits and pieces that make up female sexual anatomySimple ways to communicate in the heat of the moment How to build a Road Map of your partner s pleasure Essential moves for cunnilingus, strap-ons, hand sex and more! Positions to avoid fatigue and generate the power you need to rock your girl’s world!
You’ll gain confidence to please your girl, no matter what your hands-on experience. Buckle your seat belt and get ready to ride! Additional contributors include: Claudia Astorino, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Tina Horn, Megan Andelloux, Ignacio Rivera, Sophia St. James, Carol Queen, and Jimanekia Eborn.
Topics include: Safer Sex, STIs, Cunnilingus, Strap-on sex, Trans Women, Intersex, Sex and Disability, Gender Identity, Coming Out, Menopause, Pregnancy, Dyke Drama, Relationship Skills, Flirting, Vibrators and Other Toys, Lesbian Identity, Bisexual and Pansexual Identity, and much more!
Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive – Kristen J. Sollee
Witch, Slut, Feminist: these contested identities are informing millennial women as they counter a tortuous history of misogyny with empowerment. This innovative primer highlights sexual liberation as it traces the lineage of “witch feminism” through art, film, music, fashion, literature, technology, religion, pop culture, and politics.
Juxtaposing scholarly research on the demonization of women and female sexuality that has continued since the witch hunts of the early modern era with pop occulture analyses and interviews with activists, artists, scholars, and practitioners of witchcraft, this book addresses and illuminates contemporary conversations about reproductive rights, sexual pleasure, queer identity, pornography, sex work, and more. Author Kristen J. Sollee elucidates the ways in which women have been persecuted for their perceived connection with witchcraft, and how they have fought back, harnessing the legacy of the witch for revolutionary means.
Carnal Knowledge: Sex Education You Didn’t Get in School – Zoë Ligon & Elizabeth Renstrom
Get progressive, positive, and constructive sex tips and ideas from one of today’s most popular sex educators.
When it comes to sex, there’s practically no question that Zoë Ligon hasn’t heard and researched. Her Instagram and YouTube videos, as well as product reviews, are extremely popular for their up-front approach. Now, she brings her wealth of experience and open-minded attitude to a sex-positive guidebook that’s honest, inclusive, and right on time. Lusciously illustrated, this book takes readers through every aspect of sexuality—from body basics and physiology to maintaining healthy relationships. It highlights the usefulness of sex toys in aiding solo and partnered exploration and explains why there should really be no stigma around using these practical tools. It also includes advice on setting boundaries, being respectful of other people’s gender identities, and thinking outside the orgasm. Elizabeth Renstrom’s dreamy, colorful photographs drive home Ligon’s philosophy that there’s no one “right” way to have sex. With its focus on intimacy, body positivity, and self-care, Carnal Knowledge can lead you to enjoy sex with security and confidence.
Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving – Betty Dodson
The classic guide to fully enjoying the pleasures of self-love, full of warmth, intelligence, and informative line drawings–from a renowned sex educator featured on Netflix’s the goop lab with Gwyneth Paltrow
Confronting one of our last and most deeply rooted taboos–masturbation–noted sex expert and pro-sex feminist Betty Dodson, Ph.D., takes the shame out of self-love by creating a straightforward and appealing guidebook that reveals masturbation as a satisfying, vital form of sexual expression.
Dr. Dodson demonstrates how anyone can learn to make love alone with feelings of guilt or loneliness, and explains why masturbation is sexually and spiritually fulfilling for both men and women. Not only is it the safest sex, but sharing masturbation can also be a sensual treat for couples who want to learn more about each other’s sexual responses.
Sex for One demonstrates that self-loving is not just for times in-between lovers or for social misfits. Masturbation is the joyful and ongoing love affair that each of us has with ourselves throughout childhood, adulthood, and the golden years of old age.
An Intro-Guide to a Sex Positive You: Lessons, Tales, and Tips – Yael Rosenstock
Are you looking to find sexually or romantically compatible partners? Do you ever feel unsure about making a move or how to express new things you want to try? Do you wish you knew more ways to connect with yourself or your partner? Yael uses stories from her own life, as well as those from guest contributors, to illustrate methods and concepts for living a sex-positive, and sexually fulfilling, life.
Part I of the intro-guide helps you develop self-awareness through an exploration of sexual identities and preferences. This awareness is good for personal development as well as to prepare you for finding compatible sexual and romantic matches while avoiding those that could lead to negative experiences. Part II concentrates on communication and consent: how to develop the tools necessary to voice your desires and boundaries while respecting those of others. Lastly, Part III provides a brief overview of ‘need to know’ material as well as recommendations for exploration and discovery.
And that’s a quick list to help you get started! Again, if you have ANY recommendations for any sex-positive books, fiction or non-fiction PLEASE put them in the comments below – someone else could benefit from it and that’s always a good thing!
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