Sex Made Easy
This book provides straightforward, practical answers to all kinds of sex questions, from female and male anatomy and sexual health, to toys and troubleshooting. The writing is informative, smart, accessible, and humorous at times; chapters include "Vulvalicious: Your Down-There Guide to Better Sex," "When Bodies Collide: The Good, the Bad, and the Sweaty Aspects of Partner Sex," "Sexploration: Giving Fantasies a Whirl," and many more.
Author Debby Herbenick, Ph.D, M.P.H., is a sex columnist, a sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute, and the author of several other books on women's sexual health and pleasure.
268 pages. Author: Debby Herbenick. 2012.
One of our staff wrote this review:
Sex Made Easy: Your awkward questions answered—for better, smarter, amazing sex
Debby Herbenick, Ph.D.
Topic: A general sexuality guide based on the idea that “if you learn more about sex, you’re likely to feel more excited and confident being naked, having fun with your partner, tackling sex challenges together, taking care of your sexual health, and maybe even enjoying a few more orgasms than usual” [Introduction]. The chapters cover anatomy, sexual health, orgasms, partner sex, sex toys, fantasies, and balancing sexuality with life events. Each chapter includes a number of Q & A-style questions in a conversational tone, identifying specific questions that the author has been asked about sex. These questions range from general to unusual, and from serious to humorous.
Style: A mix of scientific, informative, conversational, and approachable. Herbenick is an effective sex educator, and she is able to communicate medically accurate, research-based information in a way that can reach her audience.
Who is this for? Though the book’s title suggests it’s written for everyone, and though it has information about sexual health and pleasure that would be useful to many people, the author writes for a female audience. Based on the tone, the information included, and the author’s approach to sexuality, the book would be most relevant for heterosexual women, though some questioning, bisexual and lesbian women may find parts of the book useful. People who may find this book useful and enjoyable: women looking for easy-to-read information on a wide variety of sexual topics; readers who like a problem-solving approach; readers who prefer a conversational format.
Who is this not for? Readers looking for in-depth information on any particular topic would be best off looking for books on that topic—they won’t find extensive information on any particular subject here. This book may not be very useful for many LGBTQ-identified folks, because though she mentions non-heterosexual relationships and tries to write inclusively, she doesn’t write specifically for them (especially when it comes to aspects of safer sex, she continually refers to condoms instead of the general term barriers). Most of the book contains references to women’s male partners and to male-female relationships.
Things I liked:
-The “Making it Easy” Q & A format helps readers find answers to their specific questions, rather than having to read the whole book at once. Readers can flip to specific chapters without missing a lot of background info, and Herbenick’s conversational tone is helpful at putting readers at ease and presenting the information in an approachable, non-science-speak way. The “What to do if…” summaries would be good for people looking for a little information on a lot of topics.
-The genital tours—of both female and male genitals—are accurate, accessible, and filled with useful information, not just for people learning how to pleasure their partners, but also people looking to learn more about their own sexual anatomy and function.
Notes from our staff:
1. Herbenick recommends desensitizing condoms for eager ejaculation, not something we would do.
2. Herbenick writes specifically for women, and mostly for women with male partners, but the book could be useful to everyone if she made her language more inclusive. The sections on male genital anatomy and sexual function are written for women to learn more about their male partners, but the information could really have been useful for men of all orientations as well.