On Our Backs Guide To Lesbian Sex - book by Alyson Publications - review by Kayla

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On Your Back...Reading

"On Our Backs Guide to Lesbian Sex", while not comprehensive sexual education, still gives a personal look into the idea of learning how to be a lesbian. If you enjoyed their magazine, then you'd enjoy reading this book which is just a collection of articles from the magazine.
Personal format to sex ed, Wide variety of topics, Most articles are enjoyable
Article format, Just touches on the basics of most topics
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
The "On Our Backs Guide to Lesbian Sex" is an interesting book published by Alyson Books and edited by Diana Cage. The book is a large, 9" tall book and six inches wide. The book has black-and-white pages that also includes some black and white lesbian photography on the inside. The book was published in 2004, has 315 pages, and has twelve different chapters. This book is not suitable for public since there are quite a few naked women interspersed in pictures throughout the book.

This book is basically set-up to be a guide to lesbian sex. It, however, is not like you think it'd be. This is basically a blog - in book form. The editor of the book took some of the most popular articles off OnOurBacks and put them into this book for easy reading. All of the articles retain their original, blog-like writing, so it really feels like you're just reading through a blog while flipping through this book.

The book is set-up really simply. This book is just a book of articles. As such, you can easily pick and choose what articles you want to read. If a title doesn't seem appealing, you don't have to read it. The articles are divided into separate chapters which basically organize them by category. This makes it very easy to find a large group of articles that pique your interest enough to read.

The authors for this book really vary. Some people will recognize people such as Carol Queen, Annie Sprinkle, Tristan Taormino, and lots of other authors. Others are just long-term writers from the OnOurBacks website. Either way, there's a good variety of content. Some of the articles are actual how-to articles, some are interviews with famous people who have something to do with lesbians (activist or famous), some are interviews with your average lesbian to find their opinion, and some are just articles about current events. (For their time. For example, there was an article about the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the book.)

The topics in this book really vary. I can't say that I was amazingly impressed with all the articles, but I did enjoy reading through quite a few of them. I don't consider myself in the "lesbian subculture", so this is a lot more of a learning experience than a how-to for me. It's worth noting that this book isn't going to give you much in terms of a how-to guide written by a professional. These tips are (mostly) all written by tips by an average person like you and me. The tips are also mixed in with the rest of the articles of the book.

The book does use the word "top" and "bottom" quite often. It doesn't seem to leave much room in the middle. The book does also assume that you're already a lesbian and not just questioning. It also seems to be written for lesbians - not bisexuals. The book doesn't end up classifying lesbians into femmes and dykes throughout the entire book, so if that bothers you, you might not want to read this book.

The pictures included in this book are explicit. You'll see pubic hair, bare breasts, and bare butts. The pictures are usually full-page pictures that appear about once every ten pages or so. They are just pictures showing sex between two females. They aren't the most amazing of quality (after all, they're on black and white regular paper), but they get the point across, and make this book VERY awkward to read in public. (I speak from experience.)

The articles aren't the most detailed articles I've ever read. You will get the basics of the topic at hand from the articles, but when it comes to more "advanced" things like the sex parties or three-somes, there's usually only a couple pages that actually talk about the topic. The book, however, ends up being a more personal look into the idea of sex education instead of just having an entire book written by one person.

The chapters are pretty basic: Cruising and Flirting, Masturbation and Foreplay, Kissing Licking and Talking, Pussy Play, Strapping Packing Sucking Fucking, Butt Play, BDSM and Leather Sex, Fetish Fantasy and Roles, Polyamory Sex Parties and Three-Ways, Butch Femme and Beyond, Sexual Health and Knowledge, and Videos to Get you in the Mood.

There are around five articles under each one of the chapter headings. Some articles include: "Make it a Three-Way", "The Ins and Outs of Fisting", "Why Does Cock Sucking Get You Off?", "Explore your Back Door", "Erotic Spanking", "How to Throw a Sex Party", "Pack Like You Mean It", and many others.
There is one article that may offend some religious folk. The article "Fuck Me, Jesus" is about a writer's experience roleplaying as Jesus and Mary for a roleplay with her girlfriend. I thought it was hilarious, but if you are religious, this may be offensive. It doesn't cancel out the usefulness of the rest of the book though, so it's still worth checking it out.

It is worth mentioning that OnOurBacks magazine went out of publication in 2006, so if you used to enjoy reading the magazine, this will probably be one of the only ways to enjoy reading the articles anymore.

The book is enjoyable to read. I actually had fun reading some of the articles, but others could get pretty boring. It's not a perfect book, and when it comes to having a guide to lesbian sex, I still feel like I was missing a lot, but it was still an enjoyable and personal look at the idea of sexual education. It also provided more than the traditional "here's how you do it" book, so that was a welcome change as well.
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  • ? Amanda ?
    I think the idea of a blog-in-a-book is a good one. Some just don't have the access to the loads of information on the internet, so I think this was a great idea. I think I would enjoy reading it as well. Thanks for the review.
  • Diabolical Kitty
    Great one!
  • Antipova
    I'm a little confused about your meaning in this sentence: "The book doesn't end up classifying lesbians into femmes and dykes throughout the entire book, so if that bothers you, you might not want to read this book." but that might just be because I know next to nothing about the lesbian subculture.

    Great review, though, the book sounds like a worthwhile light read.
  • Kayla
    I'm not much into lesbian subculture either, but from what I can tell, usually lesbians are separated into femme (feminine, fashion-conscious) and dyke (more masculine-looking) and such. I'm definitely not the highest expert on that; that's just what I know.
  • Airen Wolf
    It's so hard to make sure you don't offend someone isn't it? Sounds like a great resource for both people who identify as lesbians and those who love them.
  • namelesschaos
    Good review as usual Kayla.
  • tiname25
  • yatinp30
  • hotcoktail
    It couldn't be better than this
  • butterflygirlxo
    Looks like a good book!
  • fredacarl
    Great review
  • richsam
    Great review
  • freda
    Great review
  • tinadice
    Thanks for the review
  • Chris15461
    Thanks for the review
  • jeep9
    Great review

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