Em and Lo's Sex Toy - book by Chronicle Books - review by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)

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Em and Lo's Sex Toy

Book by Chronicle Books

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The Eden Reviewer's Handbook

Think you're an expert when it comes to toys? Think again. This book totally humbled me in how much I thought I knew about toys. It covers pretty much everything you've ever wanted or needed to know about toys, techniques, terminology, and safety. I had a hard time putting this one down because of the vast amount of information and how well it's written! This is a must-have for any toy enthusiast!
Published:
Pros:
super informative, humorous, engaging, beautiful design, removable dust cover.
Cons:
Published 5 years ago, doesn't mention Eden.
Rating by reviewer:
5
extremely useful review

About author

Em & Lo have quickly become my absolute favorite sexy book authors of all time. The way they write about things is phenomenal, entertaining, educational, and leaves me wanting to read everything they've written. This was the first book I've picked up by them, but you can bet it won't be the last. I love their style and sense of humor and the way they present information. They make sure to be incredibly thorough while still catching the reader's attention in a witty and humorous way.

From their website:

"We’ve co-authored six books on the topics of sex and love so far: Sex: How to Do Everything (DK ’08), three A-Z guides, Buh Bye (Chronicle ’07), Rec Sex and Sex Toy (Chronicle ’06), the sex manual The Big Bang: Nerve’s Guide to the New Sexual Universe (Plume ’03 in the US; Hodder ’04 in the UK), and the handbook Sex Etiquette for Ladies and Gentlemen (Plume ’04/Hodder ’05). We’ve contributed to the anthologies Sex and Sensibility: 28 True Romances from the Lives of Single Women (Washington Square Press ’05) and The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything (Bloomsbury ’07), the self-help tome The Girl’s Guide to Absolutely Everything (Workman, ’06) and the gift book Position of the Day (Chronicle ’03). And more books are on the way!"

Personally, I feel like I need every single one of these books because I enjoyed Sex Toy so much.
    • Engaging
    • Expert author
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

I really can't think of a single thing this book it missing. It's presented in an A-Z format which is much like an encyclopedia. While similar books of this style are geared towards beginners, this book has a wealth of information for experts, as well. I wasn't expecting to learn much from this book seeing as I'm heavily involved on Eden and work in an adult store. I consider myself somewhat of an expert, but I was impressed with everything the book covered and how much it taught me.

In the first part of the book, they give a brief history of sex toys. I really enjoyed reading this. They make sex toys seem totally non-intimidating, and a staple for everyone's bedroom. You can tell from the start that these ladies are true toy enthusiasts. It got me super excited about the book. My favorite quote of the book so far: "The one who dies with the most sex toys wins." (This made me giggle with excitement. I'm totally working on winning.)

Most of the book is presented in the A-Z format. They cover everything related to toys. They have a good list of retailers, products, techniques, terms, safety information, and just about everything else you would ever want to or need to know about toys.

They give a good rundown of each retailer mentioned. They often compare that retailer's price with the average price found online and consider the pros and cons of each. They also give a brief bit of info about which retailers are the best for different types of products. (Sadly, Eden isn't mentioned, but more on that later.) They provide info on some of the most well-known and top manufacturers in the business.

They do mention a lot of specific products along with the general categories of them. I had heard of and was able to find about 99% of the products mentioned here on Eden. They give an overview of the toy's materials, care and handling, features, price, and where to find the toy. They also make a note of the history of the toy and its place in pop culture. (The Rabbit Habit was seen on Sex and the City. The Hello Kitty vibrator was a 'shoulder massager' that caught on as a sex toy and Sanrio sued the manufacturer over that. Clover clamps caught on after they were seen in Japanese porn.) Think of these entries as mini-reviews. When reviewing general toy categories (such as 'butt plug' or 'wand massager', they do make sure to give you very general information about the toy's uses, but also mention the ones that stand out in that category.

Here's a brief sample of the products mentioned in the book:
Little Flirt Butt Plug
Hitachi Magic Wand
Aneros Prostate Massager
I Rub My Ducky
KamaSutra Honey Dust
Fleshlight
Layaspot

They offer a lot of information about terminology. You'll find the obvious entries about anatomy-related terms, but you'll also see some unique terms such as a "monogamous toy" (which is one you can't share due to health-related reasons. Some of their definitions for the unique terms are informative, while others are for sheer humor, such as "bachelor-party paraphernalia" (strippers).

The book is full of great ideas on how to use certain items for DIY sex-toys (safely, of course). They offer up uses for things like ice cubes, Altoids, iPods, and headphones. They also cover things such as naming your toys and etiquette.

In the back of the book, you'll find a ton of information on safety. This appendix things such as materials, porosity, STDs, sharing, and anything else you need to know about playing it safe.

I was really surprised at how much of a variety this book had. I loved seeing that kinkier things were covered, as well. A lot of books like this often neglect to include BDSM equiment. This book covers everything from lubes and traditional vibrators, to gimp suits and ball stretchers. It's also helpful for people of all sexualities. It includes information on harnesses, double-ended dildos, and anything else hetero-centered books usually leave out.

**This book was written in 2006. Sadly, they do not mention Eden at all. My guess is that when this book was written, Eden was still "underground". I was, however, surprised to find that most of the products in the book are still being made and offered here on Eden. Apparently Em & Lo have taken a liking to Eden. If you visit their website, they sometimes have coupons for Eden, and feature an ad on their site. emandlo.com
    • Good mix of styles and content
    • Humorous
    • Instructional / educational

Design

The design of this book that I could see from the product page immediately struck my attention. (Of course, that was because it was blue.) I love modern, design-centered things, and this one only got a million times more charming once I actually got it. The color scheme of the book is blue, orange, grey, and white. When you read through the book, any word in bold means that there's an entry for it. There are simple illustrations for each specific toy and a few terms in the book. Because this book is in A-Z encyclopedia format, there's no real division of the content. However, the content seamlessly flows from one topic to the next without losing any interest in the reader.

What I was incredibly impressed with was the front and back covers. The blue part you see with "Sex Toy" written on it is actually a "dust cover" for this paperback book. It's a translucent material. It can easily be removed for a more discreet reading experience. When you remove the dust cover, you see tons of light blue line drawings of different types of toys that aren't visible when the cover is on (because they're both blue). It was a lot of fun to look it over and try to guess which toy was which. I was actually surprised at how many I could immediately guess. Take a look for yourself at how cute this book is:








I really love how small this book is. It fits right in my purse. It's actually my preferred reading material for when I'm at work. (I work in a sex toy store. It's almost required reading.)

    • Diagrams / photos included
    • Small size
    • Soft cover

Personal comments

I really didn't think I was going to learn anything from this book, but I was shocked at how much information was packed into this tiny book. I now know exactly how and why everything works the way it does. It helps me a lot when writing reviews, helping my customers, or picking my next toy. I'm even a toy snob and I thought I knew pretty much everything until this book came along. Well, I pretty much do now.

Sadly, at the moment, this book has been discontinued. I'm really, really, really glad I got it before it was finally gone, and I'm pretty sure I grabbed the last copy. If you feel like you can't live without this, it can still be found on other book sites.
Follow-up commentary
This book is my bible! When I have friends come over, they always pick it up and start reading and can't believe that toys are so intense! I've passed it off to a couple of my friends who wanted to start reviewing and they've said they learned a lot from it. I wish I could have six copies of this. Too bad it was discontinued!
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Comments
  • wetone123
    wetone123  
    Wow! This sounds like required reading for reviewers! You did an awesome job presenting this book and your pictures were great. Thanks, I'll have to get this book! Congratulations on hitting 100 reviews!
  • Silverdrop
    Silverdrop  
    Sounds great. I might have to get it.
  • Linga
    Linga  
    Bangin' Review! Loved it. I'm going to have to get this one now!
  • Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
    Dawn (Lilac Distraction)  
    Thanks! I've been kinda hesitant to do books and movies because it's a little tricky sometimes.

    I love how I see Flexi Felix, I Rub My Duckie, LELO Nea, Smartballs, The Eroscillator, the Fleshlight, and a Hitachi on the cover. I was surprised at how many I knew off the top of my head. I'm way too involved in toys.
  • LaLaLouise
    LaLaLouise  
    Awesome review, as usual! I think I need this book!
  • Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
    Dawn (Lilac Distraction)  
    For you, of course! It's really handy for those things you just don't really understand, but everyone asks about.
  • FaerieLove
    FaerieLove  
    Wonderful review my dear. I can't believe how awesome this book is, I can see why it's very humbling! Love your pictures and info. I'm sad it's discontinued
  • ZenaidaMacroura
    ZenaidaMacroura  
    Dang, I really wanna read this now. I wish it hadn't been discontinued. Great review, by the way.
  • aliceinthehole
    aliceinthehole  
    cool! wishlist! this can be my mentor's study buddy! i'll be doing that soon, you know!
  • Lucky21
    Lucky21  
    Looks like an awesome book! On the list! Thanks.
  • buzzvibe
    buzzvibe  
    I never get tired of reading about sex toys. Too bad this book has been discontinued... I hope it comes back in stock. Thanks for the great review!
  • DixieDoo
    DixieDoo  
    Wow, I think I have to get a book now. Great review!
  • namelesschaos
    namelesschaos  
    Book sounds great, great review.
  • beegrrl
    beegrrl  
    This sounds like a must read. I think I know quite a bit, but I am going to check it out.
  • ~LaUr3n~
    ~LaUr3n~  
    I have and love that book too
  • MimiPhryxus
    MimiPhryxus  
    This review was awesome. Well written and very helpful. This book is now on my wishlist because of you ^_^ Thanks
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