Vaginas: An Owner's Manual - book by Thunders Mouth Press - review by Kayla

Vaginas: An Owner's Manual

Book by Thunders Mouth Press

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Learn the Facts!

"Vaginas: An Owner's Manual" is a fact-filled book about the care and "feeding" of your vagina. However, as it's about 8 (or 9, counting the time it takes to publish) years old, a lot of changes have been made in sex-medicine, and some of the information is inaccurate.
Some good basic information, Covers a lot of bases
Outdated, Incorrect information, There are better choices, Can be boring
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
"Vaginas: An Owners Manual" is a book published by Thunder's Mouth Press. It's a book all about the health and caretaking of your vagina. The book has 267 pages, is about a three-hour read, and includes fifteen different chapters. The book is softcover, and the inside has black and white pages with easy-to-read text. The book is written by Dr. Carol Livoti and Elizabeth Topp.

I've read another book like this one, and unfortunately, this gave me a bit of a basis of which to base this book off of. The other book is called "What's Up Down There?", and EF does not sell it. I ended up comparing this book to "What's Up Down There?" in both the humor and the information itself, and "What's Up Down There?" wins. For one, it's more accurate (and new), and it just has a lot more information. "What's Up Down There?" also grabbed me in more, and it basically wouldn't let me put the book down. However, this book is a lot shorter and a lot more succinct, and while "What's Up Down There?" is more intended for women in their late twenties, this book is more intended for late teens or early twenties, so they appeal to different audiences.

The neat aspect about this book is that a mother and daughter wrote this book together. The daughter does all of the writing, and the mother is a gynecologist. The daughter takes the mother's experiences and knowledge and wrote it into this book. Along with this, there are little sidebars where the daughter writes little stories or personal experience that the mother has had in her years of practice. For example, did you know that, no matter what your STD or what you feel like your vagina smells like, the author's mother says that absolutely nothing smells worse than a tampon that has to be removed because the owner left it in after they couldn't get it out. (TMI, right?) Along with that, at the end of every chapter, there's a little "mini" conversation that the daughter writes out about which the mother and the daughter had while writing the book. Overall, it's a nice, quaint little way to right the book, and it feels really personal.

Something to consider is the year this was published. It was published in 2004. Unsurprisingly, a lot has happened since 2004. We've had a lot of different changes in medicines, and unfortunately, this book does not reflect them all. For example, most of the contraceptive information is pretty outdated. There's information about Norplant will be offered soon, and information about a birth control called "Lunelle". Some of the STIs information is out-of-date too. It talks about how Hep B is the only STI that has a vaccine, and anymore, that's not true. I'm sure some of the other scientific information in this book is outdated as well, but as long as you know that some of the information may not be 100% accurate with scientific advances, a lot of the information in this book is still definitely worth reading.

Something that was a welcome change was the chapter on abortions. I know, it's a touchy subject, but I've never had the information about abortions (and the procedures of them) put so factually, and non-biased, in front of me. When people usually speak of abortion, it's with a biased kick to it, and in this book, she sticks straight to the fact of what it is, if it will hurt, pros and cons of the different procedures, and how an abortion can effect your body afterwards. It's really refreshing, and honestly, slightly graphic (even to make me cringe and put the book down for a bit), but it's something I really was impressed to find in here.

The book has a lot of basic chapters, and it makes it extremely easy to read about whatever topic you'd like to read about. For chapters, there are: The Standard Equipment, The Period, The Gynocologist, Maintenance, Sex, Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Abortions, Reproduction, Menopause, Thirteen Myths of Gynecology, and Significant Problems of the Cervix/Uterus/Ovaries and Fallopian Tubes/Vagina and External Genitalia.

As you can see, the book does a great job of covering basically anything that has to do with your vagina. There's how to properly clean it, how sex goes over, what abortions are, the symptoms and treatments of menopause, problems with the vagina, your period, how your body works, contraception, and all sorts of useful information. Some of the information is a bit outdated, but on things like your anatomy and such, it's hard to make that outdated.
I will say that I did find a bit of a couple annoyances in here. For one, the book says that female ejaculation is impossible. I'm not sure if this is because we've made advances in the last five years that let us know that it is possible, but her sentence is "As for female ejaculation, we're not sure why anyone would choose to ejaculate, but there just aren't any organs that could make this actually happen in the female external genitalia. We're just not built that way." In her next "myth debunked", she says that the g-spot does not exist, and if you are having problems finding your own, to try somewhere like the back of your knees or neck. Again, I'm not sure if this is because the science hadn't advanced this far, but I was more annoyed by both of those claims than anything else.

This was a decent book to read, but I can't say I was capitivated or anything like that. The first ten chapters or so were okay, but I saw a lot of differences in all of the other sex books I've read compared to this one including in birth control and STI information. The last five chapters weren't all that interesting to read, and it's actually slightly frightening to read the last four chapters which are all about all the horrid ways that your vagina can get messed up. However, there is still a decent amount of information in this book, and if you want to read a book about the health of vaginas and how to take care of your own, this is a good book to start off with. Just remember that not all of the information is probably accurate.
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  • Rin (aka Nire)
    G-spot... on the back of the knees??? Perhaps she mistook "G-spot" to mean the same as "erogenous zone"?

    Great review. Don't think I'll pick the book up for myself, since out-of-date stuff bugs me, but it sounds like it could still be quite informative.
  • Rin (aka Nire)
    GAH! I misread that part of the review! Ignore me!
  • ZenaidaMacroura
    Well, this sounds fairly informative, but I imagine there are more up-to-date books out there. I'd rather try one of those. Great review.
  • Diabolical Kitty
    Sighs...hate out of date books. Great review though!
  • closed account
    thanks for the great review. I had this on my wish list based on the funny title. Time to delete it off my wishlist. I had a feeling based on the description that it might be one of those books a mom hands to her daughter as a teen. I was hoping for something more comical. I hope that EF decides to discontinue this book since it is so out of date that the information in it is not correct.
    as always, rockin review!
  • eroticmutt
    Thank you for the review. It's a shame the book is a bit outdated and their views on female ejaculation were so limited. Especially using the phrase 'We're not sure why anyone would choose to ejaculate'. What the heck? I doubt they would say that in regard to men, and there is no reason to be so skeptical and negative about the female point of view. Hopefully gynecologists are a bit more openminded these days..
  • bayosgirl
    No female g-spot? What kind of "doctor" is she? Needless to say I will skip this book.
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