The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Strap-On Sex - guides to a better sex by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Kayla

Make It Fun to Strap-It-On

This book is a good, basic comprehensive guide to strap-on sex. It doesn't include everything, but it's a short guide that gives you all of the basics you really need to know to start off your pegging experience.
Erotica is fun to read, very educational, gives specific anal techniques
Missing some information, directed towards heterosexual couples
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
"The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Strap-On Sex" is a softcover book about strap-on sex published by Cleis Press and written by Violet Blue. It has black and white pages on the inside and is of regular size to fit into a bookshelf. The book has 126 pages which are split into 12 different chapters. The text is large and easy to read, and the book is put together well with the spine pretty strong. The book is pretty short, and you can easily flip through and read this in a little over an hour. The outside cover isn't amazingly discreet, but it isn't crass either, so you could take this out in public if you took care to hide the cover.

This book mostly focuses on heterosexual relationships. It's supposed to be a guide for couples, but it really just deals with male/female interactions. It isn't unfriendly to lesbian couples though - it mentions a couple things and all of the information could be applied to lesbian couples, but it wasn't really directed towards them. Most of the book is also directed towards the penetrating female in the relationship. This is understandable - there's a lot of things that are frightening about learning how to penetrate anally while learning how to receive anally (while scary) doesn't really require much in terms of technique. It does have a bit of information directed towards the male in "How to Ask For It" which gives tips to males who want to ask their female partners to have strap-on sex with them.

A neat aspect of this book (and other Violet Blue books) is that she likes to include erotica that features the "subject" to try and make the reader feel inspiration and "more at home" with the subject at hand. If you were nervous about trying strap-on sex (or thought it was 'wrong'), the erotica would put you at ease since it would show two partners enjoying it. For this how-to sex book, Alison Tyler is the writer of the four different erotic stories featured in the book - between the chapters. The stories all feature strap-on sex of a male in a female/male relationship. The stories are pretty short, but they are pretty sexy and add a fun aspect to break up the monotony of just reading a how-to book.

Another reviewer mentioned how this book is focused on anal activities for the male instead of just strap-on sex. I think it seemed natural in the book. After all, the target audience for this book is a female who's interested in strap-on play but never tried it with the partner. This means that knowing how to safely approach anal with males as well as how to warm a guy up anally is important. It's a huge aspect of strap-on sex. So yes, this book will focus on male anal pleasure as well as just on strap-on sex.

One of the neat aspects of this book that I learned from: where did the word "pegging" come from? When I was younger and had researched strap-on sex, it was always just called "strap-on". When I came back to review for the sex toy world, it was now "pegging". Well, it turns out that Dan Savage hosted a poll on his website, and out of "punt", "Bend Over Boyfriend" and "peg" to describe strap-on sex, "peg" won and has stuck around ever since.

I'm experienced with strap-on play with the boyfriend, so I wasn't expecting to learn much from the book. I'm pleased to say that I did learn a bit. Aside from the origin of "pegging", this book also does a great job of focusing on specific techniques for anal insertion. Most books/videos just tell you to have him relax then insert. Well, that's not all that useful. This book focuses on giving you, step-by-step, all of the sequence for comfortable insertion including being highly aroused, going very slowly, making sure to stimulate him while inserting, pressing down with the pad of your finger, and so much more. It's one of the more helpful aspects of the book.
So what all does this book include? It gives information to make males feel more "comfortable" with strap-on sex and assures them they aren't gay. It addresses the myths around strap-on sex. It gives a basic lesson in male anatomy including anal anatomy that is usually skipped over in some sex books. It talks about the male prostate and how to find it as well as what sensation is best for stimulation. It talks about why strap-on sex is arousing for both the male and female partner as well as being reasonable about your expectations that it will go amazingly. It also talks about how to ask for it - both from the male and female sides. it also talks about how to communicate about pegging and how to talk about what your specific desires are about the subject. It gives a bunch of tips and pointers about first-time male penetration including how to make him comfortable with his first time. It gives other anal stimulation ideas including rimming, sex toys, vibrations, and butt plugs and how to use them. It gives information about different harnesses, how to choose a harness, different dildos, how to choose a dildo, and what dildo will work best for what you want. It gives information about the actual act of strap-on sex including role-play, a couple positions, techniques during penetration, bringing a third person into your play, and fun things to do when you're having sex with him. The book ends off with a list of resources for purchasing toys as well as safe sex information.

Was the book missing some information? Of course. All books can always be "missing" something- there's always something else that could be added to any topic out there. This book never touched upon any sort of sexual positions for strap-on sex nor did it really give any specific product recommendations. (Probably to try and keep the book valuable through the years) I also wish I could have seen more information about how to prepare for anal penetration (such as all of the cleaning methods) Cleaning was mentioned in passing, but not in any sort of detail to perform anything. (Probably to avoid scaring people off.) Would I have liked more information? Yes. Would it possibly have made the book too long and scared off newbies who were looking for a quick read to satisfy their curiosity? Possibly.

Overall, I was impressed by this guide. It wasn't perfect, but considering I haven't ever read (or seen) another strap-on sex guide, it was a good start. It did a good job of keeping things informative but entertaining, and it didn't drag on. It was a bit short and left out some information, but I imagine it was in the sake of making a shorter book that would "appeal" (and leave out the excuse "it's too long") for those who are curious about attempting strap-on sex. If you are even a bit curious, I'd highly recommend checking this guide out.
Follow-up commentary
I still think this is a good book with a lot of great information in it. I haven't re-read it since the first time since I think I absorbed all the information the first time around, but if you want a good book that's going to teach quite a bit about strap-on sex, I definitely think this is a good route to go.
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  • Love Buzz
    Was just discussing pegging with the BF over the weekend as he's interested in experimenting, I'm going to have to get this book, sounds like it covers my areas of concern. Fantastic Review
  • nolongerhere
    I think this book is awesome, I wish my husband had any interest in pegging as I am sort of curious...It is great that it gives strategies for those who are unsure how to 'ask for it,' Thanks for the great review, I enjoyed it!
  • Matheri89
    I may have to pick this up!
  • bzzingbee
    Great review! This sounds like an excellent book to add to my collection!
  • Liz2
    Despite the omissions, this sounds like a great resource. I started pegging by the trial and error method and I will admit to errors and frustrations.
    Can't believe how the author omitted positions?
    I totally enjoy pegging, I can get off doing it and it is even more exciting when my b/f chooses a harness and dil for play.
    Great review!
  • ScottA
    My concern with the book is that it does omit some things that are important to a couple who wants to try pegging, and many times it's a "silent omission" where they don't mention that it's been left out. Things such as the possibility of cleaning out, positions, recommendations for how to put on the harness and thrust for maximum comfort, etc.
  • Research
    Sounds like a great book, I think I'll grab a copy for myself.
  • CafeSabroso
    Great review! I agree that cleaning out should be included; it can be awkward to tell someone else how to get clean, much easier to refer them to a section of a book that describes it well.
  • seaofneptune
    I wish that I could find more erotica that dealt with the female using a strap on with a male though. I feel as if that would help my partner get more in the mood for it because we have been experimenting with prostate stimulation recently.
  • married with children
    great review. I have added it to my wish list. thanks
  • oldman
    Not sure we are ready for this!! All in all, an excellent review.
  • SadoMas
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