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Everyone Loves S.E.X.!

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Submitted by Heather Corinna on Thu, 2007-06-21 12:53

...and we love them back!

We interrupt your regular programming for a little bit of shameless and self-congratulatory self-promotion.

The reviews of our young adult sex guide, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College have been coming in, and we're elated to hear that readers and reviewers of the book seem to think it's just as special and essential as we do.

Here is a sampling from some of our recent magazine, newsletter and blog reviews:

  • "Sexpert Heather Corinna is the big sis you wish you'd had when you were a confused, pimply teen. Better late than never: S.E.X. gives you the lowdown on gettin' down without talking down to you. Corinna's had a lot of practice as the impassioned empowering voice behind...the straight-up, sex-ed-for-teens site scarleteen.com. Geared towards 16-22-year-olds of any gender, S.E.X. covers the niuts and bolts of anatomy in a tone that's conversational, not cutesy. There is also plenty of value for old dawgs (like the checklist of unhealthy post-breakup behavior). In a segment titled "Ten Bodacious Ways to Boost Body Image," Corinna put such a compelling spin on "looks aren't everything" that I felt my eyes tearing up. But it's her holistic approach and deft handling of other heavy topics, from eating disorders to abuse, that make this book a must-read." Bust Magazine, June/July '07
  • "S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College should be the textbook for every sex ed class in this country. It’s that good... the book covers pretty much any major topic I can imagine a young person asking about, from the very basics of anatomy, puberty, masturbation and orgasm, to more complex ideas about gender, orientation, body image, self respect, developing relationships, and sexual readiness. It also includes information on the usual sex ed stuff—STI’s, safer sex, birth control, pregnancy, and reproductive health.

    Chicago Tribune RedEyeChicago Tribune RedEyeHowever thorough, though, the absolute genius of the book is it’s focus on developing a sexual life that brings one joy and happiness. The book isn’t a technical manual, a platform for sermonizing, or a Talk Down to the Kids After School Special story. Corinna constantly comes back to the notion that sexual knowledge is a tool for developing a satisfying sexual self—something that is so damned crucial, but so rarely taken into account when it comes to conversations about young people and sex. If you really want to buy a book that will do your teen-aged friends and relatives a world of good, that will honestly answer all the questions that they may be too embarrassed to ask, I can’t recommend this one enough." - Veronica Nichols, Ninepearls.com

  • "S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College... covers body basics for boys and girls, as well as sexual identity, masturbation, body image, contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases and the emotional repercussions of making sexual decisions... The book is full of the kind of humor that makes Scarleteen so readable, with subchapters like "Get the Ball Rolling" and "10 Bodacious Ways to Boost Body Image" and "Genderpalooza! A Sex and Gender Primer."

    [Joan] Schrammeck sees it as "Our Bodies, Ourselves" for the next generation. "This is another groundbreaking book and what we love is that it's woman-centered," she said. "It's boldly feminist.'" - Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 13th, 2007

  • "Heather Corinna’s book, S.E.X., is here to save the day! S.E.X. is an articulate, comprehensive, and just plain fun resource on all things sex. Covering topics ranging from sexuality to relationships to safer sex (and every step in between), Corinna deftly presents each issue with a refreshingly straightforward, accurate, and honest approach....S.E.X. sets out to empower young adults to make healthy, informed decisions about their sexuality and begins with a wonderful challenge: “I want you to choose to create a healthy, happy and fulfilling sexual life that is fantastic for you and for everyone else in it.” This challenge is at the heart of every chapter... While S.E.X. is aimed primarily at adolescents and young adults, it has a lot to offer for any adults with teenagers in their lives—or with questions of their own! S.E.X. addresses the potential awkwardness of talking with a teenager about sexuality and suggests multiple ways to open up communication; plus it’s a great way to brush up on your own knowledge surrounding sexuality and become another source of good information.

    Chapter after chapter, Corinna reaffirms that her goal is for her readers to make informed, healthy choices that best suit their lives. She sets them up to do just that by framing each chapter—and the book as a whole—from a holistic view that acknowledges that things like body image, health, relationships, and support networks all play a role in sexual health. With S.E.X., Corinna has created an exceptional book that levels with young adults and provides the comprehensive information and resources necessary for making informed choices." - Verbena Health Newsletter, Spring 2007

  • There are so many things to recommend this book aimed at youth 16 - 22 (but containing info valuable to a much wider age range) that it's difficult to know where to begin. S.E.X. contains a lot of the information you find in guides aimed at a young readership - anatomy lessons, safer sex guidelines, a breakdown of birth control options, definitions of various sexual activities and infections. The difference here is Heather Corinna's (who as the founder of the world's most awesome sex ed site, Scarleteen, has seen and heard it all) dedication to tugging the rest of society closer to her dream of a world where everyone is “healthy, happy and whole in themselves and their sexuality: in body, heart, and mind.”

    To that end the book is truly inclusive. In a section on sexual identity Corinna points out that “this isn't the gay chapter” and indeed the book doesn't assume a heterosexual default the way many do - or root itself in traditional gender roles. Nor does it assume that sex is better when connected with love or marriage. The emphasis is unfailingly on communication, being as safe as possible, respecting your own and others' boundaries and fitting sex into the rest of your life in a healthy and enjoyable way. The slant seems so balanced and logical that it's a wonder society at large is in such a mess when it comes to sex and sexuality. But popular culture with its constant projection of a hyper-sexuality which is unvarying and prescriptive (dictating what sort of bodies we should have, the kinds of activities we should be engaging in and who should be performing them - and how) would seem to be the enemy of this logic. To counter these negative messages and arrive at a healthy body image, Heather suggests reducing TV watching and binning your fashion magazines, noticing the diversity around you in your everyday life, focusing on things other than appearance and concentrating on physical activities you enjoy (whether that be team sports, canoeing, whatever).

    Of course there's a lot of sex in this book and sexual activities are catalogued along with their pregnancy and STI risk. You'll learn that the idea that female virgins are supposed to be “tight” is pure myth. “A woman having first intercourse very well might be tight, but that is likely due more to nervousness, fear, and anxiety than it is to whether or not she has had partnered sex before.” If a woman's relaxed, aroused and lubricated enough with a patient partner first-time sex doesn't need to be painful. The idea of premature ejaculation is “a bit bogus” too. There's no “minimum time that is acceptable for erection” and sexual activity can continue in other ways afterwards. There's no reason that all (or any) of the fun has to spring from penetration. Unfortunately, not at all sex is consensual and S.E.X. also discusses healing from abuse and rape. “One-half of all rape victims are raped between the ages of fourteen and seventeen.” Roughly a third of “high-school and college students has experienced sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional violence in dating relationships.”

    As adults, we don't do near enough honest talking about these issues. How can we expect young people to deal with the rampant sexual assumptions and expectations, misinformation and pressure created by living in a society that on the one hand tells them sex is something serious and special to save for later while simultaneously drowning them in images that promote the very opposite? Confusing? Yeah, enough to make your head explode. If everyone read, digested and lived by the philosophies espoused in this book our sexual problems would be a thing of the past. So let's get started, do your mind and body a favour and read S.E.X., then recommend it to someone else." - YA author, C.K. Kelly Martin

  • "Part of why I love S.E.X... is how much I needed to read it when I was 12... The other reason I love it so much is that it has the potential to minimize adolescent pain and confusion for pretty much everyone: Corinna's vast commonsense wisdom and the accurate comprehensive, and nonjudgemental informational she provides - especially on topics relating to gender roles, queer sexuality, and gender identities - have the potential to improve the physical and emotional health of anyone (of any age) who reads it, and to help heal our culture's unhealthy, conflicted approaches to sex, sexuality and gender... S.E.X. is, literally, a lifesaving book." - Bitch Magazine, Summer '07

Want to have a copy for your very own self (or a very-own-other who you know could use it)? Click here. If you want a copy to review for a magazine or 'zine, newsletter, newspaper, website or blog, drop a line, and we'll hook you up!

Comments

The more you understand the better it gets!

Tue, 2007-07-24 20:59
Anonymous

I am always hungry for more info, especially about sex. The more I understand the better it gets! This is why I love finding books and sites like this one. I love that this book looks at sex from so many perspectives. And the focus of having fun and happiness is what it is all about to me. I love sharing this kind of info when ever I can come across it. I wish you the best for sharing and teaching in the future.

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