Category Archives: Books

Review: The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy

pennysblog_ultimateguidetosexualfantasyI started reading Violet Blue’s The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy while on a bus to Houston. A college aged guy sat next to me and asked what I was reading, and when I flipped the book to show him the cover, his tone went from conversational small talk to genuine interest.

“So what’s that about?” he asked.

We chatted about it for a bit, and at one point I gave him the book, which he flipped through, checking out the chapter and section titles like “Fantasies for One (Masturbation, Just Do It)” “Fantasies for Two,” and “Role Play,” and he even stopped and started reading at “Threesomes, Foursomes, and Moresomes.” After a few minutes he returned the book to me, but it had definitely piqued his interest, as I think it would most people!

The Ultimate Guide to Fantasy is quite a claim, so you’re probably wondering, does it live up to its title? And what exactly does this book cover?

Basically, the book discusses how make your sexual fantasies like exploring dirty talk, erotic dancing, group sex, public sex, fetishes, s/m scenarios, and more come true. The book is meant for anyone–it has an easy to read, conversational tone, and it isn’t specific to gender, sexual orientation, or experience level.

pennysblog_ultguidetofantasycontentsViolet Blue doesn’t just give you tips and ideas (although those are aplenty), she provides the practical advice you need, like how to bring it up with a partner, how to plan ahead for the fantasy, how to find props, and how to make sure everything goes as smoothly (or as roughly, depending on your fantasy!) as possible. And at the end of every chapter, there’s a hot story related to the section by well-known erotica writer Alison Tyler to fuel your imagination.

In addition to covering a huge range of fantasies, Violet also covers various options for making that fantasy happen depending on your comfort level. If you and your partner are interested in adding a third to your sex life, for example, Violet offers many different ideas for how to make that come true, from using sex toys & porn in the background to create a “pretend” threesome, to finding someone to actually join your for a hot encounter, to exploring strip clubs, phone sex, call girls, and sex parties.

The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy is lengthy sex book (at 256 pages), and although you may want to read it cover to cover like I did, I think many people would best enjoy it by exploring a chapter or two at a time, based on what peaks your interest. Some of my favorites chapters were “Threesomes, Foursomes, & Moresomes,” “Strip Clubs, Phone Sex, and Call Girls–for Two,” and “Public Sex.” With all of the taboo that surrounds sex work (and all of the interest for that matter) I’m glad that Violet included it. I’m also glad she included a vital chapter on safer sex practices with protection options and charts with the risks involved in various sex acts.

In certain parts of the book I could tell that it was an updated version of the last edition (2004), like in the DIY porn section (no one uses VHS video cameras anymore, do they?) and in the resources section (Forbidden Fruit only has 1 location now, not 3,) but it was only a few minor things.

After reading The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy, I’m confident that you’ll feel like the world is your sexual oyster, ripe and ready for you to devour it! I recommend it to anyone who wants to strengthen their sex life–Violet Blue makes learning about all of the possibilities for fantasy fueled sex accessible and exciting.

“Fantasies are your own private, personal sex toys. They send a direct current buzzing from your brain down to your groin. The right sexual fantasy, running in your head like your own private movie, can turn you on like a switch. When you know what works for you, your own vivid imagination can bring you to dizzying heights of arousal–and take you over the orgasmic edge.” — Violet Blue, The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy

 

 

Review: 50 Shades of Kink

Tristan Taormino’s 50 Shades of Kink should be required reading for anyone interested in BDSM and kink. Although 50 Shades of Grey has popularized power play and allowed many people to discover new fantasies, it also inaccurately represents kink, and the books shouldn’t be seen as a guide or a model for realistic or safe BDSM activities. Thankfully, Tristan Taormino has put together all of the basics of kink in an accessible, easy to read guide for anyone who wants to take the fantasies they’ve discovered and explore them safely with a partner. pennysblog_50ShadesofKink In 50 Shades of Kink, Tristan Taormino introduces the basic terminology and practices in BDSM as well as possibilities for play while stressing the essential themes of consent, communication, and safety. And although the book is instructional, Taormino peppers her tips and explanations with sexy images and possibilities, her guides serving as educational foreplay. Throughout the book, Taormino explores topics like sexual power games, sensory deprivation, sensation play, and more.  Below is an excerpt from one of my favorites, “Rough Sex.”

A pink handprint on a pale ass cheek. A fistful of hair. A string of gooey spit dripping down your chin. Nails dragged across flesh. A slap across the face. An order barked with cool confidence. A guttural groan or a high-pitched squeal. These are some of the sights and sounds of rough sex. Although it is obviously intensely physical, there are also strong psychological elements in rough sex. Rough sex tops get turned on by taking control of a partner’s body, using physical force, and breaking taboos. Bottoms like to explore feelings of being scared, overwhelmed, and out of control. In my work as a sex educator, I’ve talked to thousands of people over the years, and some are very big fans of playing rough but don’t associate it with kink at all. It doesn’t really matter what you call it. Rough sex is another kind of dominant/submissive role play where you can explore power, control, and surrender, and use intense physicality to push limits and break taboos. Rough sex can include BDSM activities like spanking, blind-folds, or bondage as well as smacking, pushing, grabbing, hair pulling, spitting, scratching, being held down, and face slapping. If these things sound fun to you, read on. Although some folks distinguish between rough sex and and BDSM and others don’t, what’s most important is that the basic principles of kink should always be in play: consent, communication, negotiation, education, safety and risk reduction, and after care. Telling your partner, “I want it rough,” just isn’t specific enough. You need to negotiate, talk about what activities are off limits, and constantly check in about the degree of roughness that works for you. For example, some people love to be slapped in various places on their body, but being slapped in the face is too much for them. But if you are interested in being slapped on the face, think about what will make it sexy for you. Some love being spit on, but others find it degrading; where does it fall on your “Yes-No-Maybe” list? What about having your hair pulled? If you want your partner to grab you, push you, and generally “manhandle” you, talk about how you want that to feel.

In 50 Shades of Kink, Taormino gives you the tools you’ll need to explore kink safely, stressing the most important one, consent:

Consent–explicit, informed verbal approval after negotiation, a confident and secure “Yes!”–is the bedrock of sex and relationships, and one of the most significant elements of kink. It’s what separates kink from abuse. You will read about consent repeatedly in this book. Securing consent from a partner is a necessity, and this holds true whether the person is brand-new to you, you’ve played together more than a dozen times, or you’ve been in a relationship for ten years. Never assume anything. When you ask for consent, you clearly speak your part in the exchange: I need to know you’ve agreed to this before we begin. Giving your consent to a partner prior to a scene is absolutely crucial. It establishes that you’re ready, willing, and able to proceed; you’ve discussed what’s likely to happen, shared any concerns, talked about your limits, and agreed to dive in. When you give consent, you do so willingly, without pressure, coercion, or reservation. You agree to play, communicate during the scene, and stop if you need to.

Like anything new, BDSM and kink can seem intimidating to beginners, and this book does an excellent job of explaining how to begin without sounding overwhelming or condescending. It’s the perfect stepping stone into the realm of kink if you’re a newbie as well as a great way to review core concepts even if you’re an intermediate player. If you’re already an experienced kinkster, you probably won’t find anything new in 50 Shades of Kink, but I’d definitely add it to your list of resources for newbies.

In fact, although this guide is geared towards people interested in kink, I wish I had read this book before I began having (“vanilla”) sex, because the themes and tips it presents are essential, (oh how my 16 year old self could have benefited from the idea of a “Yes-No-Maybe” list!) and even if there isn’t an explicit arrangement, power play is always present to varying degrees in sex and relationships. I long for a world where 50 Shades of Kink is featured as required reading for sex ed!

If you’ve read the 50 Shades of Grey books or other erotic novels and found the power play, bondage, and hot sex intriguing, I definitely recommend Tristan Taormino’s 50 Shades of Kink. Read it and have your partner read it, or read it together, and use it as a guide and inspiration for your exploration of kink. Thanks Cleis Press!