Every now and then a friend will come to me for advice. “Is this the kind of toy I want? What about this material? What do you think of this shop?” I always answer as best and honestly as I can, although often my answer is “Walk away from that right now.” This is mostly because the toys that appeal to people new to sex toys are not only shiny and colorful and cheap, but also tend to be poor quality and potentially dangerous. Add that to the fact that manufacturers and shops aren’t always totally honest and the world of sex toys can seem to be a rather treacherous field to navigate. That’s where Violet Blue’s The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Sex Toys comes in.
A little bit about it:
If you’ve never heard of Violet Blue, you should know she is a renown sex educator, author, and editor. I’m a fan of her writing and own several of her books. In The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Sex Toys, she takes on the confusing maze of sex shopping and breaks down the different types of toys, what each toy is used for, different materials, and even how to avoid getting ripped off.
I need to point out that I am reviewing the 2nd edition of this guide. Both editions were published by Cleis Press.
What I loved:
I knew I was going to love this book when right off she breaks down the difference between “novelties” and toys properly designed for sex, pleasure, and safety. This is such an important distinction, and one that is easily overlooked by newbies. After all, if you didn’t know any better, why would you buy a $150 silicone rabbit vibrator, when you can purchase a $30 jelly one? Because one is a novelty, one is a sex toy, and it is vitally important for shoppers to know the difference, which she goes into detail about.
There is, of course, a breakdown of different toy types, materials, and cleaning basics. There is more than enough information to help a newbie choose their first (or next) toy. But of course, this is a book aimed not only at individual shoppers, but couples as well. Bringing up the idea of sex toys, especially if a couple doesn’t have very frank conversations, can be tough. Don’t worry. Ms. Blue has it covered with some handy tips for opening up the conversation.
But let’s say a couple is feeling truly adventurous and wants to go beyond the simplicity of adding a vibe to intercourse. If that’s the case, get ready, because after the basics, you’ll find sections on kinky toys, strap-ons, sex machines, sex furniture, and even “teledildonic” toys!
If you know what you want, but don’t know where to get it, she’s got you covered there, too. Not only does she give a list of reputable dealers both at the end of the book and peppered throughout the chapters, but she also gives tips and warnings to help you find a decent shop and what to watch out for.
What I didn’t:
I have very few complaints about the book, but there were just a few things that I felt may be outdated. For one, she mentions that most books do not talk about prostate play, or gloss over it quickly. That seemed odd to me, so I pulled out all the books I had that mentioned male pleasure, and all contained pretty significant information on prostate stimulation, even the books that I thought were terrible in other regards. However, it’s possible that I just happen to have books that are good with that particular piece of information.
She also mentions plug-ins and rechargeable toys as being not that common, but it seems to me, as a consumer, that they are becoming more prevalent and sought after. But then again, if you compare the number of rechargeable toys to the vast number of battery toys, I imagine rechargeables are rare by comparison.
The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Sex Toys is definitely worth a buy. For those just starting their sex toy experience, or for those that are already acquainted with toys but are looking for something different, this guide is full of information. It contains more in depth information than any other toy guide I’ve yet read. For those that may consider themselves sex toy experts, there probably isn’t new information for you, but it is an extremely handy reference guide to have in your library.
~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~