If I was going to pick a book that was friendly and welcoming to readers, especially those who are looking to expand or start their sex lives, Sex Yourself would be pretty far up there.
Sex Yourself, subtitle ” The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms,” is the product of author Carlyle Jansen. Jansen is actually the founder of Toronto sex toy store Good For Her. I feel like Jansen is a capable vessel to disseminate this information, and Sex Yourself lends credibility by not avoiding actual names for our anatomy or trying to cute things up. I appreciate this. The book does a good job at talking to the inexperienced reader without being overwhelming them while avoiding those all-too-common mistakes of treating sex as something to hem and or — or hehe — about.
The book does a good job at talking to the inexperienced reader without being overwhelming them while avoiding those all-too-common mistakes of treating sex as something to hem and or — or hehe — about. Jansen proves you can be gentle without being infantilizing or condescending (although, she does swap “masturbation” with “self-pleasure” and “solo sex”). Why don’t more people do this?
Right from the start, Sex Yourself aims to encourage masturbation and to mitigate feelings of guilt about masturbation. Jansen reassures the reader with stats about women and masturbation. She also touches on how solo sex is still sex, even if it’s with yourself, but it’s not cheating. The first chapter wraps up with benefits of masturbation, both for yourself and your partnered sex.
From here, Jansen teaches the reader about erogenous zones such as the clitoris. She also specifies between the vulva and vagina. Yasss! The second chapter is the comprehensive anatomy lesson that most of us never got with addition info on discharge, pregnancy, and menopause.
I don’t want to go through every chapter in detail, but Sex Yourself is worth reading for many people, even if I found most of the information a little basic. It’s the type of book that a parent might give to their daughter or that a young woman might seek out to get in touch with her sexual side.
This book is body positive, and the encouragement for self-love extends beyond masturbation. Jansen’s words somehow make it a little more easy to be in a woman with so many expectations put upon us before providing actionable techniques for masturbation. Every topic that Jansen tackles to techniques to toys to masturbating in front of your partner is in-depth and accessible while encouraging natural sexual exploration.
I was consistently impressed with Jansen’s advice, the type that I and my fellow sex bloggers have been providing for years. Sex Yourself suggests lube time and again (yay) while providing all the information you need to choose a one (you can learn a bit more about the science of lube in this post). Issues such as ass-to-vag toy usage and anal toy safety aren’t glossed over. I love this.
Sex Yourself also dispels some myths such as one type of orgasm being superior to the other or that there’s a difference between G-spot and clitoral orgasms, to begin with. The book also doesn’t spread falsehoods like squirting is just pee, either.
Perhaps it’s because Jansen wrote Sex Yourself like so many of my peers have been writing posts (you’ll find recommendations for some of our favorite toys!) and books that it struck gold. It’s real, it’s useful, and it was sorely lacking.
It’s also a quick read, and you can page through to the content you need without reading it all. In fact, I would recommend a physical copy because it looks like the formatting works just a bit better/is more polished than the digital version.