Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation

Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation, by Jamye Waxman (Seal Press, 2007), is a jaunty, woman-to-woman guide to everything you need to know about how to “fiddle, twiddle, tug, rub, flick, circle, tap, and tease” — in other words, have “sex with the one person you have to love your whole life.”

Although much of the book reads like an instruction manual for young women just discovering how to pleasure themselves to orgasm, there is much of value for those of us who have been acquainted with our own hot spots for longer than the author has been alive. The illustrations by Molly Crabapple and Waxman’s explanations of different techniques and toys, for example, may lead even seasoned solo sex practioners to experiment with new options.

You’ll be the life of the party if you recount the history of vibrators (doctors invented them to help “cure” women of “hysteria”) or the ways parents used to be instructed to stop their children from — e.g. “Limit the amount of fluids children ingest. Urination draws too much blood — and awareness — to the genitals.” Certainly heed the advice about choosing safe sex toys and keeping them that way, and peruse the marvelous list of sex-positive websites. A good read, with plenty of enticing ideas and tips for enjoying sexy self-love!

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