Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon, illustrated by KD Diamond. Lunatic Ink, 2016. 9780983830955.
G: Is it OK for me to look at this book?
S: As far as I know, there is no legal requirement that you be a girl in order to read this. It is aimed at girls having sex with other girls.
G: I’m feeling a little excluded. And yet I still want to look at it.
S: This book is full of useful tips.
G: Except for one, there’s one tip that’s missing.
S: And yet. Because it turns out there have always been, but we’re only just now realizing, girls who were born with penises.
G: Oh! I stand corrected!
S: This book has great comics-style illustrations.
G: The illustration of a bunch of different people with different body types is very similar to what I remember from the middle of It’s Perfectly Normal. This is nice, it’s got men and women.
S: Well, they may all be girls. Which is its own mind-expander. I like that.
G: Explain that.
S: Some of these people identify as female. And you don’t have to have the surgery to be a lady.
G: Oh, yeah, of course.
S: (laughs) So the book’s got the basics, what is where, what goes where.
G: I don’t know what that was a picture of. Oh, you know what, that’s a useful view. Describe that.
S: Say you were with a good friend, and located approximately between her knees.
G: Looking where?
S: Looking toward her head area.
G: Toward her belly belly button.
S: This drawing has got all the parts labelled in more detail than I have ever seen.
G: What is a “frenulum“?
S: Keep reading, friend, and you will find out. The facing page takes you through the parts, like a little walking tour.
G: I consider myself someone who knows the vocabulary here. But “frenulum” and “clitoral legs” are words I have never heard.
S: It’s extremely educational.
G: Wow! Look at that!
S: Here is the clitoris, as it is inside the body. There is so much more to it that I’ve ever seen.
G: It looks kinda like a Schmoo, or like one of the Bone brothers from Jeff Smith’s books, but with octopus legs. I already know who’s getting this book for Christmas. Starts with an M, ends with an E.
S: (laughs) It’s a gift for everybody.
G: Age range?
S: This is for grown-ups, though it’s accessible to teens — it’s definitely got information that they want to know.
S: There are sidebars written by different people coming from different places. They’ve got some trans women, some people who do sex work, others with a lot of different life experiences.
G: Just as you’re flipping through, it looks like there’s a real emphasis on trans women.
S: That’s true. I don’t know if it’s an emphasis so much as it’s a real departure from previous books like this that didn’t include them.
G: A lot of books on sex education are written because people see something wrong with or missing from other books, right? Is that what the authors’ goal is? To bring that forward?
S: Yes, I think so. This book includes all sorts of bodies. There’s a page on disability and sex, and another on menopause and pregnancy and sex.
G: There’s a bearded lady in a wheelchair, naked. Nice.
S: Ok, here’s a whole chapter on hand sex. There needs to be chapters on hand sex in pretty much every sex book. Not just tips on doing the “Inverted Vulcan” or the “Safety Scissor” or “The Canyon Run,” but also on ergonomics. How to not get…
G: Carpal tunnel!
S: Carpal tunnel.
G: Where’s that in the boy’s book?
S: There needs to be a boys book.
G: In middle school, our gym teacher was also our health teacher. He threw a book on sex at us and said we had two weeks to read it. Most of the kids had epic spit ball fights. I held little read-aloud sessions in the back with my friends.
S: “Hand Techniques for Girl Dick.”
G: Wow! I completely support this, but why not “hand techniques for dick”?
S: Well, it’s specific. There’s an introduction that explains that different trans girls feel different ways about what they call what they have factory installed.
S: And girl dick is one of them, but definitely talk to your partner about what they want things to be called, ’cause it’s significant.
G: I’ve heard some trans people don’t want you looking at it or acknowledging it, whatever is down there versus how they identify.
S: Yeah, this book covers a lot of mechanics but it also at the same time covers how people feel about it, how you feel about it, how to negotiate things, how do you make sure you feel safe, how do you make sure you get what you need.
G: Would you give this to a teenager? Or would you hope they were reading it?
S: Yes. It’s got real practicalities, which is why they’ll pick it up…
G: Is that a chapter on cunnilingus?
S: Yep, not like this (points at illustration), like this (points at other illustration). “Protip: you know that cunnilingus symbol popular with high-schoolers, the tongue between the fingers in the v-shape? It’s supposed to indicate moving the lips away to eat pussy and it’s one of the best reasons not to take sex advice from high-schoolers.” (laughs) So, yeah, that’s the information they’re getting from their friends and it’s maybe not helpful.
THIS illustration, this is why I needed to show you this book.
G: Wow, there’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!
S: It’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle breathing technique for cunnilingus. Also, in the text she says she might be older than you and you might not know what it is, but she’s gonna tell you anyway. “How not to die in the most awkward but heroic way.”
G: How not to die while you’re eating pussy. Wow.
S: The safe sex part doesn’t come until the end, which is kind of good and kind of bad?
G: I’ve heard most women say they wouldn’t use these things (pointing at dental dams). Is that true?
S: As far as I know, and the text acknowledges that. My favorite part is the safer sex elevator speech. How to talk about the basics with someone you want to sleep with. When were they last tested? What were their results? What kind of relationship status do you have and what kind of agreements are you interested in? What are your safer sex protocols and needs? One or two things you like, one or two things you really don’t like.
G: “How about you?”
S: “And how about you?” This book has some really sweet tips from sex nerds.