PUCKER UP by Tristan Taormino

Tristan Taormino provides a smart and sexy overview of human sexuality in her book Pucker Up: A Hands-On Guide for Ecstatic Sex. Resisting the extremes of either all abtract philosophy or strict physical details, Taormino gives a pretty comprehensive look at the wide spectrum of what makes people sexual beings.

Pucker Up begins with an anatomy lesson, looking at how the male and female bodies work (individually and together). Next is communication, as a way for partners to enhance their shared experience before, during, and after.

From here, Pucker Up goes from sexuality 101 to chapters focusing on far more specific topics, from the g-spot and sex toys to roleplaying and erotica. Each chapter ends with a common question that Taormino addresses.

Any teacher can tell you it's a tricky balance when trying to entertain and inform, and it's a balance Taormino achieves nicely. Throughout the book she addresses even the most explicit or unusual topics with a light, conversational tone that avoids judgmement and instead keeps things interesting and, often, amusing.

There is plenty of detailed information in Pucker Up. Tristan buttresses her ideas with a wealth of knowledge, giving the reader practical (yet often fairly known) facts through each chapter. There are often lists of bullet points in the chapters (e.g. "Lubes at a Glance," "Standout Adult Directors," "Sensory Deprivation Tricks") plus plenty of footnotes and resources.

Pucker Up may be considered an excellent primer for sex, a kind of Sex Ed 201. This book works well as a beginner's guide to the topics contained within; to people more experienced in these areas a lot of it will be familiar. That said, Pucker Up is an engaging read, and Tristan Taormino is a warm and knowledgable host for this trip into the world of love and lust.

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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