This post is something a little different this week. Instead of raising an issue that I think needs to be discussed, I’m going to be giving a few introductory book recommendations. As a gay guy, these will be aimed more towards the gay population. Mostly, this is because it’s something I know more about and there are also more books and published material in this area. It would be great to see more sex educational books geared towards the lesbian and transgender communities and I hope to do a more expansive post in the future with more recommendations. That would be once I get the chance to take a break from uni work and actually do some reading I enjoy.
Punish Me! : The Complete Guide to BDSM
Stefan Muller (2016)
First up, for anyone interested in getting into the BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) community or even just wanting to understand more about kinks, this book is the perfect guide. Apart from having some really hot pictures, Muller includes interviews with experts on BDSM. I like to think of myself as pretty knowledgeable on this kind of stuff, but there are some kinks in here that I’ve not heard of and many I didn’t know a great deal about. Essentially, the core of the book is defining terms used in fetish-based sexual encounters and describes the best way to carry them out. There aren’t just definitions of what certain acts are, but also the roles people might take in these situations. Basically, there’s WAY more than just being a dom or sub. This is the definition of a sexual education book, even if it is appealing to a specific group. Muller details how we can carry out our sexual fantasies in the safest way possible, defines the lines between pain and pleasure, and what activities and roles might suit you best. This is a great introduction to those with a fascination for light and hard fetishes alike.
Something for the Weekend: Life in the Chemsex Underworld
James Wharton (2017)
When I first read Wharton’s book Out in the Army: My Life as a Gay Soldier, I must admit that I wasn’t overly impressed with his writing style or even the detail of the content. So when I was in London one day, I was sceptical about buying this book, but did anyway because I don’t know a great deal about the ins and out of chemsex. However, I literally found myself not being able to put this book down. Chemsex is a topic that a lot of gay men are familiar with through apps like Grindr and even nights out in gay bars in most big cities. I had no idea how many people this lifestyle affected in a city like London. Talking from personal experience, Wharton is able to perfectly describe what an average weekend at a chemsex party (or two) is like. There are interviews with friends, dealers, and experts alike so the reader can get a grounded view from a variety of perspectives. I also really appreciate how Wharton raises some very serious issues such as rape and sexual assault at events like these. It is well-written so it’s accessible for most readers and brings a very stigmatised conversation in our community to a public audience.
How to Bottom Like a Porn Star: The Ultimate Guide to Gay Sex
Woody Miller (2013)
Ok, so I love porn. It’s great! Hot guys, lots of sex, and a world of stuff to inspire sexual fantasies. But it’s undeniable that mainstream gay pornography can create unrealistic expectations. Miller basically sets out a step-by-step guide to becoming the perfect bottom. Like Wharton, this book includes a variety of angles on the subject from rectal specialists, research, and porn stars themselves. Parts of the book try to guide the reader as if they have never bottomed before, which is a great way to encourage guys to explore their bodies. It does raise some pretty vital points health-wise – for example, if bottoming hurts, it’s not being done right and the potential consequences to douching. It’s very in-depth about the kinds of foods you should avoid, the anatomical aspects, etc. It’s useful to keep in mind that this book is probably aimed at those who are scared to bottom. I read this in my first year of university when I did have some anxiety issues about bottoming, even though I knew it was something I enjoyed. This book is not without its flaws, but is a good introduction to learning about your body and how anal sex can be appreciated.