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Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys
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Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys

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by Violet Blue, Zanne Dejanvier (Illustrator)

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Feeling adventurous? In this witty and well-informed guide, bestselling author Violet Blue explains how to choose and use sex toys to play and explore together — and have mind-blowing sex. With a practical, sex-positive approach, she leads readers through the maze of sex toys on the market, explaining the many options available, including different materials,


Feeling adventurous? In this witty and well-informed guide, bestselling author Violet Blue explains how to choose and use sex toys to play and explore together — and have mind-blowing sex. With a practical, sex-positive approach, she leads readers through the maze of sex toys on the market, explaining the many options available, including different materials, care and cleaning, and how to see through exaggerated marketing claims. Along the way Violet offers tips on creative usage and ideas for introducing sex toys to a relationship: how to ask your boyfriend to use the blindfold in your bedside drawer or how to surprise your wife with a saucy gift without getting your face slapped (unless that was the point).

But why stop with the basics? Care to enact a threesome fantasy with two people? Set up the sexiest lighting for a webcam show? Dream of owning a steel cage dining table for captivating dinner parties? From the tried-and-true to the truly spectacular, it’s here in The Adventurous Couple’s Guide.

Some of the tips and tricks you'll learn:
• fun and creative ways to bring sex toys into the bedroom
• how to enact sexy fantasies with toys
• hot strap-on sex tips
• vital communication skills

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Sex toys have been associated with masturbation and alternative sexual lifestyles i.e., gay, lesbian, or otherwise gender-kinky. This how-to presents toys as safe and fun options for heterosexual couples. Blue, author of numerous excellent sex guides from Cleis Press, concisely covers all the usual suspects: vibrators, dildos, plugs, "toys for boys," BDSM (bondage & discipline/sadomasochism) gear, how to talk about toys with your partner, and how to use them. What's new: sex machines, online sex for two, exotic and luxury toys (some mind-bending notions here), and "sex furniture." It's a short book, but she surveys the wide variety of products very well, with ample safe-sex and safety reminders. Small black-and-white drawings show toys only, perhaps an advantage for many libraries, although more numerous and colorful drawings of the toys, and the toys in use, could be quite attractive and helpful. A competent resource section gives where-to-buy web addresses, other web sites of interest, and books. Recommended for public libraries. See also Anne Semans's The Many Joys of Sex Toys, a more substantial but less comprehensive treatment. Martha Cornog, Philadelphia Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Blue's writing is accessible and funny and her knowledge of sex toys is both deep and wide. She provides the basics for any couple, but takes you places no other guide does."

"Written by the renowned Violet Blue, one of the top sex educators in the world, The Adventurous Couples Guide To Sex Toys promises to deliver advice for first time users and illustrate creative ways to bring sex toys into the bedroom. The book doesn’t disappoint. I LOVED it!"
—Cara Sutra, Melissa MacFarlane

"Think you know everything? Think twice… Everyone should read this book experienced or not."
—Sex Toy Reviewers

"Smart and choosing toys that are made from safe materials and maintaining them properly. From harnesses to webcams, to nipple clamps and dildos, this guide will serve to introduce you to the world of toys, or expand your knowledge if you already have a drawer full."
—City Book Review

"Are you stuck in a rut or just looking for some extra fun in your love life? THE ADVENTUROUS COUPLE'S GUIDE TO SEX TOYS will help you find something to include in your next adventure. Once again Violet Blue gives readers an educational and entertaining read with this guide."
–Fresh Fiction Reviews

"This a book ideal for people new to sex toys and indulging in new fantasies with a partner."
TJ's Take

"The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Sex Toys walks you through the basics of toys, bringing them up to partners and a bit of anatomy too."
Of Sex and Love

"Useful information about new and upcoming sex toys written in an entertaining, easy-to-read language."
Quixotic Orchid

"The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys is deftly written and thoroughly 'user friendly'. Highly recommended for gay or straight adults looking to 'spice up' their personal lives as individuals or as a couple."
Midwestern Book Review

"There’s something for every couple- no matter if you’d like to try a beginner’s toy or something more extreme. This is an easy to understand reference book that I think you’ll enjoy reading. Overall, this is a great book that I highly recommend!"
Night Owl Reviews

"The book is a goldmine of interesting and unusual toys. Illustrations sprinkled throughout the pages help demonstrate the difference between, say, representational and non-representational dildos, and Blue gives clear, concise instructions on the care, handling, and sharing of toys."

"Which toy offers the turn on we’re looking for? to Should it be made of silicone or jelly rubber? Multi-speed or multi-functional? These, and all sorts of other questions you might be too embarrassed to ask in a shop, are answered—and even the most experienced lovers will find Blue’s advice invaluable."
Tamsin's Superotica

"More in depth information than any other toy guide I've yet read."
Rolling in the Hay

"A book that smart sex toy stores should give out for free to first time buyers."
—Julian Arancia

"Violet Blue is brilliant enough to write important health information in a really sexy way."
She Boppin'

"This book is fabulous for all levels of experience, but what I love most about the book, aside from the knowledge it provides, is the fact that it busts down myths surrounding the use of sex toys, and portrays them positively and with an open mindedness that allows the reader to think “This isn’t so scary, this is fun and exciting.” It gives them the knowledge and allows them to see sex toys for what they are and the fun they can provide to anyone and everyone."
Gritty Woman

"This guide is the perfect book to pass on to a curious friend or recommend to an acquaintance who has questions about how to introduce sex toys to the bedroom."
Airen Wolf Reviews

"In her latest book, Violet Blue helps you navigate the world of sex toys. With everything from how to choose your first sex toy to cleaning, toys for girls or boys, kinky toys for couples and so much more, after reading this book you’ll be able to shop like a pro."
Kink Etc.

"If you have ever wanted a non-threatening guide to getting your kink on, then this is the resource you need to have. A lot of sexiness crammed into 140 pages."
Erzabet Bishop

"For people who want to introduce sex toys, or new sex toys, into their love-life Blue gives some great advice. You don’t just present someone with “a vibrating pink bunny” when you have never broached the topic before. You start slowly. Picking up a copy of The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Sex Toys could be that starting point."
—Danielle Paradis

"Even for someone such as myself who considers herself something of a toy expert, there was some new information and resources to be gleaned from reading this book."

"Sex toys are a great way to bring a little adventure into the bedroom, to experiment with new experiences and to share them with your partner. Plus, having a few around can really expand what’s on the menu - and that means you and your partner are more likely to leave the table feeling satisfied."

"A very useful introduction to the many different types of toys currently available. Packed with practical advice, this should be required reading for new retail staff."
Erotic Trade Only

"Informative, witty, and easy to read."
Her Private Island

"No longer are toys solely for solo pleasure. Violet's vast research and expertise in this area can guide both novice and toy-experienced couples."
—Lou Paget, author of The Great Lover Playbook

"It is full of good information and makes a good book to keep on hand for references-especially as you venture into new areas."
Eden Fantasys

"This how-to presents toys as safe and fun options for heterosexual couples. Blue, author of numerous excellent sex guides from Cleis Press, concisely covers all the usual suspects: vibrators, dildos, plugs, "toys for boys," BDSM (bondage & discipline/sadomasochism) gear, how to talk about toys with your partner, and how to use them [...] She surveys the wide variety of products very well, with ample safe-sex and safety reminders."
Library Journal

"The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Sex Toys shows readers successful ways to introduce sex toys into relationships. This new book continues her focus on cultivating and maintaining the magic between lovers. As the editor of best-selling erotica anthologies especially for couples — Sweet Life, Sweet Life 2, and Taboo — she knows how to bring the heat."
Good Vibrations

"Violet Blue has done it again with this concise and straight-forward guide to the often overwhelming world of sex toys. With reassurance and wit, this guide suggests great ways for couples to integrate sex toys into a relationship. Give it to a partner as a hint, or read it together in bed for a fun evening, this guide is sure to spice up the romance and ease some of those shopping phobias."
Come as You Are

"The idea professed by this guide is that couple’s use of toys is all about getting both partners onto the same page — it provides information of everything out there, and communication skills on how to interest a partner in, and negotiate couple usage."
The Dinah Project

Product Details

Cleis Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Basic Models and Care and Feeding of Your Toys

If we approached the world of sex toys as a scientist might, trying to give them all categories based on purpose, species and usefulness, we might go a very long time until our next orgasm. Sure, in its widest definition, anything can be a sex toy—as any object, image or thing used for erotic stimulation is "in the eye of the beholder". But toys and novelties made for the express purpose of sexual gratification are a wild and wooly category of creatures ranging from the practical and reliable to the outrageous, silly, sometimes dangerous, and occasionally deliciously decadent.
Sex toys have been around for centuries, but understanding the modern selection of toys found online and in your local sex shops requires only a minimal understanding of recent developments in sex toy evolution. Plainly put, there are "novelties" and there are toys made for sex. Confused? Most sex toys that you'll find in garden-variety retail sex toys stores are created, marketed and sold "for novelty use only", meaning that while the toy companies explicitly know that people are using their toys for sexual use, they sell them categorized as "novelties". Why they do this is anyone's guess; perhaps it's so they can avoid responsibility for faulty merchandise, as many sex toys are made poorly (almost all novelty sex toys are made cheaply in Chinese factories), or perhaps it's so they can make outrageous claims on the packaging and marketing materials.
Novelty sex toys are the most widely available as they have a virtual stranglehold on American distribution, and they are the least expensive. In practical terms, this is not such a bad thing. You'll find the widest selection and best prices in the novelty toy market, making these toys a great place to try new things without breaking the bank; getting a certain size, shape or functionality you desire; or for finding that exact shade of pink you prefer. Novelties often feature the latest innovations in design and use—but also tend to break easily, some are made with noxious materials, and they can ship defective with user-unfriendly return policies. Technically speaking, novelties aren't made for sex, but they can conjure an orgasm pretty well. Identifying these toys in stores is easy, as they have the most polished, or garish (and sometimes offensive) packaging, "for novelty use" is printed somewhere on the package, and they typically come from companies such as Doc Johnson, Vibratex, Pipedream or Adam and Eve. In any case, it's always "buyer beware" when purchasing a sex toy, and nowhere is it more essential for the consumer to be prepared with knowledge about the products, even before plunking down $5 on a plastic discount vibrator.
Not all sex toys are sold as novelties; the ones made for sex come from independent manufacturers and are created with the consumer's pleasure as their express purpose. There are a growing number of high-quality sex toy companies in the United States and the U.K. who do not market their toys as novelties, and prize sexual health and pleasure as the key building blocks of both their businesses and their products. Many of these companies are women-owned, though many have as yet to break into the "old boys' network" of distribution to novelty stores. You can find products—or rather, "pleasure instruments"—from Tantus, Vixen Creations, Fun Factory and Sportsheets are mostly online and in "women friendly" stores and sex toy boutiques that hand-pick their product selections. These companies have raised the bar on what people expect when they plunk down their hard-earned cash for something nice to shove up their asses.
So there are novelties, and there are "pleasure instruments", and you can expect to find many of these toys displayed side-by-side at reputable retailers. Sometimes you'll even see them making identical toys; the decision to buy a novelty (or not) is simply a question of quality, price, and convenience. Know what you're looking for, and what you'll likely encounter online and in stores, and you'll be a smart—and in the end, satisfied—customer.

Nowhere is the sex toy zoo more exciting and diverse as the world of vibrators. It's safe to say that if someone's imagined it, someone somewhere has made a vibrator of it. Even though you can find vibrators that mount on your tongue or fit on the end of your finger, or resemble whimsical waterproof rubber duckies, and even penises, it's not always going to be easy to find the vibrator you want.
While debate rages on in sex toy circles about what the "classic" vibrator is, it's safe to say that the most iconic vibrator is the rocket-shaped Slimline vibe. It's the vibrator that most people imagine when they think of the word "vibrator". And it's a classic for a reason: while it's been featured since the 1970s in magazine back page ads for "massagers" and in countless porn films, iit's also a really solid vibrattor, still outselling its younger, more modern counterparts. The Slimline is a plastic cylinder with a narrow tip; it comes in a variety of sizes from keychain-sized to nine inches long, and it typically has a variable-speed dial. Made of hard plastic, it's terrific for external stimulation or firm internal penetration, and these vibes tend to have a healthy lifespan. It's also interesting to note that hard plastic vibes amplify vibration, making them stronger vibrators than their rubber- or silicone-encased counterparts (softer materials absorb vibration).

[SIDEBAR:] Batteries and Vibrators
Battery-powered vibes typically run on AA, AAA, C, or watch batteries. For stronger vibrations use fresh batteries; already-used batteries provide a lighter buzz. Always wash your hands after handling batteries. To prolong the life of vibrator and batteries, remove the batteries when not in use. Double that precaution before an airplane trip; no one wants an accidentally turned-on vibe buzzing in their suitcase when navigating the perils of airport security.

Another common vibrator is the egg, or bullet, vibe. These look just like their eponymous names and usually have a cord trailing out of one end attached to a controller containing the batteries and the on/off (or adjustable) power switch. These are primarily external use only vibes, meant for clitoral stimulation. Some people do insert these, though it's not recommended because pulling on the cord (like a tampon) for retrieval is a shaky situation with these cheaply made vibes, and the cord may unexpectedly detach form the bullet, leaving it inside. Some bullet vibes have advanced controllers with programmable microchips, and while on the pricy side, are worth it for an extremely arousing range of pulses, beats, variations and "rollercoaster" effects.
Hand-held vibes come in varieties too numerous to list here, but models of interest include the Pocket Rocket, the Hitachi Magic Wand, the Tongue and the ergonomic Natural Contours. The Pocket Rocket is a simple, one-speed finger-sized external vibe marketed for acupressure, but fits neatly in a purse or pocket (hence the name).

Meet the Author

Violet Blue is the best-selling author of the sex-instruction books: The Ultimate Guide to Fellatio, The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus, The Smart Girl's Guide to the G-Spot, and The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys, and The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Strap-On Sex; the editor of the erotica collections: Sweet Life, Sweet Life 2, Taboo, Best Women's Erotica series, Lips Like Sugar, Lust, and Girls on Top; she also writes about erotica, pornography, and sexual pleasure and health for various magazines, and she is the creator of the popular podcast Open Source Sex. She reports on local issues on SFAppeal.com.

Violet has been interviewed and quoted by national and international magazines including O: The Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Jane, First for Women, Glamour, Grace Woman, Maxim, Marie Claire, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Blender, Penthouse, Redbook, Wired, and more; has made TV appearances on The History Channel’s Sex in History series and Playboy TV’s Sexcetera; has had radio interviews including The Dr. Laura Berman Show, The Sunday Night Sex Show with Sue Johansen, and a regular monthly guest appearance on Sirius OutQ Radio’s Derek and Romaine Show; and has been featured on selected websites including CBS Healthwatch, Jane’s Guide, and Salon. She has been the subject of feature articles in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco Weekly, San Jose Mercury News, and the Wall Street Journal.

Violet is a trained sex educator and lectures to human sexuality students at San Francisco State University, U.C. Berkeley, and to trainees at the national sex crisis and information hotline San Francisco Sex Information. SF Weekly named her one of the Best Sex Educators in San Francisco in 2013, and she resides in San Francisco. Visit her at tinynibbles.com.

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Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was super hesitant to pick up this guide at first. I mean, I knew what I was getting into, but I didn't know what I was getting into. Violet Blue has a super friendly tone that reassured me immediately, and I learned a lot from this guide. Dr. Glickman's little information blurbs were also great - I felt like I had two amazing professors tag-teaming a lecture (except I was actually interested in what they were teaching!). Highly recommend this book - it's good information for EVERYONE to know.
QuixoticOrchid More than 1 year ago
I'm always looking for something new and unique and maybe I've read way too many sex books seeking that something special, but with stuff like The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys on the shelves, I have no intentions of stopping. It's just what I want, skims over the novelties that proliferate the naughty pleasures market and focuses on the most creative of the creative, the exotic, kinky toys, the "teledildonic" toys (you know, the USB stuff you can hook up to your computer for awesome cyber sex?), sex machines and furniture, etc. etc. Reading this book is almost as much fun as the actual shopping will be.