Lesbian Sex Book: A Guide for Women Who Love Women

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Informative, entertaining, and attractively illustrated, this handbook is the lesbian sex guide for the nineties. Dealing with such sex practices as cunnilingus, masturbation, and penetration as well as related topics such as intimacy, nonmonogamy, health, and political correctness, The Lesbian Sex Book offers the reader a potpourri of helpful advice. Never judgmental, this guide is perfect for the newly out ...
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Overview

Informative, entertaining, and attractively illustrated, this handbook is the lesbian sex guide for the nineties. Dealing with such sex practices as cunnilingus, masturbation, and penetration as well as related topics such as intimacy, nonmonogamy, health, and political correctness, The Lesbian Sex Book offers the reader a potpourri of helpful advice. Never judgmental, this guide is perfect for the newly out and the eternally curious.

About the Author:
Wendy Caster wrote The Lesbian Sex Book and has also published dozens of opinion columns, along with short stories, reviews, and articles. She lives in New York, where she is working on her first novel. Wendy makes her living as managing editor at a medical education agency.

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Editorial Reviews

Golden Threads
Here is the lesbian sex book that tells it all.
Library Journal
This handbook covers social and political as well as sexual issues and integrates the latest information on safer sex and lesbian health concerns.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555832117
  • Publisher: Alyson Publications
  • Publication date: 5/1/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 191
  • Product dimensions: 8.51 (w) x 10.93 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Caster's columns, articles, reviews, and interviews have appeared in Lambda Book Review, the San Diego Tribune, and Mainstream Magazine. Her short stories have appeared in such publications as Bedroom Eyes, Electric, Electric 2, and Bushfire. She has won several awards, including the Gay and Lesbian Press Association Award for Editorial Commentary and the Gloria Steinem Award.
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Read an Excerpt

the Lesbian Sex Book

A Guide for women who love women
By Wendy Caster

alyson books

Copyright © 2003 Wendy Caster
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1555832113


Chapter One

A

Afterplay Age Differences Aging AIDS Alcohol and Drug Use Anal Sex Anatomy Anonymous Sex Aphrodisiacs Appearances Arguing Armpits Atmosphere

Afterplay

Many people top off a wonderful meal by lingering at the table over a leisurely cup of coffee or tea. Afterplay is the after-dinner drink of sex.

Afterplay includes cuddling, kissing, stroking, and lying on top of each other and sweating together. A major part of afterplay is vocal, whether it's saying "I love you" or "You're so hot" or "Mmmmmmmmmm."

Often there's a special intensity to sex play right after orgasm, with the smallest strokes setting off tingly aftershocks. If you've just had a deeply emotional experience and your walls are down, you may both feel a whole-bodied and whole-hearted enjoyment of everything. Take time to savor it.

On a more pragmatic level, certain forms of stimulation may be annoying for some women after orgasm, particularly around sensitive areas such as the clitoris and nipples. Broader, slower, more diffuse stimulation lends itself perfectly to afterplay.

The time immediately after sex can be frightening for some women, as they may wonder whether they "did it OK" or if their lover still finds them attractive. Other women become sad as sex ends. If you enjoyed yourself, let your partner know. If you're upset, let her know that too. Sometimes the best afterplay is simply talking together quietly while holding each other. (See also Cuddling; Foreplay; Orgasms; Sex; Spoons.)

Age Differences

When two women of significantly different ages fall in love, conventional wisdom says the relationship won't work. Differences in maturity and attitudes will outweigh love and passion.

But conventional wisdom is often wrong.

Kathy loved being with a woman 13 years her senior. "I learned more about sex from her than I had in the whole rest of my life," she says. Twenty-seven-year-old Jessica agrees: "My favorite lovers have been the ones who are older, with stretch marks and round bellies."

On the other hand, 48-year-old Lydia says, "I don't think I'm ever going to seriously date anybody 20 years younger than I am again. More than a generation doesn't work." Rebecca says she didn't feel free to tell her younger lovers when she was too tired to have sex; she also found it hard to fit into their social circles: "When we were with her peers, I felt like a real old lady."

None of the women interviewed for this book had experienced any problems with age differences during sex, except sometimes when the partners' energy levels varied. Only in attempted relationships did problems arise.

However, with good communication and true caring for each other and with the support of friends (all of which improve any relationship), a mixed-age couple has just as much chance at long-term success as any other sort of couple.

Aging

There's bad news and there's good news.

The bad news is that with age, sexual lubrication often lessens significantly, as does energy. Knees may no longer allow fancy sexual positions. Health problems may occur more frequently.

The good news is that age brings experience in pleasing yourself and a partner. Commercial lubricants are available at drugstores. Nonacrobatic sex can be intensely fulfilling. And while ageism does exist among lesbians, as in all groups, older and old women are often considered attractive sexual and romantic partners by women their own ages, younger, and older.

Nevertheless, the women 40 and older interviewed for this book had little positive to say about aging. While they were glad to have commercial lubricants, they missed their own. And while they appreciated maturing emotionally, they disliked the extra weight they put on as well as the loss of skin tone and energy they suffered. It's clear that many women experience the changes of aging unenthusiastically.

But the older interviewees are still having great sex! At age 48, Lydia maintains an active love life with a number of partners. Rebecca, 56, says, "It suits me to have sex where the feeling is very intense but the activity level is low. I'm having possibly the most sexual relationship I've had in 10 or 15 years."

Forty-year-old Suzanne sums up the dichotomy surrounding aging: "There are times I just don't have the energy to have more orgasms. I know I could, but do I want to risk cramp and death? On the other hand, I have tremendously more appreciation and enjoyment and finesse. I've learned a lot about my body, and I have confidence too. I can ask for what I want. All the things I've learned in life help in sex, and they more than compensate for not being able to roll in the hay all night."

AIDS

First, let's make one thing clear: Lesbians can get AIDS. Though the chances of transmission are not as high as with other groups, this in no way means you shouldn't be careful-there still is no cure for AIDS. The following are some guidelines and information about HIV and AIDS. Please consult your doctor or a clinic if you have questions about your own health.

According to Planned Parenthood's Web site, there are two basic rules regarding safer sex for women: (1) Keep your partner's body fluids out of your vagina, anus, and mouth; and (2) Don't touch sores caused by sexually transmitted infections. You can't know by looking at a woman whether she has HIV, and she herself may not know. By protecting yourself using gloves (for digital penetration) and dental dams (for oral sex) you are protecting yourself from HIV contraction.

HIV has been found in vaginal secretions and menstrual blood. The amounts of HIV in these fluids may be sufficient for transmission under certain circumstances-for instance, if a woman was penetrated by a dildo that retained infected vaginal secretions or menstrual blood.

Some lesbians are HIV-positive, although all of them are believed to have had other risk factors, including sexual experiences with men, histories of IV drug use, and blood transfusions.

Assessing risk. To stay safe, keep up-to-date with new information about AIDS and its transmission, and don't rely just on the mainstream press or just on the gay press, both of which have their limitations and prejudices. Often articles and studies fail to fully address the risks of female-to-female transmission.

You don't have to give up sex to avoid AIDS, and if you do slip up, you don't have to beat yourself up. But don't let the fact that lesbians are in a lesser-risk category fool you into thinking you can't contract HIV from a woman.

According to the Gay Men's Health Crisis Lesbian AIDS Project, "HIV is not about sexual orientation but behavior. Lesbians who use drugs intravenously and have unsafe sex with men are at high risk for HIV transmission. Even women who only have sex with women are at risk if their partners are intravenous drug users (IDU's) or have unprotected sex with men."

Because you may not know a woman's entire sexual history, it's important to be careful during sex. If you're embarking on a new relationship with someone, find out whether she's been tested. You may want to consider becoming fluid-bonded (or monogamous) with your partner, meaning you'll agree not to exchange bodily fluids with anyone outside of your coupling.

Getting tested. You can get tested for HIV at free clinics, low-cost centers such as Planned Parenthood, or at a gynecologist's office. Some clinics do anonymous testing, where you are given a personal identification number, and some do confidential testing. Wherever you decide to get tested, look into their testing procedures to ensure that your personal information is protected. It's a good idea to get tested if you fear that you may have contracted HIV, to further protect yourself and to prevent infecting other partners. (See also Sexually Transmitted Diseases.)

Alcohol and Drug Use

A beer or two every once in a while can provide instant relaxation, lower your inhibitions, and help ease you into sex. If you can keep your alcohol use at a casual level, enjoy! But remember that lowered inhibitions may lead to more risk-taking and less body awareness. Avoid drug and alcohol use when practicing S/M, when having sex with someone you don't know, and when practicing safer sex-in other words, at times when you must have your wits about you. And, of course, never drive drunk or high.

If you find yourself unable to have sex without a drink first, miss days at work because of hangovers, steal to buy drugs, have blackouts, or if you have to drink or do drugs every day, you have a problem. You aren't alone; an estimated 30% of lesbians and gay men abuse drugs and alcohol. (This rate is approximately three times the percentage of heterosexual alcoholics and drug abusers, probably because growing up in a homophobic society leaves many lesbians and gay men with lowered self-esteem; also, much of lesbian and gay socializing occurs in bars.)

But help is available. Many alcoholics and drug addicts have found sobriety and peace through various 12-step programs, Alcoholics Anonymous being the most famous. As Kathy puts it, "AA saved my life." And so many lesbians are in recovery that Lydia says, "I really like to have sex using cocaine or with a glass of champagne. But these days, a lot of people I meet are in recovery-or they just don't do that. It's a part of my sex life I don't get into much anymore."

Not everyone trusts and approves of 12-step programs. Some people claim that AA's precepts urge alcoholics and addicts to give up their autonomy and turn into "useless zombies." This misinterpretation emphasizes the first step ("We admitted we were powerless over alcohol") and ignores the others, which focus on taking responsibility for one's life and becoming a contributing member of society. Anyone who believes that recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are zombies has never actually sat through an AA meeting!

Critics also complain about AA's focus on "God stuff." AA does suggest reliance on a higher power ("as we understand him"); atheists, agnostics, and people who practice non-Christian religions may indeed find much of AA difficult to swallow. One option is to try Secular Organizations for Sobriety, also known as Save Our Selves; check your phone book or the Internet to see if there's a local chapter. Another is to sample various AA meetings until you find one at which you're comfortable; the emphasis on "God stuff" varies from meeting to meeting.

For the lesbian alcoholic or drug addict, there is the additional problem of homophobia, which exists in many meetings. You can stay in the closet, but that choice is particularly unattractive in AA, since 12-step groups stress honesty. However, if you come out, other alcoholics may insist that your lesbianism is a symptom of your addiction! They may even suggest you go to Homosexuals Anonymous to "recover" from your homosexuality. Note, however, that these homophobes do not speak for all of AA; they are just individual bigots. If they get too obnoxious, find another meeting.

Whatever sort of meeting you end up at, whatever its weaknesses and strengths, remember one of the less publicized AA adages: "Take what helps you and leave the rest."

Call your doctor for more information, or call Alcoholics Anonymous directly; the number's in the phone book. Ask if there are any meetings in your area particularly aimed at lesbians or gays. Lesbian and gay newspapers, hotlines, and community centers can also point you to friendly AA groups.

It may be embarrassing to call AA or go to a meeting, but getting clean and sober will save your life.

Alanon. Since so many lesbians are alcoholics and drug addicts, the odds of you dating, sleeping with, or befriending someone with an abuse problem are high. If you already care a great deal about someone who abuses drugs or alcohol, you too may want to seek support. Alanon is the 12-step program for the loved ones of alcoholics; check with your doctor, or look in your local phone book or gay and lesbian newspaper for more information. (See also Drugs; Safety; Sober Sex.)

Anal Sex

Anal sex includes anilingus (licking the anus) and anal penetration. Anal sex can be enjoyable and arousing for many women. Enjoying yourself during anal sex also opens up a whole range of new bodily sensations, and you can truly experience how the anus works in combination with your vaginal muscles to create orgasms. Or, as Tristan Taormino, anal sex authority and author of The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex, says, "I don't teach and write about anal sex for my health-I do it for the mind-blowing orgasms."

Anilingus (also known as rimming). Anilingus involves licking your partner's anus. You should use a latex barrier such as a dental dam if you are engaging in safer sex, as bacteria can live in the anus. Some women find anilingus an incredibly pleasurable experience, whether by itself or combined with clitoral or vaginal stimulation. You can lick the opening of your partner's anus, as well as delve deeper with your tongue, and tease her by returning to the opening of her asshole again and again. Again, as with any form of sex, don't feel bad if you don't enjoy it. It's not for everyone, but if you want to try it (as the giver or receiver), talk with your partner to see if she wants to as well, and if she does, go for it!

Penetration. Anal penetration can be done with a finger, several fingers or a fist, or a butt plug or other anal-sex toy.

One notable thing about the anus is that you can experience incredibly arousing sensations with only a small amount of pressure. Some women get turned on even before a finger has been placed inside them, simply by their partner teasing the opening of their anus.

Lube is a must when it comes to anal penetration; without proper lubrication, anal sex will be difficult to accomplish and won't feel good. So always have lube handy and be ready to add more.

Some women like constant stimulation of the anus, while some simply enjoy the sensation of having something filling them. While wearing a butt plug, you can have other parts of your body touched, or be spanked or paddled, and you will feel the pressure of the butt plug as well as whatever else is going on.

Anatomy

It's not necessary to have a detailed knowledge of female anatomy to be a good lover, but it doesn't hurt, either. (Please refer to the accompanying illustrations while reading this section.)

First, some vocabulary. The name of the visible female genitals as a whole is the vulva. The vulva includes the hairy outer lips and the smooth, hairless inner lips, which are also known together as the labia.

Continues...


Excerpted from the Lesbian Sex Book by Wendy Caster Copyright © 2003 by Wendy Caster. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2002

    Live & Learn

    This is an excellent book for someone curious, wanting to explore, or who knows nothing about lesbianism. For those of you already living this life, the book will be minutely appealing. For the rest of you, don't believe everything that is in print, including what I am writing, learn for yourself. If interested, explore. If not, learn from your heart not from a book about what lesbians are and aren't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2001

    ~*ohh my god*~

    This Book Gets me off soo good. My Lesbian lover is soo good after reading this book she knows just what to do.... Get this book ladies if you are straight or gay.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2001

    I love my wife Jewel she is a lesbien too and we love this book.

    This book really made me feel that it is alright that I love woman. Even though I can't have a baby, I still love my wife. If you don't have a penis, it's okay. Woman are woman and i love them because I'm a lesbien and proud of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2000

    Excellent for the 'Coming Out' process

    Being a late bloomer in my 40's the coming out process was a difficult enough struggle. I found this book very informative, and cleared up a lot of stereo typical ideals and thoughts. Also the illustrations made me feel more comfortable with myself internally, as well as my body image. I would definately recommend this book to anyone at any age going thru their own coming out journey. To the author & illustrator...Thank you for being there!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2000

    Dictionary for lesbians

    This book gives intresting and informational items to lesbians in a dictionary type form.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2000

    Insightful

    This book taught me some things I would have never been able to figure out on my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2000

    The Lesbian Bible of Sex

    I have to be honest I was concerned when I first came out about what lesbian sex was all about and how to make love to another woman. Well after having purchased this as a present for my girlfriend and read it I learnt far more then I knew exsisted. I would recommened this to any woman who like me knew nothing about lesbian sex and how to enjoy it......but I do now.....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2000

    Not confused anymore

    After wanting to exlpore my feelings for other females, I had some sort of fear that I wouldn't know what to do or how to feel. This book helped me relax.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2000

    Hummm

    I enjoyed the book, thought some of it made things more confusing then need be, but overall it was a good book and I would reccomend it to a female feeling curious about being with another woman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 1999

    Reader-Friendly Intro to Lesbian Sex

    I am a middle-aged woman. When I recently got divorced, I decided it was time to explore my attraction to women. At first I was scared that I wouldn't know what to do, but this book helped a lot.

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