Anyone can be good in bed. Genital size doesn't matter. Looks don't matter. You don't have to have legs up to your chin, arms like Schwarzenegger, drive a sports car, or be rolling in it to be the best lover your partner's ever had. But you do need a good, working knowledge of your subject. And that's easier said than done.
Nearly everyone talks about sex. We're always boasting about how fabulous so-and-so is in bed and hinting at the real reason why we look so tired at work (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). But it's a rare person who'll confess details or talk specifics. Jane might well confide that Brad gives the best oral sex she's ever had, but she doesn't launch into a lick-by-lick analysis of why--and I bet you don't ask for one.
That's why we buy sex books--to find out the nitty-gritty details about things we're too embarrassed to ask friends or lovers. Trouble is, few deliver what we really want to know. Sex manuals tend to gloss over the practical bread-and-butter stuff and, instead, talk in generalities--like how women need clitoral stimulation and men's butts are a veritable hot spot. Great advice but, if you haven't got the foggiest of what to do with it, useless.
This is where Hot Sex is different. Instead of assuming you know everything, I've assumed you know nothing and have dished up all the gory details in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format. The only way I could have been more explicit and specific is to be there in the bedroom with you, guiding your hands and whatever else you're using (and, to tell the truth, I'd really rather not).
That's not to say the book only deals with the basics. Experienced lovers will get loads out of Hot Sex because there are enough advanced tips, tricks, and techniques to keep even Annie Sprinkle happy. But I do suggest everyone read the introductory chapters. Very often it's the people who think they know what they're doing who need educating the most. Sex is a bit like typing. You can get by using two fingers, but you'll never be as good as someone who did the secretarial course and practiced every night. Going back to the grassroots level, even if it's just to check you're on the right track, isn't a bad idea for all of us. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: sex skills can be learned and we can all improve on them.
I've written the book using everyday language for similar reasons. The correct, technical terms sound terribly authoritative but if you don't know that a wet dream is actually called a nocturnal emission, you wouldn't have a clue what I was talking about if I used this term. Sometimes, the words I use aren't even accurate. Most people say sperm when they actually mean semen, for instance. But, hey, if that's what you call it, that's what I've called it a lot of the time because I want you to relate to what I'm saying.
I'm also guilty of making some broad generalizations about sex. Hopefully, there aren't too many, but if you read something that you personally don't agree with, forgive me. If I covered every single individual preference, research finding, exception, and extreme, I'd still be madly typing away at my computer!
Hot Sex is designed to be read cover to cover but it is equally useful if you dip into it for inspiration when the mood strikes. Because good sex is only possible if both the people having it are committed to making it great, I've included guides for him and her wherever possible. Hot Sex isn't ageist either. There's info on all the different stages of our sexual lives: everything from first-time masturbation and losing your virginity to having sex when you're pregnant and taking the monotony out of monogamy. Add hints on ditching those inhibitions, tips on building effective communication skills, and loads of relationship advice, and you really can't help but shred the sheets!
Masturbation: The first, most important, skip-it-and-you're-doomed step to becoming a sexpert
Human beings are funny creatures. We'll chortle over whether to swallow or not swallow and turn that disastrous attempt at a new intercourse position into dinner party fodder, but when it comes to the most innocent, basic sexual act of all, we're about as likely to 'fess up as the guy in the corner suffering silently from an attack of hemorrhoids. We might well be the most sexually uninhibited generation so far, but masturbation--particularly female masturbation--still has a dirty name.
Even my friends, used to me blurting out all sorts of bizarre sex statistics, aren't comfortable with it.
"What do you do to break the boredom of sitting behind a computer for hours on end?" a girlfriend asked me recently, during lunch with a group of friends.
"Drink coffee mostly," I answered. "Oh--and I masturbate. It's a little treat that breaks up the day and perks me up to no end."
There was a deathly silence. Knives and forks paused midair; someone choked on a mouthful of wine. "Excuse me?" my friend sputtered, redder than the beets on her plate.
"I said I take masturbation breaks," I repeated lamely. And even I started to feel a tad embarrassed.
The fact is, although everybody does it (and if they don't, they should), few admit it and no one discusses it freely. Masturbation remains one of the few sex subjects that can make the most liberated person blush. The same girl who'll cheerfully masturbate when she's between partners feels guilty if she continues when she's getting regular sex. Lots of people still view masturbation as something you do when "you can't get any," fearing that if they're "reduced" to masturbating, they're not sexually desirable enough to score "the real thing."
In reality, the more sexually active you are, the more likely you are to masturbate, regardless of whether you do or don't have a partner. Kinsey, the world's best known sex expert, found that women who have a history of masturbating are more likely to easily experience orgasm later in life with a partner. They also tend to have fewer sexual problems than women who don't indulge.
This is one area where men are ahead. Most women masturbate about once a week, often not doing it regularly until their late teens. Most men masturbate at least twice as often, and started doing so around twelve or thirteen years of age. Of the women who have discovered its joys, virtually all can masturbate to orgasm--95 percent of us, in fact (and some researchers put that figure even higher). On the opposite side, if you're a female who has never masturbated, statistics indicate it's quite likely you've never had an orgasm in your life. Pretty strong support for solo sex!
The truth is good girls do do it and if you never have and won't try, give up now on ever having a fulfilling sex life. Masturbation is a sure way (often the only way) to discover what turns you on sexually, and unless you know how to excite yourself, you've got zero chance of telling your partner how to. Few of us are lucky enough to start our sexual lives with a lover who's so patient and skilled he can teach us about our own body. Besides, masturbating is good for you. It releases tension, frees inhibitions, is gloriously liberating--and beats the hell out of counting sheep if you're having trouble dropping off!
Convinced but have no idea how it's done? It takes a brave person (and a few million drinks) to ask even your closest friend to tell you stroke-by-stroke how to do it. Luckily, you don't need to. In this chapter, you'll find no-nonsense, no-holds-barred, practical information on everything you ever wanted and needed to know about solo sex.
"The first time I masturbated, I was riddled with guilt. I'd heard horrible things about it: it was socially unacceptable, something you shouldn't do, it was dirty and messy. The general impression was only dirty old men do it. I now consider masturbating extremely healthy but while no one now denies doing it, no one really admits it either. My fantasies usually revolve around the person I'm with. I'll deliberately watch her face and her movements while we're making love, then replay them as I masturbate. I relive the sensations and try to copy the same technique she used on me to add reality. I love going down on her and most of my fantasies revolve around giving her oral sex. Sometimes, I'll catch myself moving my tongue as I'm masturbating, I'm so far into the fantasy."
--Tim, 32, sales representative
From the Trade Paperback edition.