Love, exciting and new

Sex logic for a new millennium

Gabriel Shapiro

Let’s face it, when it comes to sexuality, our culture is getting more bizarre on a daily basis. Restrictions on what we can see and say are ever-increasing, while what passes for “sexy” is often nothing but simple nudity. Movies full of violence, misogyny and profanity get PG ratings, but physical expressions of human sexuality will land you in R territory or worse.

Substantive conversations about sex are few and far between. Fire and brimstone, flowery romantic notions, you name it, and there are a thousand

ways to derail any informative discussion.

Thankfully, these dark ages have been interrupted by a bright spot. Paul Joannides’ fourth edition of “Guide to Getting it On!” is perhaps the finest all-around manual yet produced on that most ticklish of subjects.

If you have puritanical values or other maladies that prevent you from being able to engage in an adult discussion of a natural, beautiful part of life, this book is not for you.

Joannides is frank without being boring or overly technical, and funny without being silly or sounding juvenile. His explanations of subjects as various as sexually transmitted diseases to some terrifically exotic, sexual techniques are simple, but not patronizing. Taken together, theses attributes make “Guide to Getting it On!” an invaluable resource for anybody with genitals.

The book runs the gamut from health-class fodder to suggestions for the adventurous, but its strength lies as much in its breadth of scope as in its variety of voices. Joannides includes letters from readers of past editions (women and men, queer and straight, young and old), as well as health-care professionals and sex experts.

It is precisely because this book is meant for absolutely anyone with an interest in reading it that you won’t find any of the Cosmopolitan or Men’s Health “10 ways to drive your partner wild!” lists. With a few biological facts as a base, the book avoids listing one-size-fits-all pointers. It instead encourages readers to get creative, experiment and explore all the things that make you and your special someone – well – special.

In a climate in which school teachers’ hands are tied by a right-wing “abstinence only” agenda and young people seeking family planning advice

can be harassed by fanatics, any unencumbered exposition on sex and sexuality is refreshing. The advice offered in this weighty tome can aid in keeping you safer and disease-free, keeping your sex life vibrant and exciting, helping you talk about sex with partners and health-care providers when necessary, and as any good book should, it will certainly keep you entertained.