Sex books are like cookbooks. The good ones tell you how so clearly and intelligently that before you know it, you're making dinner parties and baking baguettes, your fear of dessert for eight and the terrors of creme caramel behind you. The great cookbooks make you want to cook. They make you feel more than trusting; they make you confident, even cocky.

And so it is with sex books. I think people read them for the facts and for guidance. Almost all of these books—and there are hundreds, for any kind of anybody who has sex—get the facts right. "Do not handle the penis too gently." And "You can get pregnant while nursing." But creating the how-to sex book that avoids the mechanical, the condescending, the clinical, the disgusting and the leering is an art.

I've read a hundred guides to sex so you don't have to. And here's the best of the bunch!


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