Guide to Getting It On!
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Guide to Getting It On!

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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  1,228 ratings  ·  138 reviews
The Guide To Getting It On! has won five awards and has been translated into 12 foreign languages. It has sold hundreds of thousands of copies from the dorms of UC San Diego to the bedrooms of Tripoli. Some people say The Guide is the best how-to book on sex ever written--we say it's the most fun to read. It is smart enough to be used in sex education courses, but is also...more
Paperback, Fifth Edition, 854 pages
Published June 13th 2007 by Goofy Foot Press (first published 1998)
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Opening Up by Tristan TaorminoThe Ethical Slut. A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities by Dossie EastonGuide to Getting It On! by Paul JoannidesThe Good Vibrations Guide to Sex by Anne SemansSex at Dawn by Christopher  Ryan
Best Nonfiction Sex Books Ever!
3rd out of 85 books — 42 voters
The Art of Seduction by Robert GreeneThe Joy of Sex by Alex ComfortThe Complete Kāma-Sūtra by Mallanaga VātsyāyanaDomination & Submission by Michael MakaiOpening Up by Tristan Taormino
Let's Talk About Sex
12th out of 69 books — 58 voters


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Community Reviews

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M—
Because everyone should have a sex guide book that quotes The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

This is an excellent, general guide to sex and is designed as an all-in-one introduction. It covers such topics as: basic biology, oral sex, hand sex, anal sex, masturbation, sex toys, sexual safety, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual orientation, and pregnancy. Roughly equal weight and attention has been given to both the female and male perspectives on all topics. All topics are discussed clearly...more
Jenny
Jul 04, 2007 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: An Sexual Bean
This book is not just a how-to manual on "getting it on." It's a witty, informative, COMFORTABLE book on all the why's, how's, do-not's, and responsibilities of being an sexual bean. I credit this book and this book only with the massive accomplishment of getting me to stop being afraid of sex. It even includes chapters you don't want to read, but you prolly should know anyway. Dangers of it all. And above all, it prefaces the whole thing with a warning that if you are not ready to have a baby a...more
Evan
A sex guide as big as a telephone book; a page turner, yet somehow oddly disappointing in many respects.

My greatest frustrations with this book--achievement though this tome may be (and it is quite a feat)--are that it repeats a number of facts and motifs over and over, and seems to do so because there is no apparent logical order to the overall presentation. It gets to be quite fatiguing after a few hundred pages.

The book is meant to be digested in small compartmentalized bits. The voice is be...more
Megan
Aug 18, 2008 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: i-own
Sweet, cute, funny, humorous. Definitely recommended for anyone interested in having sex, even if you've been doing it for years. This book is amazing. It covers about everything you can imagine, and when it doesn't cover something thoroughly, it tells you, and gives you recommendations for other books to read on the subject.
Shannon Iggy
So I went into reading this book a bit more critical than most, which may have affected the way in which I reviewed it.

I think this is a a great and thorough guide to both sexual health and sexual pleasure. Definitely more comprehensive than a lot of the stuff out there. I was a little turned off by the fact that no sex professional was involved in the writing of the book but found a view things problematic. For example, I found that it seemed to frown upon casual sex or no strings attached sex...more
Josh
Snicker all you want - this is the best book on sex we sell in our bookstore.

Here's my blurbish review of the book from Brews and Books a while back.

The Guide to Getting it On is the only “instructional” title on this list, because it is really the best one I’ve seen. Equally fitting on the shelf of a couple or as the text in a sex education class, the nearly-1,000 page book talks about sex frankly and with a sense of humor. Published in over a dozen languages, 6 editions, and a winner of multip...more
Jess
After I started reading this book, I had a difficult time putting it down! It has some really great information that I've yet to find in other books about sexuality. However, most of the information was about heterosexual relationships. The author spent some time discussing other sexual orientations and was certainly gay-friendly, but again it is geared towards heterosexual sexuality.

The book also had some really great chapters that looked at sex and sexuality from a historical perspective and...more
Manny
A sort of cross between The Kama Sutra and Modern Chess Openings, this book is a portable, one-volume guide that explains clearly and helpfully how to have any kind of sex you can think of with any partner you can think of: male, female, neuter, yourself, or combinations of the above. If you like doing it and it's not listed here, you're either a remarkably imaginative person or in urgent need of psychiatric help. I'll leave it to you to decide which.
Andrea Calò
Imperdibile, dovrebbero renderlo lettura obbligatoria nelle scuole. Non dico altro.
Eileen
Essential, I think.
Jeanne
Orientally posted on The Perv Pack's Smut Shack.

I’ve actually had a copy of The Guide to Getting It On for close to seven years now. It has served as a great resource, reference and just a straight up entertaining read. Unlike a lot of other books about sex this book has a frank, but humorous tone to it. I mean with chapters titles like Nipples, Nipples, Nipples and The Zen of Finger Fucking, you know this book isn’t your standard, stale guide to human sexuality.

Right off the bat with the Alph...more
Mousuke
What I liked:

-The honest, approachable, humorous, and unflinching writing. This book is never intimidating or threatening. It passes no judgments on peoples' preferences. (A good example of this is the letter a reader wrote about including breastfeeding into sexual activity. My initial reaction was, "Eww, why would you ever want to do that?" But as I read the author's response, I was awed and impressed by his lack of judgment. He offered information on the mechanics of the activity, on why some...more
Calynn
Comprehensive-ish. Heteronormative. I know I oughtn't blame it for reflecting cultural norms. I do anyway. As a queer female-bodied dominant, this book was not speaking to me.

Five stars for it's near-unflinching dedication to honesty and for addressing nearly every conceivable area of human sexuality. Also for the near constant sex positive tone.

I don't care for him suggesting that teenagers shouldn't have sex. He should have suggested alternatives to intercourse if he had such a problem. They...more
Jennifer
Back in November of 2011, The New York Times ran an article called "Teaching Good Sex" that featured a class taught in a Philadelphia private school by a guy named Al Vernacchio. Vernacchio's class - frank, open, and all-inclusive - was everything the sex education classes I'd had to sit through in my life never were. (This is perhaps less than surprising given that a solid half of those were taught in Catholic school. Though to be fair, I don't remember the sex ed unit in my public high school...more
Perv Pack
I’ve actually had a copy of The Guide to Getting It On for close to seven years now. It has served as a great resource, reference and just a straight up entertaining read. Unlike a lot of other books about sex this book has a frank, but humorous tone to it. I mean with chapters titles like Nipples, Nipples, Nipples and The Zen of Finger Fucking, you know this book isn’t your standard, stale guide to human sexuality.

Right off the bat with the Alpha Chapter Joannides sets the tone by introducing...more
Dr. Ruth Neustifter
The Guide to Getting It On is one of the very few how-to guides that I recommend to others. This book covers a wide variety of topics from basic anatomy to advanced sexual skills for new parents and/or disabled lovers! I know several instructors who use this thick book for their classes, but don't let that give you the impression that it isn't an interesting read. It's engaging with a wonderful emphasis on the role of emotions and intimacy, whether play is solo or partnered. This edition offers...more
Heather
Dec 27, 2010 Heather marked it as to-read
Came highly recommended from an fMh thread. Checked this out along with "Sexy Little Knits" and "Naughty Needles". I don't think our librarian was TOO suspicious, though. lol. This book is definitely hefty, though!

************

Didn't finish it before it had to be returned. Impressions: it is pretty thorough, but deceptively so. It makes you think that because it's thorough on some subjects, it'll be thorough on all, and that isn't the case at all. Also, checking it out from the library meant that...more
Deanna
I read this book a few years ago, but an updated version was sent to me by the American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) last year and it has included a few more things. This book is also used by my counseling supervisor who is an LPC in private practice for her work with couples. She often refers this book to client couples who are experiencing sexual relationship issues.

It's a great resource and is written from a light-hearted yet straight forward perspecti...more
Andrea
Sep 04, 2009 Andrea rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: people who want to know more about sex
Recommended to Andrea by: Wesley J. Landaker
Shelves: non-fiction
Received this for an anniversary present. Not just a sex how-to book (though it certainly is extensive (exhaustive, even) in that regard), but also looks at sexuality (including chapters on the history of underwear, Barbie, and the 1800s), and sexual health. Even though I don't agree with all their philosophies ("self-love" is their cure-all prescription), the text is informative (over-informative, even, but there's no need to read chapters you don't want to), funny, and well-researched.
Shane
Sep 28, 2008 Shane rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shane by: Gilwen
Dieses Buch behandelt wirklich jedes Thema, welches bezüglich sexualpraktiken zur Sprache kommen könnte.

Es ist wirklich erstaunlich wie sachlich ein Thema wie Vaginalmassage oder Analsex besprochen werden kann.

Darüber hinaus ist das Buch auch äußerst informativ.

Ich würde dieses Buch jedem empfehlen, der spass am ausprobieren hat.
Elizabeth
May 15, 2007 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Do you get it on? Read the book.
Shelves: reference
While Maxwell Young retitled the book, "The Guide to Twisting Bitches Out", I prefer the original title. I wish this book had existed when I was like, fifteen. Its frank about how to get it on. It covers a lot of material, so it doesn't go into a whole lot of depth on some things, but overall, it is an excellent book to add to one's sex shelf.
Ariel
I so enjoyed reading this book, and read it cover-to-cover in all it's 850-page glory. It's not an ideal book for carrying around and reading on lunch breaks-- I had it propped open on my table and the waitress walked up to find the chapter heading "Balls! Balls! Balls!" staring her in the face.

Anyway, what I liked best about this book:
the accessible, comfortable, informal tone
information presented for both genders
attempt to be comprehensive, while recognizing it can't possibly be and making u...more
Alicia
Sep 12, 2008 Alicia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alicia by: Meredith
I'm not ashamed, I read this book, and it's great. My friend Meredith gave it to me as a present on my 21st birthday.
Joey Comeau
I very much enjoy having sex with people and sometimes alone.
Shannon
This book is the bible of sex.
Ally
Let me start out by saying I LOVE THIS BOOK. It is the most inclusive and extensive sexual health guide I have ever read, and I have read quite a few! Throughout the book, you can find chapters on everything you could think of. Here are just a couple of topics from the 81 different chapters: pregnancy, gender, sex history, kink, contraception, sex when you are disabled, cyber sex, anatomy, and sex toys. Some sections read vaguely like a how-to column in Cosmo (sections on oral sex, etc for examp...more
Tlingit
Nov 26, 2012 Tlingit rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: adult, reference, sex
One of the most honest and upfront books about sex I have ever read. You can skip around and look for things that you're curious about. You can read straight through. You can read with your "lover" or you can offer it to your child to let them read it for themselves without worrying if it will warp them (unless you yourself are already so warped that you think sex is a punishment or a sin.)
The only beef I have about this book is that I wish it answered questions about relationships too not just...more
The Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health
Paul Joannides is an author, researcher, radio host, and sex therapist as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Journal of Sexual Medicine and former member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Sexuality Education. Needless to say, Joannides knows a little bit about the politics of sex; specifically the kinds of topics the average person wants to learn about but may be too nervous to ask of their doctors, friends, or sexual partners. The Guide offers easy-to-comprehend a...more
Emily
Nov 03, 2010 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anybody getting it on. Or thinking of doing so.
So much information about sex in one place! And it covers everything.
This book has chapters on the obvious basics (ie- What are these ugly bits? what do they do? where do they go?) But it also covers the less commonly addressed things, such as to how to have sex if you're missing limbs/disabled, what sex was like in the 1800s, how to inform you kids about sex (not so sure how I felt about some of their advice in that chapter though), and so on. It had sections on romance, anal, losing your virg...more
Heather
This is an amazing, down-to-earth, gritty guide recommended by Rolling Stone magazine, Oprah and a host of other famous personages and entities. This book is simple to read and answers questions in a frank, honest manner. Dr. Joannides is easily approachable and his companion website: http://www.goofyfootpress.com is an excellent resource.

I am a Psychology and Human Sexuality instructor for a community college district and a student recommended this book to me a few years back. I have since use...more
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