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Moan: Anonymous Essays on Female Orgasm

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  447 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Imagine you could give an essay entitled How to Make Me Come to a past, present or future sex partner, free of judgment or repercussion. In this book inspired by Emma Koenig's wildly popular website, a diverse collective of women do just that.

Emma Koenig was inspired to answer this question after a truly frustrating sexual experience with a partner. As she says, "The sim
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
3 1/2

Interesting at first but then seemed to get repetitive. It hit all kinds of age and sex. Mostly 20 some olds that seem to masterbate 24/7 and almost prefer that over everything. I have nothing against 20 some year olds.

I like the idea of empowering woman to talk about sex and orgasms. It needs to be conversation we need to have more often without feeling like we are sluts or preverted. Woman talking about sex or even liking sex always has a bad connotation, and men can watch talk and brag
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, feminism
Was this book occasionally repetitive? Sure. Did I find it fascinating anyway? Absolutely.

As with any essay collection there are going to be some pieces that are better than others (and this is no exception), but what makes this collection so interesting to me is the sheer volume and the way the voices both echo and contradict one another. With each essay around two to three pages in length (a few are longer, but this was pretty consistent average) there are a lot of perspectives in here. I find
Erika W. Smith
the essays are so similar that the book got really repetitive. I wish there’d been more of an effort to showcase a wider variety of perspectives about sex and orgasms - the writers are all cis, almost all the writers are women who are writing about having sex with men, none of the writers are asexual, very few are postmenopause, etc.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
It would have been nice to have a wider variety of essay topics beyond “I used to fake orgasms.” There were some that didn’t center around this, but it didn’t feel like many. Open conversations about sex, and especially women enjoying sex, are necessary and empowering, but the repetitiveness took me out of the actual coolness of getting to read women talking about orgasms. Additionally, there was certainly a lot of talking about lack of orgasms. It makes me kind of sad that when there is convers ...more
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a fun read. My only criticisms of it are ones that I see have come up in other reviews:
1. It got kinda repetitive after a while. A lot of the essays were pretty similar.
2. I don't understand WHY the need for repetition, as there's a whole range of experiences out there that could have been included, but weren't. Which brings me to my next point...
3. Even though the essays are anonymous, many of them do give information within the essay about the demographic of the writer. By and large,
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
This was an interesting book and I liked that it was about empowering women to talk about sex and orgasms so openly. But I had the same problem that a lot of other reviewers did, which was that it became very repetitive. There were just so many stories that were alike in terms of what they thought about sex or how they were best able to achieve orgasm. I really wish there was more of a variety of experiences here. I wanted more from older women, in different parts of their lives and I also wante ...more
Julie Suzanne
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Couldn’t be any more explicit! Honest and open reflections by a variety of women, and pretty inspiring.
chantel nouseforaname
Funny but serious. I think what I took away from Emma Koenig's book is don't sell yourself short ladies and gentlemen.

I LOVED all the essays and I thought it was pretty diverse in perspectives. The female orgasm is something that is sort of "taboo" to talk about due to the way that society has socialized the idea of women and sex. In most pornography, the sex is done when the guy cums without any interest in the women's actual enjoyment at all. I think it's lit that books exist like this to
Samantha Olson
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was wonderful! If you are sexually active and any of your sexual activity involves a female, you should read this book! This book did a great job speaking to female issues both in the bedroom and out of the bedroom (or wherever it is that you're 'doing it'--haha); it normalized so many experiences for me as a woman...I read large parts of the book with my partner and it was a great experience. Highly recommend :) It seems to be underrated for whatever reason, so here I am recommending ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Hm. Okay. Yeah, okay. I’m in two minds about this. Firstly, it’s irritatingly repetitive. There are only a handful of essays that don’t ultimately say the same thing which is ‘once upon a time, I couldn’t cum, but then I met the one man - emphasis on man, because these essays focus primarily (though not all) on straight, cis women - who could make me cum, and now I have earth shattering orgasms every day’. Like, fantastic. But where are the essays that talk about communication? And I’m talking g ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 perhaps. A mixed bag, which I suppose is to be expected from an anthology of anonymous essays. While I think the subject of female orgasm is really important and I really like the idea behind the book, I found that the essays fell into one of three categories: dull, annoying, or mildly interesting. Taken altogether, they actually felt rather repetitive. The strongest essays tended to be ones that read as actual essays, rather than a litany of highly specific requests (almost as if the prompt ...more
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
An interesting collection of essays that explain various experiences that women have with orgasm, attitudes they have with it, how it is approached, or how they feel about it.

There is a thread running through several essays that faking orgasm is often a way to avoid hurting someone else's ego that they wish they didn't have to do, but often feel compelled to. Most that talked about faking would rather their partner understood that sometimes orgasm just isn't going to happen, and that's fine. It'
If you’re interested in women’s sexuality, especially when presented through informal essays from a ton of women (mostly het, but some queer), this is a great read. I shared a ton of quotes -- ones that spoke to me, ones that were fun, ones that were fucking truth -- and, yes, a few that I very much disagreed with. I'm glad I took the chance on this ARC; I never accept non-romance review requests, an d definitely never for non-fiction titles, but this one is just so on brand for me and ended up ...more
Christine Pietz
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
The good: a frank exploration from many women about what does/does not make them orgasm, along with some essays that deal with their history related to that. Some were funny and creative. And it was cool to see so many essays about this stuff in one place.

The bad: it was very repetitive. I had to read this book in small chunks because it very much blended together. You would hope for more variety in the story tellers and in the essays they write.
Additionally, there were some unscientific moment
Jeffrey Nichols
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hearing it from a different point of view was good

As a male who considers himself a feminist or an ally of feminist women, I was interested to hear a woman talk about orgasms. I've been in a committed relationship for 25 years and it was good to hear other women talk about it to help see if anything I could do to improve with my partner. She seems open and good at communication, but I also needed to understand if she is sending visual signals that it is or isn't true. So this book helped underst
Naeemah Huggins
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Some essays were funny, most were relatable and two of these essays hit the nail so dead on that I could have written them myself. Those were my favorites.

This book has definitely sparked interesting conversation and I hope that the men and women that I spoke to about it feel more empowered to communicate their way to the best orgasms for them and their sexual partners.

I gave it a 3/5 because it got repetitive and boring at times. it took me almost a week to get through it and I listened to and
Henry Le Nav
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading about the different women's perspectives and experience. I didn't find the stories repetitive although I can understand that criticism found in some of the other reviews. I do feel that there was a dearth of older women, women with children living at home, and especially women in long term monogamous relationships.

None the less, I feel there are some valuable lessons for both women and lovers of women in this book. The one that I feel is more important is to be a lot more inter
K. Rose
I really enjoyed this group of essays. Female orgasms (and lack thereof) is a topic I have discussed a bit with my friends, and it was validating as h*ck to read about these women's experiences. There were parts that made me nod in sympathy, parts that hyped me up, and best of all, essays that put my emotional experiences into words. Some essays were lists, some had regret, some were about women who found it very easy to orgasm! There's a great spectrum of perspectives, but also enough common th ...more
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was ok
I like the idea behind these essays, but I think it could have been executed better.

My biggest issue is the lack of distinct style and diction among the essays. It felt like they were all written by one person putting different scenarios into their own words. Yes, there were important and serious topics discussed, however they felt detached and surface level. It has the feel of a BuzzFeed article. You know what I mean.

2 stars because I can see it benefiting some people, and the concept is one
Huma Rashid
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Rachel Bloom’s foreword is better than any of the essays in here. Also, some of the authors didn’t quite understand that instructing the reader on how to make the author climax is not an essay on sexuality and orgasm, it’s just boring smut. I don’t give a shit how you like to be fucked. I did however appreciate the essays that were more about perspectives and experiences and insights. The concept of this book was great but the execution and reality of it are not. They should’ve just let Rachel B ...more
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had hoped for great insights, or at least some kind of analysis of what was being reported. Quite disappointed but that might be because I expected more than the author intended. It's clear, however, that most women's experiences around sex are complicated and often fraught with ego (both parties - one often having a big one, the other quite small), history, notions of love and worth, technique and anxiety. Like many women, however, I already knew all this. I just feel, like many sexual experi ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Another fast read but oh so enjoyable! Found myself highlighting lines for my very own "How to Make Me Come" essay I am still putting the final touches on...

"Women need to read MOAN to validate their varying experiences of pleasure and our partners need to read it to learn that, when it comes to sex, one size DOES NOT fit all. Prioritizing women's pleasure is a critical part of our liberation. Not only is MOAN an intimate, educational and funny collection about orgasm and desire but it pushes th
Mark Mulvey
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
“So why am I bringing up all these serious issues facing us when I'm talking about orgasms, which may seem frivolous by comparison? Because all these issues are linked to how women are perceived and treated, on micro and macro levels. Paying attention to female orgasm means acknowledging that women are full people, deserving of experiencing pleasure.”

“And while there's something encouraging about the NEVER GIVE UP! set, the fact that mostly they blow past the fact that I tell them it's not going
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I love that Koenig put this book together in an effort to normalize discussion around female orgasm and I did read it quite quickly because I was thoroughly entertained. However, some of the essays are poorly written (juvenile? trying too hard to be funny? not given enough page time to truly develop and be memorable?) and like reviewers before me, I found the collection of voices to be overwhelmingly homogenous.
Charlie Gavey
Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it
A great concept, but I think these would be better suited to the original blog format. Many of the "essays" were very similar, and seemed to have taken the writing prompt quite literally, resulting in multiple essays using a list format.

The authors lost me when they chose to include an essay that spoke at length about using alternative healing methods to address pre-cancerous cells, against medical recommendation.
Bryan LeBlanc
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Knowledge is power so I read this last year and even loaned it to an ex-gf (though she wasn't my ex at the time) who found it and eye-opener that she experienced many of the same issues expressed in the book, as she was someone always afraid to talk about this topic with anyone else. It gets repetitive at times (though maybe that speaks to the fact that so many men have the same limited, post-it note sized playbook) but I liked its candid expressions of the good, the bad, and the yikes! ...more
Panashe M.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sexuality
This was pretty eye-opening, and there were some interesting stories. The breadth of experiences surrounding orgasm was remarkable. As pointed out by other reviewers, the set of authors is not very diverse; mostly college educated women in their 20s, with a sprinkling of older women, most of whom I suspect were white and middle class.
Meena Habibulla
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To say that I liked this book would be a gross oversimplification. I loved this, and everything that it represents.

Reading essays on any single topic will tend to get repetitive, however part of the beauty of sexuality, and what the book intends to show, is that all our experiences are vastly different. This kept each essay feeling fresh, new, and interesting.
Bradley Farless
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
It was interesting. A little repetitive so the essay choice could have been better, or maybe most submissions were a bit repetitive?

Anyway, the takeaway for me here is that every woman is different and female orgasm is as much emotional and mental as physical. And if you want to have the best experience, open, honest communication is key.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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