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She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  5,420 ratings  ·  407 reviews
Ian Kerner offers a radical new philosophy for pleasuring women in She Comes First—an essential guidebook to oral sex from the author of Be Honest—You’re Not That Into Him Either. The New York Times praises Kerner’s “cool sense of humor and an obsessive desire to inform,” as he “encourages men through an act that many find mystifying.” An indispensable aid to a healthier, ...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by William Morrow (first published 2004)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,420 ratings  ·  407 reviews

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Nov 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Adults Who Desire a Happier, Healthier Sexual Relationship
Reviewed for THC Reviews
As a woman, I know that I am not exactly the target audience for this book, but I decided to read it along with my husband. I thought this would be much better than guessing what the book was teaching men, and also open an effective line of communication on the subject. Even though I had read several positive reviews for the book prior to buying it, I was still very surprised by just how good it actually is. She Comes First is without question, the best non-fiction sex gu
Nikki Sex
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One man's POV on how to please a woman with oral sex. I bought it as a "joke" for my partner. Woo hoo! Turns out we both loved it. The author says most men are "ill-cliterate" and know more about what's under the hood of a car than under the hood of a clitoris. Recommended as a gift to your partner. LOL!
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sex
First, what annoys me about this book. There's a certain cheese factor to any "how to" book and this is no exception -- though the cheese is admittedly muted. More important, Kerner has a one-size-fits-all approach to sex. Different people like different things, and this is especially true of women. I'd couple this book with "The Guide to Getting it On," which beats it in tone (it's as hilarious as sex itself). The GTGIO emphasizes communication between partners. You don't know until you ask, or ...more
Apr 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book as a way to prove to myself that there are, in fact, men in the world who care about a woman's enjoyment as much--if not more so--than their own. Ian Kerner seems just the man--having just read his Be Honest: You're Not That Into Him Either, and having dealt recently with a number of incompetant men, I was addicted to his genuinely uplifting take on the romantic/sexual/physiological relationhip between men and women--he really does give me hope.

That said, this book isn't gr
Henry Le Nav
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first saw this book, I thought, Oh good a refresher course. Not quite. It is a comprehensive study that starts with the equivalent of 2 + 2 and ends up in advanced post graduate work in matrix algebra. If one takes this to heart, he (or she) would be a prize winning master.

Kerner provides a philosophy for this craft...the prominent idea being that the act should be practiced as indeed a complete performance unto itself and not merely a preparatory service. This redefines a skill set to a
Aug 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
She Comes First poses itself as a thinking-man's guide to sex, and especially for men who want to pleasure women. But I'm not convinced this is for thinking people. The author tries too hard to exude intelligence & humor by interspersing references to Strunk & White's The Elements of Style, but that come across a smartass demonstrating their high IQ (similar to this).

The book starts with a very quick gloss over women's sexual anatomy and a brief discussion on foreplay, with a note tossed in that
Tricia Rosetty
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sexuality
The author's enthusiasm for both pussy and prose is admirable and something that's not seen enough publicly. As a word nerd myself, however, I felt that his references to grammar and writing were really overdone at times. The purpose of metaphor is clarity, but his felt more like they existed for charm and forced theme.

That said, his intent and teaching when it comes to the oral pleasures of a woman were well done and nothing if not succinct (chapters were almost always fewer than five pages), m
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Obviously I’m not in the target audience for this title, but I was curious anyway. Besides, a woman can’t get what she wants if she doesn’t know what to ask for.

The text is surprisingly entertaining for a self-helper, and the author keeps things light with a lot of creative euphemism (“lunch at the Y”) and deliberately over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek hyperbole (“Once her orgasm was but a distant and faraway destination in your journey down the road of arousal. Now the contours of her skyline are p
Aug 27, 2019 marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
Notes in progress:

But as with any language, in order to express yourself fluently, in order to make your subject sing and soar, you must be thoroughly acquainted with the rules of grammar and style. One of my favorite books on the subject is the indispensable classic Elements of Style. (...)
Elements of Style exhorted readers to “write boldly and make definite assertions.”


Taken as a whole, She Comes First represents the most thorough treatment of the art of cunnilingus currently available,
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very good source for oral sex, but there were far too many page fillers. Could have been a lot shorter.
Max Wilson
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
The first third of this book is a good, thoughtful (even insightful) work of non-fiction providing an excellent summary of the female sexual arousal cycle, very detailed synopsis of human female anatomy and sexual physiology. There is a fair discussion of the impact of social norms and gender roles on heterosexual sex. Factually, this work starts strong, though the author's assertion regarding the declining protective utility of barriers for STD prevention with increased number of partners seems ...more
Red Phoenix
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not just for men. I think women can get just as much out of it learning about their own bodies and pleasure points.

Now I know what to tell my partner instead of, "Yeah more of that!", "Um... try something different."
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Still reading and referencing, some great concepts. Got to do a lot of technique testing and practicing with rave reviews. Was lucky enough to practice on some Bi and lesbians and was rated in the upper 80%. I've still got room for improvement, but that's pretty awesome for a guy to now be the best of the guys and better than most lesbians. Can't exactly brag to my parents but it's still good to know you're doing right and making women happy. Feel like a slightly perverted Captain America!
Coming from a very conservative background and living in conservative Russia, it's tough for me even to admit that I have read this book. Posting a review here and publicly talking about sex is like bat-shit crazy for me. So don't judge me harshly and let's make it a good therapy :)

In general, that's an ok manual. It focuses one activity only: cunnilingus, and I wouldn't say the author has a strong case for being this laser-focused. Also, with his writing style it was hard for me to see the boun
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and a must read for both men an women!


1. She comes first: The courtesy that counts
2. Her clitoris: The little engine that could
3. Think outside her box
4. The female orgasm: keep it simple
5. The tongue is mightier than the sword
6. Her inner goddess
7. Avoid Freud
8. What's in a name?
9. Now you see it: Female sexual anatomy
10. Now you don't: Female sexual anatomy
11. Avoid "G-spotty" logic
12. When raindrops keep falling on your head: female ejaculation
13. How wet is wet?
14. Aristo
Austen Signalz
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Important book for humankind. More men and women should understand these issues. The author of this book is thorough and cogent. Great read :)

The only downside of this book is that he downplays the importance of penetrative sex. In my experience girls don't feel the sex act is complete until they have been fucked well. Even if you give them a few squirming orgasms, they need to feel you inside of them, perhaps for psychological reasons as well as mere physical pleasure.

Don't fall into the trap
Oct 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Everything you ever wanted to know about women and orgasms. If every man would read this, there would be no more divorce. This should be required reading in high schools.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Couples
It's been a while since I've read a non-fiction book about sex (the last was the excellent Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex), and because it is an area of intense interest where actual breakthroughs are few, I thought I'd give Kerner's book a chance. I'm embarrassed to admit that I believe I'd read it before and forgotten, so take my comments with that in mind.

The overwhelming theme of the book is that a woman's pleasure is the most important aspect of sex, for it rewards both partn
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
She Comes First is a manual for men on how to provide sexual pleasure to a woman. The premise of the book is the fact that female orgasms are clitoral orgasms. He goes on to say that the best clitoral orgasms are achieved with cunnilingus and that, because of differences in male and female sexual response, it is best for heterosexual couples if the female orgasm precedes the male orgasm.

The author has a Ph.D. from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists. Being an English major from Brandeis
Josephus FromPlacitas
Lots of useful information in spite of a gratingly exuberant writing style. Almost every rhetorical flourish was cringe-inducing to the point of making me want to throw the book away. The noisy odes to the overrated Strunk and White made it almost impossible to get past the first chapter.

But it had very good details and ideas, although it was a bit rigid or ideological on many points. Thank God I won't ever have to date this fucking schmuck, but I don't mind culling from his knowledge base. Much
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Okay, the first book I finish this year, and it's a sex book. Of course. I noticed this book because it appears in Transformers 3; Sam's mom holds it up and declares, "There is some killer shit in here." My husband and I debated about whether or not that was a real book, so for giggles we googled it, and what do you know? It's a real book. (I lost the debate. I was sure it was photoshopped. I mean come on, look at the cover.) And it has good reviews! So, we said "What the hell!" and downloaded i ...more
Apr 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the Kerner book touching on female sexuality but it is really about cunnilingus. Pretty exhaustive, actually, and had some good information. It has very specific cunnilingus routines, for those who are interested.

Heh heh, I'm blushing a bit as I write about this.
Elizabeth Bear
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Seems clear and concise, though somewhat mechanistic in its approach. Practical tips and science!
Amina Elidrissy
Nov 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: amor-marriage
didn't like it at all
Heydi Smith
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-non-fic
I am not the target audience of this book. I’m a 35 year old happily married woman. I just saw the title and thought, man I wish that was true.

Like many women I suspected that something was off with, well, every sex scene I’ve ever seen on a television.

I know how ‘it’ works for me and how it doesn’t and was pretty sure I wasn’t unusual in that department.

This book says everything I wish I could tell every man in the world! It clears up every misconception that men have because of television a
Joshua R. Taylor
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
In all honesty, this book could've been compressed, and it may have gained some more appreciation if it were. Instead Ian Kerner opted to liberally use flowery language and stroke his writer's ego. 200 pages of writing were made for what is realistically 10 pages of content.

However, the 10 pages of content turn out to be quite valuable and practical. My abilities as a 'cunnilinguist' (term used in the book) have apparently improved since reading and applying the information the book provides. Th
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received it as a gift (from someone who assured me I *didn’t* need it — nudge nudge wink wink, say no more!).

Yes, I read it anyway — and yes, I’m glad I did. In sports terms, you could say it “raised the level of my game”.

Highly recommended for men, and probably surprisingly enlightening for women.
⭐ Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees ⭐
Very informative. A must read for all genders.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Title: She Comes First.

Author: Ian Kerner.

Genre: Nonfiction, Marriage.

Review: So, I don't usually review sex books but this one was so bad, I have to say something. I got it for my husband for our anniversary partly so he could pick up a few tips and mainly out of payback for the "surprise" birthday present he'd gotten me last year. I read this book in two days and I wanted to like it, at first, but by the middle of the book I was regretting having spent money on it. The main idea that the book
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Ian Kerner is a nationally-recognized sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author of numerous books including the ever-popular She Comes First (Harper Collins). He writes a well known column for CNN and can often be seen on the TODAY Show and the Dr. Oz Show amongst others. He is regularly quoted as an expert in print and online media.

Ian is certified by the American Association of

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“Some literary recommendations: James Salter’s erotic masterpiece, A Sport and a Pastime; Anais Nin’s collections of short stories Delta of Venus and Little Birds; the erotic novels Emanuelle by Emanuelle Arsan and Story of O by Pauline Réage; Harold Brodkey’s sexual saga “Innocence”—perhaps the greatest depiction of a session of cunnilingus ever penned; novels by Jerzy Kosinski such as Passion Play and Cockpit; Henry Miller’s Under the Roofs of Paris and Quiet Days in Clichy; My Secret Life by Anonymous and The Pure and the Impure by Colette; Nancy Friday’s anthology of fantasies, Secret Garden (filled with the correspondence of real people’s fantasies); stories from The Mammoth Book of Erotica or one of the many erotic anthologies edited by Susie Bright. For those with a taste for poetry, try Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) by Charles Baudelaire or Flesh Unlimited by Guillaume Apollinaire. And for those who like comic books (kinky ones, that is), try the extra-hot works of writer/illustrator Eric Stanton, who specializes in female-domination fantasies.” 5 likes
“In The Cradle of Erotica by A. Edwardes and R.E.L. Masters, we are told that during the Tang Dynasty, the Empress Wu Hu ruled China. She knew that sex and power were inexorably linked, and she decreed that government officials and visiting dignitaries must pay homage to her imperial highness by performing cunnilingus upon her. No joke. Old paintings depict the beautiful, powerful empress standing and holding her ornate robe open while a high nobleman or diplomat is shown kneeling before her, applying his lips and tongue to her royal mound.” 3 likes
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