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

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,437 ratings  ·  194 reviews
This guide replaces taboos with techniques and provides safe, practical advice for improving your sexual relationships. It all comes down to communication and this is one book that has no problem with telling it how it is.
Paperback, Fifth Edition, 854 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Goofy Foot Press (first published 1996)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  2,437 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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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
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Jul 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Eric Montag
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want answers to sex questions without having to speak to a person? Don't want to read a book on sex that seems like it was written by your professor or grandparent? Then this is your book. The author covers a large variety of topics that will answer any question you have- and will likely provide answers to questions that you didn't know you had. The book is laid out in a chapter format, so it is possible to read only the chapters that interest you. The layout is engaging and the author is both a ...more
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.
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The entire chapter about consent is how heterosexual men can avoid the legal consequences of rape. Not how to respect a partner, how and why to communicate, etc.
I'll leave you with this gem:
"Even if a woman didn't say no to sex, you can still be charged with sexual assault. The same is true if a woman said yes, but suffer's buyer's remorse and it becomes her word against yours."

The author alludes to the idea that consent is important beyond it's legality and that people of all genders need to
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such a fun light read about one of the greatest thing to spent our time, sex! Quite an extensive one, at more than 1150 pages. Almost every subject can be found in this book, from vanilla to the very kinky. A lot of modern subjects (internet pornography for example) have a place in this vast tome, and rightly so. You can read it in its entirety, but it's possible to go to the specific subjects that interest you. Or skip the parts which are not relevant to your personal sex life. Personally I lov ...more
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sexuality, history
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
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
a few years ago i bought this book as one step toward a set of aspirations to expand my sexual awareness, and hopefully my experience as well. i browsed a few sections of the volume and was quickly turned off by what felt like a pervasively negative tone toward the male sexual experience.

full disclosure - i engaged this book as someone without a lot of sexual mileage and so i take up this topic with some trepidation. perhaps my response was reflective of my own anxieties, or perhaps i was really
Perv Pack
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
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
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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
Dr. Ruth Neustifter
May 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sex-nerdery
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
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
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
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
May 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Joey Comeau
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoy having sex with people and sometimes alone.
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
I can't take this book seriously.
Akhil Jain
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
My fav quotes (not a review):
-Page 43 |
"How many women look down when they are peeing to see what’s coming out of their bodies? Guys look down often. As a result, we males get visual reinforcement for the feelings we have in our genitals when we pee. Between erections, pocket pool, package adjustments and peeing, guys have more sensory experience with the penis than most women have with their vaginas. This must be why women sometimes call us “Dicks!”"
-Page 45 |
"“The tradition of group showers is
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should be available at every secondary school in the country (if not a required textbook). If you're looking for a good book on Sex Ed that is both practical and biological, this is the book for you. Each chapter tackles a different topic including: Romance, Kissing, Semen Confidential, Orgasms, Sunsets & Hand Grenades, Your First Time, Techno Breasts and Weenie Angst, Good Sex After Bad--Rape and Abuse, The Historical Breast and Bra, and Kink in the Animal Kingdom to name but a few. I recommend ...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
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Åshild Livsdatter
Wow, I finally read the entirety of The Guide to Getting It On! That's an achievement.

This is a highly recommended book, because there is SO MUCH this book covers, from the anatomy of the genitals to sex in the military, from rules and laws of sexual consent to sex for the disabled. It's just a huge lexicon and it is very well written in many ways and it's not too clinical, it's more like a massive essay.

One thing I didn't like so much is the heavy culture it has behind it, and by that I mean th
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