I go through books like other people go through water, I cannot get enough of them. If you look in my purse I always have my Kindle and at least one physical book. Well for the last few weeks, the book in my purse has been Sex Toys 101 – A Playfully Uninhibited Guide which is by the founders of Babeland, Rachel Venning and Clair Cavanah. While it is only 176 pages long and the size of a small coffee table book, I regretting nothing as I sat on the public bus or at a bench on my break for work while I ate my lunch (in Texas to boot).
The cover of the book is something that drew my eye to it very quickly when I got it out of the box. Plugs, vibrators and rings all used in such an amazingly artistic way to really give the book a comfortable playful feeling. Which continues throughout the book inside with the same photography used with dildos, lube and other sex toys. Honestly a few of the more artistic shots I would hang in my house if I could get a print of them somehow! But even though out the book there are full color pictures of various toys in each of their respective chapters, along with their names so you can look them up later if you find one that you really want. I loved this part of the book and this was before I had sat down to fully read it.
There are 10 full chapters in the book, along with an index and a list of resources. At the beginning there is an introduction to the book called Toys in Babeland which talks about Rachel and Claire’s vision of making their store Toys in Babeland a friendly and welcoming environment for women and men alike and just what they are all about. I found this part to just be refreshing to read as I live in a place where a lot of the stores near myself give off this ‘You shouldn’t be here’ vibe. It made me feel a connection to them and know that this was something that they felt passionately about. Which is a feeling that only continues through each chapter as they continue with more personal stories of people they have met or who have come into their shop.
As for the chapter themselves, each is laid out to not only give you information that you need but they present it in a way that isn’t text-book and dry. Here is a small run down of each chapter.
Chapter 1 – let’s play doctor: sexual anatomy
- You guessed it, this one is all about sexual anatomy. While this is basic information it’s where you really start things off so it makes it essential. There is a guide to not only Kegels but cunnilingus as well, as well as a great sections on orgasms.
Chapter 2 – sex on the brain: sexual expression & communication
- This chapter is all about being able to express and communicate your sexual desires not only with a partner but with yourself. They talk about self-exploration and getting to know what turns you on.
Chapter 3 – what’s the buzz? all about vibrators
- A detailed chapter on vibrators. The history, an intro on styles and types. There is also information on how to pick, care, and use them as well.
Chapter 4 – gearing up for getting down: dildos and strap-ons
- This was one of the first chapters I read a few times. Having only owned one dildo myself Chapter 4 really taught me a lot, everything from information about realistic dildos to strapons. Before I was a little intimidated about owning one and now after reading this chapter with a checklist for selecting the right Dildo, information on different designs and functions as well as on care and how to use a dildo. I am certainly looking forward to finding the right one for me soon.
Chapter 5 – butt, butt, butt: anal toys
- This chapter is about anal play and toys. Guidelines for anal sex, safety information, the different types and materials. I think my favorite part was the instructional video recommendations. This chapter gave me a better outlook on anal play all together that I am looking forward to including it more in my play.
Chapter 6 – the men’s room: toys for boys
- This chapter, was a huge eye opener for me as someone who has zero experience with toys for men. This chapter gave me a greater understanding of toys that are designed specifically for men such as penis pumps, sleeves and cockrings.
Chapter 7 – lube job: the importance of being slippery
- As I have stated before in other reviews, I was not a big fan of lube. But this was the book that helped me actually learn more about just why lube is great and what types of lubes are best for which situation. This was my second favorite chapter.
Chapter 8 – prisoners of love: bondage and domination
- I liked this chapter a lot, while I am not a beginner with BDSM, this chapter is really great with explaining the basics. There are the reasons why people like bondage and that its something that is okay to play with. So long as its safe and of course consensual. It covered tips on negotiation, planning suggestions, and safety guidelines. There was a very informative section on restraints as well.
Chapter 9 – love me tender (not): playing with sensation
- This chapter continues into the more S&M of BDSM. Exploring sensory play, power exchange and sex with an edge. Full of great and essential information of course stressing the importance of communication, trust and negotiation. I really enjoyed the tips on flogging as it is something I have been interested since I got into the scene.
Chapter 10 – keeping it safe: safety is fun
- Full of great and crucial information about safe sex! From picking which condom is right for you in the ‘Field guid to Condoms’, to Dental Dams and even gloves. I learned a lot from this chapter and really took away some better ideas of where to look and how to choose the right condoms.
Overall this book is an awesome referance tool, not only for someone like me with a love for sex toys, but for anyone who is just looking for more information about sex in general. Sex Toys 101 is a book that I think will be keeping its place out and proudly on my coffee table for anyone who wants to pick it up to read for years to come. Thank you Babeland for sending me this book to review!
Babeland.com also offers a really cool Sex Toys 101 Kit, which includes the book, 4 oz of Babelube, Babeland’s Orchid G vibrator, a Silver Bullet vibe, a Little Flirt butt plug, and batteries, all ready and packaged for gift giving in a box with a ribbon for $65. That’s a great value a $29 savings compared to buying each item individually.