Volume 92, Issue 77

Friday, February 12, 1999


Bunker flick needs time to take off

Bionic band performs a million dollar tour

Ozzy back in Black - Sabbath rocks T.O.

It's not like tuning a car

Underground sound

It's not like tuning a car

Anne Hooper
Random House of Canada
$19.95/240 pgs.

Valentine's Day is here and those with partners will probably be getting it on sometime this weekend. The Great Sex Guide is a good way to learn about your sexual self and the sexual relationship you have – or hope to have – with your partner.

The problem with the book is it's extremely basic and the sexual information is presented as mechanical. It seems more like a manual for faucet installation than a guide to making love.

On a positive note, the Great Sex Guide does cover some of the areas of personal relaxation and exploration which are beneficial even outside of sexual situations. The first section is "Freeing your Sexual Energy" which provides helpful hints about relaxation and bioenergy. It is probably the only section which yields any usable information to sexually experienced readers, except for "Sexual Positions" which definitely gets interesting.

The best parts are the interesting visual aids which guide the viewer into the world of sexual euphoria – however, it's more like sexual installment. The funny photos show uncomfortable nude models in sexually suggestive positions, like "The Galloping Horse" or "The Goat and the Tree." The only thing missing from the technical diagrams are directions which instruct the reader to insert tab A into slot B.

Another downfall is that Hooper is just an early '70s San Francisco hippie still burning the flame of the sexual revolution. In the book she implies most Western women have only experienced four of the nine levels of orgasm, according to ancient Tao sexology. Maybe Hooper didn't get the full experience until she took her libido to Tao land, but it is a generalization to assume that sex sucks without it.

"Sensual Massage" is easily the longest and most inane portion of the Great Sex Guide rainbow. It is basically a how-to of giving your partner a body rub. Not a bad concept, but what's the point?

Sensual pleasures exchanged between partners should flow from within and be natural, not instructed. If partners have difficulty exploring their bodies and what it takes to physically handle one another with pleasure, then this is not the right book. If you are afraid to explore the dos and don'ts of your partner then it is a psychological problem – not one of physical misconception.

The chapter on "Intimate Touch" is self-explanatory and "Prolonging the Pleasure" deals with techniques to use when looking to achieve maximum pleasure. However, the nine-step program outlined needs a follow-up novel to define all the vague terms Hooper casually uses.

One major oversight of the book is it completely overlooks any kind of sex which is not heterosexual. There are things to learn from any and all kinds of sex and to ignore homosexual techniques is to not acknowledge an entire realm of sexual pleasure.

Aside from being somewhat humourous and conveniently pocket-sized, the Great Sex Guide proves to be quite anti-climactic.


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Copyright The Gazette 1999