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ur reviewers got to grips with a very mixed bag this time - a diet regime, a novel, a good practical manual, gay partythrowing, short stories and a classy art photography book ... something for all tastes!

The Orgasmic Diet
Author: Marrena Lindbergh
Published by Piatkus Books, 197 pages

The chances are, if you're reading this magazine, you are by nature sexually attuned and in touch with what works for you.

However, when a book claims to offer the key to easier, longer, more intense orgasms, wouldn't any girl feel tempted to give it a go?

Marrena Lindbergh admits that she's not a doctor (actually, she's a clinical trial data analyst and data mining programmer) - but she does claim that she's discovered a cure for Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) - essentially low libido and reduced sexual response. She cites her own case when, nine years earlier she'd had an ostensibly perfect marriage - which was foundering because of her sexual dysfunction and depression (related or not). She summed herself up as 'a sexual cripple'. Now, while some women may genuinely feel they're in the same boat, there's also an implication that women who are not constantly gagging for it and having earth-shaking orgasms on a daily basis are dysfunctional - instead of just different.

Ms Lindbergh's doctor prescribed her anti-depressants, which suppress the libido, but she wanted to get pregnant so explored ways to replace chemical antidepressants with natural ones. Her journey went like this:
- Became pregnant
- Gave up caffeine and alcohol
- Started taking Omega 3 fish oils as supplement
- Gave birth, libido dropped while breast feeding
- Libido returned after baby weaned
She was convinced that the Omega 3 fish oils were doing the trick - and to this she added a modest half ounce of highquality dark chocolate a day. She then added exercise using vaginal cone weights to restore pelvic floor strength in the pubococcygeus muscles to put the final touches to the regime.

Her 'road to Damascus' experience (actually, a long US highway drive) confirmed her new sex-goddess status. She claims she started fantasising and flexing said PC muscles and twenty minutes later experienced an entirely no-hands orgasm.

Now, I don't know about you, but I'd say that what we want are drivers watching the road, not fantasising and flexing their vaginal muscles. Imagine the scene, 'Had you been drinking alcohol or taken any drugs when you crashed your car, Ms Lindbergh?' 'No, I was fantasising about sex and just lost it.'

How the diet works
You take literally massive amounts of highgrade Omega 3 fish oil capsules (about four times the recommended daily intake) to up your dopamine level. This is the chemical produced in the body, which works as a pleasure-transmitter. The chocolate fix each day reinforces this. Dopamine levels need to balance with serotonin - the body's natural anti-depressant, which helps us cope with stress - so that you don't go through serotonin peaks and troughs, which could suppress the libido. High levels of serotonin make you too buzzy and focused - as opposed to mellow and sexy. Lastly, on the chemical front, there's naturally-produced testosterone, which as she says, is 'the tiger in your tank' and boosts your sex-drive.

This regime may transform your sex life - but it also works to destroy anti-oxidants in the body. That's a concern, given our obsession these days with battering those carcinogenic free radicals in the body with anti-oxidants. To address this, Ms Lindbergh recommends a multivitamin supplement - along with plenty of vitamin C from fruit. (A modest estimate of what this regime will cost starts at around £96 a month for the Omega 3 capsules - then add the multivitamins... the high-protein foods...)

She maintains that this diet does not tend to put on weight - and can produce weight loss. Apparently people on the diet have a healthy glow, radiant skin and shiny hair and eyes (the latter perhaps glazed from all that sex - and the weight loss for the same reason). Regular physical and PCmuscle exercise, and the other elements should improve blood circulation and promote sensitivity in the genital area.

The fact remains that you shouldn't embark on this fish-oil overkill without consulting your doctor. There's the matter of destroying essential anti-oxidants, and the fact that the fish oils tend to thin the blood, so can mean that it takes longer to clot. The diet is not suitable for everyone. Certainly there are some good principles - cut down on caffeine and alcohol - and some people taking anti-depressants could, with medical supervision, wean themselves on to a natural Omega 3 substitute.

The issue of excessive behaviour such as gambling or spending due to high dopamine levels is something else again!
An informed choice
Ms Lindbergh lays out the facts well (albeit repetitively!) - and if you're feeling sexually desperate, then perhaps it's worth the disruption and expense. Do I feel tempted to try it? No.Would I, given my own albeit modest knowledge of nutrition and dietary balance, want to embrace such a regime?

Not really. Maybe extreme FSD warrants an extreme remedy - but there are degrees of dysfunction that can be addressed without such a dietary upheaval. I'd say, even if it's a sure-fire success on the 'Big O' front, it's still up to the individual to weigh up the benefits and risks. Use the information and cherry pick - and you may understand better your body's response to the food you put in it, and therefore be able to make healthimproving adjustments. Me - I'll just settle for the daily fix of chocolate.

I give it 6 out of 10
With thanks to Piatkus Books -

Tickle His Pickle
Author: Sadie Allison
Published by Tickle Kitty Press, 148 pages
Offer price £9.95 - £3.00 off the RRP

The sub-title is 'Your hands-on guide to penis pleasing' - which gives a better clue than the stupid main title as to what this tome is about. It is yet another great 'how to' manual from Dr. Sadie Allison.

Apparently, she has a real Doctorate in Human Sexuality that she was awarded by The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Somewhat ironically, she is a graduate of San Diego State University with a BA in French and Marketing! What better background for an in-depth study of penis-pleasuring?!

Anyway, the book is beautifully illustrated by Steve Lee's line drawings and is a superb essay covering virtually all aspects of how to pleasure a man. (While focused, as it is, on a woman pleasing a man, this would be equally relevant to novice gay and bi-men and would provide both good techniques guidance and re-assurance.) As Sadie herself puts it, 'Some women see the penis as a work of art. Others just see it as work.' And the idea of the book is to have an in-depth (sorry!) look at how things can be made better so that both partners get more out of their sexual experiences.

Although only just under 150 pages, the book covers every angle of pre-, post - and coincident male orgasm, including the use of toys such as butt plugs and the importance of the P-spot. For the few of you who may not know, the P-spot is the male equivalent of the female G-spot, whereby stimulation of the prostate can lead to massively increased orgasmic feelings.

The book is close to perfect - but who would buy it for whom? Things could go wrong if a man bought it for his wife or partner as it might be construed as saying 'You're not very good - mug up a little bit.' I guess the answer really, ladies, is buy it yourself and read it with him. Or, recommend it to a girlfriend or buy it for her as a prezzie.

Not everything in all of the 'lessons' will suit every couple so, as always, it's a matter of communicating with each other and finding the common ground that increases your mutual sexual satisfaction and pleasure. It will shed some new light for even the most experienced of sexual athletes. Almost a 'must have' book. Just ignore the silly title.

I give it 9 out of 10
With thanks to CherryBliss -

E-Luv: An Internet Romance
Author: Dave Roberts
Published by Friday Books, 186 pages

I came across this title by accident when I was searching for another book (about Timothy Leary) - but I'm so glad I found this one instead, as it is one of the most hilarious I have read. It's the story of Trevor, a man who discovers he is suffering from an unspecified illness, gets fired, and finds himself in a huge heap of debt and alone in his house with no furniture and just his computer for company.

Gradually he finds he's losing his friends and making new ones on the internet and he embarks on a voyage through cyberspace to find love and sex in chatrooms.Written like a blog, with a diary of events, day by day, and hour by hour, we are party to his daily thoughts and the events which take place in both his real life and in his newly founded life on the internet.

If you have ever been into a chat room or used discussion forums, this book will ring some bells and will also have you wondering whether you may have come across some of the same characters who feature. Maybe it's because the book is written like a blog that it provides such a fast-paced account, based as it is on the author's three years of internet surfing in search of love.

It's not one of those books that takes forever to get off the ground.Very early on we learn that our main character, Trevor, has a nasty leg rash, no money, an ugly apartment in New Zealand, and is borderline obese, not to mention being agoraphobic (very much like the author himself), and that's how he keeps the reader alert throughout - with his refreshing honesty and humour. In one entry, he confesses, 'I was a pale middle-aged man, badly out of shape, sitting naked in a chair before a webcam, all alone in a sparsely furnished rented house.'

The unspeakable adventures he recounts once he has discovered that online he can be anybody he wants to be (including tips on how to obtain a world-class collection of female underwear arriving in the mail at the rate of two or three a week), will have you laughing out loud, as will the problems that arise when his various online girlfriends want to meet him in the real world. And they do. Amazingly, quite a number of different women do actually turn up at his door, never suspecting that he can't actually get through it. One woman even comes from the US, leaving her husband, but bringing her child. But perhaps most bizarre of all is how he loses his cyber virginity to Jacqui, aka Lady Gwinnivear. She concocts a medieval fantasy where he had to rescue her from a locked tower. 'I remember thinking how ridiculous I sounded as I typed out what I was going to do to her. At one point, I ended up with one hand caressing her breast, while my other two hands were stroking her buttocks.'

Eventually, though, Trevor realises he needs to step away from the computer and out into the fresh air and, with the help of, yes, a woman he meets online, he does just that. There are also online strip poker suggestions, internet gambling strategies, and his addiction to eBay - resulting in him ending up with a whole load of stuff that he neither needs nor wants. And of course, there are the joys of finding love at last. As the subtitle suggests, this is 'An Internet Romance', but the 'E-Luv' of the title is not as one might think, another piece of computer-speak, but an actual person.

The writing is blisteringly funny, moving and smart, and comes over as being effortlessly droll. And, because it's done like an online blog, it's perfectly divided into small digestible sections that make it easy for email and web consumption.

I give it 8 out of 10
You can read E-Luv online at -

The New Erotic Photography
Edited by: Dian Hanson and Eric Kroll
Published by Taschen, 608 pages

This is brilliant. Absolutely BRILLIANT!! Brilliant with a double 'Br' a couple of 'illi's and a shouted 'ant'. Taschen, a German publisher, produces some of the highestquality books around - ones that you just want to own, be proud of owning and want to keep for ever. Their forte is so-called 'coffee-table books' - the kind of things that are picked up, scanned through while you're waiting for the host to re-appear from the kitchen with the first drinks of the evening, and then discarded. But not in this case. This is the sort of book that you borrow and 'forget' to return.

As a reviewer, I get sent more books each month than some people read in a lifetime and, like most reviewers, it's rare that I get drawn into one that captivates from beginning to end. In this case, I read every (English!) word at least twice and studied all the wonderful photos time and time again. The book is tri-lingual - English, German and French - which, probably, helps to explain its low price.

This hard-back tome is essentially a celebration of the erotic female form - any male images are largely incidental - a rich collection of modern photos from many of the best-known and some of the lesserknown exponents of the art. It features seminal works by 82 different photographers, from fourteen different countries, complete with their CVs and bibliographies. 'Photographer' is a loosely used term in common parlance - it should not mean 'a person who happens to own a camera', but all too often these days, it does. A person who fires off several hundred shots with a digicam, might get lucky once or twice, then edit them on a computer - but they're not a photographer. A photographer is someone who composes images with a vision in their mind - then gets lucky with a couple and can show the world what they had in mind from the beginning. Indeed, one featured photographer, Steve Diet Goedde from Los Angeles, states, 'Shooting digitally with a seemingly infinite amount of exposures can make a photographer lazy.' He's right (although some featured artists disagree). This is what you get from this book - the results of a sequence of thinking, envisaging, planning, preparing, hoping, shooting, printing and then - WOW!!! 'I caught exactly what I was after'!

There are around 300 full-, or close to full-page plates that, depending on your predilections, warrant being framed and hung on the wall for a fraction of the price you'd pay in an art shop. If you really like what you see, buy a second copy - it's a bargain at less than £30.00 a copy. Keep one complete and use the other to frame pages as wall decoration. I would start with pages 110 and 111 - courtesy of Didier Carre - who writes; 'With pornography there is no room left for dreaming about the subject.With erotic photography the work is not finished and you can imagine what will happen later.'

I've held back the final 0.1 mark to motivate Taschen to produce something even better - but it's a hard act to follow.

I rate this magnificent book at 9.9 out of 10
With thanks to Taschen

Sex Parties 101
By Simon Sheppard
Published by Alyson Books, 224 pages

Alyson Books specialise in gay and lesbian publications, so let's start with the premise that this is a party manual first and foremost for gay guys. Take a look at the cover... Having said that, as a 'how-to' book, there's a lot of basic common sense, which any sexparty organiser would be daft to ignore.

With a promise to make the reader's sex-life 'peppier, perkier and downright more adventurous', American Simon Sheppard attacks his subject with humour, thoroughness and quite a lot of alliteration.

He deals with organisation methodically, beginning with venues and types of party - home or hired rooms; free or pay to attend; speciality or themed evening or straightforward party; a few close friends or internet-advertised mass orgy... Then there's everything you need to do to orgy-proof your venue. And when you've attended to these basics, there are essentials to provide - washing facilities, first aid kit, fridge space for BYOB contributions, suitable catering, mingling areas, mattress areas, intimate corners, conducive lighting...

Do you want a themed evening - togas, leather, drag, darkroom, hallowe'en? And if you set a dress code, how do you deal with poopers who won't conform? Much of his advice is aimed towards safer sex - literally 'harmless' fun - and making sure that everyone goes home having fulfilled some fantasies, met some interesting partners and had an all round good time.Which leads to some universally applicable advice on etiquette for hosts and attendees alike. As at any such gathering, 'relax and be friendly' as you enter 'the gate to the great group grope' (Shepphard does love his alliteration), and be polite, even in refusals. After all, 'a hard friend is good to find' - and no-one, no matter how gorgeous, can afford to jeopardise his party popularity by being selfish or anti-social. Go in, he advises, with an outgoing attitude - prepared to put your best foot (or however long you've got) forward.

This manual works for newbies to the gay party scene too - covering personal hygiene, safety, dress etiquette, and how to break the ice. There's guidance for those who are curious about the more specialised sexual practices too - fisting, SM, bondage, flagellation/spanking, foot fetishism and what Shepphard uncompromisingly calls 'the juvenile fun of piss parties'.

Shepphard is clearly an enthusiastic party animal, and passes on his wisdom with the authority of one who's attended a fair few very varied boys' beanos (I can do alliteration too!). Some of the scenarios he describes might well provoke some indulgent fantasising at home - and as a host's or guest's 'how-to', this is sound stuff and quite an entertaining read to boot.

I'd give it 6 out of 10
(if it wasn't so American it could have edged 7)
With thanks to Turnaround -

Five Minute Fantasies
Edited by Cathryn Cooper
Published by Accent Press Ltd (Xcite Books), 200 pages

In the words of that old advert, 'Does what it says on the can'. In this first of at least three - and I hope more - Five Minute Fantasies collections, Xcite Books have brought together a really varied selection of twenty erotic short stories. Dip in anywhere and you'll find something to pique your imagination. OK, they probably take something more than five minutes to read - but as the back cover promises, this is not vanilla sex, but full-flavour stuff. There are tales of awakening sexuality; deliberate, premeditated seduction; encounters with strangers; paid-for fantasies; role-playing; exhibitionism; bondage and spanking - and some lovely foodie scenarios by one Astrid L (you can sample one of her tales - Associations: a Valentine's Tale - on page XX.

I've always felt that the piquancy of the short story is the 'sting' at the end - and a number of these tales deliver a particularly clever twist at the finale. These are not just indulgent personal fantasies set to paper, but crafted scenarios, written in a variety of styles. It would spoil the enjoyment of any one of the stories to talk plots - suffice it to say that it's easy to get drawn into the atmosphere of each different author's imagination, and with the exception of any man-on-man action, there's something to tickle most people's fancy.

As reviews go, this is, like the 'fantasies', short and sweet. Read, as I did, from cover to cover - or pick any tale at random - you'll be well entertained with something spicy.

I give it 8 out of 10
With thanks to: -