Have you ever read one of those Cosmo articles in which a handful of dudes, evidently speaking for all men everywhere ever, present their favorite probably-apocryphal sex anecdotes in the form of groundbreaking new techniques and thought to yourself, “Boy, I wish there were a whole book of these!”? Of course you haven’t. But just in case your morbid curiosity gets the best of you, look no further – Sex Tips for Girls by Guys has got you covered!
Now, full disclosure, I work at a store that sells this book. Which is not to say I have ever personally sold a copy, since every time I see a customer looking at it I tell them it is just awful. It’s OK, I don’t get paid on commission.
Let’s start with the cover, shall we? Contrary to popular aphorisms, you can pretty much judge this entire book by it:
In the market for a freezing cold yeast infection? This book is for you! Aside from the squirm-inducing connotations of the illustration, let’s get the most obviously problematic aspect of this book out of the way right off the bat. Of course the whole thing is based on the assumption that women only have sex with men, and of course they need advice from men on how to do it, just like they need advice from men on how to dress and whether they should wear makeup.
And it should probably go without saying that there is no companion book of Sex Tips for Guys by Girls, because that might accidentally imply that men don’t already know everything there is to know about sex, or that women are equally entitled to sexual pleasure.
It only gets dumber from here, with the esteemed panel of self-appointed sexperts going out of their way to shoehorn in essentialist generalizations like “Men and shopping go together like ice cream and pickles. With an important exception: We like gadgets and we like looking at them online.” Yeah, that’s their entirely pointless way of setting up the suggestion that you and your partner shop online for sex toys together. Hopefully, the second edition will clarify that men also like to shop for scented candles now that they smell like lawnmowers and 2x4s. My personal favorite, though, has to be “We don’t often pamper our bodies so when you do it for us it feels like a very special treat,” which reads like a thinly veiled way of saying “I have no fucking clue how to wash myself.”
Most of the advice offered in STfGbG is in anecdotal form, and all of it can be summed up as “Here is this thing my girlfriend does that I like, so probably all men like it.” Disappointingly, the unintentionally comedic tips are kind of few and far between, and the book is mostly padded out with the same boring shit that every issue of Redbook tries to pass off as revolutionary advances in the handjob field. But of course, it wouldn’t be a subpar sex advice book if it weren’t packed with inane euphemisms! Like “star” for anus, “banjo string” for frenulum, and “top deck” for… something. It wasn’t exactly clear. I’m assuming they meant dick. These are accompanied by helpful photographic illustrations such as a banana and two scoops of ice cream with cherries on top so that oh my god you guys they totally look like tits. The tone just keeps bouncing around from immature to attempted-sexy to oddly clinical in a way that makes me wonder if the whole thing was written by PowerPoint’s Auto-Summary tool after being fed a bunch of drunken med students’ unedited letters to Penthouse.
Really, the book is just bad, but not in a so-bad-it’s-good way, so I can’t even recommend it ironically. Instead, I’ll just leave you with one more awkwardly worded (and haphazardly bolded) excerpt, along with the unfortunate mental image it left permanently seared on my brain:
“She rakes my pubes with her fingernails, nearly touching my penis, but not quite.”