The Many Joys of Sex Toys – Book Review

By Anne Semans.

There are piles of sex toy books around, quite a few of them written by this very author, which makes you wonder what this book has to add to the existing literature? In the way of content, there is nothing much new here, but there is a solid introduction to sex toys and some good basic sex education – male and female anatomy, arousal, orgasm, kegels, etc. Quite clear and standard. The oral sex chapters are concise but quite good; it’s a pity they are hidden near the back, after all, where does this book get off being shy?

The book does have two interesting features. Interspersed between chapters are sex toy tales. Basically, it’s erotica where toys play a feature role. This is a nice touch, but it gets a bit much. Because stories take up at least a third of the book, towards the end it begins to feel more like a book of erotic stories with some explanations thrown in for good measure.

The other feature is the way chapters are set up like recipes. Each “portion” is a sex act where one or more toys participate. This is a fun way of illustrating the use and benefit of toys, but tends to get monotonous because there isn’t much of a progression, rather a sense of there being many variations of dishes using the same ingredients. Now, don’t get me wrong – versatile cooking with the same ingredients is a great skill, but let’s remember we aren’t on a deserted island and we do have other options.

All illustrations in the book are black & white drawings. This may be more than adequate for the anatomy parts or sketches of individuals and couples in particular sex positions, but it is often inadequate to understand what some of the toys really look like, at least the way they are presented in this book.

The most irritating thing for me was the fact that I heard no criticism of any toys, neither in the chapters that described each type of toy, nor in the so-called testimonials, which sound like infomercials. I believe that each toy has its pros and cons, so a more balanced evaluation could be helpful. Having said that, if you already have some paraphernalia that is collecting dust for want of creative ideas, this could provide a decent source of technical support, down to the exact amount of shakes and stirs.


  •  Written by a sex toy enthusiast
  •  Includes 10 erotic sex toy tales
  •  Includes testimonials
  •  Provides recipes for use of toys in single and couple sex.
  •  Illustrated with drawings



Broadway Books, 2004


Dinah Rates      

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