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The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm – Book Review

Mikaya Heart.

Excuse the pun if I call this a book with a huge heart. Her guide will make it clear to you that Mikaya Heart is a great sexuality educator and a woman who knows how to convey what she knows. Using her voice as well as the voices of others, this book provides an intricate picture of what orgasm means to women and shares details that can only help other women to find an orgasm or to repair and enrich a sexual relationship.

The erotic graphic on the cover does nothing for the seriousness of this book as a resource; I personally would have passed on it had I come across it on the bookstand, but fortunately I didn’t have to.

I enjoyed the way the book dives in at the deep end, or should I say heads straight for the clit. The anatomical coverage in the beginning is concise and although pertinent to a book of this nature, it doesn’t bore the reader with tedious names and process descriptions as many other sexuality guides do. It whizzes through what every woman needs to know and lands straight in the nether-land of orgasms and orgasming, without further ado.

The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm embroiders relevant quotes taken from extensive interviews with women and men (mostly women, and mostly gay women) between the explanations of Mikaya, so that the author provides a great illustration of the normal range of sexual experiences. Through this technique, women are given a variety of ideas on practically every aspect of orgasm, so that a pre-orgasmic woman can learn and an insecure reader can feel that their experience is one of many possible, normal possibilities. This is a well-known method of teaching healthy sexuality and it gives the reader many of the benefits of sitting in a group of free-speaking women, without the hassle of getting off the couch.

Granted, the voices included are not those of people she gathered off the street or completely anonymously. This is not scientific in nature, nor does it pretend to be; it is as good as it is because Mikaya has selected trusty colleagues and friends to speak to who have felt comfortable to share for our good,as well as circulating it via the internet. They do not represent all the women out there, but then as a guide, it makes sense to have strong representation from people who are more practiced and positive about their sex.

This is not the kind of guide that details positions, exercises or how to’s. There are very few if any instructions given. Rather it spends a significant amount of its space covering a spiritual-emotional understanding of sexuality. There is no judgment of sex without commitment, nor does this book go into moral arguments; it simply speaks of the benefits – for some people – of sex in the presence of a deep bond. Tantra and sexual energy practices are, of course, well covered.

While her messages are clearly written and truly helpful, the spirituality approach to sexuality does not speak to everybody as naturally as it is written. If you are the kind of reader who wants a a step-by-step guide to figuring out her sexuality, this might not be your first choice, but it has a lot to offer the woman who wants to understand and explore deeper into her erotic experience.

I was particularly impressed with the chapter on early sexual experiences. Contextualizing orgasm within a woman’s sexual education, negative and positive early experiences and childhood genital discovery all enrich one’s understanding of their sexual development and potential blockages.

One area I would have liked to see better represented – more explanations, more quotes and more encouragement – is the PC muscle exercising (Kegels). Sure – love and passion can do wonders, but down on the ground, we have to put in time on the pure physical level too. A lot of the orgasmic capacity is in our heads, but some of it is in those pelvic muscles and nothing short of drilling it in will get us doing those ever-important female exercises regularly. If anything, the couple of pages that spoke of PC muscles gave a mixed message about their simplicity and necessity, and to me this is a missed opportunity.

In a related matter, another missed chapter is that about orgasm before, during and after childbirth. Having said that, this is an extensive subject, rather well-covered in the 250 or so pages that make it an easy read and an empowering one at that.

Features

  • Guide to female orgasm
  • Based on findings of detailed interviews with female and males
  • Tends to focus on the spiritual approach to sexual pleasure
  • Written by a sexuality educator and writer
  • Personal style of writing
  • Includes plethora of quotes from females and males surveyed
  • Lesbian-friendly
  • Well-referenced
  • 249 pages

Publisher

Cleis Press, 2011

 

Dinah Rates      


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