________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 10 . . . . January 11, 2008


Sex for Guys. (Groundwood Guides).

Manne Forssberg. Translated by Maria Lundin.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2007.
142 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $18.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-88899-771-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-88899-770-8 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Sex instruction for men.
Men-Sexual behavior.
Sex (Psychology).

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up. (Plus  Parents, Teachers & Sexuality Educators).

Review by Joanne Peters.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reader’s Edition.


I bet there are things that you’d really like to know about sex but you feel like you don’t have anyone to ask. Why is one of your testicles bigger than the other? How do you know if a girl has an orgasm? And how fast should you thrust when you’re having intercourse? How do you break up? Can you have sex when your girlfriend has her period? How is a guy supposed to act in bed? These are the types of questions I try to answer in this book. 



Last year, when Karen Dana and I co-reviewed The Little Black Book for Girlz: A Book on Healthy Sexuality, we reminisced about sexuality education at school during our pre-teen years. One day in Grades 5 and 6, all the girls were ushered out of the classroom (leaving the boys behind), gathered in the gymnasium or the library, saw a film which usually had a title similar to “Today, You’re Becoming a Woman” and learned the biology behind the changes taking place in our pubescent bodies. Karen and I always wondered, “What were the boys doing while we were watching films and receiving a presentation from the school nurse?”

     Whatever it was, they certainly weren’t sitting around reading a book like Sex for Guys because a book of its type just didn’t exist in mass market format during the last century. For that matter, I haven’t seen many resources on sexuality, specifically aimed at male adolescents, period.

     The excerpt above makes it clear that Sex for Guys is not a boring “sex textbook.” Guys need to know more than the biology of sex (because, of course, they know everything about that already, right?). Forssberg also writes about love, desire, feelings, porn, contraception, STD’s, and sexual orientation. His tone is open, engaging, and funny, and he sounds as if he could be anybody’s cool older brother. In his discussion of male-female equality issues, he reminds the reader that there is no such thing as a “power tool gene” (despite the male predilection for wanting to “fix” things”), and, on the subject of pornography, he points out that “using porn as a how-to guide for sex is about as smart and useful as using kung fu movies to get ready for your trip to Asia, or using Law and Order to study for a law degree.” Frank and uncensored voices of both young men and young women add to the authenticity. And, be warned, this is a book that calls a penis, a penis (as well as all sorts of other terms which I can’t include in this review if I expect it not to be blocked by school district web filters). 

     At $12.95 in paperback and $18.95 in hardcover, this book is a bargain, and a good thing, too, because teacher-librarians, guidance counselors, and sexuality/family life teachers will need to buy more than one copy of this book, as will guidance. Sooner or later, Sex for Guys will be “borrowed,” and it will never be returned. And, as is the case with all works on sexuality, read the book thoroughly before putting it on your shelves and be prepared for a challenge regarding why you spent taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars on such an item in your library. Books like this, they could give guys ideas. As if.

Highly Recommended.

Joanne Peters is a teacher-librarian, at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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