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3 things I learned from sex manuals

In the Weirdest Sex News ever, this week someone spotted Radiohead singer Thom Yorke on the cover of an Iranian sex manual. I don’t know why either, but let’s have a look at what Thom could teach us about sex.


Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, inexplicably on the front cover of a sex manual

I have a love/hate relationship with sex manuals. I utterly love them for inspiration on new sex ideas, but I hate how unfit I feel if I try to contort myself into a position that simply won’t work. Somewhere in an alternative universe there’s a version of me who is really into yoga and capable of tying herself into a literal knot just to achieve the kind of deep penetration I can only sigh and dream of.

Still, over the course of my life I’ve learned a lot from sex manuals. I still can’t contort myself into a weird pretzel shape, but I know one thing for sure: it’s incredibly fun to try. I should know: I once had to ‘research’ a couple of articles about the original Joy of Sex book. I won’t go into detail, because this is light-hearted rather than explicitly pornographic, but the research involved me and my other half working our way through over twenty positions in the space of half an hour. I learned that fun can be incredibly exhausting, but do it well enough and you’ve more than earned a post-shag pint.

Here are my other sex lessons:

3. Sex positions have really weird names

The first ever sex manual I saw was one my first boyfriend bought. Excited about this new thing we’d discovered (Sex! It’s even better than everyone said it would be!) we were keen to explore every possible thing about it in as short a time as possible.

Unfortunately, the manual he bought involved some odd translations or interpretations of the Kama Sutra, with position names that all had some reference to animals: ‘taming the crow’ or ‘cattle meeting’ or ‘two dogs on a bus.’

Unsexy. When it comes to sex animals, I think I’ll stick to the rabbit vibrators.

2. There are very few genuinely unique positions.

Sure, you can stand on a cushion or something and that’s technically a bit different, but the actual positions themselves vary little from the Holy Sex Trinity: missionary, doggie, and girl on top.

What sex manuals are really good for, though, is helping you find those variations that feel particularly good. If someone had told me when I first started shagging that the angle at which you bent your back could make all the difference during missionary, I’d have laughed you out of town. Now, though, I know exactly what works and just the right way to get there.

If you want a bit of help with sex positioning, or just fancy trying a few new angles of your own, positioning products like the Liberator can help you hit the spots that other positions just can’t reach.

1. Looking at the pictures is half the fun.

I use a lot of porn in my bedroom. And in the lounge. On one notable occasion, the bathroom. Sex manuals – like porn – provide a hell of a lot of inspiration and can be stimulation for the kind of dirty chats I enjoy the most. You know the ones: they start with ‘have you seen this?’ and end with ‘well, that was pretty spectacular.’

Whether it’s the Kama Sutra DVD or a video guide to spanking, sometimes it’s nice to have an excuse to snuggle up on the sofa, ideally naked from the waist down, and get stuck in to some erotic inspiration.

How about you? Please do add in your own sex lessons in the comments – whether it’s a particular position that you’ve tried and failed, or something that worked so well you just have to shout about it. Who knows – perhaps Thom Yorke will stumble across this post, and include your tips in the next edition of his Iranian sex manual…

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