Not Your Father’s Sex Manual

Today’s Sunday NY Times includes many blogworthy nuggets, including this feature about the new proliferation of explicit sex manuals in bookstores of late.

“Now the old textbookish tomes like “Joy of Sex,” which invited readers to expand their horizons beyond the face-to face missionary position have been replaced by shiny paperbacks extolling the excitement that could come from oral sex, anal sex, fetishism and S&M. Couples who were formerly portrayed in a modest embrace are now shown to reveal full penetration. Careful, scholarly, sometimes clinical language has been replaced by chatty girlfriend-speak that might have been ghostwritten by Samantha Jones, the outspoken and sexually ravenous publicist of “Sex and the City.”

Those in the business of publishing such books say the evolution has accelerated, fueled by the need to seem relevant in an increasingly sexualized culture. “The generation we’re publishing for today is much more open about terminology and much more forthright,” said Bryce Willett, the sales marketing manager of Ulysses Press in Berkley, Calif., which publishes “The Little Bit Naughty Book of Sex Positions” and the “Wild Guide to Sex and Loving.”

The revival and boomlet of sex guides owes a debt in part to Judith Regan of ReganBooks, the publisher of “How to Have a XXX Sex Life,” “How to Make Love Like a Porn Star” and “She Comes First” (2004), a sprightly treatise on cunnilingus, which has been successful enough to spawn a sequel, “He Comes Next,” due out in February.”