The Big Book of Sex Toys Review

April 05th, 10   •   Posted by Mistress Kay   •   12 Comments

The cover

I actually purchased this book off of Amazon after someone tweeted that Tristan Taormino was going to be making a book. It seemed kinda neat, and I love sex toy books, so thus, now I own it. If you want your own copy, this sex shop I trust sells the book, and I recommend going through them – their books are treated much more nicely.

The Big Book of Sex Toys is a large, hardcover, full color 246 page book. As stated before, it is written by Tristan Taormino who is a prominent figure in the sex positive community. The cover is square at about seven inches by seven inches. The book, including the hardcover front, is about an inch thick. It was produced in 2009, so it’s an extremely new book with up-to-date information. (Don’t you hate when you buy something and it’s from the nineties? Me too.)

Like I said, the book is full-color. It includes quite a bit of pictures (most of them with bare breasts for some odd reason) and most pages have pretty color outlines or color accents to help the book be an easier read. The pages are a type of matte paper, so they aren’t thin or flimsy either.

The book itself is not public-friendly. The cover is white with “The Big Book of Sex Toys” on the front with some sex toys replacing the “O” and other letters. On the inside, there is definite softcore/erotic photography that includes naked bodies, so unless you want to offer to share it with your boss, probably a good idea to keep it at home. It also isn’t very small, it’s not very travel-friendly.

A regular feature  is “Tristan’s Top Picks”. For most sections, there is a small box off-set that gives what Tristan recommends most for different types of play such as “Most stylish”, “Most budget-friendly”, “Most luxurious”, and so forth. She does this for bondage toys, vibrators, and other things as well. It just lists the name and the price of each toy. Nothing really special. No picture either.

Another big aspect/feature of the book is the “Perfect Pairing” section. After she introduces a type of toy, she goes into the “Perfect Pairing” section. This section is just a slightly explicit/detailed section explaining a way to use a toy along with the position and foreplay you could include. For example, when it comes to butt plugs, she recommends a reverse cowgirl position and gives detailed instructions on what she could do with the butt plug in. Personally, I wasn’t a fan, at all, of these sections, but I could see where it might make playing with toys seem a lot more do-able and beginner friendly instead of being scary like some people perceive them.

The chapters were pretty straight-forward. The Introduction, Sexual Anatomy, Sex Toys, Shopping, Not all Sex Toys were Created Equal, All about Vibrators, Bullets Eggs and Bunnies, Power Up, Look Ma No Hands, Work Your Way In With Insertable Vibrators, Dual-Action Vibrators, Smart and Sassy, Penis Sleeves and Pumps, All You Ever Wanted to Know about Cock Rings, Delicious Dildos and Wonderful Wands, Anal Pleasure, Get Ready for the Ride of your Life, Ignite your Senses and With Sensation Products and Toys, Tie her Up Tie Him Down, Crack the Whip, Grown-up Swing Sets, Wetter is Better, Toy Care Cleaning and Safety, and Building your Toy Box. (Yeah, I told you it was a big book. I’ll try to make the summaries succinct.)

The introduction is just two pages and just talks about why some of the sex toy myths are false like “If my wife gets a vibrator, she won’t need me anymore”.

Chapter 1, which is “Sexual Anatomy”, gives you drawings of the male and female anatomy, explains where each part is and what pleasure it provides as well as what purpose it serves. It also goes into anal anatomy, but for some reason, an anal anatomy drawing is missing.

“Sex Toys” is chapter 2. It talks about how masturbation will help you achieve a better sex life as well as some of the exercises you can do to strengthen your PC  muscles and how it will help your sex life. It then recommends and talks about some of the vaginal balls and vaginal exercisers to help strengthen your PC muscles. This chapter also lets you know about how sex toys can be brought into partner sex, not just masturbation.

Chapter 3 is shopping. It briefly describes the different functions of different sex toys. All this is is the brief description that the chapters will continue upon later. It tells you to consider your functionality, your style, and your cost, durability, and size in a toy before your purchase it. Taormino also includes how to shop for earth-friendly sex toys and what to look for when choosing an online sex toy store to purchase from. (No specific stores are mentioned which is good, because it doesn’t favor and outdate the book, but bad because it leaves you trying to figure some out.)

Chapter 4 is the chapter on sex toy materials. It gives the differences and advantages of all of the different types of sex toy materials as well as explains what Phthalates are.

Chapter 5 is “All about Vibrators”. It includes how to choose a vibrator that works for you as well as the different kinds including smart vibrators, dual-action, wearable, insertable, plug-in, and compact. It has a neat picture of the old-style OhMiBod toys here too. It then gives a page-long guide to using a clitoral vibrator. (I don’t know about anyone else, but my first experience didn’t include a guide, but if it makes people feel more comfortable, I’m all for it.)

“Bullets, Eggs, and Bunnies” is chapter 6. It answers the common question “Can I get addicted to my vibrator?” as well as lets the reader know that most first-time users tend to go for a bullet or an egg. It talks about finger vibes, luxury compact vibes, the pocket rocket, discreet vibes, and the ergonomic vibes.

Example of the pictures and the text layout

“Power Up” is chapter 7, and it’s about clitoral vibrators. Of course, Taormino addresses the Hitachi first with four pages. Next we move onto the wand-style recharables like the Acuvibe, then the Wahl, then the Eroscillator.

Chapter 8 is about wearable vibes. It talks about the traditional ones where the straps go around the legs the moves onto the more-modern WeVibe. It talks about why hands-free vibrators are especially helpful with partner sex, then moves on to talk about hands-free clitoral vibes like the Tuyo. It even has a section about the cone, but no picture of it, so it might leave readers guessing.

Chapter 9 is all about insertable vibrators. It talks about the basic slimline design then moves on to talk about the g-spot design. It dedicates a page to how to find your g-spot with a toy/hand as well. (I wish it would have been more. Out of everything people don’t know how to do, it’s how to find their g-spot.)

“Dual-Action Vibes” is the topic of chapter 10. Of course, rabbit vibes is the first thing that gets mentioned. After that, Taormino brings up the vibrators that are curved (Delight, Rock Chick) to work clitorally as well as internally.

Chapter 11 focuses on High-Tech and Luxury Vibes. The first one it mentions is the Sasi which I’ve heard a little about, but I didn’t expect it to be the first mention. It does sound neat though. From there, she talks about the MP3-activated vibrators like OhMiBod as well as wireless vibrators. After that, Jimmy Jane and Lelo share a page talking about their products. She also talks about some of the new internet-enabled vibrators that are in production.

Chapter 12 is about penis sleeves and pumps. First off, the first toy pages talk about what penis sleeves are, why they’re pleasurable, and the best way to use them. Of course, the next page is focused completely on the Fleshlight. The last two pages are focused on the use and safety of the Penis pump.

“Cock rings” are the focus of chapter 13. First it talks about the basic, beginner cock rings then goes on to talk about the adjustable and vibrating cock rings. All of it includes safety issues as well as concerns to pick which one is best.

Erotic pictures and pictures of the Fleshlight

Chapter 14 is focused on dildos and wands. Four pages are dedicated to why dildos are fun, how to choose one for you, and how to use them as well as getting your partner to use them on you. From there, Taormino discusses wands, how to choose one, and how they different from a dildo. She also does cover double-dildos in this section.

Anal Pleasure is the focus of chapter 15. It starts off about why anal is pleasurable then moves into talking about anal beads. From there we learn about butt plug uses, tips, and tricks, then we get a taste of prostate toys and why they’re fun.

Strap-ons dominate the next chapter. Lots of chicks in pictures of straps ons which is cute. For some odd reason, we start off the chapter talking about thigh-harnesses then we move into how using strap-ons for women with their man. You get a guide on choosing the best harness as well as a two-page guide as to how to use the strap-on for your first time.

Sensual products and toys get their own chapter in 17. Lots of small half-page topics including feathres, massage oil, massage oil candles, gels and creams, body paint and dust, and liquid latex.

Accordingly, chapter 18 turns into the bondage chapter. She does start off with safety issues and how you should communicate before playing (Go Taormino!). We then jump into blindfolds, collars, cuffs, bondage tape, bondage kits, and then a sex sling? (I was lost there too, but apparently a sex sling gives the bondage experience.) Taormino also states that real handcuffs are not for play since they are dangerous. +1 point to this book. At the end of the chapter, she includes books that go a lot more in-depth.

Chatper 19 covers the fun impact toys as sensation toys of BDSM including nipple clamps, paddles, crops, and floggers. Nothing too interesting here. Just a basic overview of how they are different. I was a little disappointed that she didn’t recommend learning how to use a flogger off-partner before taking it to your partner. -1 for this book.

“Sex Furniture” is the focus of chapter 20. We get a couple pages worth of information on sex swings, then we move onto Liberator furniture and shapes. After that, she talks about penetration machines.

The 21st chapter is all about lubricant. Pretty basic. Talks about natural lubricants, what materials to avoid, and the different types of lubricant. (At this point, I think she was running out of allowable pages since everything starts getting much more succinct.)

The 22nd chapter is about toy care, cleaning and safety. Taormino covers the different cleaning needs of the different types of material. Personally, I think this entire chapter could have been avoided by just throwing it in with the first “Sex Toy Materials” chapter. Besides, why wait until the end of the book to tell people that cleaning is important?

The 23rd chapter is about different ways to store your toys. It’s just one lone pages and recommends and talks about For Your Nymphomation, ToiBocks, and Devine Toy Storage. Past that, we have the resource guide on good books, videos, stores, toy brands, and sex ed websites.

A disappointment was the lack of diversity in the book. There were different people of color (not much differences there either, but they did use the same models throughout most of the book), but there weren’t any people of different sizes. It was all the typical skinny woman, muscular male. It also always was male/female. There weren’t any same-sex pictures in the entire book – including during the strap-on section. Another slight annoyance? Boobs. Everywhere. Yes, boobs are pretty and sexual, but I do wish sometimes the women could still be wearing a bra. It almost felt like the breasts were the focus of some of the photography.

That having been said, none of the photography was explicit. There are lots of bare breasts and a couple butts, but aside from that, nothing. No genitals, and no close-ups of sex. There are people positioned to look like they are having sex, but I highly doubt that they are. There are lots of pictures of just the sex toys themselves as well just sitting around and looking pretty.

Something that may be a problem: Almost every page of this book did have a sex toy recommendation on it. Because of that, as sex toys grow, this book may not be as “modern” as it should be for as long as it should be since the best sex toys are constantly changing. You also may find it slightly annoying to find recommendations in so often, but at the same time, you might find it useful because you have no idea where to start. It’s up to the person – just be aware they’re there.

The book is also written in an extremely straight-forward manner. That means you shouldn’t be expecting cute stories or personal experiences. It will give you the facts and it does that pretty well. It was extremely easy to read, and the colors and the text placement made it more fun to read as well. Even though it was written in that straight-forward manner, it doesn’t feel like its a chore to read – it feels like fun.

Overall, I did find a pretty good guide for someone who was new to sex toys. Some of the organizational issues made me confused, but it does explain the basic types of vibrators and how to use them. This is a great book to get over the myths and nervousness surrounding sex toys, but if you really want to know how to use them or reach certain pleasurable angles with them, I recommend finding a more advanced book. If you want to buy it, this adult toy store sells it, so purchase your own copy of The Big Book of Sex Toys.

product picture
Book by Tristan Taormino
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Quiver

12 Comments on "The Big Book of Sex Toys Review"

April 14th, 2010

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Epiphora says...
April 24th, 2010

Lack of diversity and body types also bothered me. Apparently the publisher held her back.

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debbie says...
April 01st, 2012

looking for fun and friends.

April 29th, 2017

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