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The Clitoral Truth by Rebecca Chalker
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The Clitoral Truth (2000)

by Rebecca Chalker

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EVERYONE should read this book at least once. Anyone interested in having sex with a woman, or women who think they know their bodies pretty damn well, should read this book at least twice. Fascinating from cover to cover, and even the most knowledgeable expert will learn a thing or two after reading this. :) ( )
  BinkaBonkaChair | Jun 18, 2012 |
I found this book on the shelf of my favorite coffeehouse's women's studies section. Coffee and used books just go together. What initially caught my attention was the wordplay, and then the subject matter. Being an easy read, I plowed through this book in no time. And why should a book on anatomy and sexuality not be easy to understand? "Easy to read" does not mean "inferior information". It's something we all live with, and it is something we should all understand!

My favorite review of this book included the following (paraphrased): "All throughout school, we would go over every curve and wrinkle of the penis, but we never even heard of the clitoris..." This reviewer made me wonder, "How would men feel if they did not know where or what their penis was?" Many women are dissatisfied and unhappy with their sex lives because they don't understand their own anatomy. Some of the information in this book may make people uncomfortable or feel awkward, but it's definitely worth a look. I give it 5 stars for speaking to the reader instead of trying to talk over their head.

Seeing as I managed to read the whole book in one sitting, I set it back on the shelf for someone else to discover. ( )
1 vote Rozax | Nov 24, 2010 |
I found this a fascinating, and surprisingly quick, read. Sometimes the tone is polemical, but taken as a whole the book is very readable. It's a mix of biology and anatomy; history of medicine, anatomy and a bit of midwifery; some politics and sociology; a bit of memoir and reminiscences; some suggestions on getting comfortable with the female body and sexual response. For a sexuality, sex advice and anatomy book there is a lot of social history and politics; for a social history, sociology and politics book there is a lot of information about anatomy, sex, and sexuality. It bridges both subjects. I didn't mind that, but I can see how it could be a disappointment if that's not what was expected.

The first section is really detailed, and is all about female genitals, particularly the range of structures that make up the clitoris. There are a lot of drawings here: exterior of female genitals; side view of reproductive system; a whole series of cutaway drawings showing all the layers of muscles, glands, cavities and features of the genitals and reproductive system, and various different angles. What I like about this is it is very much three-dimensional, and it is clear how everything fits together. This also lessens the sense of "floating organs", that I usually get from just showing the side view of a section of the body. This is not a clinical anatomy book, but there is a lot more information here than I have usually found in other sex books. Each feature is described and discussed in this chapter, and there is quite a bit on sexual response.

The next section is an entertaining and interesting overview history of how the view of the female body and sexuality, and the state of biological knowledge (scientific or not), has changed over time. This was the fascinating, unlooked for, part of this book for me. There are footnotes and a bibliography, so it's possible to read further on the topic.

The third chapter is about female ejaculation. The debate about this is outlined, there are references to the evidence, films, resources and personal accounts. There is also an element of campaigning for greater understanding on the part of urology departments, to avoid unnecessary surgery, and to reassure women that female ejaculation exists and it's not urine.

The fourth section is about two things - women expanding their repertoire to vibrators, role play, fantasy, masturbation, other kinds of toys, videos - and rewriting perceptions on sex and changing social scripts to encompass a wider range of sexual activities, and a wider definition of sex. There is certain amount of social and political history here, and in some quarters this chapter will be outdated, and in others it won't. It is very much an overview, so if you wanted to know more about just one of these topics, there are likely to be better, more specific books available.

The final chapter, before all the resources, is about the kinds of social and sexual changes that were beginning to appear c. 2000, and then it moves on to suggested techniques for people to use to carry on broadening their repertoire: ritual, ejaculatory control, workshops of all kinds - massage, tantra, individual coaching, sluts and goddesses workshops. Again, this is an overview chapter, which is mainly about some of the changes in sexual politics and practices, and about continuing to expand definitions of sex. The chapter finishes up with a glossary of terms used.

The last sections are resources, bibliography, references and an index. The resources section is really long and has a lot of good stuff. Although this book is 9 years old now, there is a mine of things listed - history, erotica, sex advice, videos, all kinds of books on sexuality and people's experiences. Inevitably there will have been some better books printed since this was published, but some of the materials still look interesting. ( )
4 vote Flit | Oct 20, 2009 |
Showing 3 of 3
Finally! What a very refreshing and powerful book of information!
added by Rozax | editMentalHelp.net, Susan Wingate (Oct 16, 2001)
 
For centuries, women's sexual anatomy has been described as "mysterious," "unknowable" and "perplexing"--harboring more riddles than the Sphinx, the pyramids of ancient Egypt and the rock formations of Stonehenge combined.

Not really, counters author Rebecca Chalker. It's really quite easy to figure out. You just have to know where to look.
added by Rozax | editIn These Times, Paula Kamen (Nov 27, 2000)
 
What female body part is the size of a fingertip, has over 6,000 nerve fibers, is the key to women's sexual pleasure, and has managed to elude countless female anatomy books? Answer: The Clitoris.
added by Rozax | editFeminist Women's Health Center (Nov 27, 2000)
 
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First of all, eternal gratitude to my sisters and colleagues at the Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers, past and present, for their dramatic reinterpretation of how we define the “clitoris,” which began my own long and interesting journey to this book.
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For people who want to expand their sexual horizons: discover The Clitoral Truth.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0965172597, Paperback)

The Clitoris has been dismissed, undervalued, unexplored, and misunderstood for hundreds of years, but the truth is out there, and internationally celebrated sex educator Rebecca Chalker has found it. InThe Clitoral Truth, Chalker offers the only mainstream, in-depth exploration devoted solely to women's genital anatomy and sexual response. Women readers everywhere-be they straight, gay, or bisexual-will learn about the countless sexual sensations and discover how to enhance their sexual responses in a more concrete way than ever before.The Clitoral Truthalso examines the ways in which women are enhancing their sexual response through masturbation, the use of sex toys, videos, books, workshops, individual coaching sessions, and the Internet.For more than 2,500 years, the clitoris and the penis were presumed to be equivalent in all respects. After the 18th century, however, this knowledge was gradually suppressed and forgotten, and the definition of the clitoris as an extensive organ system all but disappeared. During Chalker's tenure as a member of the Federation of Feminist Women's Health Centers, the group helped further the study of the clitoris to unprecedented anatomic precision.The Clitoral Truthinvestigates every aspect of this magnificent organ to see how its many parts work together to produce orgasms.The Clitoral Truthalso delves into the feminist and sexologist controversy over female ejaculation and surveys the numerous ways that women have begun to transform the deeply entrenched male-centered model of sexuality to redefine their sexuality to emphasize full-body pleasure. Enhanced with personal accounts, comprehensive illustrations, and a thorough appendix of female sexuality resources, this book helps women and their partners understand and expand their sexual potential and work toward becoming independent sexual beings

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:31 -0400)

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