Good Vibrations:
The New Complete Guide to Vibrators

By Sharon Peters

What I don’t get is what’s the big deal about vibrators. Vibrators can help women to orgasm. For that matter they can help men to orgasm. They can help men and women to orgasm together. These are good things.

And yet women resist vibrators for all sorts of reasons. "My husband doesn’t like the competition." "What if I get addicted?" "What if somebody saw me buying it?"

And on and on the excuses go. What can I say? How loud can I say it? GET OVER IT!!!

If you aren’t orgasmic and want to be, what’s the best way to go about it? How about a vibrator? If you never have an orgasm when your husband and you have intercourse, what’s the best way to make the orgasm mutual? How about a vibrator? If you’re all tense and uptight and annoyed and can’t sleep at night, what’s the best remedy? How about a vibrator?

But if you mention vibrators in polite society, people laugh, blush, walk away or go ballistic. What’s up with that, people? Discrete reticence is one thing. But in the face of the huge numbers of American women who are sexually dysfunctional, vibrators are one of the most obvious and available solutions.

And yet when you finally get people to slow down enough to talk about the subject, chances are that the only kind of vibrator they know about is the cheapo, easily broken, battery operated, phallic-shaped plastic kind – in other words, the worst junk available.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, wake up. There are more kinds of vibrators than you ever have imagined. And one trustworthy place to read up on them is Good Vibrations: The New Complete Guide to Vibrators by Joani Blank and Ann Whidden. It’s a direct, no-nonsense guide to the possibilties available; how to use them and what they mean in your life. This book is a small ‘b’ bible, and deserves a place on the bedside.

Joani Blank has been helping women overcome their inhibitions and dysfunctions for a quarter of a century. She opened Good Vibrations, San Francisco’s pioneering sex toy and advice store in 1977, and she’s been going strongly -- largely on a/c current -- ever since. Her small book -- with Ann Whidden – tours the surprising history of vibrators (which starts, FYI, over a 100 years ago as a cure for "hysteria") as well as the incredible range of toys available to the open minded.

Elsewhere in this issue of Libido, Jack Hafferkamp has written a review of Carol Queen’s Great Vibrations, a video that goes over much of the same ground as this little book. To me the book makes a perfect complement to the video, locking down on paper much of the info Carol passes along while testing the vibrators on tape.

For people so far into denial that the video would be too much, the book is perhaps a gentler start on the road to self-discovery, self-pleasure and self-awareness. For them this would make a great Spring gift.

One more thing. For people who simply want a suggestion on an inexpensive, small, travel-friendly, water-safe vibrator go directly to this site’s shop for information on Water Dancer, which is the only vibrator sold here.

Largely because we all like it.

Happy humming.

Be sure to see Libido's review of the video Carol Queen's Great Vibrations, a great companion to this book!

Good Vibrations: The New Complete Guide to Vibrators by Joani Blank with Ann Whidden, with a forward by Betty Dodson (Down There Press, San Francisco: ISBN 0-940208-26-1. 76 pages, paperback. $8.50)

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