Libido: Reviews: Sex Tips & Tales
REVIEWS
Sex Tips & Tales from Women Who Dare

By Sharon Peters

What grabbed me about this book is how many of the people in it we at Libido world headquarters know personally or have professional knowledge of -- and whose work we respect. It’s a who’s who of female movers and shakers. Literally. These women have moved and shaken.

What makes the mix compelling is that editor Jo-Anne Baker -- whom I do not know -- has provided a forum for the women to get personal, and what comes through is a blast of passionate compassion. These are babes who have allowed themselves to navigate through the world based on trusting their own feelings, and who have both learned a lot and who share that knowledge through their work. In short, these are women who have devoted their lives to exploring and expressing feminist sexuality and in the process have made American society better and smarter and braver about itself.

Who are we talking about here? Well, how about Annie Sprinkle, Veronica Vera, (Libido contributing editor) Carol Queen, Tuppie Owens, Candida Royalle, Joan Nestle, Kat Sunlove, Deborah Sundahl, Dolores French, Nina Hartley, Nan Kinney, Joani Blank, Susie Bright and more -- it’s an impressive line up.

These are the women who have taken the risks, and what’s clear from Tips and Tales is that it hasn’t all been fun and games for them along the way. I like it that Baker speaks directly to that point in her intro: "All of the women in this book have been courageous in their fight for women’s sexual rights and have often faced censure, personal attack, and even threats of violence -- just as their counterparts last century (sic) did. Many of the sexual rights women take for granted were fought for by the women profiled in this book…"

That is what makes these women so important for all of us who believe in the rights of adult individuals to explore, consensually, the possibilities and limits of sexuality.

Certainly Sex Tips & Tales is not a critical analysis of the work of these women. That would also be a valuable book, maybe something Baker will take up next. But for now, I’m happy with the celebration of the women who appear in Sex Tips & Tales from Women Who Dare. As Baker puts it, "In part, the purpose of this book is to redress this rejection and to publicly pay tribute to the contributions they have made in creating a sex-positive world."

That’s certainly good enough for me.

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Sex Tips & Tales from Women Who Dare, edited by Jo-Anne Baker (Hunter House Publishers, 2000 [www.hunterhouse.com] ISBN: 0-89793-321-4. 246 pages, paperback, $13.95)

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