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Hooking Up: A Girl's All-Out Guide to Sex And Sexuality Paperback – September 5, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Madison, author of a popular sex column in the Tufts University newspaper, offers candid answers to questions young girls feel uncomfortable asking parents or teachers. Madison realizes she was lucky to grow up in a home where sex was discussed openly, but saw many of her friends without resources when it came to sex education beyond the old condom on the banana in health class. Now, at age 22, Madison is still young enough to remember what it was like as a young girl, but experienced enough to offer advice for real-life sexual situations. Sex-positive, empowering and very funny, Madison writes in chatty prose, without eschewing fact or medical accuracy. Starting with the basics ("Vaginas: What the Hell?") she covers menstruation, STDs and birth control before moving onto more complicated issues like how to handle a guy who complains about wearing a condom, what to expect when you do it for the first time and what exactly constitutes a rape. Sensitive issues are approached with humor and realism: when is the right time to lose your virginity? what do guys really think about relationships? what if you find yourself attracted to another girl? This is the book you wish you'd had as a teenage girl. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"In Hooking Up, Amber Madison has created a compendium of critical and explicit information for young women entering their sexual domain. This crucial compilation of funny, raw and incredibly honest writings is revolutionary for the 21st century female, encompassing the wisdom of Erica Jong, the fear and beauty of Anne Sexton, the outrageous humor of Margaret Cho, and the intellect of Gloria Steinem. All hail Ms. Madison, I will build a shrine made out of vibrators in her honor, and worship."
-actress and author of Free Stallion Amber Tamblyn

"…offers candid answers to questions young girls feel uncomfortable asking parents or teachers …at age 22, Madison is still young enough to remember what it was like as a young girl, but experienced enough to offer advice for real-life sexual situations. Sex-positive, empowering and very funny, Madison writes in chatty prose, without eschewing fact or medical accuracy… Sensitive issues are approached with humor and realism…This is the book you wish you'd had as a teenage girl."
-Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591024706
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591024705
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,033,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edward Coburn on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got a copy of this for my 16-year old daughter but after I read it, I want to make sure my 15-year old son reads it too. Be prepared. It's graphic. But you can either let kids go out there unprepared and hope for the best, or you can give them a chance to learn about and think about things in advance so when they get into sexual situations they are prepared to make good, safe and enjoyable decisions. With the help of solid professional support, Amber Madison has done a great job creating a book that speaks to it's audience with a credible style. As the publisher of health information for the general public, I see a lot of books and other resources and this one is on my short list to recommend.
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Format: Paperback
One of the most important things that can be done to encourage adolescent and young women to make safe, responsible decisions about their sexuality is to provide them with the tools and information necessary to make those decisions. Amber's book, Hooking Up-A Girls All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality, does just that, and does it in a very balanced way. She discusses the positives AND the negatives associated with a variety of behaviors and decision-making processes, and presents girls with the information necessary to understand how and why their bodies and emotions function as they do.

Amber writes in a conversational tone and with a sense of humor that makes the book an easy read and, perhaps more importantly, easy to comprehend. The book covers just about everything young women need to know in a short, concise format that is not intended to be a treatise on the subject, but rather an introduction to what they need to know to understand how their sexuality impacts them and their bodies at this age. It is also a good read for guys who want some insight into what women face as they learn to manage their own sexuality.

This book accomplishes its purpose so well that I have placed it at the top of my "Must Read" list for teenagers and young women. I wish I had had this book or a book like it when I was in high school, and I'd definitely recommend that any parent give it to their daughter.
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Format: Paperback
HOOKING UP: A GIRL'S ALL-OUT GUIDE TO SEX & SEXUALITY comes from a Tufts University graduate who studied human sexuality - but expect not a science-laden treatise, here. It's a most readable, hard-hitting advice column to young women on sexuality, dating, and sex and covers all the basics, from understanding monogamy and sexual risks to contraception - including how to correctly use a condom and assessing problems with their use. Expect a candid, yet analytical, survey which trends where other sex guides fear to go, making it much more useful for modern women than competitors which dance around the subject.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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Format: Paperback
Twenty-two year old recent college graduate Amber Madison has penned a non-fiction book about sex & sexuality that puts it on the line for young girls (and their parents). Nothing is off limits in Hooking Up-A Girls All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality (Prometheus Books). Amber starts with the basics (like describing the various sexual organs), and gets down to the details that some people may be apprehensive to ask about in conversation. From vaginal discharges, yeast infections, sexually transmitted diseases to pregnancy it's all here.

Amber also tackles tough issues like body image, sexual orientation, rape, relationships and abuse among other topics. I think this is a great book for young women who want to learn more intimacy. The layout and illustrations make for easy reading. The book also has a conversational tone to it.

Amber Madison is a graduate of Tufts University. She studied human sexuality in her degree program and she wrote a column in the Tufts Daily about sex, safe sex, and relationships.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book for adolescent girls. It provides a ton of information that will not only help girls become more familiar (and comfortable) with their bodies, but how to deal with boys in dating and sexual encounters.
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Format: Paperback
One of the reviewers - David L. Jenkins, from Virginia - comments, "How graphic is the chapter on the benefits of Abstinence? Counter culture concepts can be just way so.... freaky." Translation: there *is* no chapter on abstinence, as I found out when I actually read the book. Evidently this was meant to be sarcasm, but without a broader context a "clever" one-liner like this zinger becomes unintelligible.

That said, I do wish Madison had spent somewhat more time on abstinence, so I knocked off a star for that.

I was also disheartened that the book is coached entirely in "girls with guys" terms and seems written exclusively for heterosexuals. There *is* a "Chapter 14. Sexual Orientation: Gay? Straight? Questioning", in which the words Gay and Straight are crossed out. This chapter feels like an afterthought and one that really is restricted to the questioning element - "Gee, how do I know if I'm gay or not?" Only one page is dedicated to being gay as an actuality, with the header "I'm Pretty Sure I'm A Lesbian - So Now What?," followed by facile bulleted paragraphs -

- You are not alone.
- You are still normal.
- You are still at risk. (ie. of contracting STDs, or of becoming pregnant if you still choose to have sex with men)
- It will be OK.

That's...nice?...but here's an experiment: try "I'm pretty sure that I'm Straight - So Now What?" and see if one page is sufficient.

No, the author wrote a book to cover *that* eventuality. And here's the thing: much of the information in this book is something to which women across the spectrum can relate. Had Madison simply used more inclusive language throughout the book she would have done beautifully.
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