Herbenick, associate director and research scientist at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, as well as a sex columnist and author (Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction), and Schick, a social psychologist at the center have penned a book “for anyone who has a vulva, loves someone with a vulva, came from a vagina, or is just plain curious about their parts.” The two Ph.D.s cover a number of vulva-related topics, including the parts of the vulva, women’s attitudes toward their genitals, vaginal problems such as yeast and bacterial infections, and sexual issues. Anything but priggish or clinical, the authors also tackle such subjects as grooming genital hair and how to make a vulva costume or throw a vulva-themed dinner party. The book is also filled with fascinating facts about the vulva (for example, the word “cunt” may have evolved from the Asian goddess Cunti). While imparting current research and useful advice, the authors play with words (i.e., “The Age of Clitarius”) and include such humorous anecdotes as the tale of a woman who inadvertently used her child’s glittery craft washcloth to wipe her vulva before visiting her gynecologist. Readers “18 to 80” will find this informative yet lively text goes above and beyond in addressing everything they ever wanted to know about the vulva and vagina. (Publishers Weekly 2011-10-03)
This book about the vulva makes The Vagina Monologues seem tame. Written in a chatty style by two scientists at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, it gives explicit details about sexually transmitted infections, piercings (they may tear condoms), vibrators (nonporous materials, such as glass, are best), lesbian relationships (sex toys), tampons (they can’t get through the cervix), and pubic hair (Playboy models mostly shave). Chapters titled “Meet the Vulva,” “Vulvalicious: Vulvas and Vaginas in Bed,” “The Hair down There,” and “Evulvalution: Vulva Culture” end with a quizzes. A typical question and answer: “When do doctors recommend that an average woman should douche? Never ever.” The writers share stories about themselves, such as when Schick used pubic hair dye. Sometimes they get too cutesie, using such made-up words as “cunt-parisons” and “cuntclusions.” The photographs, which depict women’s vulvas and a knit vulva from the International Vulva Knitting Circle Collection, are certainly unusual. Herbenick and Schick’s intimate guide will educate and entertain women who grew up with birth control and Sex and the City. (Booklist 2011-10-15)
This diverse and informative tour spans health, sex, and V-culture. While the thorough health and sex chapters cover pretty standard sex-book territory, the numerous stops on the culture route pick up on less commonly mentioned size/shape variations, pubic hair styling and coloring, labiaplasty, V-knitting circles and other V-crafts, vulvas in prehistory and myth, V-activism, and a DIY vulva costume. Kinsey Institute researchers Herbenick (Because It Feels Good) and Schick bring extensive knowledge together with a welcoming-all-options attitude. References and an excellent resource list encourage readers to explore favorite topics further....Necessary and entertaining cultural content for 21st-century gals, teens and up. (Library Journal)
Lips are no longer sealed as Herbenick and Schick expose everything you want to know-need to know-about having a happy, healthy vulva and vagina. While remaining thorough, evidence-based, and inclusive, this easy-to-read advocacy effort will have you spreading 'em as never before, whether for self-care or stimulation. (Yvonne K. Fulbright Ph.D, sexologist, sexuality educator & author of nine books, including Sultry Sex Talk to Seduce Any Lover)
I didn't move my lips when reading Read My Lips except to smile often. Authors Debby Herbenick, PhD and Vanessa Schick, PhD., have a light touch, which is something much to be hoped for from anyone concentrating on women's delicate parts. Where else might one learn within the first twenty pages eighty different names for female genitalia, common health concerns that might afflict their owners, and how to attend a costume party dressed as a do-it-yourself vulva? This book offers excellent and thorough information and can be used as an owner's or user's manual, most preferably to be read together. (Isadora Alman, MFT, author of Doing It: Real People Having Really Good Sex)
Under-appreciated and misunderstood, our vulvas and vaginas need allies. Herbenick and Schick are perfect teachers, breaking down myths and engaging readers in practical and fun ways. An e-vulva-lution is definitely on its way. (Dr. Kat Van Kirk, sexologist and host of the podcast Sex Chat with Dr. Kat and Her Gay Boyfriend)
Informative, entertaining, empowering, and compassionate; this book almost made me wish I was straight. This book will save lives-sex lives and otherwise. Buy three copies-one for your daughter, one for your son, one for yourself. (Dan Savage, Savage Love columnist and founder of the It Gets Better Project)
Riveting - I read the whole book, cover to cover, in a single sitting. Written from the perspective of a warm, non-judgemental and super-knowledgeable best friend, this book is invaluable for anyone who is parenting a daughter. This book will make a huge contribution to the lives of women and girls - helping them to know and appreciate their bodies more, keep themselves healthy, and experience greater sexual pleasure. Read My Lips will answer questions you didn't even know you had! (Robin Milhausen, Ph.D., Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, Canada)
A delightful guide to the vulva that doesn't neglect the star of the show, Ms. Clitty. Drs. Herbenick and Schick demystify everything from labiaplasty to pubic hair trends to female ejaculation with the latest research. A book that will inform both women and men of all ages; parents included. A celebration of everything vulva! (Betty Dodson, Ph.D., artist, author, and sexologist, www.dodsonandross.com)
The Goddess Inanna sang songs of praise to her "wondrous vulva," and now you can sing along! Read My Lips is a must-read for owners of vulvas and all the people who love them, a complete guided tour to some of the most amazing territory a person could ever explore! (Carol Queen, Ph.D., staff sexologist, Good Vibrations and Founding Director of the Center for Sex & Culture, San Francisco)
This book is a must have....This is an entertaining and informative step into the demystification of the vagina. (Twisting the Lens)
Nothing is left out of this book. Whether explaining, with humor, the differences between a vagina and a vulva, or writing in a more serious vein about what it means to take control of your sexual health, the authors make serious topics more accessible to the average reader. (Feminist Collections: A Quarterly Of Women's Studies Resources)
About the Author
Debby Herbenick, PhD, is Associate Director and Research Scientist at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, the Sexual Health Educator for The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, and a widely read sex columnist for various newspapers and magazines. She is also the author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction. She has served as an expert on the vagina and vulva (and other sex topics) for The Tyra Banks Show and The Doctors and writes about sex for MySexProfessor.com, Psychology Today, WebMD and Men's Health magazine. She is also a member of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease, the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health, and the International Academy of Sex Research. As a widely cited sex expert, she has been quoted in more than 500 magazine and newspaper articles including those in The New York Times, Glamour, Marie Claire, The LA Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Cosmo (US), Cosmo (UK), Women's Health, Men's Health and SELF. Vanessa Schick, PhD, is a social psychologist at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University. She has conducted a variety of studies on the vulva that have been published in peer reviewed journals ranging from the changes in the portrayal of the vulva in sexually explicit magazines to understanding how women's concerns about their vulva appearance impacts them in the bedroom. She has presented her work to a variety of diverse audiences ranging from the Kinsey Institute to students in the classroom to sex researchers at European Federation of Sexology conference in Rome, Italy. She is also a member of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease and the International Academy of Sex Research.
Dr. Herbenick and Dr. Schick are also two of the scientists behind the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB).