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What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl's Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety Paperback – October 25, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Don't have sex before you read this book! With her usual wit and candor, Friedman writes a manual for sex that teaches, engages, surprises and-most important-puts the reader in charge. What You Really Really Want will change the way a generation thinks (and acts!) about sex." —Jessica Valenti, author of The Purity Myth

"Too many books in this genre promise certain drive-your-man-wild tricks, or they take a side in the politicized debate over hookup culture. Friedman instead has one thing on her agenda: Getting girls to explore and embrace their own authentic sexual identities without shame, fear or guilt. Instead of arguing for empowerment through one-night stands or, conversely, abstinence, she leaves it up to young women to decide what it is that’s best for them. But she also offers guidance along the way, urging them to critically examine the social pressures and media messages that have shaped their understandings of sexiness, sexual fulfillment and love." —Salon.com

"It is a book that many readers may wish they had read earlier in their lives, and as a prospective parent, I'm looking forward to making my children read every last word of it." —Rabble.CA

"While basically permissive, this valuable guide can also help readers with differing views to organize a personal groundwork according their own perspective. Recommended for women and older teens who seek self-insight." —Library Journal

In a world of Pussycat Dolls and virginity pledges, What You Really Really Want carves out a path for real women to have real sex on their own terms. The information and exercises in this book have the power to change your sex life for good." —Susie Bright, activist, author of Big Sex Little Death

"There is more significant, sex-positive, shame-free, life-changing knowledge in a few pages of this book than you'll find in the entire public school sex education curriculum." —Tristan Taormino, sex educator, author of The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580053440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580053440
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Heather Corinna on October 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Caveat: Jaclyn is a good friend and colleague of mine. However, if this book had sucked, I wouldn't have left a review. I'd have sent the author some condolence cupcakes instead.

I was able to review the galley in advance, and I am so tremendously excited it's about to debut. As someone who works counseling women of all ages about sex, sexual health and sexuality, I often hear about how hard some find it to even figure out what they really want, let alone know how to start seeking it out. I feel like I finally have an utterly excellent book I can point them to to help them do just that, and am so grateful for that.

This is a highly inclusive book, which is always refreshing, and it completely avoids prescribing one given sexual or relationship model, sexuality or approach. It does a magnificent job of providing creative tools for the reader to find their own way based on who they are and what they want, uniquely.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book at the book launch tour with the author, and it was awesome. I'm a guy, but I still found a lot of the ideas in the book helpful and informative. I didn't get a chance to do EVERY exercise in it, and a lot of the long-term ones I couldn't keep up over more than a week or so, but it did spark a really great conversation between me and my then partner about desire and influences on desire. If you are interested in the closest thing you'll find to a practical guide to understanding your own sexual interests, this is the book for you.

What this book ISN'T is a psycho-analytic walk through various fetishes or kinks; if that's what you want, this probably isn't the book for you. It's also not a book about the mystical power of sex - although it's certainly sex positive, a big message of the book is that we should each come to our own desire as we want to, and for some of us, that might mean recognizing that we don't have a ton of it. What it will provide is a series of challenges - workable, approachable challenges - for readers to confront as they delve into their own interests and how to share those interests with potential partners down the line.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm almost halfway through, and in my humble teenage opinion, this should be required reading in every high school classroom.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's probably not easy to gauge the efficacy of a book by a woman and for women from a man's perspective. That being said, as a longtime sex assault prosecutor and anti-violence advocate, I can say confidently that WYRRW is a fantastic reference with common sense and deeply fair notions of not only self-protection and self defense (both psychologically and physically) but also self-discovery and self-support. I loved reading this book as a man, and not because I felt I was gaining some sexually valuable inside knowledge. Rather, it made me more attuned to what women often deal with (and that men don't) and how an emotionally healthy, happy and self-possessed woman can interact with a man (assuming she wants to) in a way that's better for both. WYRRW is not just a woman's book (although principally so). It's more of a book on being happy with who you are, what you want, and most importantly how to determine both in the first place. Great work, Ms. Friedman. I look forward to seeing more from you.
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Format: Paperback
Jaclyn Friedman started this book/project because so many young women were coming up to her after her last book asking how you figure out what you really, really want in terms of sex and relationships. I think it's safe to say most of us have had doubts at one time or another about our sexual desires and fantasies, whether they're appropriate or "ok" or just something we're told to want by society.

What You Really Really Want is a workbook full of in-depth exercises for the reader, as well as observations and lessons to help you explore what you're comfortable and uncomfortable with and how to communicate those feelings with your partner(s).

I had the privilege of attending a reading Friedman gave in Vancouver when this book launched and it's really impressive the amount of time and work she put in with a group of volunteers from diverse backgrounds testing the exercises and lessons in this book. If you want to really get to the root of how you're feeling and thinking about sex and how you can build a more fulfilling sex life around that idea of "enthusiastic consent", this will be a really helpful resource.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I had had this book when I was 20. It would have saved me many years of strife muddling through it myself in a toxic, sex-negative culture. After hearing someone recommend it to a younger acquaintance, I bought a copy to read... then promptly bought copies for my younger college-aged sisters. I thought it might be a kind of weird book to get from your sister (my family Does Not Talk about such things), but did it anyway. My sisters were extremely excited to get the book. One reports back that her dormmates are basically lining up to be the next to read it, and thanked me for being someone willing to talk to her about sexuality and sexual health. This is a GREAT resource for opening conversations and giving young women the space to figure out what they want for themselves.

I only wish I knew of an equivalent resource for young men.
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