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S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College Paperback – May 4, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Library Journal (Booksmack! e-newsletter), 6/2/11
“A great deal about body health and maintenance is included. An outstanding resource section offers both print and online information.”

“The Our Bodies, Ourselves for the MySpace generation, this book by the founder of sex ed website Scarleteen.com is a comprehensive course in sexuality and sexual health for teens of any orientation and their parents, teachers and counselors…In a society that all too often scolds and belittles teenagers often deserving of more credit, S.E.X. is revolutionary.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 05/13/07
“This is another groundbreaking book.”
Library Journal
“Corinna has put together a blockbuster of a book for young people dealing with sex and relationships. Much like the authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves and its spinoffs, Corinna answers every possible question teens and young adults could have about virginity, puberty, pregnancy, body image, masturbation, sexual identity, the variety of relationships, and the mechanics of partnered sex. She also addresses topics that are often overlooked, e.g., transgender and intergender identities, realistic teen relationship management skills, and pornography. An excellent resource for preteens, teens, young adults, and people working with these populations; highly recommended for most libraries.”
Lisa Jervis, Bitch magazineco-founder
“Not only would my own adolescence have been vastly less painful and confusing if I'd had access to the accurate, comprehensive, and above all nonjudgmental information that Heather Corinna so carefully provides, but S.E.X. is, literally, a lifesaving book: Corinna's vast commonsense wisdom--especially on topics relating to gender roles, queer sexuality, and gender identities--has the potential to improve the physical and emotional health of anyone who reads it, and to help heal our culture's unhealthy, conflicted approaches to sex, sexuality, and gender.”
Bust magazine, June/July 2007
“Sexpert Heather Corinna is the big sis you wish you'd had when you were a confused, pimply teen…Geared towards 16-22-year-olds of any gender, S.E.X. covers the nuts and bolts of anatomy in a tone that's conversational, not cutesy…it's her holistic approach and deft handling of other heavy topics, from eating disorders to abuse, that make this book a must-read.”
Minnesota Women’s Press, July 2007
S.E.X .itself is revolutionary as a feminist, GLBT-friendly and overall progressive collection of sexual education material. It offers an alternative and uplifting view of sex.”
Toronto Star, 7/26/07
“If you're a parent looking for an accurate and non-judgmental text for your blossoming adolescent, or a blossoming adolescent or twenty-something yourself, here it is.”

About the Author

Heather Corinna is a writer, artist, educator, activist, and Internet publisher and community organizer in her mid-thirties. She has been bringing original, inclusive, informative, feminist, creative, and radical sexuality content to the web since 1997.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (May 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600940102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600940101
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fabulous book. I just gave copies to my sons, 14 and 18, and I'm convinced it's the only sex education book they will need from now well into their 20s.

I gave each of them a copy along with this note:

"Mom and I are giving you this book, and the notes here, so that you have a great source of factual information about sex and relationships all in one place.

"We know you have had quite a bit of "sex ed" already at school, but there is always more to learn, and after looking around, we think this is one of the best resources. It goes well beyond what school teaching offers, and does a better job than I could even in hours of conversation. It's not easy for parents to talk to kids about sex, so this book at least gets the right information out to you and then opens the door for questions and discussion, whenever you want. I have been married once before and was in various other relationships, so I know a lot about this stuff and I want you to know I am totally open to questions and discussion, any time.

"Mom and I like this book because it's really straightforward and very complete, and also free of any judgmental or moralistic viewpoints. Mom and I both think that's the best approach. You have both been raised to be good and moral persons, so you will use your own "gut" (and advice from us, whenever you want it), to choose what you think is right for yourself and the people close to you.

"Giving you this book is not a substitute for talking about these issues whenever we want or need to. In the meantime, here are some tips on sections that we think you should definitely read ..."

From there I went on to highlight the "must read" sections (safe sex, contraception, consent, etc) and told them we would talk about these.

It's a great book and offers comprehensive information in a matter-of-fact, adult manner and in a format that's easy to flip through to find what you're looking for.
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Format: Paperback
There are so many things to recommend this book aimed at youth 16 - 22 (but containing info valuable to a much wider age range) that it's difficult to know where to begin. S.E.X. contains a lot of the information you find in guides aimed at a young readership - anatomy lessons, safer sex guidelines, a breakdown of birth control options, definitions of various sexual activities and infections. The difference here is Heather Corinna's (who as the founder of the world's most awesome sex ed site, Scarleteen, has seen and heard it all) dedication to tugging the rest of society closer to her dream of a world where everyone is "healthy, happy and whole in themselves and their sexuality: in body, heart, and mind."

To that end the book is truly inclusive. In a section on sexual identity Corinna points out that "this isn't the gay chapter" and indeed the book doesn't assume a heterosexual default the way many do - or root itself in traditional gender roles. Nor does it assume that sex is better when connected with love or marriage. The emphasis is unfailingly on communication, being as safe as possible, respecting your own and others' boundaries and fitting sex into the rest of your life in a healthy and enjoyable way.

The slant seems so balanced and logical that it's a wonder society at large is in such a mess when it comes to sex and sexuality. But popular culture with its constant projection of a hyper-sexuality which is unvarying and prescriptive (dictating what sort of bodies we should have, the kinds of activities we should be engaging in and who should be performing them - and how) would seem to be the enemy of this logic.
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Format: Paperback
Growing up with a mother who volunteered as a counselor for Planned Parenthood, you'd think I would have had a good education in the area of sexuality - but far from it, really the only thing I heard about was birth control. Sexuality is such a huge part of every human being though, it's amazing that we leave the "education" to pop culture. Now the parent of 3 teenaged daughters, I was absolutely thrilled to get a copy of this book. I plan on getting a couple MORE copies, since I haven't been able to pry it from my middle daughter's hands since giving it to her.

As many previous reviewers have mentioned, the book covers everything - not just STIs and birth control, but the psychological and emotional ramifications of becoming sexually active as well. It's thoughtful and not at all condescending, and I have to wonder how much better the world might be if kids had THIS as their sex education instead of music videos.

Corinna is fearless when it comes to discussing the gamut of topics, so as a parent I had to be fearless as well, knowing in my heart and head that accurate information is the best gift I could give my daughters.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for 16 year old younger brother. Then decided to get myself a copy to have on hand at age 22. He is a straight male jock in the rural high school bubble; I am a queer graduate of a liberal sex-positive college.

I think this book is the best of a couple I looked at including Nikol Hasler's Sex: A Book for Teens (advantage of that is the shortness and readability if you're worried your teen won't put the time in; however, not as thorough or generally on point with inclusivity) and Changing Bodies, Changing Lives by Ruth Bell (just out of date since 1998 publication i.e. AIDS as death sentence, cultural changes; however, really great narratives from teens about their experiences and feelings). This is definitely the only one of those that I would want as an adult/college student.

I recommend reading or skimming this book before giving it to someone - I ended up adding some notes. For instance, the book is very comprehensive, but I added some notes on technology and sexuality i.e. social media, sexting and associated risks/legal repercussions. I think that is one of the few things that has changed or rather we have developed a greater awareness of the issues since 2007. Also told him now we say "transgender" and not "transgendered." Only other complaint is I didn't always love the organization of the book for use as a reference, but I think as long as someone reads through a lot of it at some point, it wouldn't matter.
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