Review: The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure

I recently ran into Charlie Glickman at Catalyst Con and was reminded that I’ve been remiss in posting a review of his latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure, co-authored with Aislinn Emirzian. My tardiness is certainly not due to a dislike of the book, which covers all the bases in a friendly and professional manner that draws in prostrate-owning readers and folks that play with them alike.

This thorough instructional guide includes all the expected information about anatomy and how to find the damn thing, but it goes well beyond that. Reading it, I was reminded of when I first read The Whole Lesbian Sex book thinking a book couldn’t possibly teach me anything new about queer ladysex and was delightfully proven wrong. I suspect even old pros will find something to learn here, and it’s an excellent guide for beginners, warming the reader up with answers to frequently asked questions, quotations from a range of ordinary folks discussing what they love about prostate play, a reassuring chapter on hygiene, and interesting sidebars on topics such as the root chakra and names or images for the prostrate (avocado seed!!)

As a gender and sexuality nut, I was glad to find that the authors addressed the range of prostate-having folks immediately in the introduction, rather than sticking a “some women have prostates too!” note at the very end, which always feels like a “don’t get mad at us!” or “please don’t sue me!” caveat to me. They use male language thoroughout for convenience, but acknowledge that most material applies to any gender and also include some specific information about trans women’s varying gender identification experiences around the prostate and hormonal differences in a sidebar, encouraging partners of trans women to (gasp!) communicate about these things.

For those needing nitty gritty, this book delivers. Multiple how-to chapters cover the mechanics of penetration, finding the prostate, prostate massage, perineal massage, toys, and PIA or anal strap-on sex. There’s also a lot of information on emotions, communication, and psychology throughout, addressing stigma around anal play, where prostate play fits into a sex life generally, how mental state affects play, how to walk a partner through finding the prostate, and how to bring up the idea of prostate play, among other topics.

To be perfectly honest, I try not to write book reviews this glowing, but I had trouble finding things to criticize in this guide. It makes me think of a sexy textbook, with all the hints and sidebars and how-tos. If you’re interested in prostate play at all, I definitely recommend you take it to class.

This post was originally published on the blog Sex Positive Activism, which has now merged to become the sex & relationships section of Queer & Now.

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