Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SEX: A Book for Teens; An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, Sex and Safety

As I read the first sentence - "You've probably already figured this out from the title, but the book you are holding in your hands right now is about sex" - I was excited to learn of the things the school board of my small country town deemed not important for 14-18 year old's to learn. After finishing the book, I questioned if author Nikol Hasler, was on that school board? Not because of the material covered, or the lack of materials covered, but why the somewhat misleading title was used?

Her book, SEX: A Book for Teens; An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, Sex and Safety - my problematic keyword being Uncensored - does a good job introducing  topics dealing with the teenage body, teenage sex and the safety precautions which should be used by all fornicating people to the intended teenage audience. But I found it to be very censored. But this isn't about me pitching a fit over the name of the book, it's to inform the readers of this piece about its contents.

Within the pages, readers will find information on the changing male and female body. The ways a young man or woman can label themselves with a sexual identification tag. Who, where, when, why, how and how often people masturbate. How to decide if it's the right time to lose your virginity. What foreplay, oral, vaginal and anal sex are. How to protect yourself and each other. And of course, the "secret side" of sex. The secret side being kinks, fantasies and fetishes. (WARNING: previous link may be NSFW - though I seen no nudity)

Chapter 1, "Your Body: How it Works and How to Treat It" was pretty informative and I feel it was the best part of the book. She gives good information about what is, or will be, happening to the bodies of boys and girls during "the change." Though I feel she tried a little to hard to bring amusement in to the chapter by listing other terms for the human body parts greatly involved with sex - chesticles, pork sword, fruit bowl and honey pot (if you don't know what these terms mean, buy the book.) By doing this, I feel the young people reading it would laugh and miss the point of the chapter.

Chapters 7 and 8, "Protecting Yourself: How to steer clear of disease" and "Birth Control: The art of not making babies" are also nice additions. She writes about male and female protection and how to use whichever you choose. She also informs the readers of "bad" techniques to use as a contraceptive. Which, no matter our age, we should all practice the good and forget the bad, unless of course, you're trying to make a baby or are aiming for one of the STI's she writes about in the same chapter.

At the end of each chapter she has added a Q&A section with questions from either viewers of her web show Midwest Teen Sex Show or has made up herself. Questions such as, "I was having sex with my girlfriend, and we were both virgins, but she didn't bleed. Then we had anal sex and her butt did bleed. Is her hymen in her butt?"


The book is 192 pages, published in 2010 by Zest Books of Orange Avenue Publishing.


runner4life23 said...

This book sounds like a hoot, although for young adults, such as jr. high students, I don't know... This is a topic that usually is censored; some people want to really avoid it and others try to look for it everywhere. Only if you have a mature enough mind would someone be able to appreciate such a book. It may say a lot of "gross" details, but its life, it happens everyday. I may want to pick this up during the summer just to see what drove Hasler to write such a book.

Sarah Rau said...

I agree with the above comment that especially for Jr. High age this book may be information overload and too uncensored for that age. Though, for high school age seems like they have heard it all at that point and at least a book like this could set the record straight! Your Q&A example question at the end is a perfect example as to how clueless some teens are about sex. Even if the book is "TMI" to some, it's better to be informed than to be clueless...specially when it comes to pregnancy and STI's.

Freddy in the Chi said...

Ladies, first and foremost, I value your opinions without doubt, but do you feel it wise to avoid the topics relating to sex all together or really censor the text and write in a rather scientific dialogue so nobody understands it?

For example:

"Before engaging in coitus, partners should precede sexual-intercourse with some type of erotic stimulation, be it fellatio, cunnilingus or some other pre-determined method. If the coitus engaged is vaginal, anal or oral, the male - and in some cases the female - should use a thin sheath of latex, polyurethane or animal intestine to help the prevention of impregnating the female involved and the transmission of sexually transmitted disease and/or infection."

Would anybody between the ages of 14-18 understand this?

If we are to use the theory of having "mature enough minds" to be able to read this book, boys wouldn't be able to read it until they were 25 or 30. We're a slower maturing group than ya'll.

As far as the book being too much for "junior high age" students to read, according to The Young Adult Library Services (YALS) and American Library Association (ALA), YAL is written for an intended audience between the ages of twelve and eighteen. By these outlines, that's 7th grade to seniors. 7th graders, 12-13 year olds, are most likely in puberty at this time. Let's hope they aren't having sex yet, but all the body changes are going on. Why would you not want them to read about what's happening to them?

BookPaige12 said...

I remember reading a book similar to this when I was a preteen and found it very helpful in answering those questions I was embarrassed to ask my parents or peers. I'm glad there are still books like this out there but am concerned by your appraisal of "not uncensored". How will kids learn if they don't get straightforward information? Answering questions with more questions are being cryptic or evasive is not an effective strategy to help keep kids safe.

Freddy in the Chi said...

No no, you misunderstood. I want the straight forward answers, without sugar coating, so young adults will understand the answers to their questions. I want the answers to be uncensored.

Freddy in the Chi said...

I do believe there is a paragraph missing from this post. Wonder where it went?

Freddy in the Chi said...

hahahaha...never mind about the missing paragraph, it's in a comment, not the review. silly me.