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Advanced Sexual TechniquesReview - Advanced Sexual Techniques
by Linda Banner and Sinclair Intimacy Institute
Running Press Book Publishers, 2004
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Dec 13th 2005 (Volume 9, Issue 50)

Advanced Sexual Techniques is a book by Linda Banner with a DVD by the Sinclair Intimacy Institute. It is aimed at heterosexual couples, and explains how to use self-pleasuring in sex, how to stimulate the G-spot, do oral sex, use sex toys, explore anal pleasure and engage in erotic play. The book is coy with its illustrations, showing black and white photographs of clothed men and women kissing or hugging, while the DVD is a very explicit demonstration of a variety of sexual activities.

The book is short, at 176 pages, and has no diagrams or explicit images. Only the first 134 pages are devoted to sexual instruction, since the final section of the book is devoted to some short erotic stories. The instructions it gives are quite brief and do not seem particularly sophisticated. To just give one example, in the list of "sexual positions that sizzle," the book lists some variations on the missionary, the "woman astride" position, rear entry, and standing, and a few positions for when women are pregnant. So it hardly as exhaustive as The Joy of Sex or most other sex manuals, let alone the Karma Sutra. Most chapters end with referrals to videos in the Better Sex seriespublished by the Sinclair Institute, and it seems that really the book is little more than a way to package the DVD that comes with it.

The DVD that comes with the book is actually the second one in the Better Sex Video Series, and it briefly refers to the first in the series, which apparently demonstrates simpler sexual activity. The couples here are of varying ages, maybe from their twenties to their fifties. They look like normal people and don't have "porn star" bodies. The settings look mostly like staged bedroom sets. The DVD shows men and women masturbating themselves alone and together, masturbating each other, performing oral sex on each other, and having vaginal and anal intercourse. Each section is introduced and narrated by a number of experts who have been filmed in a separate studio against a black background. Sometimes they appear within small screens on the side while the main picture shows a couple demonstrating what they are talking about. There is inoffensive background music in the background during the demonstrations. The attitude of the whole program is that sex is pleasurable and if people shed some of their inhibitions they will enjoy it even more. The production quality is good, although the whole thing feels little clinical and occasionally low-budget. There is a short extra selection on the DVD which shows some of the people behind the scenes in the making of the main video, and shows the two people who introduce the whole program messing up their lines a few times. The video could be potentially useful to some people who want to get some ideas and see them demonstrated.

Calling a book Advanced Sexual Techniques carries an assumption that it is possible to divide techniques up into basic and advanced, and indeed that sex involves techniques. Of course, this assumption makes a good deal of sense, but thinking about sex this way may turn it into a mechanical process. More than that, it suggests that there are right ways and wrong ways to have sex, in the sense that there are right ways and wrong ways to do needlework, woodwork, or playing musical instruments. Maybe there's something awry in thinking about sex that way, even if obviously when two people learn what each other like, there can be a great of learning what to do and how to do it. One obvious problem with it is that is focuses almost purely on the physical, and says very little about the psychological side of sex. Obviously, if sex were simply a matter of two people performing techniques on each other, it would make little difference who one's partner was. There may be some people for whom that is basically true, but for most people, a central feature of a sexual relationship is how you relate to the other person psychologically. Neither the book nor the DVD has anything substantial to say about that part of sex.

Selecting a sex manual or instructional DVD is a very personal choice. The Advanced Sexual Techniques book here is not very impressive at all, but the DVD is reasonably good for what it is.

 

 

2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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