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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
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
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
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.