Desert Isle Keeper
Sex Tips For Girls
Could you use a laugh? I know I could. Let me suggest a book called Sex Tips For Girls, humorist Cynthia Heimel’s take on the state of the female/male union in the post-feminist era. Blunt and funny, it addresses such issues as “Who are we?”, a look into the psyche of a gender who no longer knows the rule of the day. From the days of the flappers, when “we did the Charleston, smoked furtive cigarettes, and bobbed our hair” to the seventies, when “we sought to find ourselves. We hated men…No one was allowed to light our cigarettes for us without getting a karate chop to the neck,” we knew who we were and what to do. But what now?
As you may have guessed, this book was written in the early 80’s, adding at times to the amusement as the author pauses to moon over fellows who “look like Nick Nolte on a good day,” or commiserates with a friend whom she has woken out of “ones of those dreams” about Warren Beatty. Also, as a result of its date of origin, it fails to address concerns we’ve come to take for granted, like AIDS, a fact which some readers may find distracting, while others just find it a relief to recall sexual relations prior to that horrifying illness. On the lighter side, however, readers who do recall the early 80’s will no doubt delight in the doting relationship Heimel has with shoulder pads, black stockings, and a young Richard Gere.
Among the important advice Heimel imparts are such topics as “How to Cure a Broken Heart,” “The Great Boyfriend Crunch,” and “Zen and the Art of Diaphragm Insertion,” the last of which involves deep meditation, and an extremely amusing conversation between the author her unrepentantly difficult diaphragm, who rightfully wants to know “why should I? Just so you can get your rocks off with that sap? I’ll bet he wears nylon jockey shorts.” The language is explicit, and perhaps not for the easily offended, but it probably won’t bother anyone who can watch HBO for more than an hour or two without difficulties.
Despite the name of the book, relatively little of the musing included actually have to do with the act of sex, while a great many have to do with emotions and relationships, and the way we confuse love with sex, and can’t tell love from infatuation, instant lust, obsession, a crush, horniness, boy-craziness, and the phenomena known as “serious like,” and “lukewarm love.” Since most living females above the age of 12 or so have experienced more than, say, three of these, it’s a hilarious and telling bit of insight. Meanwhile, there are sections which, as one might be lead to believe by title, do actually relate to sex, and deal with problems such as sexual guilt, sexual boredom, and sexual insecurities, each of which is handled with a drop of seriousness, in a sea of humor.
Not just for single girls, this book also broaches the fearsome subject of “Sex And The Single Parent,” cautioning women that “The mother who says, ‘This is your Uncle Roger, darling,’ will soon have a wise-ass for a child”. But even the happily married or otherwise attached reader will be glad to find that the book offers wisdom and wit for multiple aspects of a woman’s life, from sexuality to clothing choices to diet and exercise philosophies, the latter of which include bicycling, jumping rope, intense sexual activity, and imitating Mick Jagger. No more than one of these at once, one would hope.
While admittedly, I enjoy this book most because of its comedy – it was probably the first book I ever read that made me fall off of anything (couch, chair, bed, etc) from laughing so hard – there is another element that is equally enjoyable and intriguing. Amidst the laughter, there are some serious and interesting observations (although never so serious that you need to stop laughing for long) regarding the modern woman’s search for herself and for love – real love, that is, not infatuation or obsession, or lust – in today’s world. She addresses the fact that women are raised to be coy and indirect, while our brothers, unfairly, are allowed to bash things with baseball bats and say what they mean, a circumstance which leads to women having little idea who they really are, and men who think women are a complete and utter mystery. Behind the laughter, there is a very real message: get to know yourself, and get to like what you see in yourself. The rest will fall into place. And if it doesn’t, you can read this book for a couple of hours, and not care.
While there are about a million and a half other gems that I’d love to share with you from this book, I’m afraid you’ll have to purchase it yourself, since I don’t have the space or copyright authority to do so. I know you’ll be happily surprised by just how much you love it. And, like me, you’ll be eagerly looking forward to the followup, Call Of The Wild Girl: Crucial New Sex Tips, due out in February of 2002. It would be hard to top this book – but fun to see the author try.