Drawn to Sex by Erika Moen and Matthew NolanDrawn to Sex: The Basics by Erika Moen, Matthew Nolan
Published by Limerence Press on November 6, 2018
Genres: sequential art
Pages: 160
Format: eBook, ARC
Source: NetGalley

The first volume in a planned, 3-volume, sex-education series.

Have you ever had a question about sex, but didn't know who to ask? Well, Erika and Matthew have spent years learning, talking, and creating informative comics about all aspects of sex. Using comics, jokes, and frank communication, they're here to demystify the world of sex and answer your questions—including ones you might not even know you had!

In this first book of the Drawn to Sex series, they explore the practical side of sex, from the basics of what defines sex, to barriers and testing, masturbation, and the ins-and-outs of having sex with other people.

Pick up this fun book if you’re looking to learn something new, understand sexuality better, or know someone (maybe you!) who might benefit from some judgment-free education. Erika and Matthew are here to help you out!

My tl;dr review of this: A joyful, approachable, gloriously inclusive volume on the basics of sex. It welcomes and celebrates consenting adults who are comfortable doing any and all kinds of sex, as well as those who are uncomfortable with some or all sex. Informative, well-researched, friendly, and well worth a read, even if you know plenty about these topics already.

Also, just an aside: while this review won’t show any NSFW images or anything like that, it’s going to be discussing sex and things relating to it, because of, y’know, the nature of this book. If that’s not your jam, maybe give this review a pass.

Non-tl;dr review:

Okay, so I totally requested this from NetGalley because I’m a big fan of Moen and Nolan’s prior work on their webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy (NSFW link, y’all). I actually had not even realized that they kickstarted a three-part published book series on sex until I saw it on the galley site, but I’m so glad to see them making waves and getting the published.

I’m not a super-experienced web-comic reader or reviewer, but I’m gonna do my best here. Bear with me, please!

I love the art style of these comics. I think the word I’d use to describe it is fluid? Or maybe smooth? It manages to convey details and concepts really well while maintaining a fairly limited color palette, and I loved how dynamic the text was on the pages. It was easily-readable even on my laptop screen (the copy I reviewed was an eARC). There’s loads of body diversity in the illustrations, which I loved. And as a nonbinary bi person, I loved how much and how often LGBT+ folks were welcomed in the text (as far as I’m aware, the authors are LGBT+, and that’s a plus in my mind).

The book approaches topics such as STIs, consent, sexual fantasies, sex toys, what sex even is, and more; each topic is addressed with enough thoroughness to grant a decent understanding of it while never getting overwhelming. This is the kind of sex ed stuff I wish I’d had as a teenager.

(Personal aside: not too long ago, I finally found the Holy Grail vibrator for me. It’s the Vibratex Mystic Wand – which these authors have actually reviewed [nsfw link, y’all]. I told a friend of mine about how empowering it was as a low sex-drive and possibly asexual person to have something that really made sex feel fun and fulfilling. She then warned me that vibrators can like…potentially ruin sex/masturbation/your downtown zone. It was definitely a buzzkill, and her words made me feel pretty self-conscious. After doing some research, I found out that’s not true, especially not in a permanent sense. All this is to say that there’s SO MUCH misinformation and so many misunderstandings out there surrounding sex and sex toys, so I’m mega stoked for more books like these to get published.)

Okay, back to business.

Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan hit just the right tone, in my opinion, right from the opening pages:

Sex doesn’t define you, especially how you experience your first times. Sex is about experiencing consensual sexual things that make you and your partner feel happy, pleasurable, and satisfied. Do it as often or as little as you like, it doesn’t change who you are or make you more or less deserving of love, happiness, and respect. Most importantly, do what feels right for you!

I’ve mentioned above how friendly and fun the text and illustrations of this book are, but I really need to say it again: the best thing about this book is how much it emphasize that sex should feel safe, fun, and even silly at times. It underlines the importance of only doing acts you and any potential partners feel comfortable with, and it fully welcomes people at any level of sexual activity into its awesome, welcoming club. It addresses safe sex and protective barriers like condoms and dams without preaching that sex is bad or that if you have an STI, you’ve failed somehow.

This book is like a warm chat with a close friend. You can discuss sex and related things with them in an open, candid way all the while enjoying the humor and lighthearted silliness that comes along with it. If you have questions about sex, or if you just want to get more info on How to Do the Sex, I 100% recommend picking this book up. It’s fantastic.

What did you think about this book, if you’ve read it?

If you want to see more from me, I also post reviews and updates on goodreads, photos on instagram, and sometimes, tweets on twitter! 💕

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