How to have better sex, but not the Cosmo way!

If the covers of the best selling women’s magazines were to be believed, you’d think we were all on a quest to have better sex. Even if that’s true, the thing is… we don’t all want to do it their way. Trying a new position, completing a quiz or sifting through lists of tips to find the ones which work for us doesn’t always seem like the right thing to do. After all, we find different things sexy, are attracted to different people, and enjoy different types of sex, so why can’t there be different types of sex advice? Other sorts of grown up sex education? Some of us want books that don’t rely on euphemisms, and honest discussions where we can realise we’re not the only ones who feel that way.

So, other than buying our friends a few cocktails and asking for their best sex tips when they’re too tipsy to be embarrassed, what can we do to learn how to improve our sex lives? How can we explore new things with our partners without referring to porn or a sensational television show that subtly pokes fun at people who are open about their non-standard preferences?

Well, there are a few books out there that don’t patronise and offer some amazing advice. Lou Paget’s The Big O talks about how to give and receive better orgasms rather than simply listing sexual positions, which is quite refreshing. Then there are titles like Ecstasy is Necessary: A Practical Guide by Barbara Carrellas. Barbara says on her website: “we’ll dive deep into the world of ecstatic experience, beginning with the medium through which most people experience ecstasy – sex. However, this is much more than your typical sex book; it is an exploration of the entire erotic self and the infinite possibilities of ecstatic expression.”

If you’re feeling a bit more x-rated, check out almost any title by Tristan Taormino who has written a number of expert guides, and has also edited some collections of lesbian erotica too. Alternatively, if you want photos that are educational as well as filthy, US ‘sexperts’ Em & Lo have a book that includes photography by Rankin! If you fancy something a bit more practical, you could perhaps book yourself and a loved one into a class or salons to expand your erotic education. Friendly London based stores like Coco de Mer and Sh! hold them regularly on a variety of topics, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

There are all sorts of other workshops available too, if you rummage around a bit. The School of Life has run a one day Sex & Intimacy workshop previously, and people like sexual alchemist Rebecca Lowrie regularly run workshops for all genders exploring various aspects of sexuality. So, there’s no need to resort to buying Cosmo for the sex tips. Unless you really want to, of course. As long as you don’t take one particular source of information as gospel, and never assume that all tips work for everybody, anything you can do to make sex more fun can only be a good thing, right?

A version of this article was first published on BitchBuzz in 2012. Image via Wendy‘s Flickr photostream.

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