Books. Don't you just love the smell of them?
The feel of a brand new hardback in your hands? Untouched pages, brand new and shiny... Or maybe you're more of a used-paperback-kinda-gal? Some spend hours, days even, searching through secondhand shops for that perfectly worn copy of a favourite title... Or - you might be in favour of shopping from the comfort of your sofa and ordering bestselling e-books directly to your Kindle?
All of the above are excellent ways of getting your hands on reading materials, but actually, it matters more that you take the time to immerse yourself in a good book, than how you came by it. Whatever your preferred way of shopping, we have done a little bit of the hard work for you and shortlisted 10 books that should be given prime space on your shelf.
Here at Sh! we've been championing female sexual pleasure for years, but the acceptance of talking and reading about female sexual fantasy began in 1973 with Nancy Friday's multi-million-selling collection of real women's fantasies, My Secret Garden. Forty years on from Friday's masterpiece, sex writer Emily Dubberley curated a brand new female fantasy classic for the modern era: Garden of Desires. The stories are red hot, all original, and very likely to make your heart beat a li'l faster...
We cannot not include Nancy Friday herself - everyone should, at some point in their lives, read at least one of Friday's groundbreaking works like Forbidden Flowers: a celebration of a new freedom, where women joyfully accept and rejoice in the awareness of their own inner sexual lives. Liberating and arousing, you won't be able to put it down.
The Sexual Life of Catherine M is the autobiography of a well-known Parisian art critic who likes to spend nights in the singles clubs of Paris and in the Bois de Boulogne where she has sex with a succession of anonymous men. The book is outrageous and liberating in equal measures, and whilst Catherine was perhaps ahead of the times, more and more women are now taking charge of their sexuality and goes to get whatever it is they want. Amen to that!
The tongue is far mightier than the sword - when it comes to sexual pleasure, anyway. She Comes First is a guide aimed at the sexually literate man, but we think all genders should read this book. Oral sex has long been considered an optional aspect of 'foreplay' (a word we're not really into) when its real role is as core play. Oral sex is a dish best served moist and hot, and it should most definitely be the main!
Oral Sex Position Guide - what a goody bag of fun: 69 positions that make fellatio and cunnilingus fantastic and unforgettable! Granted, you do need to be rather nimble for some of the spicier positions, but even if you are not - looking at the photos is a lot of fun too. From mild to wild, each position offers specific benefits such as easier deep throat action, pleasurable prostate play, anal-play access, or maximum clitoral stimulation.
Female Ejaculation & The G-spot, a classic guide by the Doyenne of the Female Fountain, Deborah Sundahl. Clear instructions, scientific facts, history and real-life experiences of women & their partners makes this book a must-read if you are curious about female ejaculation and squirting. It also includes a 'training sequence' if you fancy giving it a go.
The Art of Lesbian Love Making by Rose Black & LillyGluck is a self-published version of lesbian kama sutra, complete with non-stereotypical images - hurrah! This is an explicit and informative guide to authentic lesbian sexuality written to arouse, educate and reveal fresh possibilities in the world of sapphic sex... Extra bit of info for you: the authors are also the founders lesbiankamasutra.com.
Playing Well With Others - your field guide to discovering, exploring and navigating the kink, leather and BDSM communities. In our opinion, this book could also function as a general life guide - that's how good it is. Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams, with 30-plus years of experience in diverse kink communities: top, bottom and switch; gay, bi and straight; female, male and trans; white and POC, have written an inclusive, engaging and informative guide that could easily earn itself pride of place on your sex-shelf.
Carrying on the kinky theme, New Book of Bottoming by Dossie Easton and Janet W Hardy offers an eye-opening exploration of what it means to experience the joy of surrender and the bliss of kink-induced endorphin rushes. A must-read for anyone thinking about stepping into a bottoming or submissive role, as well as anyone favouring a more Dominant position during play.
The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure - the most comprehensive guide to the prostate and its pleasure potential to date. An indispensable manual to P-spot pleasure, this book covers both solo and partner play. You'll learn about techniques for building trust and talking about desires, safety and hygiene information, massages, pegging -positions, toys and illustrated tips about achieving supercharged orgasms - wowzers!