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Books about Masturbation

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Masturbation is the most frequently practiced sexual behavior in the world. Yet there are surprisingly few books written about masturbation, and most have been written in the past thirty years. Whether you’re looking for ideas on masturbation technique, or you want to know the history of masturbation myths or taboos, you’ll likely find something of interest in this collection of the best books on masturbation. All images courtesy of Pricegrabber

Getting Off

By Jamye Waxman
The first celebratory, supportive, nuts and bolts guide to female masturbation in over a decade, Getting Off is a welcome addition to anyone's sexual library. Sex educator and writer Jamye Waxman is as informed as she is exuberant about the subject, and her friendly style is accessible to nervous beginners and old pros alike. I particularly appreciated that she isn't afraid to offer detailed, step-by-step technique advice, since this is precisely what many women need to start their exploration. Getting Off also covers the history and psychology of masturbation and documents its slow foray into mainstream culture. 294 pages, 2007.
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Sex for One

By Betty Dodson
If you’re looking to learn more about yourself and increase your own sexual satisfaction (both by yourself and with a partner) this is an essential read. Sex for One is both personal and political in its call for all of us to make better love to ourselves. It has none of the smarmy self-help lingo, but is inspiring and practical. 208 pages, 1996.
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For Yourself

By Lonnie Barbach
For women who want a structured guide to exploring their sexual potential, this book offers a wonderful and gentle guide to learning to become orgasmic, and learning to explore what role sex and sexuality can play in your life. Inspired by hundreds of therapeutic and sexual consciousness raising women’s groups led by Barbach, the book doesn’t just cover masturbation, but it plays a key role in the path to sexual discovery. 256 pages, 2000.
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Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women

By Julia R. Heiman, Leslie LoPiccolo, and Joseph LoPiccolo
A more straightforward guide written by sex therapists for women who don’t experience (or don’t regularly experience) orgasm. Some may find this book too clinical, but for anyone who likes step by step instructions, exercises, and to the point information, Becoming Orgasmic is a great resource. The Becoming Orgasmic video which is a visual companion to the book, is available separately. 288 pages, 1988.
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The Joy of Solo Sex

By Harold Litten
One of the few books that focuses solely on male masturbation, the Joy of Solo Sex, along with the second volume entitled More Joy offer stories, masturbation techniques, and reassurance that masturbation is a key part of sexual health. 193 pages, 1993.
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Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation

By Thomas Laqueur
An important moment in masturbation history the publication of Solitary Sex brought academic legitimacy to the topic of masturbation. Written by historian Thomas Laqueur, author of the seminal sexo-historical text Making Sex, Solitary Sex outlines the way masturbation went from an innocuous sexual behavior, to the most maligned form of sexual expression, to a primary tool of self-empowerment.

The Big Book of Masturbation

By Martha Cornog
The closest thing to an encyclopedia of masturbation, The Big Book of Masturbation covers a wide range of perspectives across history and across cultures. With plenty of research, opinion, and lore on masturbation, Martha Cornog has compiled the most thorough cultural reference on this much maligned and practiced sexual behavior. 400 pages, 2003.

Good Vibrations

By Joani Blank and Ann Whidden
This book is meant to be a guide to using vibrators, and it includes some information about partners, but mostly it’s about masturbation. Written by Joani Blank, the founder of Good Vibrations and Down There Press, this book offers practical masturbation techniques, plenty of reassurance for the masturbation novice, and a friendly tone that makes exploring new forms of masturbation seem less scary and more exciting. 75 pages, 2000.

First Person Sexual: Women & Men Write About Self-Pleasuring

Edited by Joani Blank
This compelling collection features stories (both real and imagined) that focus on masturbation. It’s like picking up the diaries of a dozen strangers and reading their secret masturbation fantasies and thoughts. I wouldn’t label this hardcore erotica but it’s both a fascinating read, and in parts genuinely hot. 184 pages, 1996.
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I Am My Lover: Women Pleasure Themselves

By Joani Blank and Phyllis Christopher
One of the only photo books in the world that celebrates masturbation. Twelve photographers present images of twelve women masturbating. Aside from the beautiful large format of the book, what sets these images apart from pornography is that fact that the women are not performing for us (or the camera), they are entirely engaged in the task at hand. 108 pages, 1997.

Masturbation as a Means to Achieving Sexual Health

By Walter O. Bockting and Eli Coleman
A great resource for anyone who teaches about sexuality, this book is meant less for laypeople than it is for professionals. It covers a great deal of the psychological and sociological research that’s available on masturbation and clearly articulates why masturbation is considered, by most sexual health educators, to be the cornerstone of sexual health. 147 pages, 2003.
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