When The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sexual Health and Fitness landed on my doorstep, thankfully covered in FedEx packing so that my mail carrier still considers me to be an upstanding young woman, I really didn’t expect to learn much. After all, I took a sex psychology class in college and I know plenty about fitness. Work out, eat right, feel great, have safe sex, right? That seemed like the logical conclusion to me. However, I learned a lot of interesting facts in this book. I’m not sure I’d bring up my new factoids at dinner with Grandma on Sunday afternoon, and I’d probably put the book in a drawer before company comes over (I can see the conversation with my in-laws now: “So, what are you reading…oh…um…”), but it’s definitely worth picking up or at least reading a few pages at your favorite local bookstore.
Note to readers: The following material may not be suitable for those under the age of 18 or for those who lack the maturity of at least an 18-year-old (although I’m sure you’ll find it perhaps even more entertaining, so read on).
And, no, we’re not paid by any company whose product we review, so I’m being totally honest here. In fact, to prove that this 300-page book is both informational and entertaining, I’ve compiled a short review of each chapter in the book along with a fact that you probably didn’t know. So, like Salt-N-Pepa once said, let’s talk about sex, baby!
Chapter 1: What Is Sexual Health and Fitness?
Good question, right? This chapters lays out (pun intended) the entire premise of the book and sets a tone for the publication.
Fun fact—Attitude and persistence are your best buddies when you are on the road to sexual fitness. (This is the least juicy of the 16, so stick with me.)
Chapter 2: Sexual Myths
This one dispels everything from having to be in love to have good sex to how important size is to how old is too old.
Fun fact—As long as you feel good, age is nothing but a number. Many have sex well past their 70s. Too many jokes there, so I’ll let you come up with your own.
Chapter 3: Emotional Balance and Sexual Health
This isn’t really breaking news, but emotional and sexual health are related. This chapters tells you why you don’t feel like mattress dancing when you’re stressed, anxious or sad.
Fun fact—Anxiety is a tricky thing. For some people it heightens the sexual experience (think exhibitionists), and for others it distracts from the moment. Take a few deep breaths in either situation.
Chapter 4: Healthy Body, Healthy Sex
Everything from circulation to hormones is covered in this one, including a nice description of organic vs. dynamic fitness. (It just sounds dirty, don’t it?)
Fun fact—Becoming more flexible will increase your sexual choices. Yoga participation just went up 25 percent.
Chapter 5: Your Five Best Bets for Improving Sexual Health
In a nutshell, the five best bets are eating a healthy and complete diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep and quitting bad habits (read: smoking, excess alcohol consumption).
Fun fact—The Vitamin E in asparagus is said to be a sexy food. The authors suggest laying a few spears on a plate in cream sauce for a “suggestive touch.” I can hear you. Stop your giggling.
Chapter 6: Maintaining Top Sexual Health and Fitness
This chapter gets down to the nitty gritty, detailing upper-body, lower-body and core exercises to help you stay fit in the boudoir.
Fun fact—Men can do Kegels/pelvic floor muscle training, too! In fact, when men do them regularly they can decrease premature ejaculation and become multi-orgasmic by cultivating the ability to orgasm without ejaculating. To heck with Viagra, you think men would be all over these at the gym.
Chapter 7: Cleanliness Is Next to Sexiness
Can’t have a sex book without talking about keeping the bits clean, I guess. This one goes into detail about keeping the balance between clean and too clean.
Fun fact—And I quote, “Waxing is not for the scrotum!”
Chapter 8: Sexual Health and Fitness—The Mind/Body Connection
The role your brain and outlook on life plays into your horizontal mambo sessions. Suffice it to say that sex isn’t just physical. And stress can kill desire. So make sure you take some “me” time to equal more good knockin’-the-boots time.
Fun fact—Sex has been shown to reduce stress levels FOR A WEEK. Bottom line? When you’re in a committed relationship be sure to get some at least once a week.
Chapter 9: Fateful Attraction: Can Love Make You Fit for Sex?
Here, the authors’ take on the chemistry of love, attraction and relationships. They also help you define what’s in love, long-term love and lust.
Fun fact—Cuddling is a drug. Seriously, when you cuddle—especially after sex—your body releases endorphins and oxytocin.
Chapter 10: Viral Villians
Here comes the important safe sex stuff. There is lots on STDs and why they’re so dangerous, so protect yourself!
Fun fact—Condoms only provide some protection against HPV. Be smart about whom you jump in the sack with because two of the highest-risk strains cause almost all cases of cervical cancer in women. (Okay, that was actually two facts and they’re not exactly fun, but they’re important!)
Chapter 11: Bacterial Bad Boys, Fungal Infections, and Critters
Not sure I ever want to see the word “critter” in relation to sex again as it just kind of creeps me out, but this chapter tackles common bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and scabies. Ewww.
Fun fact—Although yeast is mainly an infection that women get, uncircumcised men can get it, too. Have the fella wash the little fella with gentle soap and water, and apply an antifungal medication and they’re usually good to go without a doctor visit. After all, I know how much men love going to the doctor.
Chapter 12: Contraception and Sexual Health
Basically, this chapter is about how to get knocked up, and how the products that stop Fertile Myrtle in her tracks can jack you up.
Fun fact—The official term for “pulling out” (which isn’t a good method of contraception, by the way) is coitus interruptus. I didn’t make that up.
Chapter 13: Risky Sex
Compulsive sex is the topic here, along with how risky sex can jeopardize your sexual health. For you bad girls/boys out there, there are also tips on ways to decrease your risks and still have fun.
Fun fact—Men who have more sexual partners have an increased rate of prostate cancer. Researchers aren’t sure why or even if the increased sexual activity causes the cancer, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Chapter 14: Sexual Dysfunctions
Have low-desire? Orgasm issues? This is your chapter.
Fun fact—Priapism is a condition where a man’s you-know-what stays erect for more than four hours. It might seem like a great thing to some, but it’s actually a medical emergency because the reduced blood supply can cause permanent tissue damage. Yeowsers.
Chapter 15: Medical Conditions That Cause Sexual Problems
This chapter examines how medical issues such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma and cancer can affect sex and what you can do about it. It also touches upon medications that may decrease your libido.
Fun fact—For most people, having sex is about the same level of activity as climbing two flights of stairs. No word on if the length of time it takes to cover those stairs equates to the average time spent in the sheets.
Chapter 16: Other Challenges to Your Sex Life
Everyone wants a healthy sex life, and this final chapter addresses normal changes in desire due to hormones and age, along with some more medical conditions, namely those related to aging.
Fun fact—The strongest association for a satisfying sex life is with health. Period. So, stay healthy and happy and the stuff in the shack usually comes naturally.
Did ya learn something? See? I told ya.
Wanna learn more? Comment below or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll pick one lucky reader who will win a copy of the book! —Jenn