I wanted to read a book about the G-Spot, and the folks at Cleis Press sent me Violet Blue’s The Smart Girls Guide to the G-Spot in exchange for an honest review.
This is a book that functions well as an introductory text. Violet Blue’s no-nonsense tone makes for an engaging read that doesn’t attempt to tie essential values to the G-Spot. Instead, Blue offers the information as indications of what G-Spot exploration might make possible. I tend to get nervous whenever I read anything about the body, as many times, writers and scholars imbue body parts with values and divide women’s bodies up into parts and then pit those parts against each other. The attempts, for example, made by some to “find” and master the (thus singular) *spot* for women’s pleasure are a prime example of this.
It’s not just that Violet Blue avoids these conceptual frameworks, she confronts them head on, early in the book. The Smart Girls Guide to the G-Spot is simply what it claims to be: a practical guide that centralizes reliable informations, humor, and practical advice. But, Violet Blue also offers a critique to some of the traditional positions that make value judgements about certain body parts. She is well aware of the colonialist narratives that frame the discussions of women’s bodies. It is what nerved me about reading it, in the first place. Blue, however, sees straight through me: early in the book she confronts many of the mainstream myths about the G-Spot, and also affirms to the nerved feminist reader like myself, that the G-Spot actually complicates the divide-and-conquer model of erogenous zones. Speaking on the “G” in G-Spot Blue writes:
It’s not some random letter, nor was it named by some guy who wanted to plant is name in the female body like some astronaut landing on an exotic planet and claiming it for his country. Nope, the spot was named by a woman for a colleague who risked a lot to develop IUDs and cervical caps at a time when people were being killed for homosexuality in Germany and actually dared to talk about female orgasm when the United States was checking out the Kinsey reports and flailing about madly for smelling salts like an uptight school marm who pretends that no one exists below the waist (pp. 13).
I love that The Smart Girls Guide to the G-Spot includes historical and theoretical perspectives, as well as, practical ones. I know that for me having these perspectives in the text makes me more engaged and actually contributes to my exploration. Working on the floor of a sex shop, listening to the experiences of customers, friends, and lovers, and in my academic studies, I consistently see that folks distressed about their orgasms, particularly where they come from and whether they happen or don’t happen from external or internal stimulation. These fraught internal debates distress me greatly. As Blue notes in this book, the compulsion to make value judgements about our bodies and their various sources of pleasure is furthered by both an insistence that the clitoris as a “feminist” source of pleasure and by cult-like groups which worship the G-Spot as a portal to higher consciousness.
This isn’t to suggest that Blue downplays the awesomeness of the G-Spot (or the clitoris or butts either). No, she just wants a more complex conversation about bodies to take place. As a book, The Smart Girl’s Guide to the G-Spot prioritizes pleasure and possibility. It’s not just that the G-Spot is awesome and you should know about it, it’s that exploring the G-Spot has the potential for pleasure and a furthering of self-knowledge. Blue is also attentive to the fact that some folks don’t enjoy G-Spot stimulation, and eases the reader’s mind as to what this “might mean.”
I’ve been obsessed with learning about the G-Spot for quite a while now. And while I could give you a 2 hour lecture on the classist fundamental concepts in Western Marxist theory, I’m terrible at sciences and anatomy, I get confused easy, there are so many nouns and bizzarre things that still feel more like magic to me than empiricsism, but The Smart Girl’s Guide to the G Spot provides an anatomy lesson that is accessible and easy to follow. Learning helps me feel more empowered and the suggestions offered by Blue are easy to put into practice and helpful. One of the really rad things about The Smart Girls Guide to the G-Spot is that it also features some extra inspiration via some good smut from Alyson Tyler. Tyler’s two short erotic stories break up the more straight forward info laid out by Blue and I find that it alters the pace and well, helps you feel inspired. The stories can also help frame how to put Blue’s suggestions into practice.
All in all, I dug this book. It was a quick read, an informative one, and one that gave me the low-down I didn’t quite have on the G-Spot. I recommend it to newbie G-Spot explorers everywhere.
Thanks again Cleis Press for sending me The Smart Girls Guide to the G-Spot in exchange for my unbiased review.
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