October 31

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Book Review: Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf (A Sex Ed Comic Book)

Firstly, you can buy the book here: (Click!)

I picked this up for several reasons; Because it’s a sex ed book and I like knowing what’s out there, because I like graphic novels, because it is a collaborative effort and anthology of different perspectives, and because I’m always looking for resources to pass along.

My thoughts are as follows:

It’s absolutely useful to the stated target demographic, teenagers. However, it’s both more broad and more narrow than that. I WILL DELINEATE!

  • It’s a great book for 99% of adults to read, too. The focus is on “We didn’t learn this stuff as teenagers, so let’s make a resource for them!” which is great – but, you know, that means the adults reading it never had this resource either, so it’s going to be new information to most of them as well. I think it’s a book everyone can stand to read at least once.
  • CIS males are not well-represented, regardless of orientation. They are the supporting cast in most of these stories, arguably vilified in some, and as a result this is perhaps not a great book for them to read if they are looking for someone to relate to. It is a GREAT book for them to read to understand some perspective, to learn about sexuality as a spectrum, and to see what is out there. (I will note that, you know, most resources have the CIS male perspective front and center, so not every resource needs to be about them, but exclusion (intentional or not) is not a helpful move.) Because this was a project based on submissions from the general public, I understand that every submission is a personal, valid, real experience – but it seems that the editors did not make much of an effort to canvas outside of Queer, mostly female, demographics. There are no gay males (or almost none?) and few male perspectives in general. I feel like more of an effort should have been made to represent them as protagonists.
  • With the above in mind, it has a *couple* uplifting pieces about CIS males who cross-dress for erotic pleasure, who engage in alternative sexuality practices (like BDSM) and those are worth looking into. The depictions of them as supporting characters can certainly offer some perspective about how partners see and experience them, for better or worse, and I’m a fan of information, so dive in, boys.
  • There are a couple GREAT pieces on sexual exploration and alternative sexualities, kink, sexuality for people over 50, etc. that I will probably scan and post in the near future.
  • It is a great resource for biological females who are Queer or in the process of transitioning gender. It is not a great resource for biological males who are Queer or transitioning gender.
  • It is a great resource for women who are trying to fully experience their sexuality.
  • There are a couple pieces for asexuals! Not many, but they exist, which is more than most sex ed books can say – and they were very good, I felt.

So, you know, it doesn’t cover everything, but it covers *some* of the marginalized communities, and none of us can really understand sexuality and our partners if we don’t (at least partially) understand or consider the full spectrum. That sounds like bullshit to some of you, I’m sure, but if you’re reading this, you know at least one Pansexual, Queer-identified, Kinky, CIS woman who engages in anonymous play with strangers on a regular basis, and if you want to get the most out of the experience, shouldn’t you know what all those descriptors mean?

In short, add it to your library for sure, but don’t rely on it as your only source.

Note: I owe you guys like ten thousand book reviews, but my reading list is long as hell, so you must be patient. I WILL tag my book reviews, and possibly add a “suggested reading” list to my site somewhere.