Hot ’n’ heavy reading

Sex books for the polyamorous and the equestrian over-enthusiast

Books never go out of season and this year there’s something for every sexy bookworm on your list.

• For the person with more than enough love to go around: Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino (Cleis) ($16.95).

This author columnist sex educator and bum-sex expert is also an expert on open relationships and her book on the subject covers everything from monogamy with benefits to non-monogamy partnered non-monogamy swinging polyamory polyfidelity solo polyamory mixed-orientation marriages and beyond. Makes plain old monogamy seem downright dull doesn’t it? With her usual sass Taormino helps readers decide if an open relationship could be their thing. She dispels myths and offers practical advice on how to create responsible fulfilling non-monogamous relationships with tips on communication negotiation jealousy boundary setting and conflict resolution. Candid first-hand stories from real people — including a woman with two husbands a suburban swinger couple polyamorous parents and a gay male triad — make this the must-have book for anyone ready to explore the life beyond monogamy.

• For the science nerd: Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach (Norton) ($24.95).

Popular science writer Mary Roach follows up her studies of cadavers and the afterlife with a foray into the world of sex research past and present. She travels the world to uncover the extremes scientists will go to in their attempts to unravel the mysteries of sex. She even convinces her husband to travel to England with her to have sex in a lab so a scientist can observe by ultrasound what’s physically going on during the act. From Latina factory workers hand-staining dildo tips to Columbian researchers who’ve discovered that prostitutes orgasm more easily than feminists Bonk is a funny and revealing look at our scientific fascination with sex.

• For the chronic masturbator with impeccable taste: The Erotic Treasury by Susie Bright (Chronicle) ($35).

The design of this absolutely beautiful cloth hardcover collection contained in a slipcover box marked simply with the cut-out letter X is enough to turn you on. Inside are 40 steamy stories by all of Susie’s favourite erotica writers from Carol Queen to Robert Olen Butler. As Bright’s introduction says the book is like a pirate’s treasure chest full of stories about lovers: heartbreakers foxes maniacs romanticists and virgins as well as freaks love bunnies hell-raisers and utter bandits.

• For the prurient cultural anthropologist: Me Sexy: An Exploration of Native Sex and Sexuality compiled and edited by Drew Hayden Taylor (Douglas and McIntyre) ($22.95).

From the life of a native stripper to why Cree is the world’s sexiest language to whether native people have more or less hair “down there” Taylor’s anthology offers a wide-reaching passionate sometimes funny sometimes poignant picture of native sexuality. Contributors include writer Lee Maracle playwright Tomson Highway and painter Norbal Morrisseau to name but a few.

• For the hot to-be mama: Your Orgasmic Pregnancy: Little Sex Secrets Every Hot Mama Should Know by Danielle Cavallucci and Yvonne K. Fulbright PhD (Hunter House) ($12.95).

That’s right pregnant women can still be sexual! In fact authors Cavallucci a pregnancy coach and fitness trainer as well as a new mama herself and Fulbright a sexuality educator assert that maintaining an erotic connection during pregnancy offers real benefits for mama mate and child. Be it the war between baby sex and partner feeling sexy during pregnancy or third trimester sexual improvisation this guide goes where most pregnancy guides do not.

• For the well-seasoned sexpot: Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 60 by Deirdre Fishel and Diana Holtzberg (Avery) ($24.95).

Based on research and extensive interviews with over 30 diverse women across America some divorced some widowed some newly out of the closet and most no longer concerned about what others think about them. These women are pursuing lovers having relationships with younger men hooking up with women for the first time enjoying masturbation and discovering sex toys. One woman even found her true love at 80. In a society that still refuses to accept that older women not only remain sexual but continue to grow sexually this book is inspiration to women of all ages.

• For the equine over-enthusiast: The Human Pony: A Handbook for Owners Trainers and Admirers by Rebecca Wilcox (Greenery Press) ($33.95).

Whether you prefer your “pony” on two legs or four in latex or leather bareback or adorned this beautifully illustrated guide to human pony play is appropriate for both novice and experienced pony players (that is those that enjoy sexual play in which people like to dress like ponies while their partners “train” them). Aside from lots of great pictures of “ponies” in action chapters include: “What is Pony Play?” “How to Begin Training Your Pony” “Grooming and Handling” and “Scene Development” to name a few. Giddy up!