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Book Review: Tongue Tied

I reviewed this book which was provided for free by the publisher. However, I do not receive any compensation for reviews. All book reviews are my personal and subjective opinion.

If you are a human who talks to other humans, you should read this book.

Tongue Tied is a work I would have loved to read when I was younger. While seemingly aimed at sexually active couples, Tongue Tied is useful for all people, including "vanilla" single virgins. Stella Harris, the author, covers a range of topics with an overall theme of learning how to get your needs met. Encouraging open and honest communication, Stella gives readers the agency to advocate for themselves and their needs--in and out of the bedroom. Early chapters offer basic ways to improve platonic interpersonal communications, skills of which will carry over to deeper conversations in more complicated relationships. Impressively, there are also exercises to refine your relationship with yourself, a topic most relationship books gloss over.

While reading, I could see how valuable Tongue Tied would be to teens, especially young girls, who are socialized to worry more about hurting someone's feelings than to respect their own needs. Stella gives solid advice on negotiating sex, the influence of money, and how to have difficult conversations (including breakups and rejection), which would prepare these fledglings for the dating world. Coupled with the exercises for identifying personal and cultural biases, Stella does an exemplary job of pointing out and counteracting the unhealthy behaviors that society and the media have convinced us are "normal". A favorite excerpt of mine is on saying or hearing 'no',

I'm excited when someone says no to me, because it means if/when that person says yes to something, I can believe them.

This sort of positive spin is refreshing to hear and shows that all communication is good, even the conversations that don't end the way one might hope.

In a perfect world, Tongue Tied would be required reading as part of every Sex Ed curriculum. With the age of first sexual contact becoming increasingly lower, Tongue Tied gives readers communication tools that otherwise would only be learned after years of trial, error, and pursuit of knowledge. As I was reading, I found myself nodding on a regular basis as I recognized bits of advice that Stella was relaying, and making mental notes of where I first encountered it. Even with all of my various education, Stella still surprised, and I discovered gems of information that were new to me. I'm looking forward to reading through Tongue Tied a second time and doing the corresponding journal exercises. Tongue Tied has so much information all pooled into one place, I'm confident that it is going to be the next standard text in the BDSM community.

You can buy Tongue Tied here.

About the Author

Stella Harris is changing the way people experience their sex lives. As a certified intimacy educator and sex coach, she gives her students the tools and confidence to explore their sexuality safely and free of shame. A national and international speaker, Stella teaches everything from pleasure anatomy, to communication skills, to kink and BDSM. Stella writes a weekly sex advice column for Portland's Willamette Week newspaper, and her erotic fiction has appeared in more than a dozen anthologies.

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