Book Review: Drawn To Sex: The Basics
Despite being a longtime fan of artist Erika Moen, I actually put off reading Drawn to Sex: The Basics; I had read all of her comics online at Oh Joy Sex Toy. However, having recently sent Drawn to Sex to My niece, I wanted to review it. Drawn to Sex by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan is a compilation of their sex education comics arranged from super basic "Am I ready?" to more advanced with "How to Rock a Threeway". As a professional pervert, I knew many of the covered facts, but it was still quite refreshing to go over.
I purchased Drawn to Sex for My niece for several reasons. Erika and Matthew's writing style is fun, approachable, and inclusive while still being very informative. Frequently cracking jokes, they make the reader feel at ease while discussing topics that can be embarrassing or even taboo. They speak to the reader (and often to naive cartoon stand-ins) at a very basic level, though never shaming their naivety, choices, or feelings. Through this, Erika and Matthew's tone remains friendly, open, and non-judgmental which is essential for reaching people. I deeply appreciate the time spent on discussing important (yet frequently glossed over) topics of consent, tolerance, and sex positivity.
Drawn to Sex is very approachable to the younger crowd. The cover is very tame other than the word "sex" printed on it, making it fairly easy to read in public without being embarrassed (if you're the timid type). Being a condensed version of facts, the information in Drawn to Sex is easily digestible and the illustrations keep the readers engaged. I love that Erika and Matthew are very open about the fact that they are not an experts on these topics, which I feel makes them more relatable to the reader. There's always more to learn; the authors encourage readers to do further research on their own and points them in the right direction to do so.
Though all of the above are great selling points, the major reason I bought this for an important adolescent in My life is the diversity. Erika's illustrations are not that of your standard cookie-cutter sex-ed book, as she covers a variety of sexual orientations, gender identities, and body types, including those with disabilities and physical handicaps. Almost as important as the different overall body depictions are the assorted drawings of the genitalia. All drawings are anatomically correct, including what the ENTIRETY of the clitoris looks like! The viewer is shown an array of genitalia exposing them to the variances they might encountered when engaging with a partner, rather than perpetuating the idea porn-perfect symmetry and circumcision being the norm.
Lastly, what really sets Drawn to Sex apart from other sex education books is their coverage of technique. Most other sex ed book would not include actually *gasp!* touching the genitals! My elder sister, whom identifies as queer, was impressed saying,
"I'm glad it exists. You used to have to go searching pages deep in Pornhub for this sort of advice"
Erika and Matthew not only cover touching oneself but mutual masturbation, vaginal sex, oral sex, and anal sex. Additionally, vaginal and anal fingering, handjobs, and fisting are all covered, including safer sex practices with Cosmo-worthy tips & tricks. Basic sex acts seem like such momentous activities to first timers that it warms My wicked heart to see them explained lovingly and with mild amounts of fumbling.
Overall, I love this book and highly recommend it to others. Drawn to Sex is definitely something that should be in every library and accessible to teens. I plan on giving a copy to My children...or at least "accidentally" leaving it out on the coffee table for them to read.
About the Authors
We're a creative couple that love sex education and comics, and we've been making our own brand of sex ed comics for a handful of years on our website, Oh Joy Sex Toy. We write our comics together, then I draw them, and Matt does the coloring and all the business parts. It's our passion to create comics about sex that have equal shares of laughs and learning!
We're setting out to make the sort of educational content we wish existed when we were younger: sex-positive, inclusive, judgment-free. Comics that invite you to learn and have fun along the way.
This is the first book in our series, and it's covering all the basics, such as the definition of sex, how do you have sex safely, and other topics like consent, masturbation and getting to know your own body. We're so proud of it and excited to share it with you.