Monday, 30 January 2012

Review: "Tickle My Tush" by Dr. Sadie Allison

I was asked to review this book and although I was probably in the minority in actually doing so - I've seen other bloggers refuse to say yes on account of the fact that this book has the word "tush" in the title - I agreed. It's called Tickle My Tush, and it's by Dr. Sadie Allison.

No, I've never heard of her either. I know an American married lesbian couple called Sadie and Allison - Allison is Robinson's older sister - but unless Dr. Sadie Allison is a pseudonym for these two writing in unison (and her picture on the book doesn't make it too likely), I've never heard of her. According to the cover, she's "America's Pleasure Coach", and that's a registered trademark, so it must be true. However, for all that yells "HEY, LOOK AT ME!" from the gaudy cover and incredibly cheesy blurb, the doctor does appear to know what she's talking about.

Tickle My Tush (yes, I know - I'd call it TMT, but that makes it sound like an explosive) is essentially a sex instruction manual focusing on the bum. There are some initial chapters about why the bum is great, but most of the chapters are things like "how to put your finger in it, " "how to lick it" and "how to put your penis into it". Those aren't the actual chapter names, but they may as well be. Now, I've never had full anal sex. I had it briefly once, but that was very, very brief and I don't talk about it. So I can't vouch for any of these techniques she describes, forcing me to discuss the language of the book, which I suppose is what I was meant to do as a reviewer.

C'est la vie.

Okay, so - the book itself. Well, as I said, it's mostly sex tips, interspersed with cartoons which I suppose are meant to be funny, and occasional pearls of wisdom with a drawn version of Dr. Sadie and the caption "Dr. Sadie Sez". I have a bit of an issue with the cartoons, as in all the illustrations of sex, the man depicted is fit and rugged, with a six-pack and well-defined contours. I looked at my thighs this morning and almost cried. But that's just me being me.

I digress. As I said, Dr. Sadie clearly knows her stuff. The chapters are brief and some of the things she says stuck in my head as a reader. I have, in fact, got a bit of a thing for licking girls' bum cheeks - giving the occasional rimjob as well, that's about as far as I go when it comes to kink - but I've never actually done any of the things described in the analingus chapter. I'm assuming this book is written for couples who want to me bore adventurous; it's laid out in that order, anyway ("mild to wild" is how it puts things, although that makes me want to gnaw my own arms off), with the more gentle stuff to begin with and MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF ANAL SEX towards the end. So, for a couple looking to work through the various areas of anal pleasure, this may well be the book for them.


Having said all that, I didn't like it. Why, if it's so useful? Well, I can't say much for the way it's written. Dr. Sadie says early on that she's going to use euphemisms, but I don't see a need for such things if you're going to go into graphic detail anyway. And the euphemisms she uses are... well... grating. I can just about cope with "rimming", but "color" (note the lack of a U) to refer to "feces" (note the lack of an A) set my teeth on edge, "taint" has nothing to do with a perineum, "pleasure inch" and "pleasure tunnel" don't bear thinking about, and I particularly don't like the term "A-spot".

I mean, come on. "A-spot". Really. And it's repeated several times on every. damn. page. I thought it couldn't get any worse until she started using the phrase "He-spot" (to describe a man's G-spot, because lulz it rhymes!). I tried to get along with the language, I really did. I tried to get the puns without groaning, and I tried to see past the PG-rated language to get to the luscious anal sex bit. I even tried to read the "Dr. Sadie Sez" bits without an open and willing urge to crawl under my chair and die, but it was tough going. It just seemed so... well... American.

Okay, yes, I know Dr. Sadie is American and her audience is American and this is an American book and all, but I assume you're meant to take it seriously, and you just can't with the constant flow of terrible puns, teeth-grindingly irritating language replacing words that shouldn't be veiled in a sex book and words like "booty", "buttplay" and "switcheroo". So, uhm, I can't say I found it easy to read. At least it's short.

Would I recommend this book? Well, maybe. After all, I assume the tips are good and anal sex, which is a bit of a contentious issue sometimes, is explored pretty thoroughly. And if you happen to be in a relationship and want a guide to anal sex (rather than just trying it yourself without being an idiot and seeing what happens), this might be a helpful book for you, so by all means have a read. It's unlikely to get a UK release as well, so if you actually want to read it, I'll send you my copy. Just ask me for it. Seriously. I'll give it away at the Erotic Meet if you want.

But for me, I just found it a bit too corny to be tasteful, and a bit too tasteful to be instructive. Which is a shame, because the author comes across as quite knowledgeable at times.


Anisa said...

"It just seemed so... well... American."

Gah, I hate our reputation as the idiots of the world. However, we spell things the way we spell things. I'm sorry we annoy you to the point of being grating by leaving the u out of color and the a out of feces.

I'm trying not to get defensive, but you don't do the stereotype of English snobbery any favors with this review.

Innocent Loverboy said...

American spelling doesn't really irritate me that much. The reason I mentioned it a bit in this review is that that language used in the book seemed to be forced American. - it's difficult to describe, but it would be hard to read this book without sounding it out in an American accent in your head.

The spelling wasn't really a plus or a minus point exactly. The main thing was the overabundance of US slang, and not just general colloquialisms - half the book appeared to be reliant on the low-level language to hold it up. Not US English that made it too American... but forced US English, perhaps.

Molly said...

Interesting review... I got sent this book to review as well. I don't usually write reviews on my blog, or use my blog in that way, but when they offered it to me I said they could send it as long as I was under no obligation to write anything. They agreed.

On this occasion I am going to write little something about this one. For me it was not the Americanisms that annoyed me but the renaming of things with slightly coy language which really bothered me.


Rory... said...

Oh no, is this the lady that `tickles pickles´ as well? I got that book as a joke for my 18th birthday and remember my boyfriend snorting and sarcastically asking if it was written for children... And he actually is American.

Innocent Loverboy said...

@Molly: I agree about the language. As I've said, it does sound American but I was also annoyed with how coy it was - almost as if she was trying to mask the very topic she was writing about.
Interestingly, I asked the same. I don't often write reviews either, and if I do it's under the proviso that they're totally honest.

@Rory: The very same. I'm considering giving this to my sister for her birthday if it hasn't gone by then. I gave her condoms for Christmas so I could get a theme developing.

Catharine said...

You are quite fond of bums.