Monday, September 5, 2016

Review: Oh Joy Sex Toy Volume 3

Title: Oh Joy Sex Toy volume 3
Authors: Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan
Publisher: Oni
ISBN: 978-1-62010-361-6

When I selected this, I knew I was getting into a series that I had not previously read, however I assumed that the series would be one that would lend itself easily to new readers coming in with random volumes. Not only was I correct in this, but OJST itself even addresses this point.

On a side note... don't read this at work or in any location that you think might not be overly appropriate for strong sexual matter. This sounds like a no brainer, but I'm somewhat used to having some things along these lines be more cute diagrams and speech bubbles than fairly detailed pictures of people getting it on with other people and themselves. This book has those detailed pictures, which in my opinion is kind of a selling point - you can't educate unless you show what you're writing about, right?

Erika & Matthew think the world of sex is pretty rad.

Using humor and research, their awesome comics are about everything that relates to sex. They review sex toys, share sex education, interview sex workers, and crack horrible, horrible puns, all in the name of promoting sex positivity.

In this third volume they visit a swingers’ house party, a queer porn set and cover all sorts of topics like HPV, foreskins and UTIs, in addition to the newest and oddest sex toys. Each volume is a unique dive into the world of sex, making this book a great standalone addition to your shelf whether you’re already read the rest of the series or this is your introduction.

Can I just say that it's the sex positivity alone that made me want to read this? There are far too many things out there that treat sex like it's something to be objectified or despised. Even worse are the ones that try to pass themselves off as open minded or positive, only for the work to have various "buts" and "ifs" thrown into the work. The romance genre is especially notorious for this, as it's common for the book to treat sex like it's liberating one or more of its characters... but usually only if it's between a committed pair. It's heavily frowned upon for a character to enjoy sex with multiple characters and when it is done, it's typically done to illustrate how the character is a "slut", "cad", or something wrongfully deviant from the ideal, which is a character that is only interested in sex with their One True Love. I don't mean to digress, but I need to stress how common it is to find works that, while being more sexually open than some of the other works out there, still aren't entirely sex positive and put certain negative connotations on things deemed socially incorrect by the mainstream populace. (And by this I mean things like multiple sex partners, open relationships, and the like - not things that are out and out morally and legally wrong, such as pedophilia.)

That being said, on with the review.

The artwork in this book is incredibly playful, which suits the tone and mood that its creators are going for. They want you, the reader, to have fun looking at the book, learning from the successes and failures. With some of the topics in this book it could be all too easy to use a darker and more serious artwork style, which would potentially run the risk of making something seem less open or negative, so the lighthearted style seems to be very deliberately done. The volume features a wide range of topics, some of which I'm actually glad to see in print somewhere. It's refreshing to see someone cover vagimus, for example, something that effects a lot of people and isn't covered all that heavily anywhere.

I was partially afraid that Oh Joy Sex Toy would just be a complete love fest for everything and everyone. By this I don't mean that it'd be awful to have a "yay for everything" book, but it's good to have a critical look at some aspects of sex and we get this to a degree with the sex toy reviews and Erika debating whether or not to star in an adult film. It's interesting to hear her reasons for not going through with everything, which is part of what makes this book so cool to read - that we get these different perspectives.

This series might not be for everyone, but it's something I wouldn't mind getting the complete set of, just because it's so nice to get a wide perspective on things.