For anyone who is a lesbian, has thought they might be a lesbian, has lesbian tendencies, or has a lesbian mum, friend, sister or girlfriend -¦ then Woman To Woman will be more than welcome.
The idea for the book really did come out of a dinner party conversation, says author Carol Booth, rural doctor -“ and happy lesbian -“ for many years. From the strength of this conversation, I realised that resources about lesbian sexuality, for either emerging lesbian women or the medical profession, were scant, so this will hopefully redress the situation.
One might almost call this The Little Book Of Esteem, though at 15 chapters and 277 pages, it is much more than that. It’s a how-to, a why-is-that and oh!-so-that’s-what-it-means! for anyone who has a hankering to find out exactly what is what.
There have been -˜how to’ manuals about heterosexual sex for years, but not for lesbians, Booth comments. Why should it be so difficult?
In an astonishing array of interviews and observations, Booth distils her information into one pristine conclusion, that whatever we are and whoever we would like -“ or believe ourselves -“ to be, it’s absolutely okay. No matter what your peccadillos, you are okay. In fact, you’re more than okay.
Don’t like cunnilingus? No matter. Find something that turns you on. Not into every-night-of-the-week sex? That’s okay too. Try and find your timing, sweetie, and don’t be ashamed of what makes you feel real. And, at the risk of being politically incorrect, there are even hints at how to deal with bisexual feelings (without going to hell in a handcart).
Booth comments in her introduction that even her friends had jokes about lesbian sex. My doubt was compounded by my friends’ jokes [which suggested that] lesbians don’t do anything. Like most heterosexual couples, my acquaintances did not discuss the details of their bedroom practices, she says. When I went hunting, the local library yielded only a few dusty books on lesbian feminism. Finding accurate sexual information was not easy.
I myself spent long hours staring out of the window of my train, fantasising about women I was attracted to, she muses. I would imagine how women might behave in bed and think, -˜I’m sure that’s what they do.’ Then I would be beset by doubt: -˜Have I really got it right?’
Chapters cover the basics like Women’s Sexuality and Knowing Your Own (And Another Woman’s) Body; but What Do Lesbians Do?, Am I A Lesbian?, Does It Really Matter?, and Lesbian Cou-rage are pivotal chapters for both novice and old hand.
My personal favourite is the collection of statements and viewpoints from lesbians who range in age from baby dykes to the older crowd. Whether you’re young or old, you may experience physical setbacks which can prevent the full expression of your sexuality, and sometimes, you quite simply just don’t feel like it.
Booth is the first to admit that her book isn’t the last word on lesbian sex. I’m sure I’ve got heaps to learn, she laughs. And if you are a lesbian woman reading my book and you feel that it’s not what it’s like for you, by all means, write to me. Let me know the way in which I’ve incorrectly represented your world.
The bottom line is, however, you are normal, you are fabulous and you are a unique individual. You are everything you can be. Read this book. If anything, there’ll be something to share with your girlfriends.
Woman To Woman -“ A Guide To Lesbian Sexuality by Carol Booth is available from The Bookshop Darlinghurst (RRP $24.95).