My wife is addicted to bargains. She gets some special rush from finding an item she wants, marked down to extra-super-sale price. Especially books. Every time we hit the local book store, I wander around while she makes a bee line for the discount section. Eventually, I catch up to her and we finish out the last few aisles together. I can't remember what other books we'd each picked out that day, and in a moment you'll understand why.

As we proceeded down the last row, right there in the middle of the top shelf was this book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex" ... abridged... on audio cassette. My first thought was that if you can't read you shouldn't be having sex. You're either too young or not part of a gene pool anyone I know would want to swim in. Next, I thought of where most people use audio books - in their car or in their walkman. I imagined some overachieving executive type, listening to this as a motivational tape on the way home, or during their daily hour on the treadmill. Finally, in a moment of synergy, the idea of a self-help book on sex and the memory of those instructional tapes with slide-rolls that we used to watch in high school combined in my head.

(The same blandly paternal-sounding narrator from all those tapes)

Narrator: "Now, why don't you try 'foreplay' for yourself? Start by kissing your partner passionately. Do this several times to help arouse her."


Narrator: "Good. Next, firmly yet gently fondle her right breast with your left hand."


Narrator: "No, your other left hand."


To be fair, I didn't buy the tape, and I only skimmed the book itself. However, it's gotten mostly very positive reviews online, and it's into its second edition. From what I read of it, I can see why. It keeps up a good pace and has fun with the subject, giving interesting facts and statistics in the margins as it goes along. Still, like most of the "Idiot's Guides", it covers a lot of ground, meaning you'll need to pick and choose the chapters appropriate to you. I'm under 30, so I don't really need to know about elderly sex, but I'm all there for new information about tantric sex, sex online, and sensual massage.

I didn't pick up this book (or the tape of it), mostly because I didn't feel I needed it. I asked my wife and she said not to worry about it, but maybe she was just stroking my ego. (Beeep!) On the other hand, my being able to make her laugh is a big turn on for her, and now any time I want a chuckle out of her I give her a come-hither look and say, "Beeep!" So, this book on tape helped me without my even buying it. She likes that, too. It's hard to find a better bargain than free.

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