Pros:An interesting read, can be comforting for female amputees.
Cons:It's not really a guide to amputee sex.
The Bottom Line: While this might have a limited target audience I was extremely impressed with Weise's emotional, powerful and touching view of her post-amputation life.
Recommend this product?
Preface: As you may gather from the title, this is a book about sex and amputees. It will contain some naughty bits so if you are overly sensitive about such things, skip this review.
The first time I had sex after my amputation it was a rather awkward sort of scenario. Do I take my prosthetic off or leave it on? Then there's the conundrum [for lack of a better word] of grabbing your ankles and yanking them behind your head. How the hell are you supposed to do that when you only have one ankle? [it played out like a turtle going off balance and ending up on its shell] Two years later I still laugh when I think about the "first time". Regaining your sexual comfort zone after a catastrophic loss is something that can take years; you always have that lingering fear that someone is going to snap mid-coitus and say, "I just can't handle the stump". Jillian Weise takes those fears, insecurities, quirks and thoughts and puts them to paper with "The Amputee's Guide To Sex" but do not confuse this with a manual about having sex with an amputee - if anything it is the gimps version of those silly "Chicken Soup For The Soul" books.
Then there are the people who suffer from acrotomophilia; a fetish or attraction to amputees. That should not be confused with apotemnophilia which is the want or need to become an amputee. Then there is the fear of amputees, that's called apotemnophobia. If you are looking for any of that in "The Amputee's Guide To Sex" you are going to be disappointed. The best way to sum this book is is to compare it to "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell" only written by an amputee female without the cruel sexual overtones. Humm, I guess that wasn't the best comparison that could be made. In any event, this was one of the books that was on the "Things You Might Want To Read" list that popped up on the computer library list.
"The Amputee's Guide To Sex" has some great wit to it; not everyone is going to get the subtle jokes or extreme puns that author and amputee puts on paper. What exactly do you do with your prosthetic when you are ready to have sex? How do you know what the other person is thinking about your stump without asking about it and ruining the "moment"? There's no easy way around it but this isn't a manual about how to have sex with an amputee, how to score with an amputee or how to [get ready for it] sweep an amputee off her feet. If anything it's a well written and carefully edited journal of sorts. Most of what you will read in the book is in poem format; I am sure that everything is based on personal experience but its been 'transcribed' into smooth flowing but emotional poetry. I am not someone that sits around reading books of poetry and the closest I have probably come to it is reading the journals of Henry Rollins. Even so, I was not disappointed with
Some of the lines from the book that are so powerful include:
"I've come to expect giving up skin"
"Know where your limbs are at all times; know where your partner limbs are at all times."
"I think of the wives of the twenty thousand masons who raised the Taj Mahal. And how the emperor ordered a mass amputation of thumbs so the craftsmen could never build a more perfect mausoleum"
"Perfection would be knowing how to climb a staircase without the clank of metal"
- To get the most from those you have to read the book. The tough thing about it is that not everyone is going to "get it" - to understand the emotions she is pushing through the pages to you. I get it. I know what she means when she says "He says he likes sleeping with me. He sleeps with metal rods and believes they are human". Suffice it to say, non-gimps are going to have some trouble getting the full meaning of the book because its mostly poetry; sure, you can read it and laugh a little here and there but things like phantom pains and phantom sensations ["...but that doesn't stop you from asking what it feels like when your hand is here, now here over here..."], awkward moments, hospital visits, public perception and taking a mental inventory of your sanity.
So where is the sex? Oh, it's there but it's not anywhere near what I would consider XXX material. Weise talks about some of her sexual moments but not in smut-style. If I wrote a book like this it would be a hundred times more graphic and I would have used the f-bomb more than the one or two times I remember it appearing in this book. I found some comfort in reading it though; something I did not expect at all. Knowing that there is someone else out there that has had the same thoughts as you can be settling to the nerves.
Non-amputees won't learn anything from this book. It wasn't written to educate anyone or to offer tidbits of advice outside of the somewhat sarcastic opening about how to properly remove your prosthetic before having sex. The sections that stuck with me were "Beautiful Freak Show", "Abscission" ["..your favorite post-coital pastime is nicknaming my scars..."] and "Ode To Agent Orange". This is an easy read but not something that some people are going to understand - "understand" meaning to be able to "get" what some of the passages actually mean. Being an amputee can suck sometimes. Being a female amputee throws some strange moments at you when you least expect them. I applaud Weise for showing so much of her soul in this book; sometimes its easier to put things into poetic verse than to write a straight laced book about your experiences. You have a sense of security - the never-ending loophole excuse of "I didn't mean it that way" if someone confronts you about something you wrote. If you ever wondered [get ready for it] what it was like to walk in the shoes of an amputee this might shed a little light on things but I strongly warn you that this is in poetic form, not biographical.
^V^ © 2010 Freak369 ^V^
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