A review of Mother/Daughter Sex Advice by Susie Bright & Aretha Bright
As a mother of a young tween daughter I was very excited to hear about Mother/Daughter Sex Advice. Although our talks at the moment are very basic we will be venturing down the paths of this book. I’ve been a fan of Susie Bright ever since a friend highly recommended her books and website in a blog post. While perusing the site I found an interview clip with Tristan Taormino about her new book Opening Up. That day I signed up for email updates and have followed Susie ever since. It would be some time later that everything I found on Susie’s site would become more relevant in my life but it may have been a starting point.
The selections in the book were taken from an advice column Susie and her daughter, Aretha shared on Jezebel.com. They take turns answering each question submitted. The questions cover a broad range of topics from oral sex, dating, body image issues, virginity, anal sex, orgasm, sex toys and more. They answer some pretty tough questions in an open, relaxed and candid way. This is often not the case in a culture that can be quite fearful of explicit talk about sexuality.
One of the highlights of the book is the wonderful reflection of Susie’s relationship with her daughter while sharing their answers. They are an inspiring example of a healthy parent/child relationship. Aretha has proven to be as knowledgeable and insightful as her mother. She also shares her great sense of humor! My daughter may be too young for the questions tackled in this book (mostly for the post high school age) but she will someday. Susie and Aretha exemplify the importance of talking about sexuality and relationships throughout your daughter’s life. I wish wholeheartedly to have this kind of relationship with my daughter. It is apparent that many of those writing in for advice did not.
There was something refreshing about the differences in Susie and Aretha’s perspectives. Their difference in age and experience produced a fascinating intersection of views and opinions. The discussions that took place when they differed in opinion helped to really expand and dissect the question. It also worked when they agreed because it showed that even with the age different between Mother and Daughter they could find common ground. Some of the funniest moments were when they caught the other off guard with a particular response to a question. Even with years of open dialogue they could still shock one another on occasion. I appreciate how unrestrained they were in expressing their thoughts on each other’s opinions. You could tell they love and respect one another.
The inclusion of the discussion of ethical non-monogamy is a very important part of the book for me. Susie is a well-known advocate of sexual empowerment and freedom. She also is non-monogamous. She discusses her own open relationship in a way that shows it’s neither easier nor harder than monogamous relationships. It’s something that has to be worked on and, like every other relationship, has its tough times. It comes as an answer to a question about separating sex from emotions and the prospect of having an open relationship. Susie gives a great overview of how to open up a relationship with lots of tips and advice. She also points out pitfalls to avoid and suggests some great books on non-monogamy too. Including this will make it easy to start a discussion about non-monogamy without having to have a specific book about it.
I thought the book ended too soon. I wanted to hear more but I’m sure there was an almost infinite amount of subjects to choose from in the original online column.No avenue of sexuality was too taboo to discuss in the book and it’s all done in a delightfully relaxed way. No drama and no hype. I wish all sex education books were written like this. I found it as entertaining as it was informative. I also found the links in the Kindle to be very helpful. I highly recommend this book no matter what age your daughter may be. There is going to be a time when she will reach out to you for advice. This book will help prepare you to approach these moments with enough confidence to get you both through it. I’m sure it will inspire you as much as it did me.