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Sexplained One: Sex & Your Health

Helen J. Knox

Knox Publishing, 387 pages, (ebook) £19.99, 9780952622444 (Reviewed: January, 2017)

Helen J. Knox has been a registered nurse in London since 1978, where she has contributed to sex education for almost four decades. She has been a pioneer in de-stigmatizing the discussion of sexual behavior and its inherent risks in hundreds of public appearances, private trainings, and online “cyber clinics.” Her highly useful, revised and updated book, Sexplained One: Sex & Your Health, is built on these years of practical experience as a health outreach professional.

Knox’s intention is to freely discuss complex issues of human sexuality and to educate about its risks. She achieves this through a comprehensive overview of SAIs (sexually acquired infections) and well-organized descriptors of non-communicable medical conditions related to sex. Of particular interest is her thoughtful discussion of sexual pain in women, a pervasive and often misunderstood concern.

Knox helpfully includes a conversationally written topic guide for common sexual issues (“Having no luck getting pregnant”; “Condoms make me itch”) and addresses the issues throughout her book in an accessible manner. She emphasizes the importance of consent, explains the range of contraceptive options available, addresses the topic of circumcision, explores the effects of substances like tobacco and alcohol on sexual health, and discusses variance in genitalia from a sex-positive perspective. Knox also provides anatomical images to assist in clarity when discussing issues with a medical provider and includes helpful suggestions on how to get pregnant when experiencing difficulty.

This ebook edition suffers from minor punctuation errors but is otherwise well edited and thorough. The author’s writing is refreshing and insightful, and the book’s presentation lively, with the use of colorful type and many sidebars. Overall, it’s a wonderful primer for anyone seeking to become more knowledgeable about their sexual health or to address sexual health comprehensively with others.

Also available in paperback.

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