The Guide to Getting it On

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The Guide To Getting It On! is a sexuality guide by research psychoanalyst Paul Joannides, illustrated by the comic book artist Dærick Gröss, Sr.[1] A 7th edition was released on October 16, 2012.[2]

Cover of the 7th edition

Structure and content of the Seventh edition[edit]

The Seventh edition of the Guide To Getting It On! is 1,184 pages long. It is divided into nine sections, described below, each containing a number of shorter chapters.[3]

  • The Beginning: an introduction which talks about the history of the book, from the author starting to write it while sitting on warm sands of beaches in Southern California, to his concern about our having spent $2 billion on abstinence-based sex education to misinform our young about sex, and how "Ignorance remains this book’s archenemy; the desire to know more about sex its friend." It also contains the first chapter of the book, which begins by trying to define what sex is.
  • How to & Then Some: 27 chapters (404 pages) which discuss the full spectrum of sexual expression and its practical aspects. Chapter titles include Romance, Kissing, The Importance of Getting Naked, On the Penis, Semen Confidential, What's Inside a Girl, The Hymen, Orgasms, Sunsets and Hand Grenades, The Orgasm Talk, Sex Lubes-A New Look, Sex Legal, Handjobs, The Zen of Finger Fucking, Nipples, Nipples, Nipples, Balls, Balls, Balls, The Prostate and Male Pelvic Underground, Doing Yourself in Your Partner's Presence, Oral Sex-Penises and Popsicles, Oral Sex-Vulvas and Honey Pots, Condoms-For the Ride of Your Life, Intercourse-Horizontal Jogging, Anal Sex-Up Your Bum, Playing with Yourself, Oscillator, Generator, Vibrator, Dildo, Fun with Your Foreskin, and Sex Fantasies.
  • Porn: Two chapters about the difference between sex in porn and sex in real life: The Fairy Pornmother and Porndoggie's Dirty Dozen.
  • "Sex in the Real World: Ten chapters, including Casual Sex, Sex with a Co-Worker, Sex When You Move Back Home, Talking about Sex, Better Mating Through Internet Dating?, I Knew the Bride, Sex in the Military, Online Sexual Addiction-Really?, MRIs of Sexual Arousal, and What's Normal: 10,000 People Talk About Sex.
  • Your First Time: Two chapters about losing one's virginity.
  • Beyond Vanilla: discusses threesomes, double penetration and kink in general.
  • Below the Belt: deals with vulva care, sex and the menstrual period, hair removal and related problems, STIs, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, hypospadias and erectile dysfunction|erection problems and other sexual problems.
  • Birth Control, Pregnancy and Parenting: discusses birth control, adoption, abortion and sex related issues of pregnancy and explaining sex to children for their parents.
  • Sex in History and Popular Culture: Eleven chapters including The Dirty Word Chapter, Barbie the Icon, The Historical Breast and Bra, The Fruit of His Loom, What's Masculine, Feminine and Erotic, Men's and Women's Experience of Sex], The Panty-Dropping Pill, Sex and God, Sex in the 1800s, Sex on the Interstate, and Kink in the Animal Kingdom.
  • Orientation & Gender: includes four chapters, Orientation in Flux, Same-Sex Fun and Luvin', Gender Benders, and Intersex.
  • Sex & the Human Condition: deals with sex for the disabled, sex and cancer, sex and diabetes, sex and hysterectomy, having sex after you have experienced rape or abuse, when your partner snores or has excessive flatulence as well psychological states that affect sex life.
  • The End: including Vaya Con Dios!, About the Illustrations, and a very extensive Glossary of Sexual Slang in Popular and Unpopular Culture.

The scope of the book regarding the type of sex discussed is depicted by the way the chapter Kinky Corner begins: "Readers will hopefully appreciate that vanilla is The Guide's favorite flavor. So rather than being an introduction to BDSM, this chapter is an attempt to explain a little of this and that."


The book uses informal language and quotations extensively to illustrate the points the author makes. These quotations are from males and females, of a broad age range, that the author has interviewed during his research or who sent letters to him after publication of previous editions of the book.

It is illustrated throughout with realistic body drawings. It also uses comic-like drawings to maintain a light-hearted approach, such as a drawing of a vagina and a penis, both with eyes, mouth, nose, hands and feet, having a dialogue.

English editions[edit]

In the English language, Guide to Getting It On! has had six editions. This is a link to the covers of the six US editions plus one separate UK edition.[4]

  1. Guide To Getting It On! A New and Mostly Wonderful Book About Sex for Adults of All Ages (1st edition, June 1996) ISBN 1-885535-14-7. 376 pages.
  2. Guide To Getting It On! A New and Mostly Wonderful Book About Sex for Adults of All Ages (2nd edition, September 1, 1998) ISBN 1-885535-00-7. 432 pages.
  3. Guide To Getting It On! (3rd edition, February 2000) ISBN 1-885535-10-4. 698 pages.
  4. Guide To Getting It On! (4th edition, April 2004) ISBN 1-885535-67-8. 782 pages.
  5. Guide To Getting It On! (5th edition, September 2006) ISBN 978-1-885535-69-6. 854 pages.
  6. Guide To Getting It On! (6th edition, January 2009) ISBN 978-1-885535-33-7. 992 pages.
  7. Guide To Getting It On! (7th edition, October 2012) ISBN 1885535759. 1,184 pages.


The Guide To Getting It On! has been translated into 14 languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Croatian, German (Wild Thing: Sex-Tips for Boys and Girls),[5] Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Serbian and Slovenian.[6]


  • Oprah Magazine reports ″You've never read a manual as warm, friendly, liberating, thorough, and potentially sex-life-changing as the Guide to Getting It On!" [7]
  • Perry Tsai, Co-director American Medical Student Association Sexual Health Scholars Program (AMSA SHSP) “Very few medical schools are teaching about the importance of sexual pleasure, so doctors are not prepared to care for this aspect of their patients’ health and well-being. We use the Guide to Getting It On to help our scholars gain a more complete understanding of sexuality and to help them promote the sexual health of their patients and peers.” [8]
  • Christian Perring, PhD., Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York, from points out, that ″the book contains answers to just about every sexual question″ the readers of The Guide to Getting it On ″ever had″. He criticizes that the readers of the book might have trouble in finding the answers to their questions.[9]


The Guide To Getting It On! has won the following awards:[10]

  • American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists Book Award.
  • Ben Franklin Book Award.
  • Firecracker Alternative Book Award.
  • Best Heterosexual Book Award.
  • Best Book Award.
  • American Foundation for Gender & Genital Medicine Book Award.


  1. ^ "About the Author". Goofy Foot Press. 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ Book's page on The book's page on
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Goofy Foot Press, publisher of Guide To Getting It On, Covers of the six US editions
  5. ^ Wild Thing: Sex-Tips for Boys and Girls Online
  6. ^ Goofy Foot Press, publisher, Guide To Getting It On Images of foreign covers from the US publisher
  7. ^ Oprah Magazine Interview with Paul Joannides
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Review on, December 18, 2007
  10. ^ A list of awards that the Guide To Getting It On has won

External links[edit]