Book Review: Not Your Mother's Meatloaf
“You like comics right?” asked our lead editor, Kelly Steele, as she handed me Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf.
I casually accepted the tome of indie comics all centered around a greater sexual education experience, and turned the pages with the interest of an artist, writer, and sexual educator.
Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf is not your mother’s sexual education book. Each chapter is a mix of exposition by Saiya Miller and Liza Bley, and amateur comics that complement the theme of the chapter.
The combination of prose and image is unique. If the text doesn’t speak to you it’s a good chance the images will. Both work together to create a book that isn’t merely presenting you with information, but unabashedly presents you with ideas or scenarios that allow you to reflect upon your own journey in life and sexual discovery.
Most importantly, I thought back to my own introduction into sexual education. It was largely lead by public school sex education courses, but my parents were involved in guiding me if I had questions. There was even a point I was handed a book, but it did more to embarrass than comfort me in this strange new concept called sex. If I was given Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf, would that have been a better tool? Yes and no.
Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf challenges common belief structures, and does so frequently. It will expose you to ideas like cross dressing, homosexuality, BDSM, distinguishing emotionally healthy and unhealthy relationships, the “age thing” (my favorite), and more. Themes that are not considered normal by many, and for those people there are thousands of other sexual education books.
However, I do applaud Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf for bringing these topics to light. There are moments in each of our sexual paths that a fetish might become the subject of our interest or desire. Something to learn about and then further evaluate if it meshes with your desires. Yet, these subjects are often so taboo that you can feel isolated and even ashamed about them. Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf instead embraces curiosity towards these subjects, making a comfortable topic out of something inherently not. As if you are being guided by a patient and understanding friend who happens to be knowledgeable about anything regarding sex and always has condoms.
Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf is an enjoyable read and a valuable resource. Something I would recommend to older teens looking to safely learn more about sex, relationships, and the adventures or trails both bring. It can even be used by parents as a conversation starter. But as with everything regarding sex, I highly encourage active participation/communication to help deal with the tougher subjects the book covers.
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