Ten Commandments for a lifetime of pleasure:
A Book Review of Dr. Susan Block’s 10 Commandments of Pleasure
by Del Rey
Edited by Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Moses came down from the mountain with 10 commandments; Dr. Susan M. Block laid the foundation of Bonoboville with the 10 Commandments of Pleasure. This book is a holy grail that can lead you through orgasmic peaks, with waves of pleasure on how to delight, excite, and arouse your partner(s). From fantasies to fetishes, love languages to erotic displays of affection, Dr. Block’s 10 Commandments of Pleasure is peppered with personal narratives, sex acts, and an orgy of ways to stimulate your partner outside of the sheets. This book is an empowering affirmation of our sexual nature, and a revolutionary leap towards better communication between partners, with space for greater gender and sexual fluidity, and an openness towards sexual exploration. 2016 will mark the book’s 20th year, but pleasure is timeless and Dr. Block’s Commandments are more essential today, especially with the rise of social media and digital dating.
The tone of the book is alluring, as sexpert Dr. Susan Block advises the reader to explore the body, to practice safer sex, to tease, to tantalize, to deny, to indulge, to orgasm, to squirt, to listen– as in Commandment 9 of a Lady’s Pleasure, “Thou Shalt Have Foreplay.” Additionally, there are pearls of wisdom, for instance, in Commandment 6 of a Gentleman’s Pleasure, “mother him, but not smother him,” the lesson is that “you can teach a man to appreciate touch, if you have the patience and feel that he’s worth it. Block words of affirmation, empower the female; a unifying theme throughout the book and a trumpeting venture she continues to this day.
As a whole, the commandments are a guide to improve the quality of your relationships– both sexual and nonsexual; between the lines, the book is humorous, as any great sex story should be, inviting to the reader to explore intimacy outside of the bedroom. Dr. Block weaves together a feminist narrative for the modern age, one that evokes a program of female empowerment through sex and sexuality. She writes, that the woman is “in charge of her fantasies. She’s the head honcho of her life (just as you are of yours). But you can help. You should help, if you want to give her pleasure. Unless she tells you she doesn’t want your help. But if she doesn’t want your help, that’s a pretty clear signal that she doesn’t want you (131).” The advice is blunt, with a subtext of consent and personal boundaries that (although it is directed at heterosexual relationships) is applicable to any relationship. While the book does focus on monogamy, Dr. Block does also include a broad spectrum of relationship dynamics; threesome, swingers and the BDSM communities.
The 10 commandments of pleasure are exactly that, a pleasure. From start to finish the book is a comprehensive look at sexuality, intimacy, and serves as a handy playbook for keeping your monogamous relationship from becoming a monotonous relationship. Unlike her previous book, Advertising for Love, this book, The 10 Commandments of Pleasure, provides erotic keys to thrust a relationship beyond past the first series of dates. While there is some overlap in content between her previous book, Advertising for Love and her subsequent book The Bonobo Way, this book is a standalone text that is (now its third edition) also available as an audio book. Whether you’re in a swinging, monogamous, polyamorous, heterosexual or homosexual relationship, Dr. Susan M. Block’s The 10 Commandments of Pleasure: Erotic Keys to a Healthy Sexual Life has something for everyone.
© September 5, 2015. Michael Ray De Los Angeles, is a wordsmith, Humboldt circus alumni, LGBTQ & kink educator. For speaking engagements, call 323.592.7649