Ali Adler's How to F*ck a Woman rocks the most misleading book title since John Le Carre's The Constant Gardener, a murder mystery that sounds like one of those lust-and-lilacs stories aimed at horny older women.
Oh, sure, there's the obligatory chapter on the proper mechanics of sexual intercourse from a female point of view. It boils down to two basics that any heterosexual man should realize eventually: Let — or even better, help — the woman come first for a more satisfying fuck for both of you; and if you want to receive oral sex you better get good at giving oral sex. And there are plenty of do-this, don't-do-that tips for the cunnilingus-challenged. You're even told how to practice on a fuzzy peach.
But it turns out that Adler, a mother of two and an out lesbian engaged to a woman, is much more concerned with solving the eternal mystery of finding the right partner and keeping that partner happy and thereby eager to fuck you.
An L.A. TV writer and producer who co-created The New Normal and helped develop the upcoming Supergirl for CBS, Adler admits she hyped the title to goose sales.
"It's an attention grabber," she tells L.A. Weekly. "It could have been called How to Treat a Woman or How to Please Your Partner, but what guy is going to buy that?"
To some extent, Adler leaves her personal sexual preferences aside and instead tries to help heterosexual couples bridge the gender differences that keep them from having more and better sex.
Adler came of age professionally in TV comedy writing rooms dominated by immature, horny guys who shared too much information about their lives and loves in between trying to come up with funny lines. Her moment of epiphany about men came when a guy with too much tequila in him confessed that everything he ever did was aimed at getting women. As he put it: "Any higher degree I've earned, job I've gotten, language I've learned, jacket I've purchased, dinner I've paid for, vocabulary word I've flaunted, haircut I've received, compliment I've given, book I've read ... literally every action I've ever taken is all in pursuit of pussy."
The use of such politically incorrect terms is part of the charm of Adler's insider approach. She talks frequently of men's constant need to "drain the semen from their nut sack" and calls guys "motherfuckers" in a way that feels natural, not forced. Rather than offending, it gives her philosophy a sense of grounded, locker-room realism that separates it from the touchy-feely bromides marketed by Dr. Phil, Dr. Ruth and other self-appointed love gurus.
Take, for example, her advice to women who catch their man masturbating: "Men do not love their women less because they jerk off. It has zero to do with how often you fuck him or how rich you perceive your sex life to be. ... It's a relationship they've had for a very long time, and they wouldn't want to disappoint their penis."
The illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly feel like a great side dish to the scrumptious entrée. A personal fave: A typical Upper East Side New York couple is sitting at a table for two in a fancy wine bar. The woman, sporting stiletto heels and a prominent rack, says to the waitress, "I'd like a sorbet, and I'm fairly certain he'd like sex."
The book is filled with hard-earned wisdom that hasn't yet curdled into conventional wisdom or relationship cliché. For example, the first serious fight is the microcosm of all future fights. "Whatever that dynamic is, it will be the same fight you fight about year after year, in whatever form, until you either accept this in the DNA of each other, or the relationship dies."
But there are three tips that will never fly in L.A., no matter how much sense they make: Don't date actresses or models, don't date anyone younger or older by more than seven years, and don't date drug addicts or non-recovering alcoholics. "People who are 'experimenting' with drugs in their '30s are no longer experimenters," she writes. "They are time-proven and tested doers."
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As is much of her advice, these tips are aimed at both sexes.
"These are generalities and gender-alities," she admits. "Women would benefit from reading it just as much as men."
After all, there are plenty of them who also want to know how to fuck a woman.