An informative, blisteringly funny, somewhat cranky and always spot-on guide to perimenopause and menopause by the award-winning sex ed/health educator and author of S.E.X. If you don't know award-winning sex educator and all-around badass Heather Corinna, let them introduce themselves and their new book: "I'm going to do what I've done for millions of people of all ages with sex and relationships: to simplify and share solid, explicit information, to provide support and be sensitive, and to help make everyone feel less alone and get us all through hard, thorny, touchy stuff so we can make it to the other side. I'm going to do this in a similar way I've done it for sex and relationships in my work over the last couple decades for young people and adults alike: by talking out loud, shamelessly and frankly, about what others are afraid or ashamed to, much in the way your favorite loudmouth aunt might have if she made this kind of stuff her life's work and if your family also didn't always apparently forget to invite her to everything." Corinna has been on the cutting edge of health for more than twenty years, always talking about what people are most afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed of. What Fresh Hell Is This? is no different. It's a companion for everyone who's reached this "what to expect when you're not expected to expect anything" time of life. It's a health-forward, feminist, no b.s. (and damn funny) perimenopause guide for the generation that time forgot (aka GenXers), offering straightforward descriptions of our bodies, minds, lives and what's going on with them during this time of hormonal chaos. Heather Corinna tells you what to expect and what to do, all while busting some myths and offering real self-care tips so you can get through this. With practical, clear information that also includes affected populations who have long been left out of the discussion, like those with disabilities, queer, transgender, nonbinary and other gender-diverse people, the working class and other marginalized folks, What Fresh Hell Is This? an accessible and inclusive guide for anyone who is experiencing the hot fire of perimenopause.
About the Author
Heather Corinna is a dedicated queer feminist activist, author, educator, artist, teacher, organizer and innovator. They are the founder and director of Scarleteen (www.scarleteen.com), the first inclusive and comprehensive sex, sexuality and relationships education online clearinghouse for young people, founded in 1998. Heather is also the author of S.E.X: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties, now in its second edition, Wait, What? A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies and Growing Up with Isabella Rotman, and was a contributing editor for the last edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Their award-winning work in sex and health education has received acclaim from The Woodhull Foundation, Ms. Magazine, BUST, Bitch, On Our Backs, The New York Times, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the ACLU, and has appeared in publications ranging from Teen Vogue to Rewire News Group to The Guardian. Heather is navigating middle age with as much grace as they can muster (spoiler: not much), and currently lives and works in their hometown of Chicago.
Praise for S.E.X. "The best book about sex and sexuality: It covers everything from puberty to sex to social and emotional health. It also addresses more complicated issues such as relationship dynamics as well as topics around sexual abuse. S.E.X. is also an excellent text for LGBTQ+ teens, as it covers sexual and gender identity and outlines different ways of being physically intimate, from kissing to anal and vaginal intercourse."—The 10 Best Books About Adolescence, According to Psychologists, New York Magazine, March 2019
"In high school and college, the bible is Heather Corinna's S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties."—Peggy Orenstein, Goop
"S.E.X. is, literally, a lifesaving book. Corinna's vast commonsense wisdom--especially on topics relating to gender roles, queer sexuality and gender identities--has the potential to improve the physical and emotional health of anyone who reads it, and to help heal our culture's unhealthy, conflicted approaches to sex, sexuality and gender."—Lisa Jervis, Bitch magazine co-founder
"I think this is the most comprehensive, honest sex-ed book I have ever seen."—Carol Schramm, First Thursday Book Reviews
"The book that I like most for high school kids is by Heather Corinna: S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College. It's very straightforward and provides lots and lots of information, but it talks about how that particular information relates to relationship issues or values or communication issues. That's what kids need more than anything."—Deborah Roffman, author, Sex and Sensibility and Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids' 'Go-To' Person About Sex
"S.E.X. is a positive and informative all-embracing guide to sexuality by a dedicated author. Heather Corinna challenges adolescents and young adults alike to be proactive in owning their sexuality by being true to themselves, all the while laying the foundation of knowledge and acceptance key factors for the development of a healthy sexuality."—Dr. Lynn Ponton, author, The Sex Lives of Teenagers
"Wow. This book has been so useful to me as a consent educator on a college campus! I constantly refer students to this book for honest, shame-free, empowering, and accurate information surrounding questions of sex, sexual orientation, and negotiating boundaries. Corinna skillfully walks the readers through their questions as they apply to real lives, including sections to correct myths, discuss ideas that may be new, affirm identity and autonomy, and challenge readers to move towards healthier lives. Infused into every sentence is the empowering knowledge that the reader deserves to control their own body. At the core, this book is about agency. I can see the positive impact this book is making on the individuals I mentor."—Janelle Hall
"Not only would my own adolescence have been vastly less painful and confusing if I'd had access to the accurate, comprehensive, and above all nonjudgmental information that Heather Corinna so carefully provides, but S.E.X. is, literally, a lifesaving book: Corinna's vast commonsense wisdom--especially on topics relating to gender roles, queer sexuality, and gender identities--has the potential to improve the physical and emotional health of anyone who reads it, and to help heal our culture's unhealthy, conflicted approaches to sex, sexuality, and gender."—Bust
"Corinna has put together a blockbuster of a book for young people dealing with sex and relationships. Much like the authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves and its spinoffs, Corinna answers every possible question teens and young adults could have about virginity, puberty, pregnancy, body image, masturbation, sexual identity, the variety of relationships, and the mechanics of partnered sex. She also addresses topics that are often overlooked, e.g., transgender and inter[sex] identities, realistic teen relationship management skills, and pornography. An excellent resource for preteens, teens, young adults, and people working with these populations; highly recommended for most libraries."—Deborah Bigelow, Library Journal
"Talking to teens about sexuality can be really challenging. Our children are counting on us for information and guidance, but human bodies--and human relationships--are complex. It's hard to knowing when to bring things up, how much to share, and what exactly to talk about. That's why I'm so grateful for this amazing book by Heather Corinna. In addition to giving clear, complete information about puberty and sexual anatomy, Corinna addresses the psychological and emotional concerns of young people with warmth and care. Variations in sexual anatomy, sexual desire, sexual orientation are gender are covered comprehensively, with repeated reminders that there's no one right way to be "normal." Corinna isn't afraid to address challenging topics like sexual assault and pornography, and makes a point to repeatedly emphasize the importance of consent and pleasure in healthy relationships...I can't think of a better resource for learning about sexuality, and I encourage you to check it out!"—Christopher Pepper
"This is another groundbreaking book."—Seattle Post-Intelligencer