Zoë Ligon Offers Sexpert Advice in New 'Carnal Knowledge' Book

Zoë Ligon Offers Sexpert Advice in New 'Carnal Knowledge' Book

LOS ANGELES — Zoë Ligon, sex educator and owner of Spectrum Boutique, has announced via social media the forthcoming release of her new book, "Carnal Knowledge," set to hit stores in the U.S. on September 22. 

Touted as a sex-positive guide, the book features a collection of tips mined from Ligon's experience as an educator and store owner, accompanied by photos from The New Yorker photo editor and longtime friend Elizabeth Renstrom.

"Carnal Knowledge" is an expansion of a 2018 piece for Topic Magazine with the same title, which Ligon and Renstrom also collaborated on. "That was a short-and-sweet list of my favorite sex tips," she told XBIZ.

Now, expanding upon the original seven-image series, which paired insightful one-line tips from Ligon with poppy, colorful photos from Renstrom in retro-styled posters, the 126-page book features more in-depth writing from Ligon on topics that range from basic physiology and using sex toys to relationships, gender identities and consent, with the final chapter notably dedicated to exploring social and political issues within sexuality. 

"For instance," she revealed, "the first tip is that there's no such thing as 'normal,' which can honestly be applied to any aspect of sexuality. There are whole pages dedicated to foreskin, 'loose' versus 'tight' vagina myths, cellulite and proper condom use," to name a few.

"It's a book with hard-hitting hot takes on sexuality and intimacy, but it's also got a lot of humor and silliness in the words as well as the pictures," she added. "I only wish I had the ability to include even more subjects — guess there will have to be a Part Two!"

Noting her collaboration with Renstrom, Ligon shared, "I think of her as a whimsical photographer who can tell an entire story in a photo. She can perfectly capture cute, adorable things, while making some aspect of it thought provoking and intriguing — she takes things and adds an entirely new dimension to them. I knew she would be able to perfectly capture the strange yet silly contradictions and issues that comprise human sexuality."

Regarding the book's development, Ligon says she wanted to address both her most frequently asked questions alongside topics that elicited "the most conversation or controversy" on social media.

The book's tagline, "Sex education you didn't get in school," illustrates a third point of access.

"If we are lucky enough to receive sex education in school, it's often limited to reproduction, anatomy, and STIs," noted Ligon. "While I wish schools required comprehensive sex education, I also don't believe it's the sole responsibility of a school or parents to teach a young person about sex. It requires a community, including media and political structures, to work together and all be on the same page."

"I want this book to be a drop in the bucket that helps contribute to autonomy and self love in the realm of sexuality and intimacy for every person."

"Carnal Knowledge" is set to be released on September 8 in the U.K. and September 22 in the U.S. It is available for pre-order here.

Follow Zoë Ligon on Instagram and Twitter


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