In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the question of how we raise boys has been brought to a head. The men in our society are products of prevailing norms. Now, it’s time for change.
But how do you talk with boys about sex?
In Respect – Everything A Guy Needs to Know About Sex, Love, and Consent, experienced Swedish sexual educator Inti Chavez Perez turns to teenage boys who have entered puberty to talk to them about sex in a direct, no-frills, and hands-on way. No question is too big, too small, too taboo, or too embarrassing. What’s a dick supposed to look like? How should sex feel? Is pornography okay? What do girls like? What do boys like? How do I protect myself, and how do I say no? How do I set boundaries for myself and others?
In this trailblazing guide to educating teenagers about their bodies, their pleasure, and their sexuality, Chavez Perez lets guys know their desires are okay, and guides them to understand how to heed them in a respectful and fulfilling way.
Sweden has long been a pioneering nation when it comes to gender studies, and sexual education has been mandatory in Swedish schools since 1955. Respect was lauded as the modern definite guide to sex education for boys upon its initial publication in 2010 and now the topical nature of the book has prompted publisher Alfabeta to publish a new, updated edition in May 2018.
With Respect – Everything A Guy Needs to Know About Sex, Love, and Consent, Chavez Perez addresses the full gamut – from the very basic questions of a boy in his early teens to the more complicated matters of a young man on the doorstep of adulthood. This is the younger brother to Norwegian bestseller The Wonder Down Under, aimed at boys who just hit puberty and young men who want to learn more, to get the conversation going about sex, love, and consent. From Sweden with love, here is the perfect guide for how to talk about sex for guys – so that moms and dads don’t have to.
“An excellent handbook that, with a matter-of-fact and easy-going tone, provides answers to the thoughts both boys and girls have.”
Svenska Dagbladet (SE)
“It’s like having a big brother.”
Dagens Arena (SE)
“Perez writes in an inclusive voice that speaks to heterosexual readers as well as readers across the LGBTQ spectrum. Some grown-ups may prefer to cover the aforementioned topics with their sons or other young men in their lives in person, face-to-face. Great! The sons or young men in our lives will still probably welcome the perspective of a guy like Chaves Perez, who answers even the most potentially embarrassing questions with utter ease and zero shame.”
Chicago Tribune (US)
“The sex guide every teenage boy needs in the Me Too era.”
The Times (UK)
“Covering everything from anatomy to consent, it fills a gap in the literature for young men navigating adolescence in an era that may seem like a minefield of potential missteps.”
Time Magazine (US)
“A clear, smart, teen-friendly book from Inti Chavez Perez […] His book walks teenagers through 10 uncluttered chapters which cover everything from female masturbation to sex during menstruation — it is all refreshingly direct and normalised, with friendly how-to sections on everything from kissing and flirting to resolving arguments to breaking up compassionately— while highlighting the real crux within heterosexuality: the gendered power imbalance. […] Basically, every teenage boy should read this book. (I’ve left a copy in my 16-year-old son’s room — the only problem is that teenage boys often think books made of paper are for old people). Perhaps the subject matter will overcome the common teenage boy’s resistance to reading.”
Irish Examiner (IE)
“With wonderful frankness, Chavez Perez, […] describes the ins and outs of becoming and being a man in this instructive, comprehensive debut. […] Chavez Perez does a thorough job of answering frequently asked questions and covers a wide range of issues with the tone of an older, more experienced brother willing to share his own missteps (as well as his well-sourced research). […] For any man (or woman) with questions about sex that they were too uncomfortable to ask, Chavez Perez’s authoritative book will have the answer.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review (US)
“The writer brings the reader into the world of infatuation, flirting, and sex. With the help of his own experiences and the tales of others, he gives great tips and advice whether your are hetero, homo, trans, or asexual. He explains how guys can flirt with girls without harassing them, and find out whether or not a guy is into guys without losing face. […] It’s a bold project that Chavez Perez has taken upon himself. Writing a book about sex education today is probably something quite different from what it once was. There’s now a greater openness when it comes to sexual orientation, greater cultural diversity, and pornography is just a click away. But today, guys’ sexuality is mostly seen as disrespectful to girls. Chavez Perez has a great eye for all these things. […] Respect is sex education for the modern world. And yes, I recommend it to every parent thinking about whether or not it’s time to give a book about sex to their sons.”
Dagbladet, 5/6 (NO)
“It’s very important that boys also have somewhere to turn with their questions. To learn that there are many kinds of masculinity and that you are normal, just the way you are. What I find so good about Respect is that it shows boys and girls that there are certain stereotypes about how boys and girls should be, and that it’s high time to get rid of those stereotypes.”
Met Het Oog Op Morgen (NL)
“In this accessible and blunt guide to relationships, Swedish author and sex educator Chavez Perez educates men on the ins and outs of intimacy. […] This is a perfect introduction to a healthy male sex life. While it may be most beneficial for young adults, adults also have much to gain from revisiting the basics of sex ed, especially in the #MeToo era.”
“In an open-minded, straightforward, and reliable fashion, the young reader is guided through the vast universal spectrum of things that might seem difficult both at the top and down below – be it size, shame, love, or sexually transmitted diseases. More complicated topics such as the male role, sexual identity, and equality – summed up in six “respect techniques” – are presented with ease, knowledge, and much-needed positivity. […] For the intended readers this is an exciting input on a theme that will please, torment, and astonish them for the rest of their lives. This is hardly something one single book can cover, but Respect is a solid effort. Respect.”
Verdens Gang, 5/6 (NO)
“A book that will please many and aggravate a few: Respect. It’s high time this book comes in Norwegian. Not since 1969, that’s 50 years ago, when The Little Red Schoolbook was published, has there been such an unpretentious, straightforward, and moral book about sex, meant to be read by young people in puberty. […] Chavez Perez is open and unprejudiced, and very ethical. The clue is in the title: Respect. […] The style is clear and straightforward. Not least, he gets to the bottom of a number of attitudes and notions that seem out-of-date to some, but that ought be out-of-date for everyone.”
Fædrelandsvennen, 5/6 (NO)
“It isn’t easy to talk to teenagers about sex, so a book like this comes in handy. In this straightforward and honest guide, Swedish sex educator Inti Chavez Perez answers all the questions teenage boys may have about love and sex, and he does so without being shy. […] In clear language he guides guys how to handle their feelings, desires, and doubts respectfully.”
Het Laatstse Nieuws (NL)
“A necessary and important book. […] Chavez Perez is both stern and direct on themes such as power structures and gender roles, and that’s good. […] [His] strength is that he criticizes the system, combined with his colloquial and easygoing style. Is there really a good away to send a dickpic? Chavez Perez is a kind of big brother who generously shares his own awkward experiences. The book is liberatingly not heteronormative. Sex with both men and women are given equal space. […] Respect is a good place to start for guys who are looking to learn more about everything from legislation when it comes to sharing nude pics to respectful pick-up lines. A book that generated a lot of interesting conversations at home.”
“Swedish sex educator and government expert Chavez Perez provides honest and friendly advice. Presented in 10 chapters […] a thorough guide in a slim package. […] This is a book destined to be passed around. Reassuring, factual, and straightforward sexual education resource written for adolescent boys but appropriate for all genders and ages.”
“I think about what it’s like reading about sex in your teens. Guys and girls are generally just as curious, but they get their information from different sources. Girls read Kamratposten’s Body and Mind column, and move on to columns and short stories from women’s magazines such as Frida and Veckorevyn, and at the same time read about sex in novels. […] The selection for the opposite sex is neither as nuanced nor as wide. And yes, guys can read the same books as girls and sure, some of them do, but where are the modern texts written from their perspectives – that isn’t porn? Who answers future men’s questions about their bodies and sexuality, where do they find exciting reflections and down-to-earth advice on how to flirt, make out, feel pleasure, say no or come out? And not least – who helps them see through the myths and notions regarding the male role? […] Inti Chavez Perez book Respect is everything I’ve demanded above. Hooray! A modern and nuanced handbook for guys about sex, relationships, gender and equality, that I hope many girls will read too. […] This book is amazingly good. It’s frank, wise, and funny.”
“Respect has a critical eye on the male role and the unwritten rules that exist regarding what guys are allowed and not allowed to do if they wish to be seen as ”real guys”. By also focusing on the price guys have to pay for their masculinity, this book is especially suited to expanding the at times narrow male role.”
“Chavez Perez writes about themes like peer pressure, groping, spreading rumors, and social control. […] The book is important because it provides an explanation to how pornography contributes to wrong and rather strange expectations of sex.”
NRK, 5/6 (NO)
“Respect is open-minded, honest, queer […] There’s talk about the oppression of the pussy, gay porn, anal sex, the male role, about the fact that everything’s ok (even not liking sex at all) and lots about that ever-important thing: respect.”
Dagens Bok (SE)
“A fresh take on modern sex ed.”
“Respect by Inti Chavez Perez is delightfully refreshing considering what’s out there to read when it comes to sex. […] This is a book that deals with so much more than sex, but at the same it holds many practical tips. […] Many examples are taken from the author’s own encounters with teenagers in his job as a sexual educator. The style is matter-of-fact and honest, with room for both sensitivity and humor.”
“Wow, what an important book! It’s not just about sex education, but also about emotions, identity, both personal and the identity of others. […] The book is easy to read and incredibly versatile and covers a broad spectrum. I could imagine that this guide will provide answers to many questions and concerns from young people regarding sex. […] The underlying message is one of respect and amenity, and it is dealt with in many different ways – always smart and never preaching. […] I will definitely give this book to my teenagers!”
Leea Mattila, Mindlink Blog (FI)