Don’t judge a book by its cute packaging.

I know I did. I first saw this book on someone’s Facebook post. It came in a pretty pink box with a professional decal and an appropriate level of crinkle filler (which is always a lot). I was immediately drawn in.The book inside had an illustrated cover with bright colors and a cute title font. My heart did a little flutter. A new rom-com? Could it possibly be? I immediately requested to review this one.

Unlike the fluffy, entertaining, steamy rom-com I was expecting, Paulette Stout’s Love, Only Better (Media Goddess Inc) took me on a journey instead: Rebecca has just been dumped for being frigid (her ex’s nickname for her is ice queen), and this isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, Rebecca doesn’t think she’s ever had an orgasm before. She’s got to fix this.

For most of my Gen-X life, I’ve seen only two types of social commentary on the female orgasm: It’s something elusive and “imaginary” (the ole “Does a g-spot even exist?” question to which the answer is “Yes, it does.”), or it’s something to make fun of — usually, because most men can’t tell if or when it’s happening, so it’s easy to fake it when it doesn’t. Hence, the scene in When Harry Met Sally. The rest of the world may not care about this topic, but women definitely do. That’s why this book is original and needed women’s fiction.

REBECCA’S JOURNEY TO THE BIG O …

Rebecca seeks a fix for her problem — from her insensitive OB-GYN (I mean, who IS this guy?) to an embarrassing psychology study and a few sex stores and online ordering in between, but nothing seems to be working. It doesn’t help that she has no frame of reference grounded in reality. Her mother barely told her about menstruation. There was no way Rebecca could ask her about sex, and every movie she’s ever seen shows metaphorical explosions and eruptions, or women screaming in pleasure.

To complicate matters, a sexy new neighbor, Kyle, moves in down the hall. Their attraction to each other is obvious and almost instant. She’s constantly reminded of how great her friends’ love lives are, even her mother overshares (Yes! Her mom will talk about her own sex life, but won’t help her daughter). Rebecca doesn’t want to miss having a future with Kyle, but she’s afraid that he can’t handle being with a frigid woman.

… BECOMES A JOURNEY TO SOMETHING BIGGER

In fact, Rebecca is afraid of a lot of things, and that’s what grabbed me more than orgasms or even Kyle riding a motorcycle. She’s constantly running away — from her friends when they want details, from praise at work, from Kyle. It made me wonder, where is this woman’s self-esteem? (The lack of which is so palpable that I could feel it exuding from the page.) Could that have something to do with why she can’t achieve climax?

So, instead of looking for a listicle of tips for achieving the big O, I was hoping Rebecca would find confidence. What I thought was Rebecca’s journey to sexual satisfaction was really her journey to finding and being proud of her true self. Every woman deserves to have sexual satisfaction because every woman should be valued. All parts of her.

Love, Only Better leaves behind ignorance and jokes, revealing that the truth behind achieving the big O is about achieving self-confidence.

Buy this book!

Paulette Stout loves tinkering with words then setting them free for the world to enjoy.

When she’s not writing, she’s probably in her kitchen, whipping up something yummy for her family to enjoy. That, or wrangling her bossy Clown Fish — don’t be fooled by Nemo. They’re quite formidable!