Sex Zone: Woman Who Transformed 2million Sex Lives Overnight; Author Reveals Secrets of Book That Rocked Oz
Flaherty, Frances Hubbard, The Mirror (London, England)
ANYONE can be good in bed. Looks don't matter. The size of your bits doesn't matter.
You don't need to have Barbie legs or biceps like Arnie to be the best lover your partner has ever had.
But you do need a good working knowledge of your subject. That is exactly what Hot Sex: How To Do It, the sizzling new best-selling book by Aussie sexpert Tracey Cox, will give you.
She starts with the basics and covers all those nitty-gritty details you feel too embarrassed to discuss with friends or lovers.
Whether you're a fumbling beginner or an old hand, Hot Sex shows there's always room for improvement - as long as you remember that the right kind of practice makes perfect.
Tracey Cox is petite, pretty and stunningly well-informed about sex. She can tell a G-spot from an A-spot and could probably find both of them before the rest of us have got the map references.
She knows where to buy fur-lined handcuffs, understands every ooh and aah of orgasm and no doubt practises her Kegel exercises on a regular basis.
Every man's fantasy made flesh, in other words? Not exactly. It seems that Ms Cox scares them to death.
"They think I'm a cross between Dr Ruth and a porn vixen," says Tracey. "They tend to turn into Mr Bean on me and then run hard in the opposite direction.
"But I guess I'd be a bit nervous if I was going out with a sex therapist."
Nervous is not a word you'd associate with a woman who brandished a bright purple vibrator and a sex toy called "The Tongue" at a room full of publishers while she was pitching Hot Sex.
Tracey, a 36-year-old psychology graduate, broadcaster and agony aunt for Australian Cosmopolitan, has taken a professional interest in sex for so long that she is immune to the boiling embarrassment that afflicts other people when they talk about Doing It.
Take her mate from the local gym in Sydney. "He knew I was writing the book and seemed OK about it, so he was one of the people I asked to have a look at the first chapter, on masturbation, and tell me if he thought it made sense.
"He was never seen in the place again. Did he think I was going to lash him to a treadmill and make him demonstrate?"
Tracey takes a sip of coffee and rolls her eyes at the silliness of men. We are settled in a discreetly trendy Soho hotel, a mere three minute's walk from the nearest Anne Summers shop, it is not yet lunchtime and we have already covered impotence and the 24-hour climax. And the difficulty of clenching your pubococcygeus muscles - as recommended by Dr A. Kegel - in the bus queue without twitching.
She confides that she's worried she was too explicit during a radio interview done earlier in the day. "I said 'orgasm'. Is that that all right over here? They seemed a bit shocked." Lucky for them she didn't launch into the ins and outs of thrusting, as on page 79.
"Sometimes you know people are just waiting to be shocked. There's a general perception that I must have done everything in the book, but I haven't! I like sex, of course, but there are things in there that don't interest me."
Like? "Like three-in-a-bed stuff. That's very dangerous territory. How can cope with seeing someone you love bonking another person?
"You have to be open and honest about what you do or don't like and I'm just not promiscuous or into flings."
Tracey, who is divorced from her husband of seven years, now has a steady partner. Her romantic history sounds disappointingly normal: Lost virginity at 16 ("It was horrible. I didn't have sex again for a year."), various relationships long and short, and marriage since.
Is she good in bed? For a second she almost looks coy. "Well, I'd like to think so after all this research. But I'm not insatiable. When I was writing the book I had absolutely no interest in sex - doing it, that is - at all. Quite often the only stiff thing I want at the end of the day is a drink. …