Skip 
Navigation Link
Sexuality & Sexual Problems
Resources
Basic InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
ActionAmerica UnzippedAmerican GirlsAnatomy of a BoyfriendAnatomy of LoveBest Sex Writing 2005Better Sex Through YogaBetter Than EverBoys Don't CryChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsCold HitCybersexDare... to Try BisexualityDilemmas of DesireDoing ItDoing ItEarly Embraces IIIErotic InnocenceErotic PassionsFinal JeopardyFinding H. F.For The Bible Tells Me SoFrictionFrom Disgust to HumanityGay, Straight, and the Reason WhyGetting the Love You WantGoing DownGood GirlsGreat Answers to Difficult Questions About SexHard to GetHit & MissHomosexualitiesHooking UpHow Sex WorksHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Have Magnificent SexHow to Make Great Love to a ManHow to Make Great Love to a WomanI'd Rather Eat ChocolateIn a Queer VoiceIn the Mood, AgainIt's Perfectly NormalIt's Perfectly NormalJane Sexes It UpKids Gone WildLet's Get This StraightLikely to DieLove and DesireLove and SexLove JunkieLustMaking Peace with PornMale SexualityMaster BreastsMiddlesexNormalNormalNot GayOedipus WreckedOn Being RapedOne Hot SecondOne Hour in ParisOrgasmOrgasm Inc.OrgasmsPlease Don't Kill the FreshmanPornifiedPornlandPornographyPoxPredatorsPremarital Sex in AmericaPrivate Practices DVDRainbow PartyRapeSex (Ed)Sex and SpiritSex and the American TeenagerSex and the SoulSex and the Soul, Updated EditionSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex in CrisisSex ObjectSex PositionsSex Q & ASex, Therapy, and KidsSexting and Young PeopleSexual Boundary ViolationsSexual DevianceSexual EcstasySexual FluiditySexual IntelligenceSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapySexual Teens, Sexual MediaShamelessSurviving Sexual ViolenceTalk to Me FirstThe Better Sex Guide to the Kama SutraThe Birth of the PillThe Blue Moon Erotic Reader IIIThe Chemistry Between UsThe Clitoral TruthThe Emergence of SexualityThe End Of AliceThe End of SexThe Essential KamasutraThe Fate of GenderThe First TimeThe Happy Hook-UpThe Miseducation of Cameron PostThe Only Girl in the CarThe Pornographer's GriefThe Purity MythThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Right to Be ParentsThe Science of Intimate RelationshipsThe Sex Addiction WorkbookThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Sex MythThe Sleep of ReasonThe Story of SexThe Ten Minute Sexual SolutionThe Vagina MonologuesThings Tom LikesTransTransUltimate SexUntangling the WebVirginVirgin NationVirgin Sex for GirlsVirgin Sex for GuysVirginity LostWastelandWhat Women WantWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Sex Goes to SchoolWhen the Piano StopsWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Wilhelm ReichWomen and Child Sexual AbuseWritten in the FleshZen Sex
Related Topics

Family & Relationship Issues
Homosexuality & Bisexuality
Medical Disorders

by Daria Snadowsky
Delacorte, 2007
Review by Christian Perring on Apr 29th 2008

Anatomy of a Boyfriend

High school senior Dominique Baylor meets Wesley, who is a senior on the track team.  Neither them has had a relationship before, and they are both shy and inexperienced.  Dominique's parents are quite protective and she is focused on her work and getting into a good college.  However, her friend Amy has had many casual relationships and hook-ups, and Amy encourages Dominique to get intimate with Wesley.  It takes a while for the relationship to really get started, but by the time of the high school senior prom, they are renting a hotel room to have their first intercourse.  Over the summer they have sex regularly, and then at the start of the fall they go to different colleges.  They try to maintain a long-distance relationship, but it doesn't work out.  That's about the whole plot; most of the novel for young adults is devoted Dominique's feelings, her relationship with her parents and frail but opinionated grandmother, her friendship with Amy, and the sex with Wesley.  Anatomy of a Boyfriend is mostly remarkable for its sexually explicit descriptions of what Dom and Wes get up to; while the book isn't pornographic, it is frank about Dom's sexual curiosity and excitement, her ambivalence about performing oral sex, and Wes's failure to give her an orgasm.  Dom also negotiates the moral questions of whether she should have sex; she is 17 and Wes is 18, so it is all perfectly legal.  Her grandmother tells her that she should wait until she is married, but her parents don't give her any such restrictions, maybe because they don't even want to think about their daughter having sex.  Dom and Wes are in love, and they are responsible in their actions, including using contraception and condoms and dental dams in order to avoid sexually transmitted diseases -- at least most of the time.  There's a nice contrast between Dom and her best friend Amy, since Amy hooks up with many men, only requiring that she be attracted to them, but she has never gone as far as full intercourse.  Dom is a pretty good role model for teen readers: she never gets drunk or high and she is never promiscuous.  Nevertheless, she is heartbroken and furious when her relationship with Wes ends, and this helps her bond with her father, who never really approved of Wes anyway. 

Snadowsky's writing is serviceable.  Much of the text is dialog, Internet Messaging or emails, and the rest is narrated by Dominique.  There are not many sexually frank novels aimed at young adults; Doing It by Melvin Burgess is told from the point of three British teen boys, and is far more humorous in its tone.  Anatomy of a Boyfriend is more earnest, and is a little more conventional in its style.  It's an easy read, and approaches issues of virginity, sex and love in ways that should appeal to teen readers and won't shock most parents too much. 

© 2008 Christian Perring

 

Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.