Member Reviews

With Sprinkles on Top; Everything Vanilla People and Their Kinky Partners Need to Know to Communicate, Explore, and Connect by Stefani Goerlich was such a fun read and the first I had ever read like this. I come from a very sex-shame culture and really appreciated this book. I was truly thankful to have gotten to read this before most people! I would like to purchase this one for my physical library!

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This wasn’t particularly helpful for me/my relationship (turns out I am rather vanilla) but that doesn’t mean it’s not for everyone.

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An interesting read for a vanilla newbie looking to expand their reading of kink and the associated dynamics. It's well written and witty, with lots of food for thought on contemporary relationships and how to play with power dynamics.

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"With Sprinkles on Top" by Stefani Goerlich is a delightful and insightful read that blends humor, wisdom, and candid reflections on human sexuality and relationships. Goerlich, leveraging her extensive experience as a sex therapist, serves up a rich concoction of advice that is as entertaining as it is enlightening, making this book a standout in its genre.

At the heart of "With Sprinkles on Top" is Goerlich's compassionate and open-minded approach to discussing topics that are often considered taboo or uncomfortable. Her writing exudes warmth and inclusivity, inviting readers of all backgrounds to explore the nuances of their desires and relationships without judgment. This book is a celebration of human sexuality in all its diversity, encouraging readers to embrace their true selves and enhance their intimate connections.

One of the book's most admirable qualities is its accessibility. Goerlich has a knack for breaking down complex psychological concepts into digestible, relatable insights. Her use of humor not only engages but also disarms, allowing readers to confront potentially sensitive subjects with an open heart and mind. The anecdotes and examples she shares are both enlightening and entertaining, illustrating her points in ways that resonate with everyday experiences.

"With Sprinkles on Top" covers a wide range of topics, from navigating communication challenges in relationships to exploring kinks and fetishes. Goerlich's advice is grounded in the latest research, yet presented in a way that feels like a conversation with a wise friend. Each chapter is sprinkled with actionable tips, making the book not only a pleasure to read but also a practical guide for enhancing one's love life.

Moreover, Goerlich's inclusive approach is particularly commendable. She acknowledges and addresses the diverse spectrum of human sexuality, making sure that readers across the LGBTQ+ community and beyond see themselves reflected in her work. This inclusivity is not just a side note but a fundamental aspect of the book, underscoring the message that everyone deserves to find fulfillment and happiness in their relationships.

In conclusion, "With Sprinkles on Top" by Stefani Goerlich is a must-read for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of sexuality and improve their intimate relationships. It is a rare gem that combines professional expertise with a relatable and engaging writing style. Readers will come away from this book not only with a deeper understanding of themselves and their partners but also with a renewed sense of joy and excitement about the possibilities of their intimate lives. Goerlich has truly delivered a book with not just sprinkles on top but a whole lot of substance and heart beneath.

4/5 stars. Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for an advanced copy to review.

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I really appreciated this book. It made me consider how I viewed kink (judgement) so it was helpful to have this challenge my perception.

This quote really cemented to keep reading and push pass whatever preconceived notions about kink--People who are willing to do the work of having ongoing conversations about personal boundaries and to base relationship agreements on those and keep them relatively fluid are generally people who are willing to build meaningful connections.

Very much a starting point to keep learning more

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I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a nonfiction psychology self-help book that delves into a topic outside my usual comfort zone and expertise. As many of my readers are aware, I am a psychotherapist, and dedicating time to professional development is paramount to me. Discussing sex with clients has been an area for personal growth. It's an uncomfortable topic in my personal life, making it challenging to broach with clients (ironically, I find it easier to discuss with clients). "With Sprinkles On Top" appealed to me for review because I recognized the value it could bring to my professional development and, consequently, to the clients I work with.
The book caters to both laypeople and professionals, although it leans more toward the everyday person, which is perfectly fine. For some, the subjects of sex, BDSM, and kink can be intimidating, and the author skillfully eases readers into the subject matter. The author alternately addresses the 'vanilla' person and the 'kinky' person, a particularly helpful approach as each side of the coin possesses unique needs, concerns, thoughts, and feelings related to this topic. While the overall tone of the book is geared towards relationships and couples, the information proves highly useful for discussing this sensitive topic with others. The 272-page book feels bite-sized and digestible.

The standout features of the book include the author's personal stories as a sex therapist, the activities they've utilized with clients, and the inclusion of downloadable PDFs containing these activities. These activities serve a dual purpose, suitable for use with a partner or as interventions in my therapeutic practice. I absolutely appreciate the versatility.

Now, dear reader, you may be curious as to why I rated this book 3.25 stars. Let me clarify; this is a GOOD book, rich with valuable knowledge. I will enthusiastically recommend it to others, including fellow therapists. However, it falls short of being the best psychology book I've ever read (and I've read plenty!). A 3-star rating, for me, means 'I liked it,' making it a commendable rating.

So, if you're seeking a book to enhance your understanding of communication about sex, delve into information about BDSM/Kink, or merely satisfy your curiosity on the subject, this is an approachable and informative read!

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Such a fun and helpful read! I am definitely less vanilla than my partner and all of the things I've learned of kink have been primarily from romance novels. It was helpful to learn more about it from a nonfiction stance, especially how to communicate it to my partner.

I recommend reading this book for anyone who is even a little bit curious about kink and how to bring it up to your partner, or even just do some self discovery!

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Ok, fully admitting I am a vanilla human with a vanilla partner, so not exactly the intended audience of this book.

That being said I have been open to exploring and this book was such an eye opener. Built from Goerlich's years off practice as a sex therapist, the book is open, honest and really accessible. Peppered through are stories of real life couples in all types of kink relationships.

Really fantastic resource I hope to come back to in the future.

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I ended up not finishing this book. Because of that I will give it 3 stars to not hurt or help the average.

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I think this book would be super helpful for couples to read together. It will be a great way to open a dialogue between the couple. Especially if one is more vanilla than the other.

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This book ended up being more valuable than I ever expected it would.

So my relationship is not particularly the pairing it is made for. Me and my partner are both kinky but I felt that we had a lot to learn in communication around it still and thought it interesting to see what I could learn from this book.
A week after it finished though we had almost the perfect example of this book happen to us when I opened up about a kink and my partner did not like that at all to say the least. Without opening up too much about my private life that I'm not comfortable with, I definitely do want to say that the tips the book gives absolutely help and are very much worth it if you ever struggle with your partner around understanding, accepting and making room for each others kinks.

I really think this book is set up really well. It takes the reader and guides it from the start to conflict through every stage needed towards suggesting solutions they can look into. It gives space for the hurt, confusion and anger for both partners and is good at explaining how each of them think for both parties. It guides the reader through gently and felt very cared for in this book.

What I also loved is that this book was very queer inclusive. The book had a lot of examples throughout and it was absolutely lovely that it had examples with they/them users and all kinds of people. This made me feel very included as a trans person and definitely added to the cared for space this book had as it didn't make me feel othered at all.

Concluding I think this book is very valuable for any kinky and vanilla couple or maybe kinky couples that have kinks that don't perfectly match.

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With Sprinkles On Top was such an informative and affirming read. Although this book is framed as a supportive tool for those in relationships with mixed interests (one kinkier partner, one more “vanilla”), I feel that it was a fantastic overview and thoughtful, in-depth introduction into the world of BDSM & kink for anyone!

This book is best enjoyed at a slow pace, in my opinion, because it is so information-rich! Stefani Goerlich really thought of everything that was important for readers to know, and I think I was able to retain more by reading little by little over the course of a few weeks. I had a few unexpected triggers arise while reading this book, so giving myself time to process information was very helpful.

With Sprinkles On Top was incredibly well-thought out, with so many additional resources (book recommendations, activities, questions to get you thinking) through the entire book.

When I had seen this title available on NetGalley, my interest was immediately piqued and I knew it would be a worthwhile read. A big thank you to Stefani, the publishers, and NetGalley for an ARC of this book!

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I'll be honest. The title grabbed me first, but as an avid romance reader I thought this would be an interesting read to get deeper insight to some of the relationships I read about. Not to mention maybe I'd learn something new too.

Communication being key is a great lesson for any relationship, not just those who are into kink vs vanilla. I thought the book discussed relevant issues and solutions to the topic at hand in a way that didn't make it clinical or dry of a read. It hits the mark for the market it's writing to and I would recommend it to those wishing to explore or learn effective ways of communicating with their partner about certain needs/wants.

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No, me requesting this book is not telling you too much about myself, except that I listen to a lot of Dan Savage. While this book has a specific audience (see the subheading) it is quite applicable to a broader audience. It is interesting, fact based and has given me some things to think about in my own relationship.The author doesn't make generalisations,and that somehow makes it more inclusive, not less. Even though I am not strictly the target audience I found this book interesting and educational.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this e-Arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Part communication, part education and stigma.

For anyone who would like to know more about kink and vanilla. I like the matter of fact, straight forward style by someone who has had a solid background in the field. The focus stays primarily on the relationship between one who is into kink and their vanilla partner. I liked the education and information provided and that at the heart of the matter is the ability to communicate between partners.

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DNF at 3%. Based on the title, I didn't know that this was primarily for people interested in BDSM. So, this was not quite what I expected to read.

However, what I did read, I found to be engaging and I'm sure it'll be a delightful read for the right audience!

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“With Sprinkles On Top” is a fascinating little introduction to kink. It’s created specifically for an audience of non-kinky (or “vanilla”) partners. Certainly not the first of its kind, but also not an overly saturated market. And what's even better, is that despite being explicitly and obviously focused on kink, many of the insights could be used to help someone accept a wide range of partner identities or disclosures. This is because much of the book focuses on broad sexual topics such as empathy, communication, negotiation, and answering the question "What is considered normal?"

Unfortunately, I couldn’t help but feel like the author made a fair amount of contradictory assumptions about her readers; namely, their openness to alternative or non-normative relationships.

On one hand, you may argue that only folks with some degree of openness to the idea of kink would pick this book up to begin with. The subtitle is literally “Everything Vanilla People and Their Kinky Partners Need to Know to Communicate, Explore, and Connect.” The reader surely wants to learn about their partner’s kinky desires, get ideas for how to experiment, and collaborate in their relationship, right? That’s the group of individuals who I feel would enjoy & benefit from this book the most. That’s the group who are probably going to be in the headspace for consuming erotic media that might scare or confuse them a little. And that’s the group I would expect to willingly complete a Yes-No-Maybe list (or, as it’s called here, a “Finding Your Sprinkles Discovery Worksheet”).

On the other hand, Goerlich frequently speaks to partners who might be quite adamantly opposed to kink for a variety of reasons (ranging from conservative religious beliefs to relationship betrayal). While I love to see this group of people included, I’m not sure that this would be the book I would recommend for them - at least not before some internal work and potential healing had been done. I can only imagine feeling shocked & disgusted by my partner’s newly disclosed desires only to pick up this book and be confronted with explicitly sexual descriptions of the same nature. Or to be experiencing the staggeringly fresh heartbreak of infidelity and read that perhaps the solution is for my partner to get their kinky needs met elsewhere.

I would like to be clear: this is not an attack on the author at all. She does a fantastic job of affirming folks wherever they are on the vanilla-to-kink spectrum and explicitly denounces any sort of coercion between partners of mixed orientation. Towards the end of the book, there’s even a lot of space dedicated to supporting individuals who simply don’t think that they can continue their relationship. And all the while, Goerlich maintains a wonderfully sex positive and playful approach to kink with countless ideas for a variety of solutions. I just worry that it may prove to be too much too fast for the more skittish folks out there - even with the author’s obvious intent to make kink less intimidating.

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A thoughtful and approachable guide to sex, relationships, and kink, for readers who are interested in learning more and looking for a place to start. I love that each section comes with a “recommended titles” list for more information on each subject!

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Thanks NetGalley for the ARC of With Sprinkles on Top by Stefani Goerlich.

I was so excited for this book! The idea and concept is so great, I haven’t seen a how-to for a non-kinky partner. The book held up a lot of the promises from the description, and also had such great tools such as forms, checklists, and ideas. However, I found it disorganized and repetitive. Often, the author described words (such as kink) that had been described earlier in the book. The chapters also didn’t flow, there would be a random letter from someone but it wasn’t introduced or formatted any differently and didn’t help the flow at all. I hope this is something that can be addressed before the final printing!

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This book is so well written and relatable. As someone who is into kink and BDSM with a vanilla partner, this book was completely relevant. It's an amazing conversation starter about kink and BDSM between couples with this kind of existing dynamic. It has great advice on how to discuss how each of you are feeling and how to move forward. I do also feel that the descriptions and dive into what kink/fetish/BDSM are and what they can look like is presented in a way that someone who is considered vanilla or just doesn't understand it can understand a bit more.

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