Illuminating the Performance is a 162 page self-help manual by author Habeeb Akande geared to a man audience about the art of sexual love and lovemaking; erotology. Habeeb Akande is a British born writer and historian of Yoruba descent. He is an alumnus of al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt and Kingston University in the UK. He is also the author of Illuminating the Darkness: Blacks and North Africans in Islam and Illuminating the Blackness: Blacks and African Muslims in Brazil, and A Taste of Honey: Sexuality and Erotology in Islam.
I said that Illuminating the Performance is a self-help book which is true because the voice Akande uses throughout his manual is cautionary. He gives advice to the novice targeted male audience based upon his experience. Having said that, the book also draws from his researches based on ninth centuries Afro-Arab love treatises. It also uses contemporary quotes from sex educator like Lou Paget and authors like Dr. Boyce Watkins so that the modern reader can relate to the heeds being given. Furthermore, it relays African proverbs and modern day adages to keep the book interesting. My favorite quote with bias is an Ivorian proverb that says : "If a woman doesn't love you, she calls you a brother." Read more here.
To continue, I found the book chauvinist at times because it came across to me like men see themselves better than women. Especially, when Akande spelled out the characteristic of the Lion Womanizer versus the Hyena Womanizer. That said, I know women are also guilty of being chauvinistic toward men at times so I didn't let these small instances spoil the book for me. And the book closes well and attains the goal set; giving tips on erotology to those who need it.
So divided into 11 short chapters to keep the reader engaged, Illuminating the Performance describes 11 topics by referring to each as an art. For instance, chapter 7 covers the topic of seduction. Thus, it's titled 'The Art of Seduction'. Now, compared to A Taste of Honey, this book doesn't have scriptures throughout it. Therefore, a novice heterosexual and non-Muslim man will probably not see a problem reading it. A novice heterosexual and Muslim man on the other hand needs to be aware that he needs to keep mahram rules and other Islamic rules about free-mixing in mind while reading in my opinion.
Overall, I really think that Illuminating the Performance is a book many men who seek guidance in satisfying their spouses will benefit from.
Thank you reading,