Raise your hand if at any time in the ’70s or ’80s you had a copy of The Joy of Sex tucked away in a bedroom drawer. No? Must have been just me, then.
Monica Hesse of the Washington Post has a funny essay on the revised edition of this not-so-timeless classic, the original of which can still be found on the back tables of garage sales everywhere, sandwiched between copies of The Thorn Birds and The Complete Book of Running. I haven’t picked up a copy in years, but I still remember how wonderfully erotic all those drawings seemed at first, and how quickly they became blase. The woman was cool; the guy sort of reminded me of Chuck Mangione.
As Ms. Hesse points out, the drawings are now photographs, and the randy couple now look like J. Crew models, without the benefit of J. Crew apparel. This edition includes 42 new sections — apparently a lot has changed since people started having sex in the primeval suburbs of 1972. I suppose I should have a look, to keep up with the latest developments.
Then again, maybe not. I think the market for tastefully titillating sex manuals has gone the way of Fu Manchu moustaches and enormous shirt collars. Hard to imagine much demand in the age of the Internet.
G.C. PHILO says
Whoa Whoa… Just a second. Fu Manchus are out of style???? Next thing I know is you’ll tell me come-overs were never in. My dad will be devastated!
In the Borders remainder pile today we noticed a more base substitute for Joy of Sex–a Year Of Sex, with a different position depicted for each day. Far beyond my appetite at this age, but if one performed as illustrated, he would be the beneficiary of a tremendous fitness program–a hell of a lot more fun than pressing a growing calf each day.
We should have had copies of the book in the 70’s.
Dave Knadler says
Gee, what would a classic like that be doing in the remainder pile?
I’m not sure I believe there are really 365 distinct positions. I’d better head to Borders and find out.