Back in the 1970s, when I was about nine or ten years old, I remember stealing glimpses at my parents' copy of THE JOY OF SEX, with it's drawings of hairy, bookish couple coupling, and thinking if that was what sex was like, I didn't see what all the excitement was about. Now the New York Times reports that there's a new edition of the book. Gone are the illustrations of hairy man and his hippie babe, replaced by photos of an attractive young couple, and now the book explores issues like AIDS, Viagra, and Internet porn, but…:
In a society where, if anything, people talk and think far too much about sex already, what is the point of reading anything else about it? Is there really anything new to say? […] People have more sex with more partners and think nothing of talking about it the next day in Starbucks, on the bus, on their cellphones as they walk along the street. College students hook up instead of dating. Magazines aimed at teenage girls publish practical advice on where to put what, and what to do then, when performing oral sex. Sexual images loom down from billboards, leap out of television sets and beckon from computers. Old-style pornography has become modern erotica; the newer, hard-core versions can be easily found by anyone with a computer.
“He mentions the clitoris, he honors the clitoris, he says it’s important,” said Susan Quilliam [who did the revision]. “That was a lot more than most people did in those days. But he only mentions it in passing a few times and has no specific section on it. Not because he was anti-clitoris but because he just didn’t know […]I’m sure he was a lovely man, but he said that most men, given a young and attractive partner, can always get it up — it’s only when a woman lets herself go that he has a problem. And you’re going, ‘No, no, no!’ But that is what it was like then.”
It's a good thing for us men that fewer women are letting themselves go today!