Here at Globaliving, we are dedicated to show you customs regarding sex all over and around the world. We want to share these books that people read to be enlightened of such customs. Enjoy reading!
The influential sex manual by Briton Alex Comfort celebrates its 40th birthday this month. On publication, it was banned in Ireland, and US religious groups tried to have it removed from libraries. It went on to sell 10m copies, spending a decade on the bestseller lists. It was loosely based on recipe book The Joy of Cooking, hence chapters such as “starters” and “main courses”. The illustrations of a hirsute couple were based on photos of artist Charles Raymond and his German wife. As well as playing a part in the sexual revolution, reading it became a rite of passage for sniggering schoolboys.
Family-planning pioneer Dr Marie Stopes wrote her sex manual while she was still a virgin. In 1913, she filed for divorce from Canadian geneticist Reginald Gates, claiming that the marriage had never been consummated, and shortly afterwards began writing a book on how she thought relationships should work. It took two years to complete and another three to find a publisher, but was an immediate hit, requiring five editions within a year and going on to sell 750,000 copies. Soon after publication, Stopes met second husband Humphrey Roe and finally got a chance to practise what she preached
Bidding to be The Joy of Sex for the next generation, the first Lovers’ Guide VHS was released in 1991. It sold 1.3m copies in Britain, becoming the first non-fiction film to top the video charts. Presented by “sexologist” Dr Andrew Stanway, it wasn’t what you’d call shy, with soft-focus yet visually explicit scenes accompanying its instructional tips. Producers even faced obscenity charges, although these were later dropped. The Lovers’ Guide subsequently became a prolific brand that is still going today, pumping out sequels, DVDs, 3D Blu-rays, books, CDs and a website
Contrary to popular belief, this Hindu text isn’t exclusively a sex manual and isn’t tantric. Sorry, Sting. Though a detailed section on sex is included, it’s an all-round guide to life, love and marriage. Believed to be written by philosopher Vātsyāyana in about the 3rd century, the work describes 64 sensual acts, including kissing, caressing, “use of fingernails and teeth”, sexual positions and oral sex. The major English translation was printed in 1883. In the 1990s, its chapter on positions began circulating on the internet, hence the misconception that this represents the whole Kama Sutra
This 15th-century text, nicknamed “the Arab Kama Sutra”, was written by Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Nafzawi in what is now Tunisia. As well as advice on technique, it contains recipes to cure sexual maladies, lists of “sundry names for sex organs” and interpretations of saucy dreams. Like The Kama Sutra, it was translated by polymath Sir Richard Francis Burton in the 1880s. Burton later tried to restore the missing chapter on homosexuality and pederasty, but, soon after his death from a heart attack, his widow burned the manuscript
The first sex manual to enter mainstream culture, Californian psychiatrist David Reuben’s 1969 tome helped liberalise attitudes and had a huge impact on sex education. It provided frank, compassionate and witty answers to sexual questions, although it is slightly uncomfortable talking about anything other than straight married couples. Still, it was a bestseller in 51 countries, read by 100m and paved the way for The Joy of Sex three years later – the same year that Woody Allen dressed as a sperm to spoof Reuben’s book on screen
Published in the mid-90s, this whopping American handbook for all things rumpy-related weighs in at nearly 1,000 pages. Now on its sixth edition, it has won awards for its sex educational value. Written by psychoanalyst Paul Joannides and aimed at students, it opens with chapters about losing your virginity, before moving on to more advanced material and fancy modern stuff, such as cybersex. Its irreverent tone, confessional quotes from readers and cartoon illustrations add to the non-scary vibe. Most of the drawings have a cat lurking in the background