by Alex Comfort, Susan Quilliam. A bestseller since it was first published in , Alex Comfort's classic work celebrated human physical intimacy with such authority and clarity that a whole generation felt empowered to enjoy sex. The reasons for unfulfilling sexual relations. The Joy of Sex: The Ultimate Revised Edition by Alex Comfort. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. Read "The Joy of Sex The Ultimate Revised Edition" by Alex Comfort available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. A revised.
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This current edition was published in Great Britain as The New Joy of Sex. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Comfort, Alex, – Free Download eBook: The joy of sex PDF by irtrimuzcomcomp.ga Comfort, Get it now.. happy reading. The joy of sex [electronic resource (EPUB eBook)]: [the timeless guide to lovemaking] / Alex Comfort. Beautifully designed and lavishly illustrated, The Joy of.
It was also only 11 years since Penguin Books had faced an obscenity charge for publishing DH Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover - the full text, complete with four-letter words and descriptions of sex between the lady and the gamekeeper. But Penguin had been found not guilty thanks to the literary merit of the work, so Joy of Sex art director Peter Kindersley calculated that the quality of the art work would shield the publishers, Mitchell Beazley, from prosecution.
The images were graphic - they showed genitals and countless sex positions - but they were also artistic, and tasteful. For good measure, he also added a number of historical images from India and Japan.
There was some difficulty finding a workable Plan B. As the project approached a dead-end, it was the book's other illustrator, Charles Raymond - responsible for the colour artwork - who came to the rescue. He volunteered to do the modelling himself, with his German wife, Edeltraud. Chris Foss, who was responsible for the book's black-and-white illustrations, took the photos.
The book's author, Dr Alex Comfort, had given them dozens of positions to get though, and all were done for real over two hectic days in early We said: 'Yes, that's a great picture of bondage' or whatever it was. He was a frequent visitor to the Sandstone Ranch - a kind of retreat for sexual adventure, where clothes were more often off than on, and sex with multiple partners was the norm. His message in the book - which marked a big departure from earlier writings on the subject - was that sex, and sexual experimentation, were fun.
The different positions reproduced by Charles and Edeltraud were compared to the courses of a meal. He too, however, was anxious about possible repercussions, such as being struck off the medical register. So he presented himself in the original edition as the editor, claiming that an anonymous couple had handed him the text, which he had merely tweaked and contextualised.
But there were no repercussions. The timing of the book was perfect and the marriage of a sexually liberal message and daring but inoffensive pictures was an instant hit.
As Mr Kindersley toured book fairs around the world, the response was "electric" and many big publishers took it on.
There were of course some rejections. The one he remembers best was the US men's magazine Playboy - the models were just a little too hairy for their liking. The Joy of Sex ended up selling more than 10 million copies around the world - more than five million in the United States alone, where it stayed in the New York Times best-seller list for a decade. Photos take over The illustrations are fantastic - they are legendary in the history of sex manuals James McConnachie, Author of The Book of Love There had been sex manuals before of course, but they had not been illustrated in anything like such a comprehensive way.
The image we have of "a world of exotic, moustachioed aristocrats doing exaggerated acrobatic sex, with women on swings, or with their ankles round their ears" has nothing to do with the original Kama Sutra, says Mr McConnachie.
Miniatures from th Century India - well over a 1, years after the book was written in India - were only tagged on when the text was translated into French and English at the end of the 19th Century, he says. The Joy of Sex was therefore jumping into untested water, but carried off the illustrations with such aplomb that few have dared even try to emulate it, according to Mr McConnachie. Extracts from The Joy of Sex "Sex is the most important sort of adult play.
If you are actually pleased, then you can be sure that you are onto the right thing. This is for daylight; it is di cult to sleep in them. The only exception may be after; warm bodies tend to stick, and a blotter worn by one or other can add to comfort. Nudists used to be associated with health fanatics enjoying a strict regime of cold showers and vigorous sports. Now, thank goodness, a more relaxed attitude prevails.
Today, nudity is natural, not a ritual.
There is, however, a lot to be said for the opportunity to look at men and women in general under unforced conditions; it is the discharge of residual anxiety of this sort about our body acceptability that probably makes group nudity so relaxing, rather than the opportunity to get an all-over tan. There is also evidence that children brought up in a naturist environment may be more responsible when faced with sexual opportunities and asked to make sexual choices.
You should be able to pick a naturist club to taste — they o er facilities for open-air nakedness, which are hard to organize at home, and are universally tough on sexual advances, which makes for an almost uniquely relaxed atmosphere.
It matters to us who is doing what, far more than it does to most men. Is it fair, I wonder, to give a simple instance? You, sir, can make orgiastically satisfactory love with a near stranger in half an hour at. Granted this however, there are common reactions. Granted this di erence, however, there are common reactions. We seem to be less heavily programmed than you for speci c turn-ons, but once we see one of these working on a man we care about, we soon program it into our own response, and can be less rigid and more experimental because of this ability.
Another important thing is the tough-tender mixture: You never get anywhere by clumsy brutality; however brutal good lovemaking sometimes looks, the turn-on is strength-skill-control, not large bruises, and the ability to be tender with it. No obsessive views about reciprocity — who comes on top and so on evens out during the passing of time: Men have a real advantage here in the constructive use of play and can help women to act it out too.
Since we all have some aggressions, good sex can be wildly forceful, but still never cruel. As for sexual equality, nobody can possibly be a good lover without regarding their partner as a person and an equal.
That is really all there is to be said on the matter.
Our own smell excites us as well as yours. We learn, over a period of time, that the sort of hand- and mouth work that men like varies enormously.
Some like it very rough, some hate it anything but extremely gentle, others in between. Finally, you should never presume that what excites one woman sexually will work just as well on another woman. Women probably do di er sexually rather more than men, because of the greater complexity of our sexual apparatus breasts, skin, and so on as well as pussy.
This is also true for a woman with a new man, but perhaps a little less so. Our sexual response is far brisker and more automatic: You seem to find this hard to understand. Secondly, most though not all male feeling is ultimately centered in the last inch of the penis though you can, if you start intelligently, teach us female-type sensitivity all over the surface of our skin.
It explains why we are emphatically penis-centered and tend to open the proceedings with genital play, probably before you are ready and when you would much rather wait to get in the mood. Genital approach is how we get into the mood. You need to understand these reactions, as we need to understand yours. Sex may be about the only place in our lives where we get to be held and nurtured. Personal folklore apart, what the male turn-on equipment requires is the exact reverse of a virgin or a passively recipient instrument — not a demand situation, because that in itself can threaten a turno due to feelings of inadequacy, but a skill situation; I can turn you on, and turn myself on in doing so, and from that point we play it both ways and together.
For the most part, they form a constant underpinning of mood, supporting though never replacing the honest-to-goodness sexual diesel generated by enthusiastic lovers.
A peak or a valley, on the other hand, can impact. Sexually, the crucial fuel is testosterone, for her as well as for him. His will peak during his twenties, then settle into a more or less consistent pattern, dipping over the course of a long-term relationship and rising in a new one; no excuse for straying, but a possible explanation of the temptation to do so.
In her, testosterone has the same e ect, raising desire, demand, and energy; in the last third of her menstrual month, when levels of the hormone are high, try more urgent, ghting sex. Around the menopause, as estrogen drops away and testosterone levels stay high, she may nd to her delight a lust that lasts for months or years — a second adolescence of which she can take full advantage. Prolactin is released when breast-feeding too, another reason why postpartum she may be utterly turned o all things sexual — just as the contraceptive pill, breast- feeding, and stress may imbalance her general hormone levels, with the same low-desire result.
If the machine falters, however, science is increasingly able to supply an answer; see your doctor. Yes, many recognize who they are early in life and never shift.
But adolescents often experiment before settling, and adults dream; same- sex relationships are in the top three sexual fantasies for heterosexuals, and some of the most surprising people — like Hans Christian Andersen — live out such dreams in real life. If you occasionally wonder — as opposed to having strong and clear desires in a particular direction — you are probably not gay but curious.
Your own answer, once found, could transform your sex life and also your life in general; passion can ow and activities that seemed o -putting with one gender can, with the other, feel natural and ful lling. This book is written for the straight reader but, within the context of a loving relationship, behaviors borrowed from the whole range of possible preferences can have their uses.
At the other end of the extreme, a partner who starts o lacking in con dence only proves delightful if they ultimately bene t from care and feeding; lasting and insistent insecurity is draining in bed and out of it.
This has nothing to do with looks. Nowadays, almost all women — and an increasing number of men — are scared of being spurned on that count, but this is because the media manipulates body image. Note to her: If he has ever hugged you clothed, he already knows your shape; if when you are unclothed he has an erection, then he not only accepts but lusts after it. Note to him: He, however, may have other insecurities.
But in terms of pure erection, there are always other ways — and for most women those ways are just as acceptable, certainly on an occasional basis. If generally nervous, the answer is to end up in bed only with a partner one is relaxed with and then try things out.
As with all human activities, the way to mastery is through play. She says: The natural perfume of a clean woman: It comes from the whole of her — hair, skin, breasts, armpits, genitals, and the clothing she has worn: Wrong means not so much unpleasant as intangibly not for them. Often their awareness of a man includes conditioned extras such as work odors or aftershave. We now know the science behind all this — pheromones, a kind of biological speed-bonding, making one attractive, relaxing a potential partner, creating mood.
Susceptibility and consciousness of human clean perfumes vary in both sexes. Women have the keener sense of smell, but men respond to it more as an attractant. Far more human loves and antipathies are based on smell than our deodorant-and-aftershave culture admits.
Better by far would be soap and water, although the unfortunates who sweat profusely may well have problems. A mouthful of aluminium chloride in an armpit is one of the biggest disappointments bed can a ord, and a truly deodorized partner would be another. There is no excuse for bad breath or the unilateral eating of garlic.
Where lovemaking regularly happens at the end of a long, hot, or hard day, create a ritual of showering together beforehand. Take it seriously. Many women shave their armpit hair, conditioned as they are by the idea that hairlessness is sexy.
Opinions are divided on this one — fashion dictates armpits should be bare, but hairs catch our pheromonal scent. These are antennae and powder pu s to introduce herself in a room, or in lovemaking. In the genital kiss, start with the lips covered, then brush the closed lips, then open her; when she gives the kiss to a man, she proceeds in the same order.
She will feel much more at ease with this if he says clearly that he likes her scent and taste. Many women labor under the belief that their natural odor, particularly the pussy scent, is too strong. He can reverse this more or less instantly by showing enthusiasm. Can be stroked, sucked, squeezed, licked, softly stimulated with a vibrator — go up one side and down the other.
Her perineum — between vagina and anus — is as sensitive as his; tease gently with a ngertip. The U-spot see trigger points , between clitoris and vagina, can also be gently pressed in circular movements — use a careful knuckle or the tip of his penis; an unerect penis will give di erent sensations from an erect one.
If she is sensitive post- climax, this will help her scale the peak again. She may be insecure about the way she looks here — color, thickness, and size — but this is just one more re ection of the fact that most genital images we see have been doctored. New or growing lumps or bumps, however, like rashes or pain, need attention.
This is sad, for the vagina to her is as powerful yet vulnerable as the penis is to him, the source of reassuring menstrual blood, thudding orgasms, longed-for birth. Theoretically, only the rst third of the vagina is truly sensitive; as a symbol of her openness and femininity, however, the whole of it is at the heart of her sexuality.
Apart from this, any staining, discharge, rash, bleeding, or pain indicates infection and needs checking out; have regular Pap smears and a vaccination too, please, to protect against cervical cancer. The normal vaginal odor varies greatly between women and between times, but should always be pleasant and sexually exciting. A healthy vagina self-cleans. She should learn to kiss with it — she has two mouths to his one.
Smugly, it also has twice the number of nerve endings as its male counterpart. Whether because of too little knowledge or too much distrust, society has never given the clitoris the same weight of symbolism as the penis. Comedienne Carol Leifer put it more succinctly: It is, of course, the only human organ designed purely for pleasure. Many men are not aware, if they are oversold on direct clitoris stimulation, that most women can be brought to orgasm simply by holding this gently in the cupped hand and kneading or shaking it, before, without, or as well as putting a nger in the vagina see pubic hair.
He can either grasp it it exactly ts the palm or rest the heel of his hand on it while using the ngers on the labia, or he can cup the whole area, mons and closed labia, in palm and ngers; he can then practice seeing how much sensation he can produce with her lying completely closed.
In return, she can grasp his mons, circling his penis with her ngers, her other hand on his scrotum — though typically the e ect is not the same; some men find that it simply tickles. Just how sensitive they are, in men as well as in women, varies enormously, and according to physical state and mood.
As with other sexual organs, size is unimportant in relation to sensitivity; if it still creates insecurity, however, fascinated attention is a more e ective cure than surgery. Going round and round the nipple with the tongue tip or the glans, soft kneading with both hands, gentle biting, and sucking gently like a baby are the best gambits — she can do the same for him.
While there, both can occasionally check for suspicious lumps. If her breasts are big enough to meet, one can get a surprising degree of mutuality from intermammary intercourse.
She lies half at on pillows, he kneels astride big toe to her clitoris if she needs helping with his foreskin, if he has one, fully retracted. Either he or she can hold the breasts together — wrap them around the shaft rather than rub the glans with them. It should protrude clear, just below her chin. Intercourse between the breasts is equally good in other positions — head to tail, or with her on top especially if she has small breasts , or man sitting, woman kneeling; experiment accordingly.
Breasts, vagina, and clitoris all at once make the fastest and most concentrated buildup of sensation once intercourse has begun, for some women at least.
Many easily stimulated women can also experience a rather special pleasure from suckling a baby. A man who can dial this correctly and will only take the time can do anything.
Palm-brushing, eyelash-brushing, licking, and loud sucking like a baby can work wonders; the orgasms one gets from these are mind-blowing without detracting a jot from intercourse to come after.
Please take time. If the e ect seems lacking, assiduous attention over time may help; try gentle circles with a toothbrush. Fluctuating hormones before her period can turn sensitivity into discomfort, and if there is itching, swelling, bleeding, or discharge, get it checked out.
This applies to him as well as to her. The aim is a balance of pleasure and pain; after, once pressure is released, the whole body will be achingly sensitive for hours. When taken o , pinch with ngers, then release slowly to allow the blood to ow back in comfortably. Limit time on such play — 15 minutes is enough. Actually the original primate focus, being brightly colored in most apes; apparently equally fancied by the Neanderthals, who produced some of the best Stone Age figurines.
The buttocks are a major erogenous zone in both sexes, though less sensitive than breasts because they have fewer nerves and a layer of fat, and so need stronger stimulation holding, kneading, slapping, or even harder beating — see discipline.
Intercourse from behind see rear entry is a pleasure in itself, but be careful if she has a weak back. These extra sensations are well worth cultivating deliberately. Visually, good buttocks are a turn-on in almost equal measure for both sexes. In any case, its texture, erectility, and so on are fascinating to both sexes, and its apparent autonomy, a little alarming. Like the vagina, the penis collects anxieties and folklore, and is a focus for all sorts of magical manipulations.
This explains the irrational male preoccupation with penile size. If anything, thickness matters more than length. Nor has accid size anything to do with erect size — a penis that is large when at rest simply enlarges less with erection.
Nor, except in very rare cases, is a penis too big for a woman — widthwise, the vagina will take a full-term baby. Shape also varies — the glans can be blunt or conical. This matters only in that the conical shape can make receptacle-tipped condoms uncomfortable through getting jammed in the tip. There is a whole play scene connected with uncapping, sti ening, and handling it, making it pulsate or ejaculate, that is a major part of togetherness. This is equally important for the man — not only is it ego-boosting, but good hand- and mouth work practically guarantee a good sexual partner.
Care and maintenance: This usually happens with the woman on top if she is careless near orgasm, or in putting him in, and he is just short of fully sti — keep a little control here. It is possible, though di cult, to fracture one of the two hydraulics contained in the shaft.
This is very painful and can lead to pain or kinking on subsequent erection. The normal organ will stand up to extremely hard use, but not to these. Avoid also silly tricks with suction and so on — see inflators. Sores, discharge, lumps, bumps, bleeding, and so on signal illnesses and need treatment. If the foreskin is dry from masturbation or long retraction, saliva is the recommended lubricant. That, however, is its only importance in matters sexual. Smaller ones work equally well in most positions — and may, as only the rst few inches of the vagina are sensitive, actually work better than larger examples.
Non-erect size in the male is equally unimportant — some men before erection show no penile shaft at all, but extend to full size easily.
The same applies to testicle weight — it varies, as does nose or mouth size, but has little to do with function. Small genitals are usually due to active muscles in the layer beneath the skin — a cold bath will shrink the best-endowed male down to Greek-statue proportions.
She should learn not to comment on it except favorably; he should learn not to give it a second thought. The few cases where male genitalia are really infantile occur in conjunction with major gland disturbances and are treatable but rare.
All the above reassurance also applies to vaginal size. Nor is any vagina too large: Long term, do Kegel exercises see pompoir to keep muscles toned — though lots of sex works just as well and she will enjoy it more. Apart from postpartum stitching, surgery to tighten the vagina is usually a re ection of lack of con dence on her part or inappropriate demands on his.
Genital anatomy probably xes which postures work best for a given couple, but no more than that. With rare exceptions, men and women are universally adapted. As to the size of other structures, such as breasts, these may be individual turn-ons, but every build has its sexual opportunities built in: It still persists — for cultural as well as supposed health reasons. Holding the skin back hard with the hand her hand during intercourse works for both the circumcised and uncircumcised as an accelerator, and offers a sensation of its own.
Women who have experienced both are divided — as they are over which looks sexier. If he is uncircumcised and she prefers the other, he can retract it — if vice versa, simply nd other amusements. Flick across with the tongue and apply sustained pressure while he simply relaxes. Reserve this technique, however, until he is ready to come more or less instantly.
The testes produce sperm; the scrotum is the control device to keep them producing it at the right temperature, moving up when he is cold and down when he is warm. Gentle tongue and nger work or cupping in the hand is about right, or try a ngertip along the visible center line and gentle teasing on the perineum between scrotum and anus.
She can take it right into her mouth. You can get it out of clothing or furnishings either with a sti brush, when the stain has dried, or with a dedicated cleanser designed to remove blood. If you spill it over each other, massage it gently in. If you want a very copious ejaculate, he can masturbate nearly, but not quite, to orgasm about an hour beforehand to increase prostate secretion. If his semen tastes bad, try altering his diet, and if that makes no di erence, get a checkup — it can indicate health problems.
She may like to know that an average ejaculation delivers about ve calories and a dose of vitamin C. Not only its feel when touched, but its coolness, texture, and tightness are triggers for a whole range of sexual feelings. Built in; the so-called erogenous zones are the ones most rich in nerve endings — lips, earlobes, feet, buttocks, breasts as well as genitals. Sensitivity will vary — for both according to mood and for her according to menstrual cycle.
But it can be boosted in some people by emphasis, and by adding other textures, especially fur, rubber, leather, or tight clothing. The normal excited vagina is correctly set for friction; if she is too wet, dry gently with a handkerchief-wrapped nger not tissues — you will never stop nding the bits. More lasting dryness can be due to stress, infections, medication, depression, hormonal ups and downs, and some medical conditions; see a doctor.
If more lubrication is needed, saliva is the best natural one. There is also much to be said for the many commercial possibilities o ering added sensation, smells, and tastes, though note that oil-based ones destroy latex condoms, silicone-based ones destroy silicone sex toys, and some anesthetize. As with all extragenital sites, they are more responsive in women than men, whose skin is literally as well as metaphorically thicker.
Once made sensitive gentle ngering, sucking, and so on during build-up and before orgasm, to condition the response , earlobes can trigger full climax from manipulation alone. Heavy earrings help, and can actually maintain subliminal erotic excitement, especially if they are long enough to brush the neck when she turns her head — this is, in fact, the original function of the large Eastern and Spanish candelabra-type earrings.
Safe installation and skillful handling of other types of body jewelry can provide additional erotic pleasure. If she is plump, she can hold up the skin on each side to make labia. In any case, the nger or tongue tip slips into it naturally in both sexes. Also a key site for pheromones, which cling, following perspiration, to underarm hair and generate arousal see cassolette. Axillary intercourse is an occasional variation. Handle it as for intermammary intercourse see breasts , but with his penis under her right arm — well under, so that friction is on the shaft, not the glans, as in any other unlubricated area.
Her left arm goes around his neck and he holds her right hand behind her with his right hand. She will get her sensations from the pressure against her breasts, helped by his big toe pressed to her clitoris if she wants it see big toe.
Not an outstandingly rewarding trick, but worth trying if you like the idea. Their erotic sensitivity varies a lot. Sometimes, when they are the only part you can reach, they serve as channels of communication, and the big toe makes a good penis substitute see big toe. You can try it as a stimulus or, brie y, for testing the e ectiveness of bondage see ligottage, and rope work. Firm pressure on the sole at the instep, however administered, is erogenous to most people.
But so can almost any touch be in a woman who is that way minded — one can get a full orgasm from a foot, a nger, or an earlobe. Men respond far less but equally easily if the handling is skillful. The famous gentleman in erotic prints who is keeping six women successfully occupied is using tongue, penis, both hands, and both big toes.
The toe can be used in mammary or armpit intercourse or any time he is astride her, or sits facing as she lies or sits. In a restaurant, one can surreptitiously remove a shoe and sock, reach out, and keep her in almost continuous orgasm with all four hands fully in view on the table top and no sign of contact — a party trick that rates as really advanced sex, though she may appear more than a little distracted.
She has less scope, but can learn to masturbate him with his penis held between her two big toes. The toes reputedly have a direct nerve link to the genitals, and can be kissed, sucked, tickled, or tied with stimulating results. Our culture, having learned in the past to associate long hair with women and short hair with manly conformity, has been occasionally excited to frenzy when young males rejected the stereotype and wore their hair long.
Be that as it may, long male hair today tends to go with a less anxious idea of maleness. Sex play with long hair is great because of its texture — you can handle it, touch each other with it, and generally use it as one more resource. Unless part of mutual mock ghts, tugging and pulling is a total turno and will break you out of your sex trance.
Some women are turned on by a fair amount of masculine body hair because it looks virile, others are turned o by it because it looks animal — this seems to be a matter of attitude. Male facial hair is another focus of convention — sometimes everyone has it as a social necessity or a response to convention, at other times it is persecuted, or con ned to sailors, pioneers, and creative people such as artists and chefs.
Today you can please yourself, or better, your partner. If you do shave it once, you are, however, committed to a prickly interregnum while it regrows. Some nowadays prefer it o in the interest of fashion or total nudity, or prefer the hardness of the bare pubis.
Others nd it decorative and regard it as a resource. Try brushing it lightly and learn to caress with it — it can be combed, twirled, kissed, held, even pulled. In the woman it can move the whole pubis, skillfully handled, to the point of orgasm. As a halfway house, she can trim it creatively, con ning the triangle to the middle of the pubis with a bare strip each side — Brazilian style — removing hair that comes outside a G-string or a swimsuit, or trimming enough to make the vulva fully visible.
One myth that has proved remarkably persistent is that you can tell whether a blonde is natural from the color of her pubic hair. He may need to shave the penile shaft and root to use condoms — otherwise the hairs can get caught.
This can produce sharp pain at a time when he should be experiencing intense pleasure. Everyone, ill or well, deserves sex if they want it. Yes, bad health can all too easily undermine sexual desire — even a heavy dose of the common cold can push sex right to the bottom of the list. Both suppositions are wrong. Anyone who can think about sex can experience desire.
Anyone who can feel anything in mouth, breasts, clitoris, penis — or can fantasize about feeling — has at least potential for arousal. Anyone who can move ngers, tongue, or toes — or relate their fantasy — can arouse their partner. If none of that is possible or simply not wanted, then hugs, kisses, and hand-holding will give a sense of connection that can often do much to offset the absence of sex.
What feels good may not be what felt good before illness struck. If tiredness is an issue, make love just after waking; if pain or sti ness is an issue, take painkillers and a hot bath half an hour beforehand.
If desire is low or orgasm is challenging, check medications; some act to undermine sexual response but can be changed, given the right conversation with your doctor. If hospitalized or institutionalized, you should ask for — if necessary, demand — privacy.
If you are alone or both partners have limited mobility, some care workers are willing to assist, unbuttoning clothing, positioning limbs, and cleaning up afterwards, though it will need careful negotiation. If the doctor actively prescribes no sex, challenge that opinion.
If the answer really is no, only accept it if you are sure the doctor knows how much passion means to you; a good clinician will realize that stopping sex for any length of time is undermining. It bears repeating; for most people, good health is sustained by, and bad health improved by, a loving and regular sex life. Young people and some older ones are rmly convinced that no one over fty makes love, and it would be pretty obscene if they did.
No one need lose either sexual needs or sexual function with age; on the contrary, the best may be yet to come. For women, the end of ovulation means the end of fertility, and for some this subtly a ects their self-esteem. As to menopausal symptoms, there is much debate right now about HRT hormone replacement therapy ; the jury is out and the best advice is to make an informed decision following regular talks with a clinician.
If the evidence is against, there are medical or natural health solutions for the short-term problems of night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, and the long-term risks of heart problems and bone-density reduction. Sex — with a partner or alone — will always help. This can lead to injudicious thrashing about, or simply a reassessment of their aims and opportunities very like a second adolescence.
Women are increasingly hitting this too — the empty nest for both can be an intimation of mortality that in itself kick-starts a bout of midlife wet dreams. But given a supportive and receptive partner, decent general health, and an absence of the belief that one ought to run out of steam, active sex lasts as long as life.
If activity is low and you are both happy with that, ne; sex is not compulsory. But about half of all couples over the age of sixty- ve make love on a regular basis — a higher percentage, incidentally, than when the rst edition of this book appeared more than 35 years ago — and many of the others will have stopped because of physical or relationship fragility, not sexual problems per se.
The things that stop you from having sex with age are exactly the same as those that stop you from riding a bicycle bad health, thinking it looks silly, no bicycle. The di erence is that these things happen later for sex than for bicycles. Vive la France! The most important thing is never to drop sex for any long period — if you do, you may have trouble restarting.
What helps at this point: Two warnings. More con dent, more knowledgeable, more experienced, you know what goes where and what to do with it; you know what works for you; you know what works for each other or — if you are newly come together — you know how to nd out.
Age brings patience and kindness, and an increased ability to both give and take; sex becomes more important, not less, as time goes on. As with so many things, later life is the time when you have tried everything and settle down to the things you like most — together.
We all know, instinctively, what compels us and what repels us. We all know what our fetishes are. On one level this matters not a bit. On another level it matters enormously because sex maps underpin what we do and how we respond.
Plus, sex maps are often out of our awareness — we can fail to realize that we have unrealistic or unhelpful expectations, and so be doomed to disappointment. Likes, dislikes, hates, fears, prejudices, and dreams: Unpick them all, together, without feeling threatened, to appreciate as well as to understand — your own, revealed in comparison, as well as theirs.
Knowledge, it should be added, is important in other ways — it informs, improves, and optimizes the maps of young people growing up. We now know, through competent research, that sex education actively raises the age at which adolescents rst have sex and lowers the number of partners they have and the number of risks they take; there is no excuse for withholding from children knowledge not only of the mechanics but also the underlying and informing emotions. To quote the rst edition of this book: We have deliberately not gone into the ethics of lifestyle.
The facts are that few of us go through life with sexual experience con ned to one partner only, in delity gures increase year after year, and many people run multiple relationships on parallel tracks. Yet most of us still remain monogamous in our long- term relationships, at least unless things start to go sour. All this can be vice versa. Whatever the temptations, however, delity is not only a good ideal but a good idea.
We are more able to love — and to make love — if we are neither lying nor being lied to. Active deception always hurts a relationship. Complete frankness that is aimed to avoid guilt, or as an act of aggression against a partner, can do the same. The real problem arises from the fact that sexual relations can be anything, for di erent people and on di erent occasions, from a game to a total fusion of identities; the heartaches arise when each partner sees it differently. There is no easy answer here.
All we can suggest is that you discuss them, so that at least you know where each of you stands. A nal word on jealousy. If you are prone to jealousy, particularly the desperately insecure, low-self-esteem kind, get counseling. If your partner is prone to betrayal, get out. This is about having the same values, aims, goals — one reason why arranged not forced marriages often work better than the hearts-and- owers variety.
Sexually, looking in the same direction is initially about complementary sexual preferences; if she fancies him and he also fancies him, then forget it, at least in bed. Similarity not quantity matters here — they can both be happy with it once a year and hence be happy with each other.
Get the match on these right and the connection will be bone deep. Sexual incompatibilities that surface once the rst rush of love is over are mostly due to loss of love, not lust. But keep the sexual t and it will be much harder to fall out of love; this may seem like kindergarten stu , but in and of itself, passion will act as a safeguard for the whole relationship. Properly done, sex is not only based on compatibility; it also creates it.
When and if consummation comes, we are left with an air of astonished gratitude. What then develops is everything this book is about. Get help now. Other than these situations, a strong and lasting desire for each other is a reasonable request to make of the love gods, but serious players know that the gods help those who help themselves.
Desire will be strongest where lovemaking is most effective; that means both partners should know how to arouse creatively and bring the other to climax as a matter of course, however much teach-and-learn it took to get there. Intense desire is not just about passion, however, but also about emotion — one reason why the title of this book contains words referring to both.
If we are to keep lusting, we need to keep feeling; if resentment and irritation lead to emotional anesthetization, that will inevitably lead to physiological anesthetization and a total shutdown of sensation experience.
But to keep on feeling passion, you need to have the courage to keep feeling full stop. A truly dedicated lover works at their art, and realizes that art is no less valuable for having to be worked at.
In talking about sexual relations, it seems right to apply it to any relationship in which there is mutual tenderness, respect, and consideration — from a total interdependence where the death of one partner maims the other for years, to an agreeable night together.
The intergrades are all love, all worthy, all part of human experience. Some meet the needs of one person, some of another — or of the same person at di erent times. Sometimes two people know each other very well, or think they have worked things out through discussion, and they may be right. Tradition has tried to cut the casualties by laying down all kinds of schedules of morality, but these never work percent in practice.
Nor are they of much use in classifying the merits of different kinds of relationships see fidelity. If sexual love can be — and it is — the supreme human experience, it must be also a bit hazardous.
It can give us our best and our worst moments. A cad can be of either sex. When this book was rst written, the world was in the middle of the most radical rethinking of sexuality ever — and the subsequent rethinking of love. The prediction then was that sex and love could be divorced, and no-strings sex is certainly now more common. Equally, when the going gets rough in relationships, good, pleasurable sex can bring you through.
When you make love, you do exactly that. We can list some: Most women know all this, but they are as shy about telling it to males, for fear of seeming over-sentimental, as males are about con ding object preferences or forceful needs. In a book on sexual elaboration, this needs saying, if you are concerned with love rather than an Olympic pentathlon.
In old-time France or Austria, one booked a restaurant room with no handle on the outside of the door. At the same time, there is a French saying that love and digestion went to bed together and the o spring was apoplexy. On the other hand, immediately after a heavy meal is not an ideal moment for sex — you can easily make your partner, especially the woman if she is underneath, sick.
Recent studies show it lowers inhibitions and increases euphoria, particularly for women, but is the most common cause of unexpected erectile problems. If you are serious about sex, develop a liking for mineral water. Some people enjoy food-and-sex games ice cream on the skin, grapes in the pussy, and so on , which are great for regressive orality, but messy for an ordinary domestic setting; take care too with sugary foods, which can cause yeast infections, and oily foods, which can shred condoms.
Most lovers with privacy like to eat naked together and take it from there. In this respect the Puritans were absolutely right. At its best, this sort of dance is simply intercourse by remote control see remote control.
Most good lovers dance well together. You can do it publicly or in private, clothed or naked. Stripping one another while dancing is a sensation on its own. Even then you need not stop. Unfortunately, this means that the woman needs to be at least as tall as the man, while as a rule she is going to be shorter. Otherwise, he has to bend his knees, which is tiring. If she is too heavy to pick up, you can turn her and take her stooping from behind, still keeping the dance going.
Seduction, or encouragement, while dancing is a natural. In the days of formal dancing, one wished that the woman had her breasts on her back, where one could reach them, but that would have made it too easy. Comes for us under the heading of substitutes. Used from before or behind, or in any other posture where she can press her thighs together. The penis goes between them, with the shaft between her labia but the glans well clear of the vagina, and she presses hard.
Gives the woman a special set of sensations — sometimes keener than on penetration, so worth trying. Some people like this either as a starter or during menstrual periods. Many women can get a fair orgasm from it. However, in some parts of the world it still is a death sentence, and worldwide, sexually transmitted diseases STDs are at an all-time high. This is no time to be careless. The threats are many. Gonorrhea and syphilis are still with us, and the former is getting harder to eradicate because of resistant strains.
Plus herpes, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, thrush, viral hepatitis, crabs, scabies, HIV of course, the human papilloma wart virus, and chlamydia. We now know that the wart virus triggers a majority of cases of cervical cancer, while chlamydia can cause infertility see resources. For all these reasons, here are the guidelines. Wrong; each day over a million people worldwide catch an STD.
Also wrong is that STDs are solely the problem of the young and sexually active, who are, in fact, often informed and careful; older lovers — freshly divorced and convinced that they and their cohort are safe — are often not.
Penetration is key, but a scratch or bite that breaks the skin surface is also dangerous, as is oral sex. Is it unromantic to suggest testing?
Even if your partner has had only one other partner and that person has had only one other, and so on and on, you are still potentially linked with a host of unproven and unknown infections.
If you love each other, testing is the best way of demonstrating that. Sexual health clinic sta really have seen it all before. Most infections, if caught early, can be treated by antibiotics; the exceptions are herpes, some strains of hepatitis, and the HIV virus, which are for life see resources.
If you have contracted an STD, or have put yourself at risk of doing so, tell your current partner and seek clinical advice about whether you need to tell former ones. Plus, of course, you can never be entirely certain of fidelity. Keep squeezing the end between forefinger and thumb.
The limitations — just sound, no visuals, no touch — can drive separated partners mad with frustration, but can also be its main attraction. The world goes away and all that remains is pure pleasure and two voices. With only sound as feedback, one needs to tell more, describe fully, be ultra-clear about progress.
Create a scenario; take it in turns to tell a story; ask intimate questions and answer them; make a confession of lust or love. For her in particular, ngers, vibrator, and sound will likely do it all; if he hankers for the visuals too, get her to do it in front of a mirror and describe herself see mirrors.
Once supremely in sync, slide into control games. And there is a special pleasure in knowing that your lover is being aroused solely by your direction, and is doing precisely what you instruct. Mutual vocabulary is essential; tastes are highly individual, and largely non-negotiable, and what one may feel is arousing, the other may think is too crude, clinical, or aggressive.
So long as you are not using the Internet as a bolt hole to escape real relationships, technology is a good idea for the same reasons that phone sex is: Obvious is that the Internet is a key resource for inspiration and ideas.
There is a wealth of material out there: Online coverage of sex is expanding so quickly that it would be pointless to attempt a listing; simply surf. However close one may feel to someone one has been chatting with online, treat them as one would any blind — unseen and unknown — date; that is, with care. Reputable dating sites say all this in their guidelines — read, learn, and bear in mind that the nature of the Internet creates speedy yet false intimacy that may cloud your judgment.
Using new technology for erotic purposes, on the other hand, is the ultimate in safe sex — no exchange of body uids involved. Text message, e-mail, webcams, teledildonics can all be used to wind each other up to fever pitch during the working day prior to extended evening action, to navigate more extended separations, and to play out dangerous or impractical fantasies without risk.
For word-based text and e-mail, the key is in the description where you are, what you are wearing, what you are doing to yourself, what you would like to do to the other. Feedback may not be instant, so bridge the gaps between sending and receiving; she in particular has to learn to keep herself at pitch despite pauses until climax is imminent. Vibrators really come into their own here. Two or three times a week is a statistical average; new couples have it much oftener, established couples typically less.
Some people do stick to a pretty regular schedule — others like intensive weekends at intervals. The people who stick strictly to coital orgasm are usually opting for fewer climaxes than those who mix coitus with oral, manual, and other plays, because these increase the number of climaxes most men can get in a session. You should devise your own mix, in the light of your own responses: As we settle, it is sex that gets moved aside.
The Kinsey Institute says that contemporary women have less sex than their s counterparts because they have so little uncommitted time in their lives; a finding that would ring true for many. But actually, once one realizes that sex is not an indulgence but a necessity, it all becomes easier. Keep a diary and see what can be canceled or put on hold. Book in one night a week and one weekend a month. Usually, given time and space, it is meant to. Add children and the whole thing becomes both more di cult and more essential.
So act now. With older children, t a lock to the bedroom door and state clearly when you are uninterruptable. If caught in agrante, stay calm — children will take their cue from your emotions, and if you are unembarrassed they will be untroubled. Alternatively, leave them with grandparents, friends, or sitters while you take serious and extended private time.
Ignore any qualms here; sex will make you a better parent, not a worse one. The ultimate seducer, Casanova, incidentally, was enticed, pressured, and forced just as much as he did the enticing, and not only regretted but sometimes actively resented his sexual liaisons. Attention, compliment, clear intention, light touch, a drawing in and drawing on, the assumption that one person is willing to woo, and the other is worth the wooing; all this is in itself immensely persuasive.
In an established relationship, always at least try to respond to seduction. In a new or potential relationship, reacting to seductive moves is a di erent game. Rules vary from culture to culture, but a sound guideline is to say yes if you want to and, more important, if you are sure you will still be comfortable with the decision the morning after and when sober.
If a new partner insists on physicality earlier than you want it, their pleasure is more important to them than your comfort and they are therefore not worthy of you. All this applies to him just as much as to her. Say a clear no and trust to your instincts. The Barefoot Doctor says, instead: Taking an ordinary bath together has a charm of its own, though someone has to lean against the plumbing.
There are now luxurious large baths and Jacuzzis on offer, as well as hot tubs for outside, year-round bathing entertainment. No ordinary domestic or hotel bath is big enough for intercourse without punishing your elbows.
Sex and outdoor bathing is a di erent matter, but check local customs and laws. A pool has extras like steps and useful handholds. It might be a good idea to insert before going in, if possible, or for the woman to wear a diaphragm; seawater could trigger infections and chlorinated pool water might just possibly be an irritant, as it is to the eyes. You can have excellent straight intercourse lying in the surf if you can get a beach to yourselves, but sand is a problem, and keeps appearing for days afterwards.
We have heard of people combining coitus with swimming, and even scuba diving, but they gave no practical details. Underwater coitus, if more than a token contact, would use up vast amounts of air because of the over-breathing that goes with orgasm. To enjoy any of the above approaches safely, you both need to be infection-free, contraceptively protected, and sure of your fellow bathers. Really enthusiastic sex usually involves, at one time or another, almost every piece of furniture in the house, at least experimentally, but the bed is its commonest venue.
Most beds on the market are designed by people who think they are intended to sleep on. Enormous or circular beds look suggestive, but have no real advantages over a full-size double bed. There are a few points we would consider before giving a seal of approval.
First, since one uses the sides as well as the surface, the height needs to be right. For some operations, especially bondage scenes if you like them, bedposts are essential, preferably tall ones, like those that hold up the canopies of antique beds, but not a footboard, as you may want to use the end of the bed for bending her over, backwards or forwards see ligottage, and ropework.
The mattress needs to be as hard as you can tolerate for comfortable sleep. A double bed is essential; anything less forfeits the chief sexual joy of living and sleeping together — the fact that you can take one another at any hour of the night when both want it, and relax together immediately afterwards.
If you have room, have a single bed as well, in case either partner is sick and feels more comfortable solo — twin beds have no place in a full sexual relationship. Besides the bed itself, you need four pillows — two very hard to go under the buttocks, and two soft to sleep on. The room must be warm at all times of the year — warm enough to sleep without getting chilled, and without nightclothes if you wish. Water beds, now reminiscent of glitzy glam and lava lamps, and only encountered rarely, nevertheless produce extraordinary sensations, and they have a natural period of resonance that tends to take over — one has to move in their rhythm, but this in itself is a stimulating constraint.
Lip and tongue kisses add immensely to lovemaking in all face-to-face positions. A lot of people maintain mouth contact continuously throughout intercourse, and prefer face-to-face positions for this reason. If you are in private, move on to breasts, and go from there. Another pleasure is to make her a carpet of owers, by covering every inch of her body with small, close kisses: Eyelashes too can be used for nipple, lip, glans, and skin kisses.
A good mouth kiss should leave its recipient breathless but not asphyxiated leave an airway open , and nobody likes their nose squashed into their face. Clean your teeth before making love, and if you are having whisky, garlic, and so on, both of you have it. Use both hands; keep a steady progression of movement going with one, and make surprise attacks with the other. The whole essence is in the extreme lightness of the touch — more electric than tickling. Feathers, skin gloves, or vibrators deliver a quite di erent sensation.
Much more pleasant if you rub each other all over with a condom-compatible massage oil. Steer well clear of vulnerable body parts like scars and infected skin, and never put rm pressure on organs or on places where the bone is near the skin. She kneads his muscles, with ngers and a vibrator as well if they like; he concentrates on her breasts, buttocks, loins, and neck.
With practice, these sensations are well worth cultivating. This always ends in genital hand work, then intercourse, followed by a bath together. Bottled lotion, however, offers a practical substitute for this particular fantasy.