You may have read last week about the young man who ‘fessed up to having spent his “entire life” masturbating the wrong way—an unfortunate experience that left him unable to have sex without severe and debilitating pain. If only this poor kid had consulted one of the many sex guides available online or at his local library, or even spent a few hours browsing Tumblr for all the gifs of people wanking, then he may have avoided considerable inconvenience and discomfort.
I am generally of the mind that sex guides hinder rather than enhance what should be an intuitive and mutually pleasurable experience—one ideally where individuals tell their partners what they want and share the enjoyment of sex together. But I know this isn’t how things pan out, as in the case of Twerking Seahorse’s alleged masturbatory misfortune—so maybe it’s for the best that people do have handy guides to help them on the way to pleasuring themselves and others.
Yet sometimes sex guides can seem strange and slightly off-putting—like those creepy illustrations of hirsute men enjoying the missionary position in Alex Comfort’s The Joy of Sex—or even cold and scientific, like a technical drawing from Popular Mechanics. This Young Person’s Guide to Sex from the 1960s is a case in point. It starts off practical enough with courtship rituals and hints about handholding and flirtation, before suddenly switching into a kind of Ballardian handbook on sex—with test tubes for cocks, and artist mannequins attempting to straddle a young woman. From what I can figure out, this handy little guide was pretty popular in its day—so it did help youngsters scratch that itch—though I’m not sure if Twerky Seahorse would have been any the wiser from reading it… read more >