If you think the drawings in The Joy of Sex are quaint, check out the wood-carvings in Aristotle’s Complete Master-Piece, published on Open Culture today. North America’s first sex manual, Aristotle's was written by self-described English “professor of physik” William Salmon and first published in Boston in 1766. Although the book, which gets name-checked in Ulysses and Vile Bodies, was mostly sold under the counter, its illustrations are far from sexually explicit. They mostly show the “monstrosities” that will befall your children if you look at “images” while having sex, including birth defects, full body hair, or being a different race. So, yes, the colonists didn’t have everything quite figured out, but there is at least one happy error therein. “It suggests that both men and women should enjoy sex,” auction house Lyon & Turnbull’s book specialist Cathy Marsden observes. “That’s interesting because much later on, when they realised that a woman didn’t have to climax in order to conceive, the idea of a woman enjoying sex was considered far less important.” Read some excerpts, including the colonial definition of “clytoris,” at Book Tryst.
Most Viewed Stories
Everything We’ve Heard From Witnesses in the St. Paul’s Rape Case
How Not to Message a Woman Online
Even Celebrities Seem to Suffer at Disneyworld
Why Rape Trials Like St. Paul’s Are So Rare
Ask Polly: Why Is Everyone Succeeding Except Me?
Want the Old J.Crew Back? You Just Might Get It
The Italian Wife Juggling Work and Sex
Every Wedding Needs a Lindsay Lohan
Salad Is a Lie
Surprise! Good Things Can Come From Awkward, Weird Sex
From Our Partners
The Trick That Adds Inches To The Length Of Your Legs
The 8 Dresses Every Woman Should Own
Fabulous Find of the Week: H&M Marble Print Skirt
Less Than One Percent of Women Regret Their Decision to Have an Abortion
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War Features8 Actually Good Things That Happened This Week
Pugs return home and pandas fight the enemy.Why Rape Trials Like St. Paul’s Are So Rare
The jury debated questions of consent, and that's actually pretty rare in a courtroom.Owen Labrie Found Not Guilty of Felony Sexual-Assault in St. Paul’s Trial [Updated]
The former St. Paul's School student was found not guilty on all three felony sexual-assault charges.Every Wedding Needs a Lindsay Lohan
In honor of your nuptials, she will make a huge scene.Surprise! Good Things Can Come From Awkward, Weird Sex
A new comedian explains why.Ashley Madison CEO Resigned Today
Seems appropriate, to say the least.Are You Baby-Curious?
What to read (and watch) when you're expecting to be expecting.How Not to Message a Woman Online
A case study.Hey, Sweetie, Here’s What We Really Did While You Were Gone at Camp
Letters to a camper.Ben Carson Admits There May Be a War on ‘What’s Inside of Women’
Chill out — they’re only after some non-vital organs.
The state just received funding to keep giving teenagers free IUDs.Data Suggests That the Men of Ashley Madison Were Chatting With Fake Women
Fake women, but real Ashley Madison employees.Time Flies When You’re Dating Naked!
And a special guest returns to the island.Everything We’ve Heard From Witnesses in the St. Paul’s Rape Case
As the jury begins deliberations.Daniel Craig’s One Weird Trick to Cure Hangovers
You'll never guess whom he learned it from.Great Moments in Robot-Penis History
There's so much more than just a bionic penis.Is There Any Good Way to Go Gray in Your 20s?
If so, I haven't found it.What Exactly Happened Inside Jared Leto’s Summer Camp?
Was it worth $900?Ronda Rousey Smacks Down Floyd Mayweather
The fighters continue their delightful feud.Misguided Columbia Consent Campaign Decidedly Not ‘Bae’
Outrage school is back in session.