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
A Definitive Scorecard for All the Dances in Magic Mike XXL
I Spent 3 Minutes Inside a -264 Degree Cryotherapy Machine
10 Made-in-America Brands You’ve Never Heard Of
25 Famous Women on the Best Advice They’ve Ever Given — or Received
Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist Demystifies Strobing, the ‘New’ Contour
Ask Polly: Why Doesn’t Anything Feel Fun?
You Can Call a Man Fat But You Can’t Fat-Shame Him
How to Flirt and Make Friends at a Nude Beach
Be Mine? Why It’s Smart to Court Your Friends
Winning the Breakup in the Age of Instagram
From Our Partners
13 Products Makeup Artists Swear By (But You've Never Heard of)
If You Don’t Have Them Yet, Here Are 5 Things You Still Need This Summer
How To Control Your Bad Breath, According To Science
Anna Wintour Acknowledges Kim and Kanye Are Not 'Tasteful'
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War Features10 Made-in-America Brands You’ve Never Heard Of
Homegrown.Columbia Won’t Put Trigger Warnings on Next Year’s Reading Lists
The required reading list is being revamped, but it won't include trigger warnings.In Praise of Caitlyn Jenner’s Femme Style
She's been the toast of the paparazzi this week, and it's glorious.Fernanda Niven on Sunscreen, Wellness, and So Much Tea
The creative director of Parasol sun-protective swimwear shares her wellness routine.Workout Moves You Can Do at the Beach
If you're one of those people.A Definitive Scorecard for All the Dances in Magic Mike XXL
The good, the bad, the painfully sexy.DJ May Kwok to Open Rockaway Beach Pop-up Shop
DJ May Kwok made us an exclusive mix to celebrate her new Rockaway Beach surf shop, the Notion.M.A.C Is Opening a Salon for Makeup
Let the pros handle it.How to Win Like UFC Champ Ronda Rousey
"No one has the right to beat you, no matter who they are.”Spotify and Armani Partnered on an App
Time for summer playlists.
Don't fear the two-piece.This Up-and-Coming Model Has Had Quite the Week
Lineisy Montero bagged a Prada campaign and a Teen Vogue cover in one fell swoop.Scott Eastwood (and His Abs) May Save the World
The Suicide Squad actor on his exercise routine and his mission to save the ocean's declining tuna populations.Matt Damon Unleashes Thick, Flowing Ponytail
The latest inductee in the Man-pone Collective.Tanning Bed Use Is Finally on the Decline
Two million Americans wised up.Rihanna’s Met Gown Designer Gets a Paris Exhibit
Guo Pei says she didn't initially want the pop star to wear the dress she chose.Demi Moore Wore a Bucket Hat
A Chic Beach-Towel Upgrade
For the art snobs.Crying Is the New Leaning In
It's our time to shine!Is There Such a Thing As Too Much Avocado?
Let's talk about your guacamole habit.
The etiquette is tricky, but the results can be magnificent. Or so we hear.Nursing-Home Dating Services Sound Better Than OkCupid
Game never dies.10 Men on Bathing Suits and Body Angst
Reflections on Speedos, waxing, and Brad Pitt.You Can Now Bid on Queen Victoria’s Roomy Cotton Panties
The monarch's monogrammed undies are expected to sell for several thousand pounds.Donna Karan Helped Women Look Like Themselves
Over three decades, she ushered in a new definition of femininity.The Women’s Equality Act Will Soon Be a Reality in New York
State lawmakers recently passed the majority of the proposed bills without much fuss.Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist Demystifies Strobing, the ‘New’ Contour
"It's the same thing as highlighting, but with a different name."How One State Is Improving Eating-Disorder Care
Missouri becomes the first state to require that insurance companies cover comprehensive mental-health treatment for people with anorexia and bulimia.Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Will Keep Living Together
They're totally committed to this whole co-parenting thing.Lawmakers Trying to Get Cheerleaders Paid Minimum Wage
A California assemblywoman (and former cheerleader) introduced a bill for fair pay.