Revisiting the Sensual, Highbrow Advice of ‘The Joy of Sex’

Written in 1972, The Joy of Sex was meant to be seen as a back-to-basics style cookbook for a generation that might have been too old for—or scared of—the sexual revolution’s unbridled, derelict hedonism. Comfort’s aim in writing this guidebook to intimacy was to show that sex is not shameful. In order to elevate sex from the rutting, sweaty, dirty mess that it is, his approach was to go highbrow.

The white Southerners who fought US segregation

Its racist past still hangs heavy over the White South. But as with anything, it is rarely as simple as everything being bad – one of the reasons photographer Doy Gorton set out to illustrate the White South, his home, in a more nuanced light, writes James Jeffrey.

BOOKS: The Affluenza Murder Case That Shocked America 100 Years Ago

At the turn of the twentieth century, a group of teenagers in Brooklyn collectively known as the Bedford Avenue Gang (many came from relatively wealthy families) were bucking the restrictive societal norms of their parents. This crew routinely got fucked up, had a lot of sex, and was prone to commit petty crimes.

But things went bad when Florence Burns, a young woman from the neighborhood, had a violent quarrel with one of the Gang, Walter Brooks, on Valentine’s Day 1902 at the Glen Island Hotel. Several hours later, Brooks was found dying in a hotel room with a bullet wound in his head. 

AUDIOBOOKS: ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline

I reluctantly watched the movie version at home (having no interest to see it in a theater). I was warned to turn my brain off to enjoy it as pure eye-candy. I knew about the book well before I saw the film, but very little beyond the basic ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ premise. In the first few moments of the film version, my immediate criticism was not only how superficial the story was, but how every-single-person (and civilization itself) in this world, including all the heroes, are all fucked up.

I was told it is addressed in the book. So in “the age of the geek, baby”, I listened to the audiobook with my wife, as read by Wil Wheaton.

The book is FAR better than the movie. I enjoyed every moment of the story. Wheaton’s reading of the material and the language of it’s world was spot-on. I had a lot of fun following the story. The homage to geekdom and the 1980s birth of our current geek-culture brought back lots of goofy memories as well, and in their proper context within the story.

I will definitely check this book out again some time!

BOOKS: ‘When Brooklyn Was Queer’, telling the story of the borough’s LGBT past

In a new book, Hugh Ryan explores the untold history of queer life in Brooklyn from the 1850s forward, revealing some unlikely truths.

One recurring theme in his research that fascinated Ryan was how Brooklyn’s rise from rural backwater to New York’s second city mirrored the rise in interest in sex and gender studies and – sadly – the rise in homophobia, bigotry and abuse.

Academic Robin DiAngelo: ‘We have to stop thinking about racism as someone who says the N-word’

Her book, ‘White Fragility’, has been a US bestseller and provoked an uncomfortable conversation on what it means to be white. She explains why she won’t give liberals an easy ride.