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The Joy of Sex Has A New Edition, But Will Anyone Care?


When my pre-pubescent demands of "What's sex?" were blatantly ignored by all and sundry, I did what every other bookish kid did: I went to the damn library and found out myself. Much like countless others, I found myself (and my more pervy friends) flipping through The Joy Of Sex giggling into our fists at the beyond cheesy drawings, and gasping in horror that ohmygod, grown-ups really DO that? Yuck!

I, of course, grew up and realized that there was more to sex than 1970's drawings of hippies boinging against walls, and now, with the all new edition of The Joy of Sex, another generation will be able to laugh hysterically into their pillows at their first glimpse of "doggie style," right?

I seriously doubt it.

You see, when my generation (Gen X, if we're going to get technical) found out about sex, it was either through word of mouth, books, or, if you were lucky, Cinemax After Dark on those nights when you babysat. Boys would drive themselves cross-eyed trying to decipher squiggle porn on the upper channels on the cable box, and you would secret your mom's copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover from the bookcase to find the "good parts." The Joy of Sex was still relevant, if not dull and uber-cheesy; the illustrations alone of hirsute men who bore an uncanny resemblance to Charles Manson probably scarred us for life in ways we can't even imagine. But in the internet age, is The Joy of Sex even the tiniest bit, well, necessary anymore?

This isn't going to be a "these kids these days, with their 'Gossip Girl' and their Pussycat Dolls" kind of article. Times change, and kids finding out about sex is going to change too. But man, there's no CHALLENGE in it anymore, is there? With Google, you can learn all you wanted (and never wanted) to know with a click of the mouse and eat a sandwich with the other. Or, you know, do other things with the other hand that have nothing to do with sandwiches. Ahem. Gone are the days of stealing your older brother's Playboy and hiding in the woods, laughing your fool head off as your hormones start making introductions. Discovering sex was a QUEST, a secret MISSION that took stealthy dedication and a lot of innocent-eyed lying. Now it's easier than ordering shoes from Zappos.

So the good news is that the new edition of Joy of Sex actually takes the woman into consideration, and has scrapped the Charlie Manson illustrations, but, sadly, is STILL only geared towards heterosexual couples, and STILL is, well, pretty tame. There's nothing kinky about it, and the timeless Kama Sutra is still beyond superior. But that really doesn't matter, does it? Maybe in this culture, in this generation, in this sexualized media, The Joy of Sex is completely obsolete. New edition or not, it's still a book, and those are going the way of the dodo quicker than you can say "cybersex."

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cindy w

Ah, you forgot to credit "Forever" by Judy Blume. THAT book taught me a thing or two. Wow.


Awesome post. So funny. My parents had this book and me and my friends would sneak up into their room and look at it. Remember how HAIRY everyone was? Ew!



i care! my copy is worn out.

- Green Mullet


The problem with the internet as a sexual learning tool is the lack of "joy". A face-full of strudel icing can hardly be joyful to the recipient, except of course for a very rare few, and taking the woman's joy into account is a very important distinction. I hope this new generation will understand that, but based on last night's crop of pole-dancer-fashion clad females, I doubt it.


Ha ... I too, found about what sex was from my own research at the library. I looked it up in the encyclopedia, and vividly remember slamming the book shut once I found out the details :)

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