I'm in the middle of my sophomore year in college, and for the first time in my life I have a girlfriend. I don't want to say any more than that, because I'm afraid she'll figure out who this is, and I haven't told her yet that not only am I a virgin but everything I know about sex I learned from watching TV and movies and browsing the Internet. It's not like you can't learn things that way, but I'm looking for the official version. Can you lead me to the proper sources? Please respond ASAP. I can't wait much longer.
Sex 101: A college sophomore who, in this day and age (and by 'day and age' I'm referring to Internet porn), doesn't know anything about sex? Somebody alert the media! Wait a minute, I'm the media. Somebody alert the authorities! Wait a minute, I'm the authority. Somebody alert the...oh hell, let's just keep this to ourselves, Sex 101. I am now prepared to share with you Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask, which happens to be the name of a book that got everybody all hot and bothered back in the 1970s. Alas, I can't recommend it, since it was already out of date the day it was published. (I'll spare you the details.) Plus, it's less a how-to than a what's-that. But it leads into one of my favorite topics: sex manuals.
Ideally, sex manuals are where you go to find out what to stick where, when and why. (Why? Because it's there.) But they haven't always been so helpful. They used to be called marriage manuals, and instead of telling you what to stick where, when and why, they told you what not to stick anywhere unless 1) you were bound to each other by law and 2) you were bound and determined to have a child. You probably haven't heard of Aristotle's Masterpiece, which circulated widely during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it the Kama Sutra of its time ' more like the Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Excommunicated for Asking About. But at least it got people talking about S-E-X.
Today, of course, they won't shut up about S-E-XXX. You go to the bookstore to pick up the latest Harry Potter tome, and instead you come home with How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, by love-making porn star Jenna Jameson. Hey, don't get me wrong, it's a fun read. (I should know, I've read it three times.) Just don't expect to be enlightened. For a woman who specializes in them, Ms. Jameson includes precious little material on sexual positions. For that kind of thing, you'll have to turn to such explicit how-tos as Mind-Blowing Sex, The Wild Guide to Sex and Loving, How to Have a XXX Sex Life, The Lowdown on Going Down or, if you prefer a his-and-hers approach, She Comes First and its sequel, He Comes Next.
But maybe you don't want to make love like a porn star. Maybe you just want to relate to another person sexually, which doesn't necessarily involve hanging from the ceiling, twisting your body like a pretzel, pumping like a steam engine and emitting orgasmic screams so high-pitched even dogs cover their ears. In that case, I would highly recommend another book from the 1970s, Alex Comfort's The Joy of Sex, which left people not hot and bothered but warm and cozy. This illustrated guide, which is laid out like a gourmet meal, complete with hilarious French nicknames Ã la 'croupade,' 'cuissade' and 'flanquette,' may be a little silly at times. (Aren't all sex manuals?) But I think you'll find the approach just what you're looking for: Comfort food.
If you like your flanquette medium rare, write to: write to: MR. RIGHT, ISTHMUS, 101 KING ST. MADISON, WI 53703. OR CALL 251-1206, EXT. 152. OR E-MAIL MRRIGHT@ISTHMUS.COM.