19th Century Sex Advice

Drawing of a Nude Woman

No sex before meals? Concentrate on the task at hand? The Paris Review Blog brings us these pieces of 19th Century sex tips and more, in this review of The Book of Nature; Containing Information for Young People Who Think of Getting Married, on the Philosophy of Procreation and Sexual Intercourse; Showing How to Prevent Conception and to Avoid Child-Bearing. Also, Rules for Management During Labour and Child-birth:

Cover of the Book of Nature“There’s no better way to kill one’s sexual desire than to remember what it was like to learn about sex. Contemporary sex-ed is effective enough in this regard—we can all summon memories of high school filmstrips—but it turns out that the sex-ed of ages past was even more clinical, pedantic, and bloodless. All of which is to say it’s perfect if you’re looking to take the joy out of sex.”

On the bright side, the Book of Nature does offer some aphrodisiac culinary tips: “The particular food which is calculated to stimulate the sexual organs is shell-fish, or sea fish of any kind, and turtle, as these generally contain phosphorus. Among vegetables may be mentioned celery, parsnips, onions, peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, Lima beans, &c. Mushrooms and truffles are a stimulant, as is also mint, sage, penny-royal, thyme, and spices of all kinds, especially pepper and nutmeg. Canvas-back Duck, in proper season, is of excellent stimulating qualities; and for puddings, sago, tapioca and arrowroot. For drinks take porter and strong beer, wines, or coffee. Spirits are too exhilarating, and cause a reaction.”

You can also learn how naughty whores of Babalon are unlikely to have children at all, certainly a shock to all the Thelemite mothers out there: “When the female is unnaturally amorous, (and such cases frequently occur,) she seldom becomes impregnated at all.”

Read the full review here.

Stephanie

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